Question about 2001 Ford F250 Super Duty Super Cab

1 Answer

Battery light on

My battery light came on. I took it to the dealer they said it was a blown fuse. It happened a little while later so I just went and replaced the alternator (even though mine tested good) and both batteries. The fuses kept blowing and I would just replace them. All would be fine for a month then the light would come back on well now the fuse blows every time I replace it instantly I looked up some forums and they said it's the plug into the alternator that is the problem. Replaced that and still is on. Help please!!

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  • Ashley Minish
    Ashley Minish Mar 24, 2014

    Thank you for sticking with me through this. I will check voltage in the morning. All of my wire tracing today let me no where. Everything looked good. The starter issue you have mentioned is interesting to me as since I have had this truck about four years now the starter malfunctions at least once a week. I've been putting it off for all these year because it hasn't completely went out but when I go to start it will make that winding noise (can't theme er the proper term for that) so I shut the key off any retry. It only does it once but like I said every month for about four years now. The truck has 165k on it. I will update tomorrow with my voltage readings but now am interested in possibly tracing the starter wires or just replacing it. Thank you again.

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  • 264 Answers

First of all the first time they replaced the fuse they should have found out WHY it blew in the first place. They dropped the ball on you . Sorry you had to blow so much cash and having such a hard time.. First thing I want you to do is , and it will sound dumb but just humor me, sit down and try to think about every time it blew. What was going on , what were you doing at that EXACT moment, was it sunny or raining. What EXACT fuse is it and where is it located? What we are looking for is a common factor. How much time between them blowing a little while later to you may be two weeks where to me it would be an hour or so. See here is how we find out, we become detectives that's why most guys will never make it as a good mechanics and they will always be parts changers, figure out WHY did it fail and try to fix the problem not the result. When you stat the vehicle did the starter drag some? If it is an alternator related area problem a common thing to happen is for the wires to rub against something or lay against hot exhaust exposing the bare wires to the metal of the engine/frame. This could cause it to short and blow the fuse at different times. Say you went across Railroad crossings and pow it blew. The vibration shook the wires and they made contact shorted and blew the fuse, Rained a lot you went through some deep water and it splashed up made the connection .....blown fuse. Same thing with the battery hot wires you mentioned you had batteries changed. Think about it a MONTH later the fuse blew. I would start looking from the batteries on following the hot wires to see if somewhere they were touching something or loose. See there just sitting here running my mouth and we have a place to start. Batteries hot wires tracing them. You said batteries, so you will have to have a regulating device between the two to allow for equal charging, check all the connection and feel to see if the box or any of the wires seem hotter than anything else. Fuses blow because of the amount of electromotive force (AMPS are greater than the fuse can handle so they get hot and burn into. When they put the new batteries in maybe they moved the hot wire in a position that was further from the point it was grounding to but now because of a months worth of vibration they have slid right up next to the ground and ZAP . Hope you found something in what I mentioned just don't give up . Let me know what you find. Also check the owners manual to be sure the correct size fuse is in there to begin with. Good Luck

Posted on Mar 23, 2014

  • 7 more comments 
  • Ashley Minish
    Ashley Minish Mar 23, 2014

    Yes toy are correct they should have and that's the

  • Ashley Minish
    Ashley Minish Mar 23, 2014

    Yes you are right they should have the first time. I just brought it back to another shop 2 days ago and he checked voltage while running and witnessed these fuses blowing. His fix was go online and figure it out. So 2 shops now and Ive struck out. Every time the fuse has blown it had been right when I start the truck. That's when the light would come on. I would shut it off pull the fuse, replace and start again. All would be good. As far as timing I was getting about a month in between when this would happen. This last Sunday was the last time and now they blow instantly. If I unplug the connector to the alternator the light goes out but I dint know if that is normal or not. The last mechanic (2days ago) tested power to the 2 wires in that connector. He also had me run it while test volts the truck was putting out. He said everything was charging fine. I'm afraid yes it was fine there but give me 20 minutes of driving and then it will just slowly drain the batteries. My suspicion is either the light is possessed or there is a wire rubbing somewhere. There should be no reason the fuses are blowing in the first place right? So now that I have replaced the alt, batteries, plug I should trace down the wire farther and perhaps the wires coming out of the fuse box itself? Thanks for the help so far

