Question about 1987 Mercury Sable

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Ground wire keeps burning out

Car would only start when engine cold, runs great when it starts. battery is good ,mechanic changed the alternator, thinking that was it...still same problem... finally changed ground wire ... ran good for a few days then burning smell noticed and again same problem. Car starts right up with a jump...mechanic changed ground wire 2x's...now having same problem, car only starts when jumped but fires right up..I believe SOMETHING???? is burning out the ground wire

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  • Charles Osborn Jun 09, 2017

    I had a guy replace alt and put a ground wire on the hot terminal on back of alt. might check that out.

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  • Mercury Master
  • 1,835 Answers

Sounds like the ground wire is not grounding properly. Maybe not tight enough or the thing it is grounded to is not properly grounding to the engine. Try grounding to a different spot on the engine where there will be a good ground and see what happens. Possible the starter is pulling too much power and needs replacing. I had that happen some time ago.

Posted on Jun 09, 2017

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: car won't start just clicks.

I had the same problem in my truck. Replaced the starter relay (not a solenoid in my truck, and that makes a difference) on a guess and it was fine- then a month later turned had the same problem. Arced out when I tried to jump it. Turned out to be the battery, even though it wasn't old and registered fine voltage. I had been rear-ended and I guess there was a loose plate on the bottom inside of my batttery that sometimes shifted and caused an intermittent live short. Everyone told me it was the alternator or voltage regulator, I never bothered with those after following the book. Get a Haynes electrical manual to trouble shoot, it's the bomb! Been fine for almost a year now- never would have guessed if I hadn't followed the steps in that book.

Posted on Jan 18, 2009

warlock61
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SOURCE: Car not idling adn stalling when it is cold

sounds like the idle control vale is sticking when it is cold. It is located on the throttlebody right at the air inlet

Posted on Mar 01, 2009

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SOURCE: Guages stop and irratic idle with dimming lights

what probley happened the alternator started to heat up alittle to much and caused the belt to spin on the pulley i would go ahead and get the alternator replaaced as soon as possible. as for the lights dimming and the gauges not working you was running off your battery making the vehicle mess up i would also get your battery checked while your at it.

Posted on Jun 09, 2009

geterrollin
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SOURCE: my son has a mercury

is the glove box switch broken leaving the light on inside when closed?

Posted on Jan 20, 2011

  • 3640 Answers

SOURCE: Car wouldn't start. Thought

did they run a test on the alternator!! at battery when off should be at least 12.6 volts, less than 12 volts battery is bad. when running at battery voltage should be at least 14.1 to 14.7, thats if alternator is ok. if less than above replace alternator. if alt. is ok, could be a bad battery.

Posted on Jun 16, 2011

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2 Answers

I have a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan with the 3.6 pentastar. I have the battery light on on my dash and with my scan Guage connected to the obd2 connector inside the van it's showing 12.3 with the van...


Your charging system is not working correctly. Unlike most other vehicles, the alternator in yours does not have a built in regulator circuit. Some troubleshooting must be done to find the defective component. Most of this can be done with the vehicle still assembled.

First, check that you don't have a blown fusible link. In most newer cars, these will be in the underhood fuse panel, and look like giant fuses. If good, you will read very nearly zero volts and zero ohms when measuring between the positive battery terminal and the alternator output terminal. If either measurement doesn't read zero, find the loose connection, bad wire, or blown fusible link.

Next, check the ground connections to the engine, battery, and car body to make sure you don't have a bad wire or connection somewhere. Again, measure voltage and resistance between the negative battery terminal and all associated grounding locations. For a quickie test, you can rig a jumper cable between the battery negative terminal and the alternator case. If there is a spark when you make the connection, you have a bad ground somewhere.

If your battery is well connected to the alternator, the problem may lie in the control circuit. Most Chrysler alternators have two control wires that control the field coil. Some control the battery current and have constant ground supplied, and some have battery voltage applied and control the ground current. To test, disconnect the control connector and measure the voltage of both terminals with the ignition in the "off" and "run" positions. Make a chart of each terminal and its corresponding voltage.

Start the vehicle and measure both terminals again. If the terminals tend to be zero volts, except when the vehicle runs you have voltage on one terminal, you have a system where the computer controls battery voltage. If the terminals tend to be 12 volts when the ignition is on, then one terminal goes low when the engine runs, the computer controls ground current. If the voltages of one terminal change but not the other, this suggests a bad computer.

To do a go/no go test of the alternator unit, you can connect the control pins on the alternator with the control connector disconnected. Simply connect jumper wires to the two control terminals of the alternator. Connect one jumper to a known good ground, leaving the other jumper loose. Connect a voltmeter to the battery terminals or to the output wire on the alternator. Start the vehicle and briefly connect the second jumper wire to the positive battery terminal while watching the voltmeter. While the jumpers are both connected, the battery voltage should rise dramatically.If it doesn't, this suggests a bad alternator.

If all this sounds too complicated or dangerous, a good mechanic can perform a similar diagnosis in under an hour with definite results. Good luck.

