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Discussion Starter #1
98 Duratec SE

Ok, so I just got back from vacation. On the way to the airport last week i started having a weird problem with my gas tank warning light. Every 30 min or so it would flash on for about 2-3 sec, then turn off. No other symptoms accompanied this light. I had 1/2 tank at the time so I just left it at the parking lot and came back to it today. The problem was much more frequent this morning when i drove the car. In addition to the light turning on, there was an accompanying transmission down shift (rough). After a few seconds the transmission would up shift again and all would be fine...until it happened again. I stopped at a gas station since I had gone over 300 miles on that tank and it seemed like a good time to fill up. The problem disappeared after i got back in the car....for a while. About an hour later it started doing it again. I found that if i flashed my high beams, it would trigger the symptoms. As i get closer to home i notice that my radio display is flickering a little. This is exacerbated when i flash my high beams. Finally, when i turn to go into my neighborhood, all my electronics shut off. The car still ran, but i did lose power steering for a brief period. All the electronics did return pretty quickly, but this can't be good. The only other related problem i've had is that twice when i went to back out of a parking space I lost power steering and the charge light came on on my dash. Any ideas? I know it's a lot going on. I'm thinking of just paying the $75 to get the diagnostic done at a dealership.
 

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Go to AutoZone and have them check the alternator and battery for free.

The dealer won't find anything but some of your money.
 

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Totally different car, but something you said made me remember this...

Early 2003 I had the motor mounts changed in my '95. Sometime late '03, early '04, the rear mount broke again. What would happen is that everytime we backed out of our driveway (uphill) the battery light would come on. At first I thought it was a loose cable somewhere, as it would only do it going backwards, and you had to accelrate a bit briskly. One day I had my wife hold the brake on, and accelerate a bit in reverse. That's when I noticed the engine rocking on the mount, and the light came on. I didn't experience any other symptoms than that, except maybe loss of PS, but I think that had more to VAPS kicking in while exiting a freeway at twice the posted suggestion.
Definately have the charging system checked. Overcharging is just as bad as undercharging, especially on new(er) cars. Also check for broken mounts.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, i just got back from autozone. They said the battery is great and so is the alternator. Back to square one...
Could the power steering be the source of the problem? If that is seizing up could it stop the belt thereby halting the power coming from the alternator?
 

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If the belt was stopping you would smell burning rubber and hear the belt squealing. My bet is still on the battery.
 
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