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Old 10-02-2012, 14:13   #1 (permalink)
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Electrical issues w/ 98 Taurus

Hey guys, first time posting but i've been reading for a while now. I've had some issues with my 98 Taurus recently, and i'm hoping someone has encountered these before. The problems seem to be intermittent, which is the worst part, but i'll try to explain them the best I can.

This morning when getting into my car, I noticed the clock had reset itself, and my radio was set to AM 1700, rather than the FM station it was on when I shut the car off. This happened last year around the same time, and I had the car in the shop. I had replaced the battery, but it was having the same issues after replacing the battery within a week. So the shop hooked up a meter to the car, and said the radio was spiking randomly, and causing draw on the battery. The old radio had a tape stuck in the deck and it wouldn't eject, so it seemed to make sense the radio went bad. The mechanic replaced the radio, and it seemed to work well. No more issues, or so I thought.

Well about 4 months after that, it started happening again. Still intermittent, but this time I started noticing something interesting. About a month before the problem occured again, I noticed my 'theft' light on the dash would come on, when I started the car up. It will come on, and blink for a solid minute or so, then go off. Now when the battery gets fully drained and I attempt to turn the key, I sometimes hear a rapid clicking from the dash column for a few seconds, then it goes away. I can pop the hood, wiggle the battery cables, and the car will start right back up. I've cleaned the cables/terminals multiple times. This issue only happened a few times, and seems to have stopped since I replaced the battery the last time. However, I still seem to have something causing a draw on the battery. I've even gotten to the point where I turn the radio completely off when I park the car, however I still get the same blinking 'theft' light when I start it up, and at random times the clock and radio will be reset.

I read on here that it was thought to be a door sensor which was triggering a draw during heavy frost, but we've only had maybe 1 frost here so far this fall, so i'm a little skeptical that is the problem. Any information or help you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-02-2012, 17:25   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical issues w/ 98 Taurus

The door latch switches can hang at any time. Try spraying Wd40 in the door latches and open and close them a few times and see if that helps. Make sure the battery is fully charged too.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:02   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical issues w/ 98 Taurus

I will try spraying WD40 in the door latches, thanks for the suggestion. This morning, things took an even more interesting turn.

Got in the car to head to the office, and the car started up fine. This time while driving on the way to work, the car started 'surging' forward like I was heavily pressing the accelerator, when I wasn't. It was very strange. I would press the accelerator, and there would be a full 1-2 second delay, then the car would surge forward. Then I would completely take my foot off the accelerator, and it would continue to do it. The fuel light on the dash would come on when it 'surged' and you could see the RPMs raise and hear the engine rev, and the car would 'surge' and 'sputter'.

So I pulled off the highway, since it didn't seem safe to continue. Turned off my radio, turned the blower settings off (they were on 'feet/defrost' on a '2'), and got it back home with no issues. Turned the car off, and ran inside for maybe 2-3 minutes. Came back out, and attempted to start, and the car was dead. As soon as I pulled the key out of the ignition, the 'rapid clicking' sound started again. So I popped the hood, wiggled the battery cables to make sure nothing was loose. Noticed the dome light come back on and tried to start the car again. Started up with no issues. This time I didn't touch the radio, the headlights or the blower settings and again headed toward the office. No problems this time. This is all very strange, and i'm struggling to figure out the problem.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:13   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Electrical issues w/ 98 Taurus

Suggest loading up electrics and testing alternator output .Clock and radio will reset due to low battery condition . Check earths / grounds especially from power unit to body .
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