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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I have a 2004 Ford Taurus with the Vulcan Engine.

In the morning my car cranks weak and slow.
I did a parasite draw test but really didn't find anything. The closest thing I got was fuse #33 under the dash drawing 0.17-.19mV. But even that was just only one time that I measured it.
I had a Amp Clamp around the positive battery lead but that reading always hovered around 0.04-0.06A. Sometimes it went up to 0.10 but that was very intermittently and makes me think
the amp clamp is probably not that best.

Battery is duralast about a 1.5 years old. Battery voltage when being charged by the alternator is about 14.36V.

Alternator also seems to be charging just fine.

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Tonight I will take out fuse 33 and see if the charge holds better. I've seen a few other threads on fuse 33 but those all have more current draw than I do and they were also not able to find the source of the draw.

Car does have an aftermarket radio but all the speakers are original.
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The amp draws you have listed in your chart are within typical range. The draw drops over 40 or so minutes as the modules go to sleep.

My first thought is your battery is bad looking at your volts vs time graph. A fully charged battery should have an open circuit voltage of 13 V or a little more (each cell produces a open circuit voltage of 2.2 V, so in theory a 6 cell battery should have an open circuit voltage of 13.2 V).

Years ago I had 1 new battery fail within 2 days of installing it, and another fail within a month, and that was back when battery quality was better than it is today. And when I say fail, I mean fail... neither could even light up a 1157 tail light bulb, and neither would take any charge at all.. Likely an internal open circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The amp draws you have listed in your chart are within typical range. The draw drops over 40 or so minutes as the modules go to sleep.

My first thought is your battery is bad looking at your volts vs time graph. A fully charged battery should have an open circuit voltage of 13 V or a little more (each cell produces a open circuit voltage of 2.2 V, so in theory a 6 cell battery should have an open circuit voltage of 13.2 V).

Years ago I had 1 new battery fail within 2 days of installing it, and another fail within a month, and that was back when battery quality was better than it is today. And when I say fail, I mean fail... neither could even light up a 1157 tail light bulb, and neither would take any charge at all.. Likely an internal open circuit.
What brand of battery do you suggest? I'd rather not get another cheap duralast.
 

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Interstate brand batteries have been known to be quality batteries. I have used them and also Duracell brand sold at Sam's Club. I have two of these deep cycle batteries in my boat for trolling and they have been great for over five years. I also used them in all my cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is my current battery: Duralast Battery 36R-DL Group Size 36R 650 CCA

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In the morning I have a slow crank. So I am thinking I should get something with more than 650CCA which is what my current battery has. What is the best battery I can get for my car? A motor craft one? The interstate even though it has less CCA? It is also cool and cold in the mornings here sometimes so I am not sure if the interstate would be best as that seems to be advertised for the desert.
 

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Maybe your are fixing what is not broke. Space limits you to one battery size. As I see your issue, it is not the size of the battery. Bad battery or you are missing something.
Bad battery, cables/grounds and cable ends. Starter.
Your battery volts when off quite normal. Static over night 12.2 or so is fine, depends or air temperature and what you turn on before you measure the volts.
I have had volts under 12 static, and cranking normal.
I prefer Walmart because when out on a trip and have issues, you can always fine a Walmart.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Maybe your are fixing what is not broke. Space limits you to one battery size. As I see your issue, it is not the size of the battery. Bad battery or you are missing something.
Bad battery, cables/grounds and cable ends. Starter.
Your battery volts when off quite normal. Static over night 12.2 or so is fine, depends or air temperature and what you turn on before you measure the volts.
I have had volts under 12 static, and cranking normal.
I prefer Walmart because when out on a trip and have issues, you can always fine a Walmart.
-chart-
Mine is cranking slow at 12.4V so I do think there is a difference.
Also my car probably sat with a dead battery for about 3 months.
 

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I started using Motorcraft about a decade ago due to their reputation. So far I have not been impressed! They do stand by their warranty, but being left stranded is never fun. I now have a jump pack in the trunk, but I hope I never need to use it, unless it is on a strangers vehicle that I stop to help.
 

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Your static volts are one thing: quite another when cranking. Good clue. Interior lights on. Then crank while watching the light. Serious dimming and your battery is weak (while fully charged) or you have a bad cable, or bad starter.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Your static volts are one thing: quite another when cranking. Good clue. Interior lights on. Then crank while watching the light. Serious dimming and your battery is weak (while fully charged) or you have a bad cable, or bad starter.
-chart-
I'll try that tomorrow and report back.
 

