1998 Ford Taurus my car suddenly shuts off instrument panel

Tiny
RICHBIZ84
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 135,000 MILES
Ok so heres the story I have an old 98 ford taurus automatic v6. I just put a new starter on it, the alternator is about 4-5 months old and I put a new battery on it (same time as starter).
well it ran fine for about 8 days now here is what it does.

it'll turn on and run fine,
but after about 1-2 mins the radio shuts off
then the tachometer and speedometer goes down to zero
then the car "putts" a little bit then it shuts off
when I try to start it again it clicks alot like a dead battery.
but the battery is brand new.
Please help what do you think it could be
i think my ex wife might have cut something (what do you think it could've been ( I am now a single dad with 2 small kids, in the military stationed in guam).I need help and fast. Thank you I have searched everywhere to no avail please help.
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Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 AT 8:18 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
PEAR69
  • MEMBER
Look at the positive cable on the battery. Make sure the battery terminal is tight. Look for corrosion between the terminal and the battery. If that fails to be the problem, follow the wire to where it connects to the alternator. Make sure it is not shorting out anywhere and make sure the alternator connection is tight. If that fails, follow the wire to the starter and look for any nicks/cuts or places the wire can be shorting out.
Check the voltage of the battery (with a DC/volt meter) with the engine off - and then with the engine running. Post back the results.
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Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 AT 9:36 PM
Tiny
RICHBIZ84
  • MEMBER
Ok I checked everything except for the battery voltage I added new barttery cables and terminals and everything seems to be in shape.I also checked the fuel pump shutoff swith(inertia swith) in the rear and it was in the correct position(down).

So I tried a test I started the car and then I took the positive cable off of the battery. That would deff mean that the alternator is bad right? Do you think thos would happen if maybe she splashed water on it or something like that. Also would that be the cause of my instrument panel going haywire before the car shuts off?
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Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 AT 4:00 AM
Tiny
PEAR69
  • MEMBER
Taking the positive cable off the battery does nothing to test your issue. The battery is the device that powers everything in the car. The alternator just keeps the battery charged. The alternator WILL NOT run the car on its' own. I know what you are thinking but it doesn't work that way.
Here is an easy way to test the alternators and batterys function. When it is dark outside turn the lights on. Observe how bright they are. Next, start the engine, observe if the lights got brighter - dimmer - or just stayed the same. If they got brighter your alternator is working. If they stayed the same your alternator is not working. If they got dimmer your battery and or alternator is failing. Do this test and check the voltage with a DC volt meter - with and without the engine running.

I am not the best with women. I have problems with crazy exgirlfriends too. Never married. But I can only help you with one thing at a time, so lets stick to the car problem, then maybe we can work on the crazy ex situation. LOL.
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Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 AT 6:20 PM
Tiny
RICHBIZ84
  • MEMBER
Ill try the light test but. Yes your alternator can run your car all by its self i've done it before. One time my battery so I called my friend to bring his car well he didnt have jumper cables so we took out my old battery and put his in then we started the car, it ran good so we took the battery out put it back in his car and drove off to the car shop to buy a new battery. But anyway I will deff try the light trick
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Friday, May 22nd, 2009 AT 6:39 AM
Tiny
PEAR69
  • MEMBER
An alternator does not have the amperage capibility to run your engine for any sustained period of time. If you run your engine without a battery you will destroy the voltage regulator built in to your alternator, and you will cause the insulation on the power cable, going from the battery to the computer, to break down -- which will cause the computer to draw excessive current and fail. So, if you have operated your engine without a battery, you may have caused damage to the computer.
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Friday, May 22nd, 2009 AT 12:22 PM

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