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No lights no power wont start unless jumped

 
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Old 21 Aug 2012, 09:12 am
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Default No lights no power wont start unless jumped

Wifes 02 Automatic PT w/<100k miles, just had a serious issue. Drove to store and turned of car was during the day no lights on. When she came out the vehicle was dead as a doh-doh. No lights no bell for the door nothing.

I was able to jump start the car and it idled fine. Turn if off and same thing again nothing not even the overhead light. So I replaced the battery and same thing again directly after placing the new battery in. No lights no bell nothing no clicks. SO I jumped it with new battery and it starts and idles fine. During idle in driveway the lights for Trac Off comes on and a few others on the right side gauge then the Battery light comes on. Also the lights internal lights seem to be flickering.

So turn it off and it is dead again like there is no juice in the new battery. Jump starts with little effort lights flicker, battery light comes on etc. Turn off and dead again.

PCODES = 1684 yes battery disconnected and I know that clears in 50 Turns. No other Pcode than that it even says 1684 then done, when we do the key trick to review.


So the issue is what to work on to repair the PT when it seems like it has no battery but when it is jumped idles fine revs fine but then the lights flicker and the battery light comes on and it WILL NOT start unless being jumped???

Love the forum - Love the unique pics - we have a unique one to post and will do soon. - Factory flame job!!!

Thanks in advance gang!
~Coog
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Old 21 Aug 2012, 09:35 am
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Default Re: No lights no power wont start unless jumped

i would check your battery connections especially the ground.
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Old 21 Aug 2012, 09:41 am
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Default Re: No lights no power wont start unless jumped

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Originally Posted by Ray_Dockrey View Post
i would check your battery connections especially the ground.
Ray,

Wow thanks for the quick reply. I am going to run those down first thing today.

All,

I am still open to any other suggestions for sure. I will post an update on the cables once we know more.

~Coog
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Old 21 Aug 2012, 10:47 am
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Default Re: No lights no power wont start unless jumped

Do you have a volt meter? Check the standing battery voltage with the engine off. If it's not at least 12, exchange the battery for another one.

Once you have at least 12 volts from the battery, start the engine and check the voltage while idling and make sure it's 13.5-14.
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Old 21 Aug 2012, 11:46 am
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Default Re: No lights no power wont start unless jumped

Since it is doing the exact same thing as it was with the original battery I wouldn't think that the battery you bought would be bad. There was probably nothing wrong with the first battery. The issue is somewhere else.
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Old 21 Aug 2012, 12:03 pm
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Default Re: No lights no power wont start unless jumped

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Originally Posted by Ray_Dockrey View Post
Since it is doing the exact same thing as it was with the original battery I wouldn't think that the battery you bought would be bad. There was probably nothing wrong with the first battery. The issue is somewhere else.
heifetz17 I am inclined to agree with Ray. The first battery was only 4 months old and Autozone swapped it for a new replacement at no cost thankfully. The chances of 2 being bad back to back are fairly low not that it is impossible but I think the issue is in the cables. These are the 1 component in the system not replaced short of the brains but I think that if it were something else then the idle and rev would not work once jump started.

The fact that it appears to have no battery after we turn it off makes me think the ground is toast maybe the positive side but most likely the ground. To that end I am going to replace the ground side cable for certain but I am going to get into its guts and review both side + and - end to end to ensure I have good connections. Electrical I can do if I know where to start looking and Ray made a sensible suggestion for a starting point.

Updates to follow.
Ask me how I did the Alternator withOUT dropping the axle sometime. I have pics of that.

~Coog

Last edited by coogrrr; 21 Aug 2012 at 12:13 pm.
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Old 21 Aug 2012, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: No lights no power wont start unless jumped

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Originally Posted by heifetz17 View Post
Do you have a volt meter? Check the standing battery voltage with the engine off. If it's not at least 12, exchange the battery for another one.
11.5 to 12.6 is acceptable.

if it's under that have it replaced, if it's over that have it tested. they can load test it for amperage at the parts store(if the worker has a brain)
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Old 21 Aug 2012, 02:22 pm
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Default Re: No lights no power wont start unless jumped

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Originally Posted by Ray_Dockrey View Post
Since it is doing the exact same thing as it was with the original battery I wouldn't think that the battery you bought would be bad. There was probably nothing wrong with the first battery. The issue is somewhere else.
I'm not saying your wrong, I'm simply suggesting to get the standing and running voltages. Voltages are the first thing I check whenever I have a battery problem. It's just a good starting point.
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Old 21 Aug 2012, 02:46 pm
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Default Re: No lights no power wont start unless jumped

I totally agree with reading the voltages which will help pinpoint where the issue is. i hate electrical problems. I can trace them down but it sure is a pain in the rear.
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Old 22 Aug 2012, 10:07 am
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Thumbs up **SOLVED** Re: No lights no power wont start unless jumped

Ray was right it was the cabling. Specifically it was the cable end. Our PT has been notorious at having buildup on the negative side. It also had the positive side clamp replaced last year. We stopped the buildup on the negative side with the battery terminal gel and that looked good. The positive side never had buildup and after the clamp replacement we did not think it could be the issue.

I took the entire battery box and tray out and unwrapped the entire cable set both neg and pos to do a very deep inspection. Nothing wrong end to end!!! no corrosion no buildup no cracking nothing. I was stumped. Same issues still persisted. Being a computer tech of 20 years I had a small dim flash of something and thought "what changed last" which is a standard diagnostic method for computers.

I decided if I was to replace all the cabling I would take apart the clamp that was replaced and review that setup (since I did not do the install). I found that the coating on the clamp allowed for little connection surface for the 2 large cables it was attached to. I scraped the coating clear in a much wider space so I could get more contact. To be safe I also cut and cleaned the end of both cables as well as cleaned up the inside of the clamp where it contacts the battery post. Once I assembled the clamp back onto the wire and temp fitted the battery without tray and box to test - it all worked. Reassembled everything and tested multiple times with nothing but great results.

I cant stress enough how much the PT needs to have good cable management. This is more true than on any chevy and 1 ford I have owned. I also note that instead of the cable going from the alternator to the fuse box the manufacturer decided that a cable from the alternator a cable from the alternator to the battery positive post and then a cable from the positive battery post to the fuse box was the way to go. This is not good. Every added junction in any electrical circuit is a spot for failure. Normally there would be a cable from the alternator directly to the fuse box and from the battery to the starter or something similar.

Anyway for anyone else who reads this thread. Check the cables including all connection points and the cable clamps. These all must be perfect regardless of 12.5 volt readings tested at various points like I did. 12.5volts means nothing about 500+ cold cranking amps or a good enough connection to deliver even 1 amp to the fuse box. 12.5v at 100milli-amps will make you think your ok but in truth it wont even turn the dome light on.

Thanks to each of you for helping and high 5 to you Ray!

~Coog
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