1997 Ford Taurus • 128,000 miles

When I drive any long distance and the engine is warm or hot and turn off the engine it will not turn over or does so very slowly. It is like the battery is dead, however once the engine cools down or the next morning the car starts fine, there is a little delay but it starts. I have noticed a white powder substance on the positive cable and have cleaned it a few times. The cables are tight. I have metered the battery and it is ok. Lately I have heard a clicking noise around the altanator but not always.
October 23, 2012.

Start by cleaning up the corroded cables with baking soda and water and a small wire brush. Also have the battery and alternator tested a multimeter cannot properly test a battery. Thats where I would start.

Oct 23, 2012.
Make these measurements when the problem is occurring. In particular, Fords have a lot of trouble with wire strands corroded away under the insulation where you can't see it, right where the large cable bolts to the starter.

When you get the fuzzy stuff growing on the battery cables, the battery is going to fail within approximately the next six months. So much of the lead has flaked off the plates that what is left overheats causing the acid to bubble excessively. That bubbling reaches the top of the case where the acid sneaks through by the posts and causes that corrosion. Cleaning it off is only a temporary fix.

Oct 23, 2012.