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Old 11-01-2006, 08:10   #1 (permalink)
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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?

Thanks!!!!
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Old 11-01-2006, 17:48   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2005 Mustang Electrical Problems

Sounds like the battery is not holding a charge or there is a constant drain on the battery. Has the battery been load tested?
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Old 11-01-2006, 18:12   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2005 Mustang Electrical Problems

Thanks for your input, Fonz. The battery has been load tested and is apparently okay. Ford's latest theory is that the short, which is causing power drainage from the battery, is in the OEM boombox radio in the trunk of the car. Also, according to a race car driver acquaintance, the random failure to start may be caused by a defective clutch switch. The car won't start unless the clutch is depressed. That actuates the clutch switch, which, if it's defective, tells the starter that the clutch isn't really depressed. The car's back in the shop, and I'm told that Ford has authorized any and all necessary repairs, including replacing the gas filler spout with one that doesn't prematurely cut off these California emissions gas pump nozzles. We'll see if they can deliver.
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Old 11-02-2006, 18:47   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2005 Mustang Electrical Problems

Ummmm...............
Remove the positive (+) cable from the battery. Hook a test light between the positive battery terminal and the unhooked cable. If the test light lights up, then you have a draw.
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Old 11-02-2006, 18:57   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 2005 Mustang Electrical Problems

Thanks Mullet Man. I'll try that when I get the car back from the dealer. They claim they know what's wrong with it - a bad connection in the boom box radio in the trunk, and a possibly defective clutch switch that tells the starter the clutch isn't depressed when it actually is - and say they can fix it. We'll see.
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Old 11-06-2006, 16:34   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 2005 Mustang Electrical Problems

well well.. looks like u and me have the same problem :o) i have an 05 GT and have had it since October of 04.. all of a sudden about 2 weeks ago... my car kept havin trouble startin.. and got to the point of needing a jump almost everytime.. the same thing with the radio happened.. good ol' 540.
well the good thing about havin a mechanic in the family, my brother checked it out, disconnected the battery and found that while my car was off, my radio was drawing 1.64 amps outta my battery, when its only supposed to be drawing about .02 amps.. well hence my car not starting... im bringin it to the dealershp tomorrow morning.. hopefully all will be well..
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Old 11-06-2006, 20:34   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 2005 Mustang Electrical Problems

Right on, Angel05GT. The service manager of the Ford dealer that has my car in their shop told me that the Ford engineer said the same thing. Some wire in the radio causes the problem, at least most of it. I'm hoping they finally fix it.
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Old 11-08-2006, 13:35   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 2005 Mustang Electrical Problems

I have an 05 GT mustang and I have also been having that problem with the car not starting. Mine only goes about 2 or 3 days before the battery is completely dead. I have taken it to the dealership a few times and they cant find anything, so ill bring up this radio thing and see what they say, hopefully that will finally fix the problem!
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Old 11-08-2006, 13:52   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 2005 Mustang Electrical Problems

Good luck, Tongy89. Also have them check the clutch switch, if yours is a stick shift; or the brake switch if it's an automatic.
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Old 11-11-2006, 11:34   #10 (permalink)
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Well, I got the car back from the dealer. The mechanic said that they've fixed the electrical problem, which was somewhere in the boom box radio, and that now the drain is only 0.11 Amp, which is pretty good...if that's really what it is. They also fixed the "burping gas tank" problem, which requires a retrofit in all 2005 Mustangs, although Ford Motor Co. doesn't talk about it much. But it's warranty work, if those "vapor catching" gas filler nozzles shut off prematurely. They told me that the clutch switch is probably okay, but that I should keep watching it, to see if the car doesn't start even though the lights are working.

Anyway, so far, so good. We'll see if it's fixed and stays fixed.

Thanks for all your help, guys.
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