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Thought my problem was the battery but that's not it. What could it be?


diddlydudette
10-01-2021, 04:26 PM
Hi, I have a 1998 Ford Explorer Sport. It has 130,500 miles on it.

Today when I went to start it, I heard the grinding noise and it would not start. I recognize that sound to mean I need a new battery. So I ordered a new battery and was going to have my battery jumped and I was going to go have my new battery installed.

When the person came to jump my battery, the car wouldn't start at all. Engine made no noise at all. It was quiet. He at first said my connectors might be bad but he tried every which way and it just wouldn't start. He said it's not the battery.

What else could it be? A hour later I went out to the car again. Inside the car I can hear what sounds like the Tic Tok of a clock. Every 1-2 seconds it makes a noise like the old fashioned clocks.

Any idea? The battery was a 1 year battery that I bought last March, 2020 so I figured it had just run its course and time for a new battery but guess not.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'll have to get a tow truck to take it somewhere for tests.

Thanks in advance.

shorod
10-03-2021, 10:30 AM
Welcome to the forum!

I'm not sure what grinding noise you're referring to that would suggest a battery issue. Unless the noise was a rapidly chattering relay sound.

If you turn your headlights on do they come on, and are they bright? If "yes" to both of those, try to start the engine. Do the headlights go out nearly completely when the ignition is turned to Start?

A rapid clicking of the starter relay (maybe the "grinding" noise you heard) could indicate a weak battery or a poor connection between the battery and the starter motor. A single click, or possibly the "tic tok of a clock" sound might indicate a starter motor that is bad and not engaging the actual motor portion of the starter, or it could indicate an even weaker battery or connection.

Do you by chance have a multimeter and understand the basics on how to use it? If so, we can suggest some more involved and accurate troubleshooting checks to perform.

-Rod

diddlydudette
10-03-2021, 01:29 PM
Welcome to the forum!

I'm not sure what grinding noise you're referring to that would suggest a battery issue. Unless the noise was a rapidly chattering relay sound.

If you turn your headlights on do they come on, and are they bright? If "yes" to both of those, try to start the engine. Do the headlights go out nearly completely when the ignition is turned to Start?

A rapid clicking of the starter relay (maybe the "grinding" noise you heard) could indicate a weak battery or a poor connection between the battery and the starter motor. A single click, or possibly the "tic tok of a clock" sound might indicate a starter motor that is bad and not engaging the actual motor portion of the starter, or it could indicate an even weaker battery or connection.

Do you by chance have a multimeter and understand the basics on how to use it? If so, we can suggest some more involved and accurate troubleshooting checks to perform.

-Rod


Thanks so much. I think I'm just going to have it towed to a mechanic. That way they can figure it out and also change my oil. I was hoping it was just a battery issue and the guy that came to jump it wasn't doing it right. Someone suggested to undo the battery and take it to Advanced Auto, where I bought it, and let them test it. But I looked at the battery and youtubes and don't think I want to mess with removing it. I don't trust myself. to do that so I'll just get it towed to a mechanic.


Edited to add: It ended up being the connectors to the battery were loose. They were corroded. They were replaced and all is well now.

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