New Cougar Forum banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,682 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
ive never been more scared in my life driving my car today. It has been perfect for the past year with no problems at all... then today it went hay-wire. I went back home and parked in the driveway. I come out an hour later to leave and my car is completely dead.. i turn the key to start the engine, the gauges lights flicker on and off and the needles sweep... i had to jump start it with my mothers car. Ok, all is good i thought the battery some how drained.. Im driving on the interstate, and i notice everytime i hit the brakes my car dies. It just flat out loses all power, the gauges turn off, the music turns off, my radar is gone, and the engine bogs and dies... i let off the brakes and the engines jumps and restarts and everything comes on and works...

So as you can see, everytime i touched the brakes my car would die, and i had no idea wtf was going on... i basically cruised at 45 mph on the interstate in teh far right lane as if i really died id be able to pull over... and i had to use my parking brake to stop to get home. Ive also discovered when i turn my headlight switch on it does the same thing as if i push the brakes... now my car is completely dead out front of my apartment, it has no power to even turn on accessory. What is going on here? How can it do this when i play with the brakes or lights? Anyone know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,235 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

Is the car running fine .. perfectly fine when you dont press on the brakes or use the lights? or is it bearly runing?

Its kinda hard to diagnose. If it was just the brakes while going down the road and brakeing hard, id say its a loose ground. If its just the fact your using too many accesories on a half dead alt, then its the alt.

Having the amperage tested at AutoZone or where ever would be the next step in diagnosing the problem. Kinda would like to know what Amperage your runing at, not so much your voltage, though that would be nice too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
331 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

Start w/ the obvious things. Are the batt. terminals clean and tight? The fact that your gauges will randomly sweep means there's a break in the circuit every bit of time and the gauges reset themselves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,235 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

Those symptoms have zero to do with bad terminals.

And its pretty much implied that when the gauges sweep, the power dropped to close to zero.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

Make sure that none of the battery leads are close to the hood. It would explain the issue with the braking, but not the headlights, that when you hit the brakes you are shorting the car out with the lead hitting the hood.

You could also have a bad tensioner, which again would explain why you would only have issues when breaking, as the engine is revving down and the belt would loosen at that instant time point, causing a serious of events to happen that would turn the car to dieing. Yes, a simple belt slip can basically kill this vehicle with it being a single belt driven car.

Another question, that might help but is only very slim in helping would be, was it raining when this was all happening?
Have you checked that all the fuses in the under the hood fuse box are good?
Did you replace the battery, since you mentioned the possibility of it being a battery issue from the beginning before jumping it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,682 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

yeah, the car runs fine without the brakes / lights on... i use the AC... the radio, windows... all is fine. But the thing is, after i arrived to my apartment and turned the car off, i went to turn it on 2 seconds later... DEAD... what is the deal here? i have an optima yellow top
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,235 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

Either your Alt is just bearly keeping the car alive and not charging the battery at all, which i think is the case. OR you got one of those bad yellow tops, there was a bad batch about a year or 2 ago.

You can take the battery to be test it, or charge it up at an auto zone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,682 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

matter of face the battery was bought around 2 years ago... but i dont see how it can be the alternator. I havent had any problems leading up to this.. its just perfect one day, the worst the next. But ill have to get a voltmeter out and find the charge on the battery, how can i test the alt?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,851 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

you test the alt by having the car running and use the voltage tester on the positvie and negative terminal,if the reading is more than 14 amps your alt is charging the battery, if it is lower than 12 your alt is not charging the battery
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,235 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

Actually thats mostly untrue. Voltage is a decent indicator but not a true one. You can have an alt runing at 14v but not producing the amperage needed. To test amperage you will need an amperage clamp. Most people dont have one of those, but any autozone, pepboys whatever will test it for free by putting a camp around the battery cable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

I would bet on the alt... mine just dide again. Freaky weird things happen when the alt goes bad. Get it checked at an auto parts store, and you can get an alt there too, and put it in yourself, or have a shop do it. Just get an alt there, DO NOT let the shop get you one for way more, unless you get a lifetime warranty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,682 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

mine ended up being the wire was touching and was grounding out and blowing fuses. try moving the wire
which wire would this be? i plan tomorrow on checking on the braking wires underneath my dash/pedals and have a closer investigation in the engine compartment. the real problem is jumping my car to get to to autozone to have it tested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,682 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

ok so i played around with the car today.. and i found out some interesting things... When i turned to accessory via the ignition the gauge cluster would reset and the ligts would very dimly illuminate and flicker, no other accessories would work such as the radio / radar / windows... but i left the key in the on position for a minute and magically everything worked again. the lights came on with full power, i could play the radio, the radar worked, the sunroof / windows worked, the ac would turn on.. well i just put in on to blow... the brakes worked.. BUT if i touched the headlight switch or the high beam it would COMPLETELY die... all lights went off, even the miles / time on the lcd display on the dash. I searched as much as i could for faulty wiring under the dash and in the engine bay.. nothing.