  • Peter
    Peter Mar 24, 2014

    Ok, great job, now we know time periods and when it occurs. Next Miss Detective Ashley we are going to check something if the previous mchanics didn't. We want to put a volt meter on the battey and make sure we have the correct voltage. Usually you will read between 14.2 to 12.5 volts anywhere around there depends on the age, condition of the battery and connections. Now have someone start the engine and see where the voltage drops to and stops at whe the alternator picks up . If it drops a whole lot just for a second then comes back up over ten volts and the engine starts you may have a starter problem. I don't remember how many miles are on the truck? Well anyway really with electrical sometimes they just mess up because they want to.LOL Ok sometimes as an engine gets older and you have gone on a hundred million trips to visit wanna be mechanics you have to use that starter at least twice each trip ....right. Well the bushings that the armature shaft rides on ( the internal part of the motor with tons of wire wrapped around it) well just like us they wear with age and when they wear the armature drops down just a little and the armature will drag on the magnets that are mounted inside the houseing. This causes extra draw(amperage) / power to be sucked from the battery whichcan overheat the wires and overload the fuse causing it to blow. This will happen more after the engine has been driven and the parts have heated up ( and expanded ) to make matters worse. Needless to say the longer you keep going the more wear the more often it occurs to the point the starter drags and or just locks up. Another possibility could be the solenoid has been going bad on the starter. I would check and make sure all my ground wires on the starter and the engine are good and tight as a loose or corroded connection will cause more resistance so you will not be getting enough amperage tfor the solenoid ( the part of the starter, sometimes mounted on the starter and sometimes mounted on the federwell or firewall in the engine compartment) The solenoid may not be getting enough amperage to operate correctly, it's basically an electromagnet that pulls the starter drive into the flywheel and allows the starter motor to spin the motor over. Without enough amperage(power) the plates inside will arch and cause burnt spots on the plates that will eventually weld themselves together causing a dead short draining the battery. Let's not forget the hot wires we were tracing before to see if they are touching something and shorting out that you mentioned you were going to check. We need to look at everything. All grounds on the engine and starter, heck i even found an alternator from a dealership wired backwards before. Oh dag gum it I forgot all about the batterry equalizer this device allows your alternator to charge each batterry equally if you tried to charge them together at the same time it would not work correctly because one batterrry will always be a little better than the other so when they are hooked up together the alternator would just see one batterry and stop charging when it though there was a full charge thus leaving one baterry or both in a less than desired state. If it shorts you could have a problem there also. Personally I still like the possessed wiring thing you mentioned. I assume you have no codes as you haven't mentioned any so I won't venture there. I want you to get this fixed you have a great truck love those things. I had a $X$ put buckshot mudders on it and everytime some yo yo would pull out in front of me I would wait till I was sort of close then hit the brakes all you would hear was those huge mudders churfing like I couldn't stop and it would scare the dickens out of them when they looked in their mirror and saw this huge thing sliding towards them supposedly unable to stop. LOL I know a few must have wet their pants. LOL I'm with you till the end on this I'll keep checking back, I'm curious what you'll find.

  • Ashley Minish
    Ashley Minish Mar 24, 2014

    Ashley MinishThank you for sticking with me through this. I will check voltage in the morning. All of my wire tracing today let me no where. Everything looked good. The starter issue you have mentioned is interesting to me as since I have had this truck about four years now the starter malfunctions at least once a week. I've been putting it off for all these year because it hasn't completely went out but when I go to start it will make that winding noise (can't theme er the proper term for that) so I shut the key off any retry. It only does it once but like I said every month for about four years now. The truck has 165k on it. I will update tomorrow with my voltage readings but now am interested in possibly tracing the starter wires or just replacing it. Thank you again. Mar 24, 2014

  • Ashley Minish
    Ashley Minish Mar 24, 2014

    *led *remember and it's once a week in month. Sorry typing not to good today lol.

