99 Ford Explorer Dead as a Doornail

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  #1  
Old 12-11-08, 12:05 PM
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99 Ford Explorer Dead as a Doornail

My son's in college with an old (99) Ford Explorer. He got a new battery a few weeks ago. Now the car is dead as a doornail, so to speak. It doesn't turn over and he can't even jump start it. Do you think this is a battery problem or perhaps a battery installation problem, or is something more serious?
 
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Old 12-11-08, 01:53 PM
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Well, the alternator could be shot. Remove the battery and have it load tested. This will determine if there's suffucient charge.

Super Walmarts, autozone's, etc can hook up there load tester to it for free.

If the battery is ok, could be your starter. His interior lights and headlamps bright or are they dimmed?
 
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Old 12-11-08, 04:15 PM
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'99 is old? My car is a '95 Jetta, has 211k and runs good still. Sorry ust sounded strange to hear a less than 10 year old vehicle called old.
 
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Old 12-11-08, 04:58 PM
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Well, you're both driving cars from the 20th century!
 
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Old 12-11-08, 05:01 PM
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well my pu is a 84 model and my goldwing is a 81 model so i think old is relative.

on the question, if the battery is sufficiently discharged it won't jump with out leaving the cables hooked up for at least 30mins. check for a dome light or glove box light having been left on. also have the alternator tested to make sure it puts out at least 13.5 volts when charging and full amps, then see if you can find out the amount of draw on the system. when the vehicle is off. post back with findings or more questions.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies
 

Last edited by Speedwrench; 12-11-08 at 05:08 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 12-11-08, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
Well, you're both driving cars from the 20th century!
 
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Old 12-11-08, 08:17 PM
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Check to see if the 99's have the starter solenoid on passenger fender well (follow battery positive wire)and if so just short across the lugs using screwdriver. If starter turns then this solenoid is bad. If not then make sure 12v is at the starter when you short this solenoid, if it is then starter bad or ground is bad.

Also do a google: "explorer starter" and answer is right there.
 
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Old 12-12-08, 06:11 AM
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Thanks

Thanks, all. All lights come on just fine, so he seems to be getting at least some power through the system. He also had the alternator replaced a few months ago, so I hope that's not it again. I'll have him follow the advice you all gave and let you what happens.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-12-08, 12:35 PM
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If it's an alternator from Autozone, Advance Auto, Pep Boys, Checkers, O'Reilley, Kraken, then I bet the "new" alternator is bad. Get a good one from NAPA.
 
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Old 12-12-08, 01:33 PM
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Update

Being in college, he has let the car sit until Friday afternoon, which just goes to show that being smart is no substuite for being wise.

Anyway, as an update...the lights come on fine, but nothing at all happens when he turns the key to start it up. The starter does not turn over, no clicking sounds at all. Now I'm thinking it could be the battery cable (as the google search of "explorer starter" suggested). Question: Given there are no clicking sounds, could it be the solenoid?
 
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Old 12-12-08, 03:00 PM
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Solenoid, ignition switch, maybe a fuse? Not sure on these.
 
  #12  
Old 12-13-08, 06:46 AM
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Start with basics: I would check the battery connections at the battery (take them off, clean off any corrosion: get one of those battery terminal cleaners with wire brush thing in it, retighten), check where ground wire from battery goes to chassis/engine and make sure it is tight and clean, check wiring to alternator for clean and tight. If all checks out, battery is likely too low a charge to turn over engine, try jumping it and see if it starts. If so, then you know starter is ok and your problem is electrical. If not, likely the starting system needs to be diagnosed (switch, fuses, fusible link, starter/solenoid, etc...).
Good luck and post back with updates.
 
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Old 12-13-08, 07:42 AM
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Check for voltage at the starter. If you have voltage when trying to start, it's the starter. If no voltage, you got a battery cable problem or a ignition problem. Any type of OEM alarm on this thing?
 
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