Taurus/Sable Electrical Problems

john789john789 Member Posts: 2
I have a 2003 Mercury Sable (3.8 liter 24 value engine)after the car is driven for 15-20 minutes the battery light flashes on and off. The dealer has put in 2 new alternators and the battery light still flashes. The light will not stay on constantly. The dealer checked the battery and it is fully charged. It will not go on when the car is in park. There are no codes in the computer. The dealer says the light needs to stay on constantly in the shop. Then they can diagnose the problem. Can anybody help


  • verioverio Member Posts: 3
    I replaced the fuse yesterday that was blown. Today it seems that the cluster once again is out. I'm not sure if the fuse has been blown again or what. I was curious if anyone knows if there is another problem I need to look at. Thanks.
  • cshopcshop Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1996 Taurus with a "u" engine (not flex fuel). The fuel Gauge is stuck on full. Any ideas of the cause and solution for this problem?
  • verioverio Member Posts: 3
    I replaced the fuse when I got home this evening... I started the car back up to check that it worked, everything came on and then all of a sudden the fuse blew again. I'm out 3 fuses now, and wondering what my next step will be.
  • verioverio Member Posts: 3
  • bigdan1bigdan1 Member Posts: 23
    My 2002 Ford Taurus has the door ajar light on constantly when engine is running. Also, the center light on iside of roof is constantly on.
    I tried obvious things like slamming all 4 doors, and trunk, and hood, but no luck.I also turned the rotating switch to adjust intensity of dashboard lights and to manually turn on light in roof, but it is OK as well.
    As a temporary fix, I removed the center light bulb in the roof, so I don't think I am draining battery.
    This all started for first time today. Have been playing with it all day. No luck.
    Everything else seems to be OK.
    Any and all ideas for a solution are appreciated.
  • psucherylpsucheryl Member Posts: 2
    Have you ever found out what happened? My daughter now has the same problem with her 1997 Taurus. Any help would be appreciated!!
  • john_doe_wnyjohn_doe_wny Member Posts: 28
    My 98 Taurus was doing this also and I was told to spray wd-40 on the door switches and let them soak for a few mins. I didn't need to because mine was fine when I put the fuse back in. Can't hurt to try. Let me know if it works so I can try it if mine does it again.
  • bigdan1bigdan1 Member Posts: 23
    Sorry, but I was in a car accident with my other Taurus on 12MAR07, so I don't want to play with the 2000 Taurus until I get my 2002 Taurus back from the shop. Also, I have been out of town all week on Company business. I will respond as soon as I get a chance to try something, hopefully early next week. My teenage son did admit that during bitterly cold days last winter he did have to slam the door several times to make it close, due to ice build up on the lock. I have a hunch the switch mechanism in the door is bent on my car. Like I said, I'll try to fix soon and report back to all. Thanks for the help.
  • psucherylpsucheryl Member Posts: 2
    WD-40 Worked!!!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • whitallwhitall Member Posts: 190
    I've got other posts on here about what happened after I put my battery in backwards. This post is more towards repairing the damage that was done. It appears to be the alternator. The battery light is on the dash, no others until today, but that is explained below. Any advice is appreciated.

    Stopped a local shop, didn't have a lot of confidence in them, but they offered to check the alt for free. Hooked up a device that measured the voltage, but it had a scale, not digital. He said it showed 11 volts, I notice it was in the "weak" section. Has me turn on the lights and stuff and nothing happened to the dial. He said that was because the alt was bad. I asked about the megafuse (between batt and alt. cables)and he said that if it was blown, nothing would work. Does that sound right?

    He said I need a new alternator. He uses the brand A-1. Said it is 299 for the part because of the 24 valve, and it is hooked to the serpentine. I did notice on NAPA.com that the serpentine alternator was much more $$. He figured 4 hours labor, depending on how hard it is to get everything off to get to it. Almost 500 total!!

    I left to think about it. Well, tried to leave, car wouldn't start. They got a device and basically jumped it, he said it was a boost and should get me home. Less than 4 miles later and I literally limped home the last mile. Seemed like the fuel pump was stopping, more idiot lights came on, the ABS and air bag came on first, by the time I got home the brake one was on and the radio seemed to turn on with static. I hope I didn't screw up some more......

    Nothing was said about the computer except that the car wouldn't go if I blew that.

    Can anybody shed some light on this? Is there anything else between the alt and the batt that could cause a problem, or is just a fried alternator and I am stuck with 500 repair bill? How to tell if I did in the computer??? Can they check the alt while on the vehicle by attaching volt readers to the alt?? I am so worried now that it is the computer.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Member Posts: 463

    Here's what happened. Your alternator is broken, that's the thing that keeps your battery charged. So you have been running off of the battery. The battery wasn't fully charged and you tried to limp home. Weird things happen as the battery depletes and the voltage drops. The car should be just fine once you get the battery charged up and a new alternator put in.