  • Ashley Minish
    Ashley Minish Mar 24, 2014

    I do live right on the puget sound so yes salt water is all around me. I guy I bought the truck from is a good friend and also a mechanic. I spent many years working for a Honda dealer on small engines outboards, Motorcycles, ect. I should have not ignored the starter issue as I did not know that it stops pretty much in the same spot. This truck is not my daily driver but my baby. I will inspect the flywheel and replace the starter today if my 3 year old will help/cooperate lol. This is why I stuck to small engines much better for me. Oh and the fact that wiring issues are my nemesis! I'll keep you posted. Thank you.

  • Peter
    Peter Mar 24, 2014

    AAARRRg I'll have to continue hit the wrong button. ) and split the insulation when teaching apprentist mechanics or people just trying to fix their own stuff to show them the corrosion that had traveled the full lenght of the wire even though it had insulation on it. This is compounded when you have loose ground wires. This will cause excessive resistance so if you live in one of these areas it may be a good idea yes to change the wires. Make sure to go back with the proper size wire and not smaller because a smaller wire ca not carry as much amperage as a larger gauge wire. Take the old one with you and make sure the parts guy gives you one at least as long as the one you have ,sometimes they think one a couple of inches shorter won't matter but you put it on then it's not long enough so then more work more trips more lost time. Once we have the starter issue taken care of let's see if we still have any more issues to deal with. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So we are now at you are 1. rechecking the entire lenght of both batteries cables for corrosion and all connections good and tight. Don't be afraid to grab them and give them a good wiggle because the connectors on the ends have been known to be improperly crimped onto the wire itself and you may find a loose connector on the end of the wire, so the connector would be bolted tightly to the frame/engine, etc. but the freaking wire is loose where it goes into the connecto. Yes I know I repeated the wire loose in the connector , hahaha I did it to make a point a lot of people forget to check to make sure the wire is securly tight in the connector. You should not be able to pull it out if you do then there's a problem right there too. 2. You are going to take care of the starter problem and check the gear teeth on the fly wheel to make sure they are ok and if so great. 3. Don't forget about the battery equalizer if you still are having troubles. Still can't believe these guys at those shops didn't check all of this. Geeeze, that's the problem with the way these guys are paid. A lot of them are paid by flat rate hours and if it's something they have to do a lot of testing on because they don't see it right away they will throw something on there charge you parts and maybe 3 hours labor because it was electrical and shove you out the door. Next ! Some shops get around this by if they have a really good electrical guy which is rare, will tell you they will charge you trouble shooting electrical by the hour and at how many hours do you want them to stop and consult with you if they haven't found the problem yet. Guess What that does not inclusde fixing the problem or parts. I understand though because sometimes if you are the 5th guy working on the same problem you may have to also correct or figure out what all the rest of the shops have done. I think it's great and compliment you on your hutspa in tackling this. Ready for another quick story as to why you are doing the right thing then we'll be done till you get back to me. I was working for a catepillar dealer and a man brought in his motor home complaing of low power and a top speed of 35 MPH. He had been to 3-4 different shops already and was desperate so they put me on it. Oh yes at $98.00 an hour labor of which I only recieved $18.50. He was told electrical is billed by the actual time it took to find and fix the problem and he agreed and we would call him at 8 hours into it. This motor home was 10 years old so way out of warranty. He had no dash lights, top speed of 35mph and been in multiple shops. yay me. First mech to work on it.... did a road call th thing was dead on the side of the road. Well the alternator was bad so he replaced the alternator and charged the batteries the couple had to stay in a motel while it had been towed to this guys shop and worked on. chaching...... They start down the road going ok and about 10 miles down the road they smelled something and pulled over. The wiring harness to the new alternator was on fire and burned up the wiring harness. Another tow truck charge to another shop, Number