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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi ppl, I have a problem with my 2001 v6 cougar that im hoping someone can help me with.

When I start the car, the dials spin round to max, then drop back to normal.

It's just like when you go into diagnostics mode (DTC), which incidentally I've checked and it comes back with 9318 (low battery voltage) although I dont know if this is related or just random.

I've had this problem intermittently for a few months but it seems to be getting worse

The car is due it's 75000 service, and the service light is on. As a sidebar (and this may/may not be connected) my central locking is out (i think it's the key) but this has been out for a while.

The engine runs pretty smooth, idle is a little bit lumpy but I'm sure the service and a throttle body clean will sort that out.

Any ideas?? :confused:
 

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:wave: welcome

by service light, do you mean the wrench in the overhead console, or the check engine light? (the wrench comes on at a regular interval - not triggered by anything mechanical).
The needles sweeping is something that will happen when the battery is disconnected or power drops too low. alot of people with dying alternators or batteries have this happen. have you had your battery light come on while driving?
by central locking I assume you mean your keyless entry? It could be the fob's battery or a fuse out.
 

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1999 3.0 SilFro
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99% of the time, the gauge sweep at startup is caused by a battery that has stopped holding its charge.

Are you still on the original battery, or has your current battery been otherwise heavily drained a few times?
 

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Yep goldie is right ... Unless you want to make it part of your service, You could pull that battery out and take it to autozone or similar stores. They will test that battery for you and charge it up if need be, for free, with the hopes of selling you a new battery. If thats not it the next thing to check is your Alternator.

And if its that little wrench icon on the upper console, there is a way to turn that off, if you dont wanna go back to the dealer heh. I forget the sequence you push into the trip computer to make it go away, its just holding down 2 of the buttons basicly. Its in the manual some where...
 

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You hold down "Units" and "Select" for 5 seconds, until the wrench light disappears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi chaps, thanks for the speedy response (bennett et al.)

The light I mentioned is the "requires service" light in the upper console (great tip for turning that off btw).

My battery had got heavily drained (by me keep trying to start it) a couple of weeks ago after my crank sensor had died, so no spark..got it sorted quickly though by local grg.

I tend to get the problem first thing in the morning, then I have a long drive to work, and it usually doesn't appear again until my 2nd/third start later in the day. This makes it sound a bit like the alternator is recharging during a long drive, so I will check out the battery.

I will post up if/when I get it sorted - thanks all for your help.


ps: Using the diagnostics, I checked the Battery Amps and it was flickering between 10/11, not sure what it should be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
pps: goldie..

I do not get any battery light on whilst driving. re: the key fob, battery swapped and I recently checked all fuses (internal & aux) so not sure, thought I might re-order the key)
 

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this just happened to me. its a bad battery. i got a new battery and it hasnt happened since.
 

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no prob. i paid with tax and installation $110 for the new battery. And again today it didnt happen so i'm pretty sure ur battery is bad
 

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pps: goldie..

I do not get any battery light on whilst driving. re: the key fob, battery swapped and I recently checked all fuses (internal & aux) so not sure, thought I might re-order the key)
Goldie was trying to figure out if you were having Alternator problems.
 

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While running the battery should be in the 13v range. If the alternator is not working it will be in the 10-11v and lower range. Also if the alternator isn't working the battery will be dead within 20 miles. I'd try a new battery and if that doesn't fix it then your alternator is starting to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Ok, Update:

Last weekend I went out and bought a new Battery and swapped it out.

Et voila, problem solved !! Not had the issue since, and the car starts up much better, so i'm quite chuffed! Thanks for the advice ppl.

I do however have Christmas tree dash and lights (at lowish revs, under 2000rpm) which is a PITA.:) I thought about looking at the 'Big Three', but mines a 2001 Cougar and I've read the fix is only for 99-00 cougars. VR problem? :confused: Any ideas?

I also noticed today (for the first time ever) that my battery light flickered whilst I was doing @50mph, flickered a little bit (thought I was seeing things) did it about three times in a ten second period, then nothing; tried to recreate by speeding up/slowing down - nothing. I thought I might check my battery terminals are hooked up properly, I didn't put any gunk on the terminals when I switched the battery, so I'll try that this weekend.
 

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I have had the rare freak battery light flash in the past; it occasionally happens on damp days, and when the engine is colder. I have had a history of electrical issues, and have christmas tree dash lights as well. But so far, it has been just that - a rare freak occurrence.

Failing alternators will cause a battery light to flicker, but usually only at the top of the rev range. I would not suspect that - YET.

Keep an eye on it, but it was most likely an isolated incident.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey Bennet, thanks for the prompt reply.

Yep, just the once for me - was a bit cold/damp today so could be that. Will check re-occurrence at high revs, but I don't remember ever seeing it.

After I swapped my battery out the other day I checked (via the terminals) that the battery was charging; when I pinged the throttle cable it went up @14v, so I figure the alternator is ok (bit of an assumption..) Have to wait and see though.

Any ideas about the dimming up/down lights on an '01 it's really annoying. Big Three? VR? Little annoying Gremlins with nothing better to do? :biggrin:
 

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No. The alternator makes plenty of juice when it's working.
 

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Hi chaps, thanks for the speedy response (bennett et al.)

The light I mentioned is the "requires service" light in the upper console (great tip for turning that off btw).
I always leave mine on until I change the oil. it happened that I bought the car with that light on and they had just changed the oil. now when the light comes on it reminds me Hey dummy change your oil. LOL

My lil wrench has been on for 4 days now.. I really need to change my oil. Then I reset it and wait for it come to back.
 
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