    If you want to drive the car for short distances go buy a battery charger at K-mart and charge up the battery. Keep in mind though that you just may get stranded if you drive too far or go too long between charges. If you get stranded you'll have to call a tow truck or pull out the battery and take it somewhere and charge it up and then put it back in.

    Isn't this getting old yet ? Just maybe it's time to pay the price and pay someone to fix your car.
  • whitallwhitall Member Posts: 190
    Good thing I didn't pay the price, they might not have found the problem. It was the mega-fuse. A five dollar part. After lots of reading on this board and others I was given the suggestion to locate and test that fuse. It is between the battery cable and the alternator cable, where they meet at the engine compartment fuse box. Most people have never heard of it. One shop I was at didn't know what it did when I mentioned it. My friend and his volt/fuse tester checked it and it was bad. It saved my alternator and I saved several hundred bucks because I have the darn 24 valve dohc engine which is not easy labor to replace.

    Thanks everyone who helped, and there were a few, each with a slightly different tip. I hope this info helps someone else.
  • umwijayaumwijaya Member Posts: 4
    Hi There,

    Thanks for the information that you had posted it. I just have a similiar problem with you. My MPV MAzda 2001 was suddenly slowdown on the HWY and then could not be started it. Then, i towed to the nearest garage. The mechanic told me, The alternator need to be replaced $ 550,00 brand new one + 2.6 hrs labor fee. I went to get a refurbished one cost me $ 220, then i gave it to the mechanic to replace it. The MPV is running now, but the Battery light is still on. The mechanic told me, some thing wrong with the alternator, but the alternator is charging. He suggested me to uninstall the alternator and bring it back to the shop where i got my alternator. Anyway, i spent almost $ 500, now they ask me another $ 200 to reinstall new alternator.. :mad: Could you tell me, which mega fuse (What is the code name)that located on engine compatrment fuse box that you had replaced and only cost you $ 5. I opened my compartment fuse box.. and i could not find any fuse that had a name like batterry... PLeaseeee... again
    thank you.

    TJ Wija
  • whitallwhitall Member Posts: 190
    I'm sure your mazda is quite different from my Ford. My Ford has a fuse box under the hood. It is a rectangle plastic box and has all those tiny fuses in it. On the side, handing vertically, is sort of a trap door, where the "door" slides up to reveal a big fuse that does not look like the other colored little fuses. You can see where a fat cable from the alternator enters/connects to the fuse box and right next to it the battery cable connects. Between these two fat cables sit the mega fuse, it is about 3 inches long.

    I thought mine oculd be a fuse because it received a large jolt of power that blew it when I put the battery in backwards. I have also heard that there is some sort of electrical part that is attached right to the alternator that can go bad. I think it might be replaced with the alternator though.

    You need to have the voltage checked on the battery to see if it is charging. It should be over 12 volts with the car running.If it picks up a charge to 13-14 while it is running, then your fuse isn't blown and neither is your alternator. This is what I have learned!

    Also, check your owner's manual for the schematic that diagrams all the fuses. Good luck!
  • umwijayaumwijaya Member Posts: 4
    Thank you very much for the information. The mechanic had check it out all the fuse, and told me that there is something wrong with the computer system and asked me to bring it to the dealer. "What !!!!!! After i spent almost $ 550:mad: BY the way, Mazda MPV 2001 is using FORD engine. SO, I assume it should be almost teh same situation... again, Thank you
  • whitallwhitall Member Posts: 190
  • bigdan1bigdan1 Member Posts: 23
  • vulcanrydervulcanryder Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Taurus & have had the same problem on & off. I asked my dealer & he told me that sometimes the door sensors stick & this problem drives the dealerships crazy! He really didn't have a fix for it either...Mine just works it way back to normal usually the same day or by the car being turned off overnight...sorry I couldn't be of more help or info!! :confuse:
  • rmh15rmh15 Member Posts: 1
    I own an 02 ford taurus and having this recent issue, idles like it wants to stall when stopped and when I go to accelerate it shimmies and acts like it wants to stall, yesterday it did it worse when the a/c was on ...but today it does it no matter what.. and suggestions as to what it is?
  • confoundedconfounded Member Posts: 1
    My 95 Sable wagon (low mileage) blew a fuse (#8 circuit) that controls things like interior lights/radio/clock etc. Replaced the fuse and it blew too. Measured 12 volts across the fuse, so the downleg side is grounded somewhere. Verified with meter. At the same time, the power door lock switch stopped working. "Lock" position does nothing, "Unlock" position turns on the parking and instrument lights!!! Lock switch is on circuit #14. Parking lights are on circuit #4. All other components of these two circuit are working OK. Checked floor wiring beneath carpet on driver's and passenger side for corrosion or anything obviously amiss. Found nothing - everything looks good as new. Disconnected whatever connectors I could find with no effect, so the problem is localized to the front of the vehicle. Removed instrument panel to see if I could get at the maze of wires beneath the dashboard but couldn't. Removed door panels and checked all wiring. Found nothing amiss.

