1998 Ford Taurus

Electrical problem
1998 Ford Taurus 6 cyl Automatic 163000 miles

My Taurus died completely. Turn the key and's what happened:

* Drove 25 miles. Left the car an hour. Got back in. Turned the key and got nothing. Just as if the battery was disconnected.
* With the key turned to the on position, I put the car in gear. Suddenly the electronics (radio, air conditioning) came on. When I turned the key further to start the car, everything when dead again. I was able to do this twice, and then it remained dead no matter what.
* With the key completely out of the ignition, there was a ticking sound (flasher?) coming from the steering column.
* During the tow, the emergency lights, which I had left in the on position, kept coming on (flashing normally) and going off again.

The mechanic has had it for two weeks. He has called his mechanic friends. Everyone is completely stumped. Obviously he had the steering column apart. EVerything there is fine. he's gone over the car with a fine-toothed comb.

Has anyone ever seen anything like this?

Could you tell me how to describe this? I don't even know how to google the problem!!

Thanks so much!!


September 27, 2009.

HI there,

Thank you for the donation,

With this type of problem you must first go back to basics, rule No 1 is that you never take anything for granted, test everything and note what you have done, You first must prove the power circuit from the battery to the ignition switch then to the ECU and the body control module, first thing to do is run a scan and check for any unresolved fault codes, if there is no power at all, I would be looking for a problem with a corroded or damaged loom plug first, these problems will require a cool head and plenty of penitence to nut out, but by checking every affected circuit and proving them one by one will soon find the trouble.

Mark (mhpautos)

Sep 27, 2009.

Thanks for your reply. Your suggestions have, of course, already been done by my mechanic. What are some next steps?


Sep 27, 2009.
I would have the ECU & body control module bench tested for faults, here in Aust we can get a test unit to try at a very minimal cost and if this is not found to be the problem we can return it, ask your mechanic if this is possible there.


Sep 27, 2009.