A dead battery could be due to a drain when the ignition switch is off or a failed generator. Once the engine was running after the jump-start the generator should have kept it going. To die so quickly suggests the charging system needs to be checked.
A drain on the battery is much more common on newer cars due to the insane amount of electronic toys the engineers think everyone wants. Ford is the leader in this and you can expect to be chasing a lot of electrical problems. Ford typically didn't have any more generator problems than any other manufacturer until recently when they started working them to death to power all the electronics. You may get lucky and just need a new generator, and your description of the symptoms supports that, but be sure your mechanic checks for a drain on the system too.
When the Check Engine light turns on it means the Engine Computer detected a problem, set a diagnostic fault code, and turned the light on to tell you. Start by having the codes read. Those will indicate the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis. Many auto parts stores will read them for you for free. To get there, use a battery charger to charge the battery at a slow rate for at least an hour. If it was totally dead when you jump-started the engine, it would have needed to be on the charger or connected to the other car for at least 15 minutes before the battery STARTED to take a charge. It takes a while for the acid in the battery to become conductive so it can start charging. If your battery charger has an amp meter and the battery is completely dead, you will see it start out near 0 amps, rise after about ten minutes, then drop down when the battery is fully charged.
Friday, July 26th, 2013 AT 10:14 PM