two mechanic called the manufacturer to order a wiring harness and was told they would have to make one because since the motor home was 10 years ld they didn't have any parts for it anymore. Just a note, Motor homes and big trucks can have any engine you want put in them usually some won't give you a choice but some do or did. Motor homes are sort of each a custom build so not everyone is exactly the same, then they give you a choice of the different makes of engines and transmissions all of which have their own wiring and computers to go with what ever the motohome is set up with. So anyway this guy got the wiring harness TWO WEEKS later. WOW pay that motel and car rental bill with the repair bill. And away we go down the road, uh oh it is not running or shifting right so after a couple of hours they find a CAT shop and the #3 mechanic goes to work on it and after a couple of days of $98.00 hr rate determine the manufacturer made the wiring harness wrong and changed some of the wires positions in a couple of plugs. More motel bills and repair bills.Like the old movie saying and away we go! Down the road this poor unfortunate dishearted couple went in their 10 year old mega buck repair jobs motor home that would now only go 35 MPH with no dash lights, signals nothing. It seems like they just gave up and drove it to the next Cat shop which is where I worked , lucky me. Like I said in the beginning of this night mare I told them I could fix it but I could not promise how long it would take. Longer than this story believe it or not. I'm number 4 on the list now. I got as much detailed information from them over coffee in the break room as I could for about an hour maybe , NO CHARGE !, He agreed on the payment, I started checking this thing out and went to hook my computer to the motorhome at the connector at the rear by the engine and there was no communication between the two. I double checked my set up to make sure it wasn't a problem on my end but no it was the motorhome. Luckily the connector at the front of te motor home worked so I was able to at least check the engine and make sure it wasn't an engine problem to begin with. I had written down all of the info the couple had given me and talked to the other mechanic that had worked on it some not too happy to hear from me because they feared a legal retribution I'm sure. I had a copy of the wiring schematics for our Cat engine but had to call the manufacturer to get them to track down a copy, they only had one stuffed into one of their mechanics tool box of which they sent me a copy. So armed with all the information I had gotten from all of these people that had been involvedand it was like pulling teeth to get all the info as to what they actually did and convince them I was not a lawyer I was just another smuck trying to eeek out a living just like them I crawled under the motor home with my trouble light , flashlight , multimeter, wire markers, test leads, ink pen and notebook both wiring schematics and started testing wires only to soon discover something was wrong, I got ahead of myself earlier as the mechanic at the other cat shop hadn't told me he had switched the wires on some of the plugs till after I spent all the time making my own wiring schematic from having to test EVERY wire of the engine,transmission , and motor home from front to back. I put the three schematics together and figured out what the real schematic should be because the two I had from CAT and the MotorHome maker weren't 100% accurate either. I got all the wires strightened out like they should be and believe it or not straight from the factory 10 years earlier when this thing had been built someone had wired the communication connector at the back by the engine wrong and in 10 years NO ONE had figured it out or fixed it they just used the one up front.. Ok wiring straight, communication connector straight , replaced some batteries that were bad also then found ...... now wait for it.... wait....... just a little longer.... I was not the 4th mechanic after all the year before they had the solenoid replaced on the motorhome for the starter and the guy had wired it wrong. They had to charge the batteries before they had left for their trip because it had been sitting in the driveway all winter and the solenoid had drained the batteries down. So I was now the 5th mechanic replacing the solenoid from the very REAL 1st mechanic that had a wire from the solenoid to the alternator wired wrong which brought us back full circle to the alternator being replaced because it was thought to be the original start of all the problems. How many $98.00 dollar an hours did it take to them to drive their 10 year old motorhome out the door with everything working BETTER than when it left the factory( remember the communications connector

