I bought the car in October and then lost my job.

  • 1992 FORD TAURUS
  • 95,000 MILES
I bought the car in October and then lost my job so I wasn't able to do the initial maintenance (oil change, tune up, etc) that I'd normally do. It ran perfect for a while then it started to accelerate by itself. When driving it gets "bursts of energy", and when idle it tends to want to pull off by itself (jerking) or seems to want to cut off. If I take my foot off the gas it gets up to 15mph by itself. Now it is cranking at random times. I went to the store and it cranked just fine, but when I came out it wouldn't start. After about 20 min it curnk and drove fine. Then today it wasn't driven all day and when I tried to crank it wouldn't start. It dings when the door is open and the dashboard lights come on when I turn the switch, so I don't think its the battery, but isn't saying anything (silence). Then after about 30 min I tried it again and it crunk just fine. Is the starter or alternator going bad or could there be another cause for the problems I'm having. Please HELP!
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 AT 8:56 PM

1 Reply

Intermittent issues can be a pain to track? Have to test when problem is ongoing. Use digital multimeter across battery posts, everything off. The generic spec for a full charge is around 12.6 volts. Leave meter leads hooked to battery, have helper turn key to crank, how far does the voltage drop? Generic info says it shouldn't drop below 9.6 volts.

Also, when problem is ongoing, turn on your headlamps, turn key to crank. If the headslamps go out or almost, usually the battery or battery cables. I can't rule out the starter, at the moment. Some of the national brand autostores will test the starter for you, if you take it to them.
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Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 AT 10:46 PM

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