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Hi, I'm stumped.
2000 Taurus SES Vin U.
Bought it at 155,000 for $300.
Previous owner let it sit for 2 years.
Replaced fuel pump and Master Cylinder, cleaned MAF & IAC, added Sea Foam to gas a couple times, and ran well.
Tested the gas mileage on a trip, and it was getting factory milage, so SCORE!

NOW, over the next 2 years, and 20,000mi, the highway miles is barely more than the city was my only concern, until now. (PCV Valve? Was going to replace when all hell broke loose)

2 weeks ago, I left the key in ignition and drained the battery.
I did that twice that week. Had to get jump both times. (Bad memory week)

Last week my cruise control would turn off by itself now and then.

Yesterday I was at a store and it acted like the battery was drained.
Thought I must've killed the battery when I drained and jumped it twice the week before.

Bought a 650cca Wally World cheapo. No joy.
Didn't do anything.
Still acted like it was drained.

Tried jumping, nothing, same, acted like it was trying to start on a dead battery. (Even disconnected battery positive and tried starting with jumper cables to running truck-same. Acted like it was trying to start on a dead battery. Dash lights, and click, but no crank. )

Saw YouTube video saying that it was probably the starter.
OK, went to pick-n-pull, got starter (remanufactured ) from an 02 with 85,000mi.
Took home, installed.
Started right up.
Better than ever, actually.
STRONG!
Drove to restaurant in celebration, ate, started right up, went to same store it broke down in yesterday to use the bathroom , (damn Taco Bell!)
Went to leave, SAME ISSUE!
Acting like battery drained.
Even when I got out the jumper cables.
Saw smoke coming from the wiring to the new (sic) starter.
Smelled like wires over heating.

Ok. So what do you think?
Alternator?
I know I really need to find a multimeter here. I don't currently have one.
Obviously the wiring to the starter will need to be replaced.
Maybe I'll take the starter back too and get another. (13mo warranty for extra $7.)

-stumped rabbit
 

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Something is dragging the engine. Start by pulling the serpentine belt off, and start it when you know for sure the battery is at full charge. If it starts good, then you know that one of the accessories might be dragging the start down.
 
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