  • Peter
    Peter Mar 24, 2014

    AAARRRg I\'ll have to continue hit the wrong button. ) and split the insulation when teaching apprentist mechanics or people just trying to fix their own stuff to show them the corrosion that had traveled the full lenght of the wire even though it had insulation on it. This is compounded when you have loose ground wires. This will cause excessive resistance so if you live in one of these areas it may be a good idea yes to change the wires. Make sure to go back with the proper size wire and not smaller because a smaller wire ca not carry as much amperage as a larger gauge wire. Take the old one with you and make sure the parts guy gives you one at least as long as the one you have ,sometimes they think one a couple of inches shorter won\'t matter but you put it on then it\'s not long enough so then more work more trips more lost time. Once we have the starter issue taken care of let\'s see if we still have any more issues to deal with. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So we are now at you are 1. rechecking the entire lenght of both batteries cables for corrosion and all connections good and tight. Don\'t be afraid to grab them and give them a good wiggle because the connectors on the ends have been known to be improperly crimped onto the wire itself and you may find a loose connector on the end of the wire, so the connector would be bolted tightly to the frame/engine, etc. but the freaking wire is loose where it goes into the connecto. Yes I know I repeated the wire loose in the connector , hahaha I did it to make a point a lot of people forget to check to make sure the wire is securly tight in the connector. You should not be able to pull it out if you do then there\'s a problem right there too. 2. You are going to take care of the starter problem and check the gear teeth on the fly wheel to make sure they are ok and if so great. 3. Don\'t forget about the battery equalizer if you still are having troubles. Still can\'t believe these guys at those shops didn\'t check all of this. Geeeze, that\'s the problem with the way these guys are paid. A lot of them are paid by flat rate hours and if it\'s something they have to do a lot of testing on because they don\'t see it right away they will throw something on there charge you parts and maybe 3 hours labor because it was electrical and shove you out the door. Next ! Some shops get around this by if they have a really good electrical guy which is rare, will tell you they will charge you trouble shooting electrical by the hour and at how many hours do you want them to stop and consult with you if they haven\'t found the problem yet. Guess What that does not inclusde fixing the problem or parts. I understand though because sometimes if you are the 5th guy working on the same problem you may have to also correct or figure out what all the rest of the shops have done. I think it\'s great and compliment you on your hutspa in tackling this. Ready for another quick story as to why you are doing the right thing then we\'ll be done till you get back to me. I was working for a catepillar dealer and a man brought in his motor home complaing of low power and a top speed of 35 MPH. He had been to 3-4 different shops already and was desperate so they put me on it. Oh yes at $98.00 an hour labor of which I only recieved $18.50. He was told electrical is billed by the actual time it took to find and fix the problem and he agreed and we would call him at 8 hours into it. This motor home was 10 years old so way out of warranty. He had no dash lights, top speed of 35mph and been in multiple shops. yay me. First mech to work on it.... did a road call th thing was dead on the side of the road. Well the alternator was bad so he replaced the alternator and charged the batteries the couple had to stay in a motel while it had been towed to this guys shop and worked on. chaching...... They start down the road going ok and about 10 miles down the road they smelled something and pulled over. The wiring harness to the new alternator was on fire and burned up the wiring harness. Another tow truck charge to another shop, Number two mechanic called the manufacturer to order a wiring harness and was told they would have to make one because since the motor home was 10 years ld they didn\'t have any parts for it anymore. Just a note, Motor homes and big trucks can have any engine you want put in them usually some won\'t give you a choice but some do or did. Motor homes are sort of each a custom build so not everyone is exactly the same, then they give you a choice of the different makes of engines and transmissions all of which have their own wiring and computers to go with what ever the motohome is set up with. So anyway this guy got the wiring harness TWO WEEKS later. WOW pay that motel and car rental bill with the repair bill. And away we go down the road, uh oh it is not running or shifting right so after a couple of hours they find a CAT shop and the #3 mechanic goes to work on it and after a couple of days of $98.00 hr rate determine the manufacturer made the wiring harness wrong and changed some of the wires positions in a couple of plugs. More motel bills and repair bills.Like the old movie saying and away we go! Down the road this poor unfortunate dishearted couple went in their 10 year old mega buck repair jobs motor home that would now only go 35 MPH with no dash lights, signals nothing. It seems like they just gave up and drove it to the next Cat shop which is where I worked , lucky me. Like I said in the beginning of this night mare I told them I could fix it but I could not promise how long it would take. Longer than this story believe it or not. I\'m number 4 on the list now. I got as much detailed information from them over coffee in the break room as I could for about an hour maybe , NO CHARGE !, He agreed on the payment, I started checking this thing out and went to hook my computer to the motorhome at the connector at the rear by the engine and there was no communication between the two. I double checked my set up to make sure it wasn\'t a problem on my end but no it was the motorhome. Luckily the connector at the front of te motor home worked so I was able to at least check the engine and make sure it wasn\'t an engine problem to begin with. I had written down all of the info the couple had given me and talked to the other mechanic that had worked on it some not too happy to hear from me because they feared a legal retribution I\'m sure. I had a copy of the wiring schematics for our Cat engine but had to call the manufacturer to get them to track down a copy, they only had one stuffed into one of their mechanics tool box of which they sent me a copy. So armed with all the information I had gotten from all of these people that had been involvedand it was like pulling teeth to get all the info as to what they actually did and convince them I was not a lawyer I was just another smuck trying to eeek out a living just like them I crawled under the motor home with my trouble light , flashlight , multimeter, wire markers, test leads, ink pen and notebook both wiring schematics and started testing wires only to soon discover something was wrong, I got ahead of myself earlier as the mechanic at the other cat shop hadn\'t told me he had switched the wires on some of the plugs till after I spent all the time making my own wiring schematic from having to test EVERY wire of the engine,transmission , and motor home from front to back. I put the three schematics together and figured out what the real schematic should be because the two I had from CAT and the MotorHome maker weren\'t 100% accurate either. I got all the wires strightened out like they should be and believe it or not straight from the factory 10 years earlier when this thing had been built someone had wired the communication connector at the back by the engine wrong and in 10 years NO ONE had figured it out or fixed it they just used the one up front.. Ok wiring straight, communication connector straight , replaced some batteries that were bad also then found ...... now wait for it.... wait....... just a little longer.... I was not the 4th mechanic after all the year before they had the solenoid replaced on the motorhome for the starter and the guy had wired it wrong. They had to charge the batteries before they had left for their trip because it had been sitting in the driveway all winter and the solenoid had drained the batteries down. So I was now the 5th mechanic replacing the solenoid from the very REAL 1st mechanic that had a wire from the solenoid to the alternator wired wrong which brought us back full circle to the alternator being replaced because it was thought to be the original start of all the problems. How many $98.00 dollar an hours did it take to them to drive their 10 year old motorhome out the door with everything working BETTER than when it left the factory( remember the communications connector

