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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Usually I change batteries in the winter when they crank poorly. Today I was running some errands in the town and was making several stops. I imaging the under hood area is was pretty hot. I have a 5 year old battery that has sat quite a bit during the winter with occasional start ups and full battery charges. It has never gone flat. Today at a store it would not turn over. No sound when I turned the key. However the power door locks and radio worked. The headlights would not come on. I left it for an hour, came back and it cranked and fired right up. I then drove it home 20 miles. Does this sound like a typical older battery dying in the heat or do you think it’s something else.

Thanks

Spock
 

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Have it tested as per sheila. Mine turned out to be an oil soaked starter which is right under the oil filter. Mine was a no crank, no start intermittent condition.

Scott
 

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Need to have it load tested as sheila suggested. Just checking voltage with a multi-meter is not as diagnostic as a load test. However if you have digital multi-meter fully charged battery should be about 12.6 volts. When running with alternator should be about 14.1-14.3 volts. So if it tests low, or low when running points to battery or alternator. My alternator failed at about 100,000 miles with no warning. If you changed out the starter last year doubt it is an oil soaked starter. The replacement starter I installed had a black plastic shield over the end to seal. Alternator is not too bad to change out on the vulcan, had to take out the coolant reservoir to get the mounting bolts out. Sounds like the alternator on the Duratec is challenging to say the least. Let us know but a five year old battery certainly could be your problem. I replaced my battery after my intermittent no crank, no start, knew better to test it but threw parts at it instead. The Taurus can have all kinds of weird electrical problems with a weak battery. I would still have it load tested but you should check battery water if removable caps as well as make sure the terminals and connections are clean and tight.


Scott
 

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Usually I change batteries in the winter when they crank poorly. Today I was running some errands in the town and was making several stops. I imaging the under hood area is was pretty hot. I have a 5 year old battery that has sat quite a bit during the winter with occasional start ups and full battery charges. It has never gone flat. Today at a store it would not turn over. No sound when I turned the key. However the power door locks and radio worked. The headlights would not come on. I left it for an hour, came back and it cranked and fired right up. I then drove it home 20 miles. Does this sound like a typical older battery dying in the heat or do you think it’s something else.

Thanks

Spock
Could be the voltage regulator, but that is part of the alternator and should not cost much to replace. Rock auto charges about $100 for a new alternator.
 

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Had a similar issue earlier this year on a trip. While driving, twice the whole car seemed to lose all electrical power for about one second - engine stopped producing power, all lights went out, etc. Later after stopping and filling up with gas, it wouldn't start. No click sound, not enough power to even run the headlights. Let it sit for awhile, came back and it cranked the engine as strong and fast as ever. Battery terminals and grounds were nice and clean. Took it to the local parts store and they tested the system. It indicated everything was fine but the battery was weak. Took the battery out of the car and they tested it again, now battery indicated OK. Then tested again, it showed it was weak. It seemed like some kind of intermittent issue with the battery but couldn't be sure. I ended up replacing the battery and have had no issues since. :shrug: Best I can figure at this point is the battery had some kind of loose connection internally.
 

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^^^^ Unfortunately with the quality (or lack of, to be more precise) of batteries these days, internal opens, shorts, etc are becoming more common.
 

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In the last 14 yrs I've had 3 batteries, 2 AZ and one Diehard with internal battery connector failures. All within their warranty periods. Just carrying it into the store will make it reconnect and test fine. Just smacking my batteries made them reconnect and start the car.
 
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