Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
2003 Taurus - 6 cyl 'Bull'. Not sure what's up. When put the key in and turn it, dash lights work ... radio still has stations, etc .. but all I hear is an odd sounding click. I have to say I've heard a few starters go bad before and click but this doesn't sound quite like that .. close but almost too loud.

So, I tried to jump it and lo and behold it started. Took the cables off and she kept going .. turned her off and she wouldn't start again - same thing.
Lights flash on the dash and such when I try to start. No check engine light is on. My battery light comes on and off and has for some 40,000 miles - so hard to say if that is the issue.

Any ideas or things to check would be appreciated.

Thanks!
Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
Start by checking out the battery, followed by the alternator.

Clicking when trying to start without a jump means your battery is weak.

Starting when jumpered means starter is good.

Flashing battery light could mean failing alternator or loose connection somewhere in the charging circuit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Sounds like a dead battery. it could also be a starter on the way out and the battery, at its voltage, cant start it. also dont take the battery cables off because you can build up a charge and when you put the cable back in ruin the electronics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
No Follow Up?

My car is doing the same thing right now. It would be nice to know what fixed the problem. The clicking sounds to me like it is in the dash maybe a relay?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Some simple battery/charging tests you can perform require a digital voltage meter, minute differences in the voltages are sometimes hard to detect with pocket analog meters as the testing range is often narrow on small testers.

Without one you do not have the basic tool required to know if you have a bad battery, alternator, fuse, or many other issues without willy nilly swapping parts out.

Get a Craftsman or Harbor Freight special.

Craftsman, 18 bucks - Sears.com

Harbor Freight has one for as low as 8 bucks, personally I own the craftsman and its worth the 20 spot as you can use it for many other home purposes along with automotive and it's of much better quality.

You should always start with a charged battery.

Car off ignition off.

Set the meter to DC 20V. The meter has a red lead and black lead.


1. Test the battery by placing the red lead on the positive side of the battery (+) and the black lead on the negative (-) side of the battery.

You should have 12.3 volts or higher.

If not you may need to charge/replace the battery. Charge/replace the battery and start over.


2. Test the battery to ground by keeping the red lead on the positive battery post, and touch the black lead to something metal under the hood.

Any raw metal will work, a bolt or screw head for example. Be sure to scratch and dig with the tip of the black lead to cut any rust or oxide in the way of a good connection.

You should have the same voltage you had at the battery terminals.

If not you need to inspect the black wire battery clamp for loose/broken connections. Remove the black wire battery clamp from the battery and test for continuity (your tester has that setting) from the clamp to raw metal under the hood or body of car. If there is no continuity you may need to replace the wire/add a new bonding strap to the car body.


3. Test for voltage at the alternator

The alternator sits at the very top of the engine on the passenger side, and has the drive belt wrapped around it's pulley.

There is a wire that snakes up it's backside and terminates at a bolt on the alternator covered by a rubber cap.

Remove the rubber cap, place the red lead of your tester on the bolt stud and your black lead on raw metal once again, like the actual case of the alternator. Scratch in good on both to get a good connection.

You should have the same voltage you had at the battery terminals.

If not you need to start chasing down a blown fuse/fusible link/broken wire.

With those basic tests done and passing, you can move on to testing the system while the engine is running.


Car ignition on, engine running

Start the car, get it started, remove any external power source it took to get started.

Repeat step 1 at battery engine running

You should have 14.2 volts or higher

If you have 14.2 or higher, alternator is good.

If you have 12.5 volts or lower, move onto next step.


Repeat step 3 at alternator

You should have 14.2 volts or higher

If you have 14.2 volts or higher, alternator is good.

If you have 12.5 volts or lower, alternator is bad.

...............................

There are many nuances you may encounter such as an odd voltage around 13.4 volts that is right in the middle of what should be good and what is bad.

In that case you need a load tester for the battery to see if it has a bad cell and is sucking voltage from the system through an internal short, or is the regulator/diode of the alternator bad and not putting out full voltage.

There are also more tests to be done under full load with all power options running and what not, but for the basic tests above you can get a very good idea if a blatant fault is in the system or if its just a tired starter.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top