  • Peter
    Peter Mar 24, 2014

    ) $98.00 x 40 hours = $ 3920.00 that's right it took me a weeks worth of telephone calls and interviews , sitting underneath that motor home with numerous paperwork and notes to make right what so many has messed up. So now you know the story behind me wanting you to check out the solenoid and the starter.

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1 Answer

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You have an electrical drain in the vehicle somewhere. The first place I would check is the dome lights, if they are off you will need to start eliminating each individual circuit. To do this you will need to get a 12 volt test light. remove the positive battery cable and connect this test light (one end to the cable and the other to the battery the test light will light up at this point) this is completing the battery circuit, next go to the fuse panel and have someone watch the test light, the first fuse you will need to remove is the dome light fuse. If you remove this fuse and the light goes out then you have a constant drain in the dome light circuit which could be a blown bulb or bad door switch. If the light stays on then leave this fuse out (due to the doors being open)and continue 1 by 1 removing fuses until the test light goes out, keep in mind if the light doesn't go out go ahead and reinsert the fuse to eliminate any confusion on where they go. Once you find the circuit that has the problem then we can diagnose what part may have failed to find your drain but more than likely it will go out with the dome light fuse removed. The door switches on these cars had some issues.

Apr 06, 2009 | 1990 Ford Taurus

1 Answer

Wont start


Start by checking the battery connections. If they seem okay then, even though it may be pretty new, I would take the battery to the dealer and have them check it for an internal short in the battery. I had this happen 2 weeks after picking up a new car.

Mar 14, 2009 | 2004 Dodge Durango

1 Answer

Radio CD not working & lights don't flash remote keylock


Sometime the computer in car will shut down a circuit when it sees a problem even if it only occure once. You can try to disconnect the battery for at least 2 min so all sys power off (some have capacitors that mantaine a charge for short time). If a battery disconnect does not clear problem you have go to dealer and have them to clear codes and reset you modules and your preferences

Feb 15, 2009 | 2004 Dodge Caravan

1 Answer

Engine fan keeps running


It's possible that the fan control relay is intermittently sticking causing the fans to run continuously. This can overheat and subsequently blow the fuse. Try replacing the relay and see if anything changes.

Hope this helps.

Jul 10, 2008 | 1999 Pontiac Grand Am GT

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