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Old 07-12-2011, 16:45   #1 (permalink)
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2004 ZTS electrical problems/power loss?

For the past few weeks, I've noticed a problem with my car. While I don't think this is related, let me preface this by saying that 2 months ago, I got all 4 engine coils replaced. The battery is 6 months old and the proper battery for the car, and I've double checked the cables, they're tightened properly. The car was used when I got it, but there's no after market radio or anything of that nature that would seem like an obvious cause. The first few times this problem presented itself, it seemed minor. I was driving and the radio more or less reset itself. Was off for 2-3 seconds and came back on, I noticed no other problems, so I assumed it was a loose wire/fuse. The next step was that the air conditioner went along with the radio. Again, 2-3 seconds, no interference from me, and it came back on its own. The next time was a little more severe. Everything above, plus all the lights on the dash came on as if it had stalled, but it did not stall, the car does keep running while this happens. Again, 2-3 seconds, and things were back to normal. I kept driving it, and it happened again about 3 minutes later, but was fine after that. I took it to Advanced Auto for a systems test, and he did find that something was draining the battery (what should be .5 amps or so was 26). I think the problem MAY be related to the air conditioning. The times it's happened so far, I've had the AC above the lowest setting. If I kept it on the lowest setting, it seemed just fine. Today, the problem happened four times on my way home, three within maybe five minutes of each other. The only thing I'd done was switch my AC to defrost, but as it was raining, I had my headlights and wipers on. Also, this does seem to act up on the hottest days (hence the need for more air, today was a record breaker heat-wise), so someone suggested that it may be more temperature related than AC related? Again, these are only speculations, but they're the only patterns I've noticed for sure. I'm fairly certain I have a short, but I thought it might be my best bet to ask here first, and if any of you could give me an idea of where to look before I take it in for a complete electrical servicing (money I do NOT have thanks to the $700 coil problem), I would really appreciate it!
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Old 07-12-2011, 19:50   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 ZTS electrical problems/power loss?

Those types of problems are hard to trace due to the intermittant nature. When testing the system, if it's working, nothing will show up.

One thing you might try is wiggle the key when it's happening and see if it makes a difference. The same with the A/C.There are 2 circuits in the ignition switch. One hot in start and run, the other only when in run.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:05   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 ZTS electrical problems/power loss?

Due to the battery drain , have you had the battery and alternator load tested ?
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Old 06-13-2012, 14:11   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 ZTS electrical problems/power loss?

I see this was last year, can you tell me how it was resolved? My wife's 04 Focus is doing the same thing, it has lost engine power momentarily too but they blipped back on. FYI the battery is just 3 months old, mechs just checked it and it is OK, alternator is fine all elec systems are green, They got an error code for fuel pump but probably from when the power cut while driving... a fuel pump failing wouldn't cause electrical failiure? Also air is running at almost full blast when this happens, as are headlights too. If you can tell me how it was solved it would be a huge help!
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Old 06-13-2012, 14:23   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 ZTS electrical problems/power loss?

Worth checking basics i.e plugs and wires / leads . Could be intermittent misfire . Depending on mileage , could also check or replace fuel filter . Could also be fuel pump as suggested .

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" Also air is running at almost full blast when this happens, as are headlights " Did they test alternator output when under these conditions i.e loaded ?
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Old 06-13-2012, 14:30   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 ZTS electrical problems/power loss?

From testing mine recently, it should be around 14V's running.

I've heard of the alt over charging and causing these problems that you describe.
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Old 06-14-2012, 14:54   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 ZTS electrical problems/power loss?

for some reason I never got an email there was a reply to this but they DID change fuel filter as part of 60K svc yesterday, we will see how it goes, not being a mech though it doesn't seem to make sense that the engine cutting out momentarily would mess up the electrics and cause everything to cut off then reset (like the radio as mentioned by the original poster), wouldn't it be the other way around? that an electrical failure would cut the ignition for a second or two? I am hoping the original poster will tell us. Thanks !
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Old 06-14-2012, 14:56   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 ZTS electrical problems/power loss?

If it was that^, I would say check the ground going from the neg side of the battery, to the side wall, where it connects to a loom of wires bundled up in tape and stuff.
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Old 06-14-2012, 15:12   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 ZTS electrical problems/power loss?

For the record, I'm not sure how much help this will be as it's been a while and my stepfather took over the car for a while to try to trace the problem. It still has not been solved, but it happens much less frequently now. I'll try to remember what he's told me he did to the best of my ability. I know that we changed the oil and air filters, there was also a box for a sensor (please excuse my inability to remember/extremely limited knowledge) that was replaced, none of that helped. Essentially, what we have it narrowed down to is the ignition. As Bert suggested, the only thing that seems to help is if it does happen, and you jiggle the key while driving, it seems to set it straight (if you get it just right, of course) for a while. I'm so sorry if this isn't very helpful, please feel free to shoot any other questions at me and I can do my best to answer or shoot them stepdad's way!
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:15   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 ZTS electrical problems/power loss?

Thanks! We will see how the fuel filter replacement affected it, and as mentioned above I will check the connection from battery to ground. If it does happen I have told my wife to "jiggle the key" and see what happens!
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