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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2004 wagon with the DOHC cam engine. Sometimes it won't turn over. When it acts up the cluster goes crazy and there's a clicking noise in what sounds like behind the dash. The rear wiper also comes on and I think the power ant tries coming up. I've had it to the shop a few times but it always works fine when it's there. Any ideas?
 

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Battery with an intermittent internal open circuit? Battery quality has been going downhill for years. Even if the battery is relatively new, it could still be bad.

Do you have a battery from another car or can you borrow a battery from a friend for a few days to see if a different battery makes any difference?
 

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I had a similar issue on my '04 Sable DOHC, sometimes it wouldn't start but the guages would get all crazy and make buzzing noises. If I disconnected the negative battery terminal for a moment and reconnected it would start normally. The battery was only about a year old so I didn't think that could be the problem. I went through the main engine and chassis grounds thinking that was the problem and it was fine for a couple months before it acted up again. Replaced the battery and has not happened since.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I forgot to mention that when the rear wiper is running and I bang the dash it stops moving
 

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Welcome to the board, it's usually a great resource but occasionally there seems to be one that stumps us all! Unfortunately, as far as I'm concerned, this is one of them. I have been having the same problem with my 2004 (Vulcan) for about 12 months now. Only occasional and has not actually stranded me. First indication is when it won't unlock with the key fob. Behavior is same as you and others are reporting. Usually "gets over it" and starts and runs normally for a month or so. I have removed and cleaned battery terminals and ground wire that bolts inside fender near the battery (not sure about the DOHC) Mine is an Interstate battery a couple of years old. Last time this happened I charged it and has been OK for about 6 weeks.
My car doesn't have a rear wiper, I doubt that wiper is the cause of the problem. When you bang on the dash and the wiper stops, does the problem also go away or do you still have it? John Kenneth
 

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Sometimes everything will reset with a tap on the dash, sometimes it won't. I was been working fine all weekend, but last week it was acting up constantly
 

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Rob, I don't know how to resolve this problem but you may have given us all a clue with your answer here . . . "Sometimes everything will reset with a tap on the dash" Also, you mentioned you recently installed a new battery. The usual response/diagnosis for this problem is "bad battery" In my case the battery was in the car when I bought it, normally a good brand and never had a problem with it. I switched the battery into my '04 (I have two Tauruses) and at some point started to have this problem. Could it be a bad battery? sure but there are enough of these problems turning up on the board that I don't think there are that many bad or batteries out there, especially new ones. Jeff K is on the right track with his suggestion "See if a different battery makes any difference"
I would like to throw down a challenge here to others on the board. There are many good minds here with a lot more experience and much smarter than me.
I think there's more to this problem that Rob and I and others are having. Perhaps the security system or a relay balking somewhere? " . . .everything will reset with a tap on the dash"
My car has 211K miles, perhaps something electrical is failing?
Perhaps a new battery helps or in my case, charging the battery helped. But I don't think the battery is the root cause of the problem and I for one would sure like to get to the bottom of it. Cheers, John Kenneth
 

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A few times over the 14 years I have owed my 05 SEL Premium Duratec I have had issues, often with a start in COLD SE WI winter weather where the ABS and CHECK GAS CAP lights would come on at start, and the gauges would sometimes act wonky. Note the gauges on the G4.5 are stepper motor driven, not like the "old days" of thermal (bimetal strip) for fuel and temp gauges, and where the speedo and tach were basically volt meters. Even a quick 5 minute charge with my 30 Amp charger and the car would start and operate normally. A new battery would clear the issues for another 5 years or so. The same issues would again rear their ugly head and a new battery would fix the issues again for years.

I attribute this to crank voltage being low due to an aging battery with higher internal resistance not providing enough voltage to the GEM/SJB, ICP and PCM not allowing them to properly boot up and communicate on the HS CAN and MS CAN busses causing the issues.
 

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Pic is a chart of 3.5 year old battery as to how long it has the capacity to keep a car running with the Alt fail, or lights left on, or hot idle with the A/C on and light so. For the test, I top off the battery with my auto off charger so any test starts with full charge. My load resistor is something I made up when I taught Power Mechanics in high school. Others have some plan as when to replace a battery. I want my old battery to hold at least 11.0V at 60 minutes. But I am paranoid.
-chart-
 

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