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Old 09-20-2009, 18:06   #1 (permalink)
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03 Explorer starting issue. please help

Hi all,
I have an 03 Explorer with 96K on the clock. I have never had an issue with this vehicle until recent. Last week when I would start the car (in my garage) the odometer and the rpm guages would be burried at the highest setting and then go back to zero (like the odometer would go to 120mph and the rpms to 7 then go back). Kinda acted like it wasn't as strong to get started. So this has happened on and off for the past week. Today I am out at the grocery and I just get a "click...click...click" when I try to start it and it didn't want to start (and again all the guages go to the opposite they would at normal start). Does this sound like the starter or the alternator? What do you guys think? Any help appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 09-20-2009, 19:28   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 03 Explorer starting issue. please help

I think you should start with testing the battery and connections. Then see if it's charging. Have you checked anything yet?
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Old 09-21-2009, 07:03   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 03 Explorer starting issue. please help

I haven't check anything yet. All the lights work and the radio works fine though. I will check the voltage today when I get home. I thought I replaced the battery a few years ago...could be wrong. If the battery and connections are ok do you think it could be the alternator?
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:41   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 03 Explorer starting issue. please help

The alternator wouldn't charge the battery so the battery would be low on charge. When an alternator goes bad, you can get an idea that it's not charging by starting the car with the headlights on, see if the lights dim while cranking and get bright when you get it started and rev the engine. It still should be checked because if the battery is very good, it will be hard to notice.
If a battery is weak, the lights can still work but a heavy load like a starter won't work. Start with checking the battery. Have you tried to jump start it?
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Old 09-21-2009, 13:46   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 03 Explorer starting issue. please help

I have to check that tonight. The car did turn over after a few clicks and ran no prob. My battery terminals are pretty corroded so I will clean those up and spray that...it may just be the contacts. I haven't tied to jump it yet. I will try starting with the lights on as well.
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Old 09-21-2009, 14:54   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 03 Explorer starting issue. please help

I forgot to mention the connections but glad you're covering that.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:25   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 03 Explorer starting issue. please help

Ok, the battery terminals were pretty darn corroded so I cleaned them off...volt testeted the battery and it reads 12.1 volts. started the car and pulled the positive terminal ogg the battery...it ran fine...no issue. So I am guessing it was just corroded terminals. I used that battery terminal spray (the red stuff) on my terminals but they just keep corroding...can you recommend anything to keep them from doing so? Also is 12.1v ok for a battery or should I look into replacing?
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:47   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 03 Explorer starting issue. please help

If the terminals keep corroding, it's usually leaking around the battery post. You could get those coated fiber discs to put on the post before the cables go on. As far as the voltage, it's the amps the battery can handle that tells it's condition. You need an amp draw test done. It's not a good idea to remove the battery cables when the newer cars are running, they can get a spike and burn up the PCM.
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Old 09-22-2009, 14:05   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 03 Explorer starting issue. please help

Yikes, didn't know that...hope I didn't fry anything. I will look for those post covers...that is a good idea. Thanks for all your help! Much appreciated!
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:13   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 03 Explorer starting issue. please help

Well, took the car to autozone and had them do a load test.....the alternator is fine but I had a bad battery so I went ahead and purchased...that did the trick...starts no problem. I have 96k on the clock and I have never had an issue...I love Ford trucks and would never own anything else.
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