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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-02-03, 09:11 AM
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Is it my Battery??

I own a 99 Contour SE and the ignition is not starting. I immediately thought it was the battery. The odd thing is that the radio and interior lights work.

Basically, there are four steps one takes in order to start the vehicle 1.) insert the key, 2.) turn and radio becomes operational, 3)
all major circuits activate, and 4.) starts the car and jumps back to 3. On step 2 the radio works fine but when I get to step 3 the panel lighting is very weak and power windows won't work. I then go to step 4 and nothing all! I jump started the battery and on my way I went. I then turned off the vehicle and same thing occured.

Some advise will be appreciated. Thanks.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-02-03, 09:19 AM
Oxford Green AU
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Posts: 1,281
Re: Is it my Battery??

Your battery is probably flat, although not completely flat. The first thing I'd do is clean the battery terminals and ensure good connection.

The reason the power windows won't work and the motor won't start is because there isn't enough power stored in the battery to do it.

Either the battery is no good or the car's charging circuit (alternator etc) is not working and not charging the battery.

You can test this by measuring the voltage at the battery while the car is running. The voltage should be up around 13.5v

If the alternator/charging circuit isn't working the battery light should be lit. If the drive to work was only short the battery may not have had a chance to store enough charge to start again later.

Also possible is you need a new battery as it's no longer keeping the charge stored in it.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-04-03, 04:12 AM
Not a Joe Lunchpail
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Dorkland, NZ
Posts: 309
Re: Is it my Battery??

Sound's like the battery is flat.

The magic voltage for a 12V battery to charge is 13.8V DC. If you're getting more than 14.4V DC with the engine running at 2000rpm it's overcharging - get the regulator looked at (tip: set the multimeter to AC if pointed to the regulator - more than 0.5V AC & you need the rectifier checked too) - less than 12.8V DC & it's likely the alternator windings shorting on themselves. Check the water level in the battery is correct (if not - top it up with rainwater - never chlorinated tap water) charge it with a proper battery charger, check each cell with a hydrometer for correct concentration & have it load tested by an auto electrician - he'll tell you if it's the battery or whether you need to look elsewhere for the problem - maybe a short somewhere - or bootlight switch not turning the light off - power window switch jamming on etc.
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