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Old 03-12-2008, 07:09 PM   #1
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Mysterious Battery Behavior


My 2000 Windstar with newer battery does something crazy. I had the battery and charging system checked tonight, and it all passes.
Most of the time it starts great….and on COLD WISCONSIN mornings it cranks fine and fires up. BUT, if the security lights happen to come on for 10 minutes, or if you leave the doors open and radio for 10 minutes… you will probably come back to a DEAD battery. It clicks…but that’s it. It may even give the slightest effort at a crank, but it won’t turn it over. AGAIN…. Great most of the time, including COLD winter mornings. A little draw after it’s turned off though….and it’s likely DEAD.
Help please!

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Old 03-12-2008, 08:08 PM   #2
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Mysterious Battery Behavior


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Originally Posted by fauer View Post
My 2000 Windstar with newer battery does something crazy. I had the battery and charging system checked tonight, and it all passes.
Most of the time it starts great….and on COLD WISCONSIN mornings it cranks fine and fires up. BUT, if the security lights happen to come on for 10 minutes, or if you leave the doors open and radio for 10 minutes… you will probably come back to a DEAD battery. It clicks…but that’s it. It may even give the slightest effort at a crank, but it won’t turn it over. AGAIN…. Great most of the time, including COLD winter mornings. A little draw after it’s turned off though….and it’s likely DEAD.
Help please!
I had a problem like this. I ran it down to a stuck relay. Sometimes after turning the key on, then off again a relay would stick closed and run daytime running lights all night. I finally noticed them on one night.

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Old 03-16-2008, 04:00 AM   #3
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Mysterious Battery Behavior


Hi,I just happen to be a Ford technician and i'll see if I can help somewhat.
First,who tested the battery and how?
A bad cell in a battery will cause all sorts of goofy things on a computer controlled vehicle. All the electronics and sensors use 12v as a reference and if it doesn't realize it is getting 10 then it will think all is okay though it will definately not be okay.
Any Ford authorized dealer should check your battery for free with a computerized conductance charger that will tell the exact state of the battery and your alternator/charging system.
Autozone doesn't always cut it,some places do simple easy checks on the battery that don't uncover internal faults in the battery.
You mentioned your security light coming on for ten minutes,that tells me that there is a chance it could be an ignition/key/security problem. Sometimes the ring that reads the key can get damaged or the ign cylinder can become gummed up or even the key go bad. This will cause the vehicle not to start also.

It sounds to me simply to be a bad battery,if you have replaced it already make sure it is with a reputable battery and not just a cheapie from wal-mart. The better brand names have less failures per than the others i've noticed.
If you've got a good battery and convinced it's not the battery causing it then you have an issue that is pulling current from the battery and killing it or there is a problem in the electrical circuit between the battery and the starter solenoid itself.
As mentioned before,there is a relay that is common to go out. You can't miss it if yours has it you just follow the +pos battery cable and it should lead to it more than likely.
If you PM me your VIN # I would be glad to look it up on the Ford database and see if there are any Technical Service Bulletins,Recalls or Special Service Messages pertaining to this issue.

Last edited by DefEddie; 03-16-2008 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 03-20-2008, 01:29 PM   #4
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Mysterious Battery Behavior


Is this the original battery, or has it been replaced?

If replaced, what brand, specs, and how long ago?
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:18 PM   #5
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Mysterious Battery Behavior


Just because it's a new battery doesn't mean it's not defective. The battery could have a bad cell. Could also have an intermittent parasitic drain in the vehicle.
The best is as DefEddie said and have it checked by Ford or a shop that can test the charging system correctly.
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:27 PM   #6
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Mysterious Battery Behavior


Posted the reply to soon. Something else you can check is the ground connections where the battery cable connects to the either engine or the frame. A loose conection there could do this. Sometimes there is corrosion internally at the battery cables where ther meet the connectors on the battery. Best test for that is a voltage drop test. A good visual inspection wouldn't hurt.
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:48 AM   #7
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Mysterious Battery Behavior


i had a similiar problem, thought it was my battery, had it tested and sure enough battery was on its way out. i replaced it with an Optima battery.

Problem persisted, just not as often. went on to replace starter and alternator. Problem did not go away. Frustrated i decided to have the new Optima tested, guy at auto Zone said " we have had a lot of problems with these" . sure enough, brand new battery was bad. Exchanged for a new, new one, no more problems....
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:53 AM   #8
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Mysterious Battery Behavior


The problem your talking about is only with the RedTop Optima batteries that I am aware of.
It has been an ongoing issue with them,the Yellow top's don't have any issues that I know of.
Like everyone is saying though,a good brand is a must and obviously even great brands have issues.

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