Jan 04, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

My 1994 honda passport will not stay charged new altnator and new battery


is the engine running at 800 rpm or more.
if engine RPM is way low the Alternator will die out.
trans light , where is that? name it. exactly
lets focus first on the engine, and RPM
does the dash have a tachmeter, ? yes, then use that.
we keep a hand tachometer (optical , ready for no tach cars)
RPM is everything.... maxwells laws. and such.
1: rpm 800 or more all the time. rule 1, do not skip this.
2: belt to ALT not slipping'
3: battery good. terminals on battery cables tight both ends and
NOT PACKED in green corrosion, .
4: alternator case is grounded good.
5: The connection and ALT, all good.
6: you key on, and the dash charge light must turn on,
if not fix that now, on old cars, the dash light , causes the ALT to self excite, if the lamp burns out the alternator boots up DEAD.
or fails every other car starts. (does)
7: new alt is the wrong alt. zillion wrong ones, only 1 works.

Jan 30, 2014 | 1994 Honda Passport

2 Answers

Battery keeps dying, no headlights


Check to make sure the power lead from the alternator to the battery has a good connection. Sometimes the connectors get corroded, or the wire separates inside the insulation. You can check the wire for continuity with an Ohm meter...make sure to disconnect the wire at both ends when you use the Ohm meter.
Make sure the battery has a good clean ground. Make sure the alternator is grounded to the engine and the engine ground strap is intact and has clean grounds on both the engine and frame. Test the alternator with the engine running using a voltmeter across the battery. You should read 13.5 to 14.7 volts. If the alternator is not charging the battery will go dead under normal operation. If you don't get the correct charging voltage either your connections are bad or the alternator is bad.

Jan 20, 2014 | 2004 Nissan Maxima

1 Answer

Car runs for short period of time, lights start to dim and car shuts off.


Hi Stacy,

HAve a look at the ground wire from the battery to the chasy of the car. Make sure this is grounded in a proper manner. Replace the live wire to the starter as well and make sure the wires to and from the altinater are proporley sucure.

Good luck

Aug 06, 2013 | Mercury Cougar Cars & Trucks

3 Answers

Alternater wont charge battery and fusable link on starter keeps burning


Bad voltage regulator. Usually built-into alternator.
Start car and unplug battery, if it dies your alternator is dead. Get new alternator. If car keeps running, get a voltmeter and check voltage coming through - should be higher than 12v but less than 18v. Any other number means your voltage regulator is dead, cheaper to get a new alternator.

Jan 11, 2013 | 2000 Dodge Neon

1 Answer

My '91 ford festiva will start and run when jumped but will die when the lights or radio is used replaced the altnator already and batteriy is good idk whats wrong can anyone help


You or someone will have to figure out why your new alternator is doing absolutely nothing. Not only is it not putting out enough power to run all the car's electrical systems, it is also not charging the battery, so you could start it next time off the battery and not have to get it jumped. With it not working, the car has to use battery power to run everything, and when you use lights, or radio, or any accessory, the battery runs down even quicker.
One reason alternators don't work is loose or poor connections between the battery and alternator. You could remove your battery cables (check them, if they look old or worn badly, replace) from the battery (negative first) and clean the cable ends and the battery posts till the metal is shiny clean. Do the same for the negative cable to frame ground point. Then check the big cable end on the starter, make sure it is tight. Put the cables back on-positive first, negative last, then move to the alternator and check the connections there for a clean tight connection. A couple of other ground points you could check is the engine to frame ground-somewhere on the engine is a ground strap bolted to engine metal and the other end will ground on the car frame or on the firewall in back of engine. If this ground is lost, strange electrical problems may result. One more ground: often the engine and computer wiring harness will have a ground wire coming out of the harness-a short wire-and may be grounded around the top of engine-many cars do have this visible ground, so check for it and check if a good ground.
If you do all this, and still no help, cheeck all your fuses in the under hood fuse block-sometimes there is an alternator fuse there, a big maxi-fuse. Check if good, check all fuses. If no help, you likely need a mechanic or shop to figure it out. Good luck. Hope you find it.

Jan 07, 2013 | 1991 Ford Festiva

1 Answer

My 2003 chevy malibu cranks but wont start. battery is good and altenator is good


To clarify - - if the engine cranks the battery and starter are ok.
The alternator does not come into play until the engine is running.
If it cranks but won't start, you have to figure out if you are missing fuel to the injectors or spark to the plugs to proceed.
A mechanic would check that and if there are any trouble codes stored in the computer.

Jul 22, 2012 | 2003 Chevrolet Malibu

2 Answers

Wont hold charge in expedition


  1. Check the wiring of the new radio installed as follows..
  2. Disconnect battery ground
  3. verify radio ground wire is grounded to metal
  4. verify radio hot wire (normally red and thick) is connected to a power source that is off when the ignition key is in the "off" position.
  5. verify that the always hot wire is connect to a constant 12v power supply even with the ignition off.
  6. make sure the pwr antenna wire if not used is taped at the tip and not touching any metal.
  7. verify that all speaker wires are connect correctly and not shorted to ground.
  8. connect battery ground you may get a small spark if your courtesy lites work.
  9. start engine verify your battery is charging by disconnecting the battery ground cable while the engine is running, it should continue running if it don't, alternator maybe bad.
  10. If it continues running problem solved..

Nov 11, 2008 | 1987 Ford F 350

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