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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I'm very new here and was wondering if anyone would have any suggestions to my problems (there are many). I purchased an EL Fairmont with 158,000kms 2 weeks ago and I can honestly say I've had nothing but problems with the car, let's hope someone may be able to help me with some of my issues. So here goes the list:

Since day 1, the car would not not idle properly- I have checked the forums for this issue but have not been able to solve the problem. When i turn the car on, the revs will spike to about 1000 rpm, and then drop to about 600-700. If i rev it a bit to about 2000 rpm, the car then drops down to about 500 rpm for a good 10 secs, really struggling to keep itself alive. Any suggestions?

:(
 

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Assuming it is the 6 and not the V8 it may be a leak in the intake manifold. Get a length of windscreen washer sized tubing and put one end in your ear and move the other end around the inlet manifold listening for a sucking noise. Do this at idle with car cold and then hot. They usually leak at the lowest point on number 1 and 6 where the manifold mates with head as the bolts here loosen and the gasket get burnt out. If that is not it try some throttle body cleaner on the throttle body butterfly; the stick particularly if an aftermarket K&N or similar oiled air filter is fitted.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey Aussi, thanks for the advice. Yea its a 6, 4.0. But it seems now I have an even bigger problem :(


My battery drains overnight - from fully charged to totally dead. I bought a brand new battery but still same problem, drains overnight. I have checked all the fuses in the fuse box and it seems that 3Amps (yeah you read correct 3 Amps not 300 milliamps) is being drawn from the battery whilst its just sitting there (i.e no key in ignition doors closed, all lights shut off inside etc..).


I have managed to work out whats draining my battery and it appears to be the Main fuse/relay found in the engine bay. My question is what the hell do I do next? I cant seem to find the wiring diagram even though i have the workshop book for the car. So sad... haha
 

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You have part of the problem solved. In a situation like this, you have a component or wire shorted to ground (yeah, I know, I just stated the obvious, it's a specialty of mine). You said it was the main fuse\relay in the engine bay, are you talking about the the fuse block or just a relay? If it's just the relay, in 90% of the cases (at least) the relay has fused closed and is still energizing the running components of the system with the key off. If it is the fuse block, take the amp draw of the power feed and observe for a drop in amperage as you pull the individual fuses.

Unfortunately, I don't have a schematic for you, either, I did a search and all I kept coming up with is the late 70's U.S. Fairmont.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Cat,


Thanks for your suggestions. It is only the Main fuse Relay in the engine bay. All the other fuses have been checked and are fine. I hope you're right about it being fused closed otherwise I'm going to be needing an auto electrician and they're not cheap.


Is there a way I can tell if the main fuse/relay has been fused closed?
 

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Unplug the start relay in the engine bay and see if that stops the current drain. If not (and even if so if a new relay does not fix it), and more likely on this model, a diode has failed in the alternator and is shorting to earth. When the power steering hose connection at the pump fails power steering fluid gets into the alternator and kills it. You will need to disconnect the battery to disconnect the alternator but their are other ways to test. One is to use a clamp on DC ammeter this and test the main alternator wire. This can also be used to locate a drain wherever it is by simply testing along the wiring harness from the positive lead from the battery. If an alternator positive diode has shorted the battery warning light will not go on in any key position. If a negative diode has failed the battery warning light will slowly dim as engine revs increase. The slip ring can also ground - you can check by removing the plug in regulator and checking with a multimeter the resistance between the slip ruing and case ; it has to be 200 ohms or more. Also check for any signs that the alternator has had a power steering fluid bath.

Also:

Measure voltage at B+ terminal of the alternator if not battery voltage replace Batt fuse in engine bay.
If not battery voltage measure voltage at B+ test point S terminal on alternator; if not battery voltage replace "Batt" fuse.
If battery voltage at B+ and S, turn ignition to run position and test for voltage at terminal L of alternator. If voltage is not greater than 1 volt check wiring to alternator and globe in battery warning light and circuit between warning light and alternator. If greater than 1 volt check or replace regulator.
 

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The starter relay is the one closest of the four to the engine bay fuse block (the other three working from rear to front are headlights, Accessories and Horn). Under the coolant overflow recovery tank you will find three more relays; rear to front they are: WAC (wide open throttle air conditioning cut off) , Fuel Pump and EEC Power.
 

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Don't confuse the main fuse with the start relay; they are two different thing and the engine fuse rarely fails to a short (never seen it) and would normally blow in that situation. The main fused should always be closed it is the engine start relay that can fuse closed. But coolant from the adjacent recovery tank can spill (filling without using a funnel) into the relay bases causing corrosion and all sorts of issues so it would probably also be an idea to unplug them all and spray them and with contact cleaner lubricant as well as scrub the relay pins clean with a wire brush. Note that, while some of these relays are interchangeable, one is a 5 pin rather than 4 pin and cannot be swapped.
 

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In any event , wipe a paper napkin or tissue across the bottom of the alternator case; if you get a pinkish brown stain power steering fluid has got into the alternator (usually terminal; a dismantle and clean will usually only give a temporary revival if any at all), if you get coolant (a burst hose will sometimes get the alternator) it will also usually be terminal but sometimes ,but not often, a dismantle, clean and replacement of the regulator will save it, if you get engine oil it's better news as is usually only a light contamination and a teardown, clean and new regulator will usually save it. Don't be tempted to try and clean the alternator without dismantling by saturating it with WD40, CRC or similar; it may temporarily revive it but it will also usually result in grease being washed out of the sealed bearing and ultimately failed alternator bearings. If there is no staining on the paper napkin and no other signs it has been contaminated with power steering fluid, oil or coolant you will have to test more thoroughly.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey Aussi,


Thanks for your suggestions, it seems you're the only one with any. It doesnt LOOK like there's anything dripping onto the alternator just from looking at it from under the hood. All the hose clamps and hoses look in good condition and there doesnt seem to be any spills on the alternator that I can see.

I will try and wipe the bottom of the alternator and see what I can find but I'm not very hopeful. I will try and do this in the next few hours.

Btw, good to know you're not too far away. I'm in Canning Vale!

Cheers bud
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey guys,


Well ive tried everything i possibly can. The car is still drawing over 3 amps with no key in the ignition. I tested all the fuses one by one. The ones in the car and the ones in the engine bay. No deal. I checked allthe relays in the car. No deal. Check the fuses under the coolant reservoir in the engine bay. No deal. Checked the 7 fuses in the engine Bay. Still points towards the "main" fuse. When i disconnect the main fuse theres no power drain. Checked the resistance on the alternator. Its running fine and charging. Disconnected bcm and tested drain - still there.

Im at the end now. I really dont know what to do next and its probably as far as ill go. Im Putting the car up for sale cheap tomorrow - suit auto sparky!

Anyway thank
thanks for your help guys
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah no boot light or glove box on. Im not sure what you mean by start relay. Theres 7 fuses in the engine bay in a long black box. The fuse labeled "main 100a" is the one thats drawing 3 amps. When i remove that fuse (ie disconnect the white wires that plug into it from the battery) there is no longer a drain on the battery
 
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