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Brad B
Brad B, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mercury
Satisfied Customers: 1091
Experience:  ASE Master Certified & ASE G1. Ford Senior Master
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I have a 2004 Mercury Mountaineer and when driving all of a

Customer Question

I have a 2004 Mercury Mountaineer and when driving all of a sudden the light panel flashes all the lights and shuts the car off. The lights that are on are the battery light, Service Engine Soon and HI Temp/Low Oil light. in the message center is reads Low oil pressure. WE have owned the car for three months now and in the first month it did this 5 times. Since our transmission rebuild in June it has only happened today. Just wondering what you think.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mercury
Expert:  Brad B replied 1 year ago.

Hello;

Thanks for choosing Just Answer! If you have a charging system fault it is possible to have different monitors read incorrectly and set false codes or lights on the dash. Does the vehicle restart after it dies? And can you get the battery light to go away if you rev up the engine to around 2,500?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it starts back up and all the lights go away, but I don't want to be driving down the expressway and have this happen
Expert:  Brad B replied 1 year ago.

The alternator most likely is at fault for this concern since the lights go away, it is possible that the regulator of the alternator is not keeping up and killing the vehicle, typically for this scenario to be present the battery is slightly weak and cannot keep the engine running but has enough charge to allow the vehicle to restart. Run the vehicle, turn on the A/C on and the blower motor to full speed, turn the headlights on and the radio (volume doesn't matter but may turn on enough to allow sound through the speakers to increase the load), Run the vehicle for around 15 minutes and see if the battery light comes on, if it does the alternator / battery should be replaced / tested as needed. If you had access to a volt meter or a charging system tester it may help for this type of issue to find the exact cause of fault, also if there is corrosion around the battery this is a sign of the battery being weak.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It did not do anything ran it like you said.
Expert:  Brad B replied 1 year ago.

What condition are the battery terminals in and do you happen to have a volt meter?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a volt meter but don't know how to use it, I will check battery connections
Expert:  Brad B replied 1 year ago.

If you turn the volt meter to the 'V' position, you would then put the red lead on the battery + (positive / red) and the black lead on the battery - (negative / black), the voltage reading can help to determine the charging system status. At times it takes a load tester to fully test issues like this, and usually its the regulator that causes the fault.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Battery is fine, new in 2014 and has a full charge. Connections are good also
Expert:  Brad B replied 1 year ago.

At this point, we will need to check the alternator with a voltmeter, the testing can be done at the battery. Id suspect that the alternator is the issue, being you don't have a check engine light present.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But would the lights still be on when it shuts down if the alternator is the problem
Expert:  Brad B replied 1 year ago.

If the engine shuts down due to lack of voltage, the oil light and other lights that you see when the key is in the run position will be on. Other cause would be something is loose like a ground wire but generally the vehicle will not restart unless the wire is sitting just right.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the reading from alternator, so what is next
Expert:  Brad B replied 1 year ago.
Any corrosion around the battery terminals and when the engine has been running for around 15 minutes does the check engine light come on? Or was the light on when the vehicle died upon the restart? And how many miles are on the vehicle? It may also help to get the VIN number to check for history reports of the vehicle and any TSB's.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The light only comes on when the car shuts off while driving. When you run the car for 15 minutes nothing happens, no lights and it doesn't shut off. In my original question I told you what lights come in when the engine quits while driving. There is 148000 miles on it.
Expert:  Brad B replied 1 year ago.
I understand that you mentioned that the lights come on when it dies, just making sure that I am not missing something in helping you fix your vehicle. Being I cannot hear or see the vehicle I need to make sure I have enough information to hopefully find the fault to your concern. As far as the battery goes, is there any corrosion or issues noticed at the battery terminals? Also, it would help to know the VIN number to look up history of the vehicle to see if there may be something found in the reports of the VIN, thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cleaned connections on battery VIN 4M2DU86W74ZJ34407
Expert:  Brad B replied 1 year ago.
I'm going to have to opt out for this issue, I am not able to get enough information to help you properly. It is very important to know what the condition of the battery was in, even though it is new it doesn't mean it wasn't a weak part. some parts are bad or can be weak from new. If you have had the vehicle for 3 months and the battery was replaced in 2014, it may be weak from the vehicle sitting for a long time? The battery / charger test results looked to have been used with just a quick tester and not a true load test, which was why I was trying to get a few more details on what way to go to find the fault. The test does not show amps which is important to know for your issue, it just shows voltage which many times an alternator can have a bad diode or low amps to cause a periodic stall condition. There could be other issues also, just starting with the quicker tests before tearing things apart to possibly test with a volt meter. Hopefully someone else will be able to help you. Thanks for choosing Just Answer.