I tried to replicate this again but i couldnt get it to happen, but i did notice while the key was on and i ran to my engine bay i could hear two ticking noises.. but couldnt tell where from. IT also seems to me that my engine belt is really loose. So now im wondering.... how the hell did my car get full power for those 4 minutes and not work after i turned on the headlights... as a note, before i turned on the headlight i tried to crank the engine to see if it would start, it just clicked once and that was it. Im baffled here, what in the hell is going on?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,235 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

Some of that is the added properties of a yellow top deep cycle battery. ... but anyway your battery bearly has any charge at all. Still think the alt isnt charging it for what ever reason.

The main wires to check are the leads coming down off the battery terminals. Mine were rubbed to bare metal when i went to put in my CAI 2 years ago. And theres a recall about badly ran battery wires that effects a small % of cougars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

Some of that is the added properties of a yellow top deep cycle battery. ... but anyway your battery bearly has any charge at all. Still think the alt isnt charging it for what ever reason.

The main wires to check are the leads coming down off the battery terminals. Mine were rubbed to bare metal when i went to put in my CAI 2 years ago. And theres a recall about badly ran battery wires that effects a small % of cougars.
NHTSA Campaign ID Number: 01V031000

1999 MERCURY COUGAR ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:BATTERY:CABLES
Recall Date: 02/06/2001

Summary:
VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH 2.5L V6 ENGINES. THE BATTERY CABLE WAS MISROUTED AND ITS ATTACHMENT TO THE ALTERNATOR CABLE WAS UNDER-TORQUED. IF MISROUTED, THE CABLE COULD CONTACT THE POWER STEERING LINE AND THE INSULATION COULD WEAR, RESULTING IN AN ELECTRICAL SHORT.

Consequence:
THE SHORT COULD POTENTIALLY RESULT IN A FIRE, STALLING, OR A NO-START CONDITION.

Remedy:
DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE BATTERY CABLE TO THE ALTERNATOR FOR DAMAGE AND, IF IT IS DAMAGED, WILL REPLACE THE CABLE. ADDITIONALLY, THE ROUTING OF THE CABLE WILL BE CORRECTED, AS NECESSARY, AND A ROUTING CLIP WILL BE ADDED. ALSO THE TORQUE ON THE ALTERNATOR ATTACHMENT OF THE CABLE WILL BE CHECKED AND, AS REQUIRED, WILL BE TIGHTENED TO SPECIFICATION. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN MARCH 22, 2001. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT FORD AT 1-800-392-3673.

Potential Units Affected: 120000

Notes: MERCURY COUGAR 01S02
Yep, just a small % of cougars, potentially only 120k of them, but you know a small %. :biggrin:

You should be able to schedule a time with a local dealership to check into all the issues that have come up for your years car, free of charge to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,235 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

Potential means they dont know how many. And before you be a smart ass maybe you should ask around. I know of one neco member that the dealership agreed this recall affects thier cougar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

Potential means they dont know how many. And before you be a smart ass maybe you should ask around. I know of one neco member that the dealership agreed this recall affects thier cougar.
It doesn't matter of the word potential. The risk of their being an actual problem is what is at issue and for only one NECO member having the dealership claim that is the cause of a problem they are having, that is good. Meaning, most of the NECO members have either visited a Ford dealership and got something done on their vehicle. Or they follow recalls for their vehicles and have gotten this taken car of.

I have had this recall done on my car and it has stopped an issue I got with the power steering going out intermittently.

I'm not being a smart-ass, I was just pointing out the large amount of cars this could have potentially affected. Being that for how few cougars seem to be left driving around the US these days, 120k is a large chunk of the '99 to early '01 range, if it indeed affects any '01 cougars. Which I would say no, since I do not see a recall for the routing of the cable on the site I'm looking at.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,235 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

Smart ass or not your giving bad and false advise. Most likely if he takes it to a dealer they are not going to agree this is part of the recall and want to charge him an ass load of money. You may have a nice dealer in your area, that is not the case in most of the US. IT WONT BE FREE.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Re: WEIRD electrical problem... car dies while driving

Smart ass or not your giving bad and false advise. Most likely if he takes it to a dealer they are not going to agree this is part of the recall and want to charge him an ass load of money. You may have a nice dealer in your area, that is not the case in most of the US. IT WONT BE FREE.
Under the Safety Act, Ford is required under law to provide this repair free of charge as it is harmful to not only the person(s) in the vehicle, but to those around them if something bad were to happen. Yes I had a nice dealer service manager to handle getting the fix taken care of without me asking for it, but no matter if he asks for it or not, it should be taken care of for him free of charge. If the Ford dealership does not fix it (because they want to charge for it), after he has asked for the repair, and something happens, he can rightfully sue the Ford Motor Company for not providing the repair in a timely fashion without charge to the owner. If you don't get the repair for free. First, don't approve for the repair. Second, call the 800 # above and follow whatever prompting it asks you to go through.

As much as you want to call me a smart-ass and say I'm giving bad information, please show me what I'm saying is wrong, other than the dealership not making a free repair for the guy on a recall. As what I quoted above is the actual recall from Ford.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top