    Working hypothesis: wire in #8 circuit has broken and fused to ground, probably inside the boot connecting to the door (driver's side or maybe passenger side). Two other wires belonging to #14 and #4 have developed a high resistance short to one another, probably due to heat from #8 short or due to whatever caused #8 to short. So "Unlock" puts voltage on parking light circuit, and short prevents "Lock" from developing enough voltage to activate the mechanisms.

    Questions: Does this sound plausible and if so, how do I find the shorted wires? Its impossible to get into the boot or anywhere near the cables leading to the boot and even if I cut the wires (LtG/Y) that run through the boot on both ends, how do I replace them?

    If this isn't plausible, any other ideas are welcomed. Oh yes, why do the color codes on the wires not always correspond to the colors on the schematics, or better yet,where can I find a scematic specific to this vehicle?

    Thanks for any help.
  • mws9646mws9646 Member Posts: 1
    1997 Ford Taurus, I did a head gasket job on the car and now ther is no spark or injector pulse. Everything is plug in, check that 100 times, and we even swapped some parts, crank sensor, cam sensor, pcm, control mod., I just don't know what is wrong. A number of us are STUMPED! Did I mention the parts work in the other idenical car. HEEEEELLLLP!
  • steveon3steveon3 Member Posts: 1
    check the motor has all grounding straps connected to it. had same problem with a 94 mustang with a 3.8.
  • christensenw20christensenw20 Member Posts: 2
    My car is driving me insane. I have had the ignition switch replaced, the camshaft sensor replaced, the computer replaced twice, all the wires taken off and cleaned, the battery tested normal, and so did the alternator. All in the last four months. Car still doesn't run right. It will stall in any condition or situation. When it stalls everything goes out like you take the battery cable off the car. Most of the time will crank right back up and drive fine for a little while. Then starts acting up again. Mechanic gave up. Please if anyone has had similar problems or knows whats wrong I would love to hear from you. Ready to give up on it. :mad:
  • maverick36maverick36 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 ford taurus that is draining the battery which I have isolated to fuse #16. I am trying to find the integrated control panel, which I believe is the culprit. Also the same fuse controls the rcc memory cluster and GEM power module. Any help would be appreciated.
  • aninajessaninajess Member Posts: 1
    I also have a 2002 taurus, every once in a while about every 2 months ill be driving along and the car will die for about 3 seconds and start on its own again, or the car lights will dim and then come back, the theft light usually shows the most on the dash but other lights on the dash show too.... what is wrong ? does anyone know ?
  • gevisualgevisual Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Taurus SE and the following problem just started yesterday. When I press the "AUTO" button on the climate control system to start the A/C, the light on the panel illuminates, but nothing else happens (blower usually starts blowing cold air after 4-5 seconds). Same result if I hit the "MAX A/C" button. Here's where it gets interesting. I then hit the off button, drove for about 5 miles, tried the "AUTO" button again, and it worked. Drove the car home without any problems. When I got in this morning, same problem - A/C wouldn't start back up. This time, I didn't switch it back to "OFF", and after 10 minutes or so on the road everything seemed to switch on. When it does come on, everything works as normal (blower will variate with the temp set, etc.). Doesn't seem to be a fuse - I'm not sure where to look at this point. Any ideas? :confuse:
  • danni3danni3 Member Posts: 1
    I just changed my starter tonight and my car still won't start and now my power windows don't work. Could this be a fuse problem also?? also my cd player works but not the radio? I am confused.
  • cliffhanger1cliffhanger1 Member Posts: 1
    Check the fuel pump. I had an 86 Taurus that would start bucking and then quit. The engine cooled, and it would go. There were 2 separate problems: The spark plug wires were shot and the fuel pump also had some problem.
    Hope this helps
  • fordguy6fordguy6 Member Posts: 4
    Having a problem with the remote keyless entry. Neither remote works and have checked batteries. Remotes do not unlock doors or open trunk. Any idea? Thanks.
  • pstreicherpstreicher Member Posts: 5
    I've got a similiar problem that started yesterday with my girlfriend's '99 Taurus. She has no lights on the A/C panel whatsoever. I got under the hood and checked every fuse I could find but none were blown. I did notice that the compressor was not turning but I assume that is because it is not switched on. I'm not much of a mechanic but I do know electrical a bit. She didn't have any owner's manual to point me to a schematic and I didn't find any when I tried to Google one. So, out of desparation I'm looking for help here. I'm hoping that GEVISUAL will reply to what he found and maybe it will give me some insight as to what I might look for. This looks like a great forum and web site. I've never been here before but Google gave me a link. Best to you all! Paul in Tampa, FL
  • ewuewu Member Posts: 13
    My car has starting problem recently.
    I can not start it right after I turn it off.
    But it has radio and light, and battery light is on also when try starting.
    I can not hear any starting sound except a "click".

