98 Crown Vic LX

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  #1  
Old 12-21-17, 10:20 AM
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98 Crown Vic LX

Bought this with 36,900 miles at an auction. Been stored inside since 2014 so I had it towed here even though they did drive it a little at the auction site.

Drove it around to the garage and let it idle for a couple hours while I checked out all the buttons, heater etc. Drove in the garage and shut it off. Not far enough so I went to start it again and when I turned the key on the radio blared quite loud and maybe a few other things I don't remember for 5 seconds or so. It turned over fine but wouldn't start, twice, so I left it.

Went out this morning and it started normally and purred like a kitten.

Any idea what that could be? Just before shutting it off I was trying the buttons on the fob but I can't believe that would cause it. Then again I've never had a car with all this electronic stuff like the key.

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 12-21-17, 10:40 AM
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First thing is to check if a one time thing. If continues than go to a parts store and get codes read.
 
  #3  
Old 12-21-17, 02:16 PM
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Relay

The relay that provides power to the main computer controller for the car is in the fuse panel under the hood. Swap it with the same relay that is identified for the ac and see if it works. A car that is little used often has electrical glitches. Taking various connectors apart and cleaning with a contact cleaner can help.
 
  #4  
Old 12-21-17, 06:51 PM
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Could this be a breathing problem? I had an older Acura that started fine unless I "bobbled" the starter switch by not turning the switch fully. It would turn over but not start, and I'd have to let it sit for a few hours. Almost like it was flooded, but it was a fuel injected motor. Turns out the throttle body was fouled with carbon. Got after it with acetone on a rag til the rag stopped getting black, and that solved the problem.

This would be an easy fix if there's a similar component on the Crown Vic. Have to take care if the throttle body is controlled by the computer, though: if you change the position of the plate inside the throttle body the computer will be out of synch and the engine will not start.
 
  #5  
Old 12-21-17, 07:06 PM
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I can see "fixes" to try repairing the start issue but the radio playing loudly without turning the volume up is a new one on me.

Some car radios had an AVL (automatic volume level) control that raised the radio volume as the car went faster and the interior road noise built up. Can't remember if that car was like that.
 
  #6  
Old 12-21-17, 08:33 PM
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... radio playing loudly without turning the volume up...
The real puzzle is before I turn a vehicle off I always turn all accessories off. Restarting it as soon as the key was in the on position the radio came on, lights came on and I think the doors locked too. All that lasted only 5 seconds or so then turned off like they should've been.

A car that is little used often has electrical glitches.
I have to think it has to be electrical, maybe a relay like flatcrank said, I have no idea.

I know next to nothing, owner (74) died last month. It's quite possible this car hasn't run for a couple hours in years, maybe a heat thing? I'm gonna go to Carquest tomorrow and see if they borrow out code readers then I'll let it run a while and see what happens.

Thanks
 
  #7  
Old 12-22-17, 02:38 AM
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Parked for an extended period, electrical ghost, systems possibly returning to a default setting... a scan would be simple and logical, but the first thing I would do is clean, not just look at, but disconnect, clean, and reconnect the battery cables at the battery, as well as at the fuse block and vehicle ground if you can get to them. While the battery was disconnected I would take it to the local auto parts store and have them test it, which they will typically do at no cost, then I would either scan it or wait to see if any issues return before scanning. I have run into similar situations a number of times, where a full load, i.e. starting, will flow fine, but smaller draws to maintain auxiliary systems are not sufficient to maintain flow through a small amount of crust here or there.
 
  #8  
Old 12-22-17, 05:18 AM
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Pedro & I are on the same page. ^^^^^ As for the "not starting" issue, I think its either a bad battery or bad/corroded battery cables or the connections need cleaning. (Based on the limited info provided)
 
  #9  
Old 12-22-17, 09:32 AM
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I don't think it was a weak battery when it wouldn't start, it was turning over a 100 mph. Could be corrosion though, just opened the hood...


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Definite corrosion, couldn't find a date on the battery. Then I see there is a battery maintainer under there which explains why the radio pre-sets still work. Plates are 2014 so that has been plugged in 3 years? I let it run this morning till it was up to temp and it restarted normally. Go figure.

Carquest doesn't read codes but he'll sell me a $60 one for $45, may do that. While I'm there I might just get a new battery too.


There is a glob of something that the guy apparently had his radio stuck to, what is the best way to get that goo off my dash? When the car is warm it does get kind of soft and feels like it will peel off but I'd hate to rip anything. Is that a CB radio?

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All I got for now,

Thanks
 
  #10  
Old 12-22-17, 04:25 PM
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That's a Uniden Pro510xl 40ch CB radio. Good unit. Very reliable. Don't toss it.... give it to someone that rides the highway.

That "pad" looks well glued to the dash. You could use a very light oil and work it in between the dash and the pad. It should eventually eat the old glue. Then remove the oil from the dash. An alternate removal plan would be to try heating it with a blow dryer to soften the glue.
 
