1996 Ford Explorer Won't Start Possible Power Issue

I have a 96 Ford Explorer. That hasn't been starting. The issue happens gradually where first you have trouble starting it (it turns over and dies) then it won't start (nothing at all). I replaced the alternator and in less than a month it was having the same problem. The battery checks out with 70 percent and everything else good - and terminals are clean. I'm replacing the battery but don't think it's really the problem. The vehicle does have a number of random intermittent issues that may be related (these have also been picked up on diagnostics but don't show up consistently 1. Sometimes the Vehicle dings when drivers door is opened like the keys have been left in the ignition or the lights have been left on but neither is the case. 2. Sometimes the windows won't go down. 3. Sometimes the car will unlock itself (while parked or driving; and when it's locked or even when it's already unlocked) 4. Sometimes the speedometer quits working and drops to 0. 5. Sometimes the O/D light comes on even though the O/D button has not been pushed to engage O/D. And finally there are a couple of consistent issues that might(?) Be related: 1: The drivers door (only drivers door) won't lock/unlock with power switch or key fob - you have to open it with the key. 2. The radio antenna no longer goes down when you turn off the car. It makes noise like it's trying to, then just stops making noise. 3. The heat and air conditioner fan only works on high or not at all. All of these consistent issues have been happening long before the problems starting the car and I can't seem to detect a correlation with any of the intermittent issues. If I had to pick one I'd lean towards the locks unlocking. Because it's relatively new and seems to happen more often when the vehicle isn't starting properly.
Do you
have the same problem?
Friday, July 8th, 2011 AT 5:57 AM

1 Reply

You may have several unrelated issues going on!

Is your check engine light on?

That would be 1st priority, prior to anything else. Get it coded. Might be pizzin' in the wind, with this suggestion, never the less, you need it done somehow, some way. If the light is on. Many auto parts stores will do it for FREE!

2nd---how do you determine 70% of battery. That definitely does not sound good!

3rd---If the battery will take a charge. Charge it. Remove it/ disconnect it from your rig, to do so!

But, when you do, you are probably gonna lose your codes!

"But, if you do"--is sorta a "catch 22", in your case!

Sometimes the computer gets confused if battery voltage drops below a certain point. Then ghosts, start appearing, some of which you have described!

But after a brief sit with no battery, and you install a fully charged one or a new one. They "may" go away. What a Deal. We hope!

If this does improve you, Immediately.I would have the charging system and battery (if still the old one) tested. Again, a Popular Parts Store will usually do it for FREE!

If you can halfway drive a voltmeter. Battery at rest should have at least 12volts (maybe slightly more, like 12.5 V) tested at the POSITIVE and NEGATIVE battery posts. And testing at the same location, Car Running, your alternator should be putting out around 13.8 or more.I do not know the specifics of your car. But.I do know one thing for sure. Running voltage should be more than--Key off voltage, otherwise your alternator/ voltage regulator are most likely, not working!

Let me know what your POA (plan of attack) is?

The Medic
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Friday, July 8th, 2011 AT 9:02 AM

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