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Your static volts are one thing: quite another when cranking. Good clue. Interior lights on. Then crank while watching the light. Serious dimming and your battery is weak (while fully charged) or you have a bad cable, or bad starter.
-chart-
I do the same thing but use the headlights, if they go out and it won't crank, bad battery.
 

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I do the same thing but use the headlights, if they go out and it won't crank, bad battery.
Possible cables but: have a helper check volts directly from the posts while cranking. 9.0 or better is OK. Low volts at the starter but Ok at the bat post, cables.
Pic from the JY typical out there in the real world.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Possible cables but: have a helper check volts directly from the posts while cranking. 9.0 or better is OK. Low volts at the starter but Ok at the bat post, cables.
Pic from the JY typical out there in the real world.
-chart-
I don't quite understand what you mean by "the posts" Is that just as the battery? I can measure the min voltage at the battery during the start up tomorrow too.


I think I am going to give this a try:

Basically test 4 things when the car is cranking/starter is staarting the car:
1 battery voltage when starting,one lead on the pos battery pole, one on the neg battery pole Voltage should not drop below 9.6V
2 pos lead on the pos battery pole, neg lead on the b-terminal of the solenoid Voltage should be close to 0V, but below 0.2V is acceptable.
3 pos lead on the pos battery pole, neg lead on the s-terminal of the solenoid Voltage should be close to 0V, but below 0.2V is acceptable.
4 neg lead on the neg battery pole, pos lead on the somewhere on the case of the starter-solenoid assembly Voltage should be close to 0V, but below 0.2V is acceptable.


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By posts I mean the lead posts on top of the battery. Looks at the battery and not the rest of the system.
In the pic example of loss at the cable crimp. Loss at the crimp 7+X the loss over the length of the cable and eyelet on the end. Bad cables/grounds common issue.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
By posts I mean the lead posts on top of the battery. Looks at the battery and not the rest of the system.
In the pic example of loss at the cable crimp. Loss at the crimp 7+X the loss over the length of the cable and eyelet on the end. Bad cables/grounds common issue.
-chart-
Got it. Do I have to do this while cranking?
Seems like this issue should be present even when the car is off, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This morning I turned on the interior lamps during the start up. I did notice a decrease in brightness but it was not by much. There was a bit of fluttering in brightness.
 

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In the morning my car cranks weak and slow.
I did a parasite draw test but really didn't find anything.
Not clear what exactly is meant by slow, since it can be sort of subjective. Maybe just disconnect the battery for a day or two and see if you have the same results. My guess is if you cant find any parasitic draw, then it might be the battery.
I had a similar issue like that with my Ford Focus, though in that case, the battery was older. I kept the battery in the car for about 5 years( battery was about 3 years old when I got the car). I would say it seemed to crank slow on first starts for the 5 years I had that battery in the car, and was occasionally thinking about changing it. That battery had very little capacity; I was testing the front and rear lights, left them on for about ten minutes, and the car would not start after that. I had them test the battery at NAPA, and it still passed their battery test. I ended up changing the battery last year before the colder months of winter, since it really started to crank slow on cold mornings.

Interstate brand batteries have been known to be quality batteries. I have used them and also Duracell brand sold at Sam's Club. I have two of these deep cycle batteries in my boat for trolling and they have been great for over five years. I also used them in all my cars.
Pretty sure Duracell is made by East Penn. I've read that East Penn batteries are supposed to be some of the best. You can get them at NAPA as well, and they are also sold under the Deka and Duracell brands. You have to check the labels, since I know not all NAPA batteries are made by East Penn.
 

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It may be just the hot weather where I live, but I've never had an off-the-shelf battery last 5 years unless it was just left on the shelf. That's why I am always looking for the 5-year battery and to size, it a little larger than the stock just to get them to last about 3-4 years. I noticed that each time I replaced my batteries for the same car over a 15 year period they would have fewer CC Amps than the one I replaced it with and called it "factory". Even had the same issue with AAA roadside assistance due to a failed battery, I refused the last one they tried to give me as I pointed to the one in the car and said "that's what I expected you to replace it with".
Motorcraft Max has been good, never recommend a battery from Walmart or Harbor Freight unless it's got a bunny on it. Recently I switched over to Odyssey Extreme batteries and have been very happy after meeting with them at SEMA a few years ago.
 
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