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Tim's Auto Repair
Tim's Auto Repair, mechanic
Category: Mercury
Satisfied Customers: 12918
Experience:  Have owned a repair shop for 25 yrs.
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1997 Mercury Sable: Walmart says it was a bad battery and replaced it

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I have a 1997 Mercury Sable. Dead one day, turn the key and nothing. Walmart says it was a bad battery and replaced it only one year onld. The new battery was drained in a day. Charged it up and it starts as soon as I put it in. But after I drive it 5 minutes to the Advanced Auto Parts to test the starter and alternator and turn it off, it will not start. So I replace the starter and it starts right up on the jack stands, but as soon as I jack it down and try to start nothing happens but dash lights.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mercury
Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 3 years ago.

hi

did you do a load test on the alternator?

do you have a voltmeter?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have a voltmeter and no I could not do a test on the alternator, since I cannot get it to start.

 

Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 3 years ago.

how many volts is on the battery now?

can you start it now?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I cannot start it now. When I first installed the new starter it started fine, twice. Once I jacked it down off the jack stands, I just turn the key and plenty of dash lights, but no starter turning.
Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 3 years ago.

does the starter click?

use your voltmeter,tell me how many volts is on the battery

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
12.44v
Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 3 years ago.

ok

when you try to start it...does the starter click?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
no
Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 3 years ago.

does the dash lights dim,when you try to start it?

will it start in neutral?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No same thing: Dash lights no starter action

 

Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 3 years ago.

ok

does the starter click,or make any kind of noise?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
NO
Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 3 years ago.

ok

use your voltmeter on the battery,,,have your help to turn the starter...let me know if the voltage drops

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It went down from 12.36 to 12.1
Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 3 years ago.

ok

we need to check to see if you have voltage at the switch wire of the starter....if you do,the new starter is bad,,if not,then,you may need the neutral safety switch on top of the transmission.....this should help.......after you get it started,you need to load test the charging system,,,,use your voltmeter..

 

thanks

 

 

Ford Taurus/Sable 1996-1999

 

Starter

  • TESTING

TESTING



Voltage Drop
motor feed circuit

See Figures 1 and 2

The battery must be in good condition and fully charged prior to performing these tests.

  1. Make sure the battery terminals are clean and tight.
  2. Check the starter motor electrical wires for insulation damage, the connections are properly engaged and have no dirt or corrosion.
  3. Disengage the electrical connections from the coil to prevent the engine from starting.
  4. Using a Digital Volt Ohmmeter (DVOM) set on the voltage scale, connect the DVOM positive lead to the battery positive terminal and the negative lead engaged to the starter solenoid M terminal.
  5. Use a remote starter (connected between the battery positive terminal and the starter motor S terminal) or with the help an assistant, crank the engine and observe the voltage reading.
  6. If the voltage at the M Terminal is higher than 0.5 volts, move the DVOM negative lead to the solenoid B terminal and repeat the test.
  7. If the voltage reading is higher than 0.5 volts there may be a problem with the solenoid or the wires.
  8. Disengage, clean and reinstall the B , S and M terminals. Repeat Steps 4-6.
  9. If the voltage readings are still the same the solenoid is defective and must be replaced.

 

Many automotive parts stores have starter bench testers available for use by customers. A starter bench test is the most definitive way to determine the condition of your starter.

 

 

: Fig. 1: Wiring schematic of the remote starter and DVOM connections required when performing a voltage drop test of the motor feed circuit image

Click image to see an enlarged view Fig. Fig. 2: The location of the starter motor terminals on the solenoid

Motor Ground Circuit

See Figure 3

  1. Disengage the electrical connections from the coil to prevent the engine from starting.
  2. Use a remote starter (connected between the battery positive terminal and the starter motor S terminal) or with the help of an assistant to crank the engine.
  3. Connect the Digital Volt Ohmmeter (DVOM) positive lead to the starter motor sousing (the connection should be clean and free of rust or grease and the negative lead to the negative battery terminal.
  4. Either use the remote starter or have your assistant crank the engine and note the voltage reading. The reading should be 0.2 volts or less.
  5. If the reading is more than 0.2 volts, clean the negative cable connections at the battery and body connections and retest. If the voltage is still too high, check the individual cable as follows:
    1. Connect the positive lead of the DVOM to the end of the cable nearest battery positive and the negative lead of the DVOM to the other end of the cable.

