2005 Mustang Electrical Problems
I've had my 2005 Mustang V-6 in the shop at least 6 times with versions of what's probably the same electrical problem. It's 18 months old, with about 13.5k on the odometer. It was new when I first leased it.
First, odd warning lights kept coming on at random times. No, the door wasn't ajar; no, the seat belts were all fastened. Then, the car wouldn't start after I parked it for awhile. After waiting a few minutes, it would start.
Next, I parked it at the airport for about 10 days and the battery went totally dead, requiring an AAA guy to jimmy the lock and then someone to jump start it. The radio automatically came on full blast at 540 AM (I never listen to the radio; it's never on.)
At that point, I took it to the dealer. Same old story: "We can't fix it if we can't reproduce the problem." After that, the car would sometimes fail to start, requiring jump starting (and the radio automatically came on at 540 AM each time). I took it back a couple of times. Again, they said they couldn't reproduce the problem, but suggested that the battery must not be charging properly, and that could explain the "phantom lights."
After a couple more returns to the dealer (by now, roughly 6; the actual number is in the Ford computer), they replaced the alternator (the voltage regulators are now integral) with a rebuilt one. That seems to have taken away the phantom lights.
But the car still won't start if I park it for a couple of weeks. Most recently, I jump started the car (and the radio came on at 540 AM, of course), then drove it for an hour to charge it up. After parking it for a day or so, it started and ran fine. Then, after parking it for about a week, it wouldn't start again. Surprisingly, when I tried to start it the next day it started! So it seems to start or not start randomly, as far as I can tell, and when the radio doesn't automatically come on, I figure the battery must not have been dead.
Finally, I took it to a different dealer, at Ford Motor's suggestion. Same story: "I can't fix what I can't reproduce." I made some more calls to Ford Customer Service. After moving up to the third layer of Customer Service, I realized that all I'm going to hear is the company line about not being able to fix what won't happen when they want to see it happen. I wasted a few minutes explaining to the last one ("I don't have a supervisor; I'm it.") that I can't bring the car in if the problem is happening. I mean, how can I drive it to the dealer unless it chose to start that day? But that was a waste of time.
So I'm going to pick it up from the new dealer, drive it home, if it'll start, and just stare at it in the driveway, hoping it decides to start if I need to drive it.
Any suggestions on what I should tell our local mechanic, who says he thinks he might be able to solve the problem...at $80/hour?