97 Thunderbird won't start


Old 05-23-06, 07:13 PM
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97 Thunderbird won't start

Today I was driving my 97 Ford Thunderbird, I shut the car off for 2 minutes and when I went to start it back up it was completely dead. It wouldn't even try to turn over,but when I turn the key there is a low clicking noise ( not the normal dead battery click) coming from the front pass side. It didn't even have power to shut the windows. The int lights work and so do the key in ignition chime. The gauge cluster does not working. Battery reads 12.5 volts on a meter. Hooked another working battery to it and nothing, but it could be jump started. Once it's turned off again it will not start without a jump. Please help.
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Old 05-23-06, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
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You need to jump start it and take a meter reading at a fast idle and see if you get about 13.5 volts on your battery posts if not your alternator is gone and not charging battery also make sure all battery connections are nice and clean with no white powder.
The car will run off of the battery for a little bit but if it is not being charged your car will die because fuel pump and other things will not work.
Also how old is battery anything over 3 years old is on the way out 3-5 years is all todays battries last.
Old 05-24-06, 04:45 AM
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Also the 12.5v reading static can be misleading. Try leaving the meter attached and see what happens when you turn the key. Chances are you'll see the meter go down to practically nothing. Daughter's battery just died last week in this manner.
Old 05-24-06, 05:34 AM
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from my experence with my friends cars you want about 14 volts to charge but still i don't see how it can go dead that fast my friends former car a 95 cyrsler cirrus had a bad alternator but he kept it charged with a charger and it would restart just don't run anything that you don't need to save power.
Old 05-24-06, 12:17 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
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it can die in a second

The battery sulfates inside and when this happens it shorts out inside.
What happens is your battery plates drop material ( not sure what it is) and this falls to the bottom of the battery were there is a space between the plate and bottom of the cell however when this fills up it shorts thus your battery is instant junk.
Old 05-24-06, 04:51 PM
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You guys haven't read where he said he tried another battery, and the symptoms are the same.

His bad connection could be where the main battery cable is inside the clamp that goes onto the post. Or somewheres downstream where either battery acid got to it, or some other bad/loose connection at a terminal that forks the ignition wiring off of it.

Last edited by DaVeBoy; 05-25-06 at 05:04 PM.
Old 05-24-06, 08:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 335
maybe it is some problem with the ignition. Like a relay in there with bad/ corroded contacts.

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