  6. Crank the engine and observe the voltage reading, which should be 0.2 volts or lower.

If the voltage reading is too high, clean the terminal ends and retest. If the reading is still too high, replace the cable.

Many automotive parts stores have starter bench testers available for use by customers. A starter bench test is the most definitive way to determine the condition of your starter.

: Fig. 3: Wiring schematic of the remote starter and DVOM connections required when performing a voltage drop test of the motor ground circuit image

FIG : Fig. 4: Starter motor mounting and related components-3.0L OHV engines image

Ford Taurus/Sable 1996-1999

 

 

Alternator

  • TESTING

TESTING



Voltage Test

  1. Make sure the engine is OFF , and turn the headlights on for 15-20 seconds to remove any surface charge from the battery.
  2. Using a DVOM set to volts DC, probe across the battery terminals.
  3. Measure the battery voltage.
  4. Write down the voltage reading and proceed to the next test.


No-Load Test

  1. Connect a tachometer to the engine.



CAUTION Ensure that the transmission is in Park and the emergency brake is set. Blocking a wheel is optional and an added safety measure.

  1. Turn off all electrical loads (radio, blower motor, wipers, etc.)
  2. Start the engine and increase engine speed to approximately 1500 rpm.
  3. Measure the voltage reading at the battery with the engine holding a steady 1500 rpm. Voltage should have raised at least 0.5 volts, but no more than 2.5 volts.
  4. If the voltage does not go up more than 0.5 volts, the alternator is not charging. If the voltage goes up more than 2.5 volts, the alternator is overcharging.

Usually under and overcharging is caused by a defective alternator, or its related parts (regulator), and replacement will fix the problem; however, faulty wiring and other problems can cause the charging system to malfunction. Further testing, which is not covered by this guide, will reveal the exact component failure. Many automotive parts stores have alternator bench testers available for use by customers. An alternator bench test is the most definitive way to determine the condition of your alternator.

  1. If the voltage is within specifications, proceed to the next test.


Load Test

  1. With the engine running, turn on the blower motor and the high beams (or other electrical accessories to place a load on the charging system).
  2. Increase and hold engine speed to 2000 rpm.
  3. Measure the voltage reading at the battery.
  4. The voltage should increase at least 0.5 volts from the voltage test. If the voltage does not meet specifications, the charging system is malfunctioning.

Usually under and overcharging is caused by a defective alternator, or its related parts (regulator), and replacement will fix the problem; however, faulty wiring and other problems can cause the charging system to malfunction. Further testing, which is not covered by this guide, will reveal the exact component failure. Many automotive parts stores have alternator bench testers available for use by customers. An alternator bench test is the most definitive way to determine the condition of your alternator.

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was going through the tests, everthing was checking out. So once I connected the battery again after having it disconnected for a time. It started. I drove it for about 15 minutes and everything was great. Once I stopped the car, it would not start again. It seems like if I disconnect the battery for a time and then reconnect it, there is no problem.

 

Any other ideas?

Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 3 years ago.

hi

sorry,i have been offline

when you had it running did you check the alternator?will it still not start or click?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I found the problem which I will tell you, but have have a follow-up question. Have you ever heard of a starter having a short that will drain and ultimately kill the battery?

Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 3 years ago.

hi

yes....not very common,but is possible

thanks

 

Tim's Auto Repair, mechanic
Category: Mercury
Satisfied Customers: 12918
Experience: Have owned a repair shop for 25 yrs.
Tim's Auto Repair and 2 other Mercury Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The issue was my alarm. When you disconnect and then reconnect the battery, you must either have the key in the ignition in the on position and then push the button on the dash to put the car in valet mode, or have the key fob ready to disable the alarm.

 

I just couldn't understand why every time I disconnect the battery and then reconnect it, the car would start, but then after I turned the key off for any length of time and tried to start it again -- nothing would happen: no clicking, no trying to turn over, no nothing.

 

The alarm was the issue.

 

I did most of the tests you recommended, but none of them addressed the alarm issue.

Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 3 years ago.

yes,an alarm can give you a fit sometimes

glad you got it

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