Question about 2000 Ford Windstar

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'99 Ford Windstar heater investigation turned into dead car

Short version:

I disconnected the battery and disassembled the console to get at the heater core, and now after reassembling everything the battery got drained and is now dead, and won't even jump.

Long version:

I disconnected the battery (negative),
I drained the radiator coolant,
I disassembled the center console,
(removed radio, heat+a/c controls, panels),
removed cowling from engine compartment,
unscrewed the heater core cover,
looked at the heater core,
unclamped the hoses to/from the heater core,
couldn't pull the hoses free,
decided that the heater core looked okay and that I should reassemble and reassess,
reassembled cowling,
reassembled center console,
refilled radiator,
reconnected battery negative cable.

At this point the car alarm went off. I didn't have a working key fob (e.g., clicky remote door unlock) to shut the alarm off with.

I was unable to start the car; the "alarm" light flashed rapidly in the "run" key position and when moving key to "start" the starter rattled with a sharp noise, different than the usual cranking-but-not-catching sound.

I tried various key connections. I removed the negative battery cable and reconnected it. I flipped the little toggle that is used to re-sync the key fob back and forth.

I left the car unplugged overnight at this point. When I came back, I reconnected the battery. The "run" key position lights had changed; all I got was a dim red light up at the top (battery light?) The starter would not turn over or rattle.

I left it overnight again, and realized that the negative cable was pushed down onto the contact but not screwed on tight. I thought that if it was loose that might explain the weak battery power. I screwed it on tight but there was no change. In fact, at this point the car was dead. No lights, no anything with the key in the ignition.

I have tried to jump the car. I have left it sitting for a 1/2 hour with the other car jumped over to it. There was no change at all. The battery is less than 2 years old, by the way.

What would cause this, and how to fix it?

It seems to me that the problem is at the battery level, since the battery drained when the car sat without a key in it. I do not see any obvious cause for this.

I would appreciate any tips or pointers. (Help!!!)

Posted by on

  • gowen_car Dec 29, 2008

    I put the battery on a battery charger last night and it was fully charged as-is, e.g., before the charger charged anything. So I must have made a bad assumption about the battery dying when the panel lights dimmed before going out.

    I did hook the battery charger into the battery in starter mode (it has 2 amp trickle, 10 amp fast, and 50 amp starter). When I put the key in the ignition, the car beeped once and all the dials (speed, fuel, rpm) rose up to the max, then dropped back down. But still no signs of life, no lights, no power locks, etc.

    *sigh*


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You seemed to have one problem then you developed another one. Here is my suggestion that loud screeching sound mean that you have a bad flywheel or at-least in one spot. If you manually turn fly wheel all the way around you should see chip in the teeth/gears of the flywheel. The other problem is during all the connections back and forth with the battery you may have blown the battery/main fuse,or may have burnt a fusible link, replace and you should re-gain power to start. If flywheel is damaged turn the damage part away from the starter and the vehicle should start with out screeching. Godd Luck contact if you need more help

Posted on Dec 28, 2008

  • O Mclean Dec 29, 2008

    Check Battery terminals from battery to starter and alternator make sure non is broken or damaged, there had to be a short in the main battery connections either at the terminals or with the cables go through all main battery cables positive and negative check out main body ground make sure they are bolted tightly and not corroded. Good Luck

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