Specs of the car:
1997 Ford Taurus LX 3.1
Brand new battery
Good tested alternator
Battery Tested good
Holds a charge when running
Has all original accessories
2 weeks ago my car went to the mechanic to be fixed for a master cylinder issue. The master cylinder was replaced. I had an incident with the remote control for the keys (a pen exploded on the remote and I had to take it apart to clean it).
Since then, the battery I bought it with which was only bought in 11/09 died. Thinking that it just didn't fair Wisconsin weather, because it was from Georgia, I bought a new battery. It's an expensive reverse poll battery, 84 months. Three days of letting the car sit, the battery was dead. I tried starting the car and heard a popping noise in the speakers briefly and then nothing. I bought the battery back and they tested it, it came up with a bad cell. I then got a new one, the new one, died within 2 days. So dead that the power locks wouldn't work.
I had the car jumped, it tested with a good voltage of 14.3 during the car running. Then after the car was off it went to 12.4 volts. Figuring something was draining the battery I disconnected the battery.
Following morning the battery was 12.3 volts, the car started fine, and the battery went up to 14.4 volts. I drove it across town, and disconnected the battery again. Car drove fine after reconnecting it. I tested it about 5 times all with the same type of voltages.
Figuring I had a drain, I took it back to the place that replaced the master cylinder to see if maybe something just wasn't connected from the master cylinder. They found nothing. I then had their master mechanic test it for 2 days, they found that there is a 5 amp fuse that is draining the battery. They said I could pull the fuse every time I park the car, but realistically, they could not find a fix for the problem. They also said I cannot simply unplug the fuse permenantly because it controls the speedometer, odometer, temp control, anti-theft, and radio. (When I pull the fuse, my theft light comes on too)
I paid the 200 for their time, but I really don't want to pour more money into this then I have to. Any ideas on how I can pin down the culprit that's eating my battery?
Why in the heck would you leave Georgia to come here to WI? I want to leave WI and go TO GA!
Unplug the radio then see if the drain is still there. The popping is a clue. The 12.4 volts and 14.3 volts are perfect.
February, 19, 2011 AT 5:18 AM
Lol, the car left GA to come here, I have always been trapped in Wisconsin : ( I picked it up because it's beautiful with no rust from road salt. Sadly it's starting to drive me nuts with this first winter with it.
My question with the radio though, how difficult is it? The mechanics told me that I would have to rip the dash out to get to the radio. Ripping any major part of the car out seems difficult, especially when mechanics themselves don't want to do it. (Although these are the same mechanics that told me the popping in the stereo was nothing.)
Another thing, is it possible to replace the radio without messing with the climate control section? (The air conditioning, heater, temp outside*could care less about that part*) I'm not trying to sound whiny, but not having a heater in wisconsin is like suicide/attempted manslautter for passengers.
Additional info: Fuse 24 is the fuse I'm pulling
Book says it controls: Integrated Control Panel, Speedometer, Electronic Automatic Temperature Control Module.
February, 19, 2011 AT 6:34 AM
Look for four small holes in the face of the radio, two on each side, about 3/16" diameter. If they are in there, a pair of special tools is used to pull the radio. No screws or disassembly. Most mechanics have these tools, otherwise you can buy them for about ten bucks.