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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1996 Taurus 3.0L OHV and every few days, the relatively new battery is mysteriously dead. I've replaced both cables and tightened everything in sight. I know the interior dome light comes on whenever it wants, so I suspected that was the problem - actually the door switch inside the door I believe is faulty. I thought simply removing the interior light relay in the fuse box would be a temporary fix, and I had a car that started for a few days, but this morning the battery is dead again. Other then a For Sale sign, any suggestions? I'm trying to avoid going to the Ford dealer and bending over.

Thanks

Rich
 

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If your interior dome light is staying on, spray all the door latches in the door with some WD-40, then add some white lithium grease. Open/close the door a few times and hopefully the light will turn off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Would a faulty cam sensor keep the engine from cranking?
I had a SES light weeks ago and that was the code that was pulled. :dunno:
 

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My radio control panel (for the climate control model) was bad on my car. It would draw about an extra 100mA and drain the battery every week if I did not use the car enough.
 

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Car batteries aren't meant to drain down that much - you most likely fried the battery. However, after doing the door ajar sensor fix mentioned above, you should check the amperage draw with the car off before just going out and buying a new battery.
 

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Draining the battery completely once or twice will not kill the battery, but it's not good for it either. Get the battery on a battery charger for 10 hours or so on a low setting. You cannot simply boost the car and drive it to charge the battery, that will not work. As silvapain mentioned you should do a current draw check. That will help you determine if there is excessive draw on the battery while the car is sitting.

Would a faulty cam sensor keep the engine from cranking?
I had a SES light weeks ago and that was the code that was pulled.[/b]
No, you will still be able to crank the engine, it may take more cranking to get it started though. Did you notice any chirping from the engine before (or currently) you got the code for the cam sensor? If so you're probably looking at a new camshaft synchronizer.
 

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Why not consider running this puppy by your favorite autoparts store, for a no cost. in vehicle, electrical system check-up, via their portable electrical system tester.

Properly used, it'll likely sniff out the culprit.

Could be the door switch/dome light, or a under hood or glove box light , if so equipped, or something like leaking or shorted alternator diodes, or even a slipping belt, or faulty battery, like a shorted cell.
Anyway the tester can measure for excessive parastic electrical drain, & do a complete electrical system load & output check, battery cable & ground connection checks & flag any trouble spots.

Let us know what you find.
 

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how much stuff do you have in your car that is pulling current from the battery? if you have a massive sterio it could be effecting your alt. so try turning the radio off
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow! thanks for the responses

1. Running at idle, at the battery terminals, the car is putting out 14.53+/- volts.

2. No giant stereo system, just the factory sound system.

3. Belt and tensioner are 30 days old.

4. Lubed the door latch tonight as best I could.

5. no iPod or other accessory left plugged in, however heater and wipers were on when the car was jumped and started.

I knew Advance Auto stores would pull SES codes but did NOT realize they could do an electrical check! THANKS!

I'll post results :)
 

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My guess is that you have a defective CCRM (combined control relay module). It's the black box located next to the battery. The CCRM controls the cooling fans among other things.

When you park the car, and shut the engine off, the coolant temperature rises inside of the engine. This can cause the cooling fans to turn on, even though the ignition is shut off. The cooling fan relay inside of the CCRM can stick in the "ON" position, causing the cooling fans to run at the high speed (fans are supposed to run at the slow speed when the ignition is OFF). When this happens, the cooling fans will run at the high speed until the battery is dead. When the CCRM is intermittent, the cooling fan relay will sometimes unstick, after the battery runs down, leaving no evidence of the problem.
 

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If the relay in the CCRM for the fans were to be stuck on the fans would be on all the time.

More than likely there is a small drain that kills the battery.

After at least an hour the current drain should be under 50 Ma. You have to have the meter you are using to read this installed before then let it set and hour before you read it. This allows all the electronics to go to sleep.
 

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You can check the battery for a dead cell with just a volt meter. If a cell in the battery was dead you'd only have 10.5V instead of 12.6V. For each cell that is dead you're going to loose 2.1V. Just disconnect the cables from the battery and check the voltage in the battery.
 

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When the CCRM cooling fan realy dies, it usually does not permeneantly stick. What usually happens is that it sticks sometimes, and not always.

A good example is the one that I gave in my previous message. I have had two CCRMs fail in the same manor. The cooling fans are off when the car is parked. Due to heat soak, the fans switch on after the ignition is shut- off, and you walk away. Sometimes the cooling fans will shut off when the coolant temperature drops, and sometimes they continue to run at full speed. After the battery is dead, the relay sometimes unsticks. And sometimes, after you jumpstart the engine, the fans will start running again at high speed. Thumping the CCRM will in many/most cases unstick the relay TEMPORARILY.

Often times just the act of moving around the battery while connecting and disconnecting the battery jumper cables may unstick the CCRM relay. That is why this particular problem is hard to diagnose.
 

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When in doubt, just hit the JY and grab some relays and swap the ones in the CCRM out. I did it just to be on the safe side, had a dead battery once that I couldn't explain, never happened again in the 3 weeks it took me to get around to swapping the relays. Figured it couldn't hurt, JY tossed them in for free with my 60mm TB.
 

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When in doubt, just hit the JY and grab some relays and swap the ones in the CCRM out. I did it just to be on the safe side, had a dead battery once that I couldn't explain, never happened again in the 3 weeks it took me to get around to swapping the relays. Figured it couldn't hurt, JY tossed them in for free with my 60mm TB. [/b]
Que? The relays in the CCRM are not individually servicable; if one fails you have to replace the entire CCRM.
 

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yea my 97 SHO is having the same problem, the battery is new (been replaced a few times lol) alt is good, had it checked, but i let the car sit for like a week and the battery is dead. Theres no massive stereo or amp in my car. I know its a drain so im going to see what the draw is for the battery. Also, i know its a little off topic but sometimes the starter wont turn over and the battery level is good. It doesnt happen often, but when it does, what I can do is let the car sit for 10 mins then hold it in the start position and for the most part it starts after about a 45 seconds. Any ideas? thanks
 

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yea my 97 SHO is having the same problem, the battery is new (been replaced a few times lol) alt is good, had it checked, but i let the car sit for like a week and the battery is dead. Theres no massive stereo or amp in my car. I know its a drain so im going to see what the draw is for the battery. Also, i know its a little off topic but sometimes the starter wont turn over and the battery level is good. It doesnt happen often, but when it does, what I can do is let the car sit for 10 mins then hold it in the start position and for the most part it starts after about a 45 seconds. Any ideas? thanks
[/b]

Check your connections for either a loose or dirty/corroded connection on the battery and starter. If anything is seen clean it up.
 
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