  #11  
Old 12-22-17, 06:54 PM
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Can you post a better picture of the device connected to the battery? Unless it has an AC cord and plug it is not a battery maintainer. It may be a battery desulphator.
 
  #12  
Old 12-22-17, 07:03 PM
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It's not glue. All I could think of was silly putty until it just came to me. When you get a drivers license or CC in the mail it is stuck to the paper with this stretchy kind of stuff, that's it only much thicker. It does stretch when the car is warm.

Bought the code reader today and it comes up with 0 codes. Dog and I were out there today and ran it for at least a couple hours and it always started normally. One time thing I hope.

Tomorrow morning I'll clean the battery cables and install the new battery and then we hibernate and watch football. High for Christmas day is -10 F. Only about 30 below normal.

Merry Christmas guys and thanks.
 
  #13  
Old 12-22-17, 07:10 PM
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Furd, (sorry I can't ever remember your first name)

Definitely a battery maintainer, I've owned a few for my lawn mowers.

Merry Christmas
 
  #14  
Old 12-22-17, 07:55 PM
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It's a biblical name, Joel, which is comical since I am an atheist. You can always look on my profile as I have it listed there.

I couldn't see any AC connection to the maintainer is why I asked. I have two small maintainers on my electric tractor batteries right now and also two desulphators. I have a larger maintainer for my generator that I plug in every other month or so for a few hours to keep the battery charged.
 
  #15  
Old 12-23-17, 03:43 AM
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That sounds and looks like it could be rubber cement, although I have never seen it used in that volume. Since it sounds like it's somewhat pliable I would try starting at one corner and carefully rolling it up. I would not be concerned with ripping anything off of the dash as long no sharp objects are used to pry it off, but would expect to find some discoloration.
 
  #16  
Old 12-23-17, 06:09 AM
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Tow truck driver said this guy was a civil engineer who specialized in designing operating rooms so it could be anything I guess. I've never seen anything like it.
 
  #17  
Old 01-20-18, 10:47 AM
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In the last month I've started it dozens of times, no problems. Yesterday after running quite a while I go to move it in the garage I noticed the doors didn't lock, something I'll definately disable when this is all figured out.

- turn off
- turn on and heater fan comes on for 5 seconds??
- rather than try to restart I remove key
- turn to on, normal sounds, starts right up.

Still a gremlin in there somewhere. Once I get a title and plates I'll have to bring to dealer to cancel all door/key codes and reprogram the keys (only have one key now). $$$$

Even though the battery is strong as an ox I'll put the new one in today, don't know what else to do besides ordering a Haynes manual. Oh, and buy another can of electrical cleaner stuff.

My code reader is a cheap Actron CP9125, would this even read codes if the PCM is acting up?

Pulling my hair out.

Thanks
 
  #18  
Old 01-20-18, 03:36 PM
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Did you do a Carfax on this vehicle ??
 
  #19  
Old 01-20-18, 06:43 PM
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No I didn't. In the glove compartment there was a title transfer from Illinois to Minnesota and it said "Parents to son" in 2010. Seeing this guy was then 67 his parents were at least 80 which explains the excellent condition and low miles. Plates expired in 2014 so they did at least license it, not sure how much they drove it. Also a couple slips where people by the same last name had it insured in Illinois so I really doubt this is a flood car or something like that.

In the garage today I had it running to keep the dog warm for maybe an hour -- turned it off and it didn't want to start again.

I don't know.

EDIT: After a couple weeks I called/emailed the auctioneer about the title, no answer. Wrote to the DMV and within 2 hours she wrote back the new title was in the mail that day (squeaky wheel gets the oil) so I should have it shortly. I hope.
 

Last edited by Baldwin; 01-20-18 at 07:12 PM.
  #20  
Old 03-01-18, 04:08 AM
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Temps in the 30s so I put the new battery in and switched the AC relay with the fuel pump relay. Let it run an hour... wouldn't start. Wait 15 minutes and it started right up.

Everything seems to work fine, I entered my own code and turned off the auto-lock feature with the door buttons, it just doesn't want to start after running it a long time, usually.

Something else I've found for a Ford -- when cranking it if the CEL goes off it means the computer sees rpm's. The light does go off like it should. I'll find that video.

 
  #21  
Old 03-01-18, 05:59 AM
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Here's the video, should start at 16:00. If I'm understanding this correctly when the car does NOT start and I see 12 volts at the green/yellow pump wire that would mean a bad pump?

If the car does not start and I don't see 12 volts then that would mean something else cause the pump isn't getting juice? All I have is a simple multi-meter but I think that's all I need.


https://youtu.be/F2ZXhai-x9k?t=15m55s


What confuses me is it has never failed to start cold, only after running it for an hour or so. Run it a half hour and it starts.
 
  #22  
Old 03-02-18, 02:46 AM
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When the car doesn't start I am getting the prime then 12 volts cranking on the pump wire at the relay. I guess I'll have to buy a cheap fuel pressure test kit, don't know what else to do.


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