Question about Ford Excursion

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New Battery, checked alternator and fine, driving and all odermeters went back and forth really fast and then to zero and then turned car off and would not crank.. dodge put on machine and said throtle body and had it cleaned and drove home and would not crank again..Now went to open the door and all lights were dimmed and it was making everything in the vehicle was making a clicking noise and you can't lock with the key fob and had to lock manually with the key. You can jump it and it will crank but will not stayed cranked for a long period of time. Before all this started at a stop sign it idled really low and then all of this started ..2005 ford Excursion with 84,000 miles and same owner. Eddie Bauer edition

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You have an electrical problem. That is for sure. The battery is down and is not being charged. Here are the things that cause it. And the things that don't. It does not seem like the battery is causing it, but the battery can be damaged by electrical issues. In Ford vehicles that I have had experience with, the alternator is separate from the voltage regulator. The voltage regulator controls how much electricity is used to charge the battery and how much is going into the electrical system of the car. If the voltage regulator is separate, then it can be purchased inexpensively from an auto parts place. Say less than $20.00. It will be mounted near the battery on a side wall. My guess is one or more of the diodes (one way electrical valves used to convert the alternating current generated from the alternator into DC current to operate the electrical system of the car and charge the battery, which is itself DC) in it have failed. The other twist in this is that the electrical system may have been redesigned to integrate the voltage regulator into the case of the alternator. If that is the issue, the alternator can be replaced, or if there is a skilled person that does rebuilds in your area, he will know how to change the diodes in the voltage regulating section of the alternator. You can save money this way. If you have a volt meter or a multimeter. Commonly around $25.00 these days, you should get a reading of around 12 volts from the battery when it is charged and the engine is off. If the battery is down, the voltage should still be in that area, but not enough kick behind it to do anything but light a small bulb. When the car is started and the voltage regulator is doing it's job you should get at least 13.5 volts DC at the battery terminals.

Many of the symptoms that occur also happen because of poor electrical contact at the battery.
Use Baking soda and water to clean the terminals of the battery of corrosion. And then use a battery cleaning tool for the battery posts and the battery wire clamps that go around the post. Make sure all of the connectors and wiring is sound.

I would then test all of this doing the following steps..

Charge up the battery.

Then connect the system and do the voltage checks. If the Battery is charging properly, the regulator will gradually reduce the charging voltage it is using to charge.

After 15 minutes, shut the engine down and check the battery voltage. and turn on the headlights to see if they are still bright.

If the voltage is at 12 volts DC the battery will live. If you are not getting enough charging voltage, which I believe is the situation then the voltage will constantly be to low at the battery. It will be the battery running the car and the bulbs and other things will go lower and lower.

One very simple test of a charging system is to charge the battery, start the engine, then pull the positive terminal off of the battery. If the engine dies, then the voltage being generated from the alternator is too weak.

Hope all of this helps,

Posted on Dec 30, 2010


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