    After wait for a while (after the engine cool enough???), it can be started without any problem.
    Could any body know the possible reasons?
    Thank you very much.
  • pstreicherpstreicher Member Posts: 5
    First thing to come to mind is a bad battery. How old is the battery? I just added water to my battery yesterday. Keep the water level up but don't overfill. I check my water level at least every three months. The heat from our weather today evaporates the water quickly. Click, click, click sound can also indicate a bad starter. If you can keep trying to start and it eventually catches then you might have a burnt spot on the stator of the starter. It will get worse until you can never get it to start again until the starter is replaced. Check the battery voltage first. If you see a date on the battery and it's getting to be four years old or older, just replace it. Get the largest amp rated battery you can afford. The more amps rated the easier it is on your starter too so not to burn so easily in the future. A 'Heavy Duty' battery rated is good. You'll probably spend anywhere from $60 to $80 for a battery but hey, they last for years. This is all I can tell you for now. Oh, check the battery connections. Most of us let them go without every cleaning them or keeping the clean of corrosion. Corrosion impedes electrical flow. Take the connectors loose with a wrench or vice grip and clean the battery post and connector with a good grit sand paper or wire brush. Make sure it shines before connecting cables back. Then, put a battery grease or vasoline works well too all over the connection. Check the grease every six months at the longest. You have to keep the air and moisture off the connectors. Good luck.
  • ewuewu Member Posts: 13
    Thank you, pstreicher.
    It seems the battery is fine.
    Is there anyway to check the starter myself?
    I just need this car for a coupole of months (looking for a new one). Thus jsut wanna keep expense on repairing it as little as possible.
  • pstreicherpstreicher Member Posts: 5
    From my experience in the past I was able to unbolt the starter and take it into a starter repair shop where they can hook it up to a tester. They can immediately pinpoint where the burn marks are and how bad they are if any at all. Then they would offer you either to repair that one or possibly sell you one they have already repaired that is on their shelf for sale. Neither you or I have a starter tester to check this. And, I don't remember if you can visually see burn damage on a starter's stator. Quite possibly you can but you won't be able to test to see how bad it is. My suspicion is if you can see dark burn marks on what normally looks copper or bronze colored metal then you have wear. The severity of the wear or burns is what the tester can check if good of bad. If bad it means that there is no continuity through the windings to the stator. The burn marks take away from conductivity and that's where the problems lie with starters. A check of prices for a new or repaired starter you may find is not that expensive. But, expensive to me might be different ot you. I'd say check out all the options yourself and decide what you want to do. Maybe a repaired starter would be cheap enough for you for the two months you need to use that car. A small investment in a repair to give you peace of mind knowing your car will start when you want it to. Good luck!
  • ewuewu Member Posts: 13
    Thank you very much.
    I am going to have my car (battery, starter) tested in Autozone tonight. Not sure how good they are, but it is free anyway. Hope they can find out something.
  • six_otterssix_otters Member Posts: 1
    We own a 2003 Ford Taurus. The lights mounted inside the side mirrors on both doors will not turn off. Is there a fuse specifically for these two lights? Where's the fuse box? Any suggestions?
  • rich74rich74 Member Posts: 1
    My Mercury Sable LS headlamps come on in the daylight when the switch is in the automatic position. The Headlamps shut off when driving at night, I was able to turn them on by manually turning the switch. The headlamps turned off and than came back on. I experimented with the headlamp switch by turning back to automatic to see if it would do it again and it shut off again and didn't come back on. I drove the rest of the way with the switch in manual. What is the problem and can it be fixed easily?
  • christensenw20christensenw20 Member Posts: 2
    Got the problem fixed finally. It was the battery all along. Apparently sometimes when the plates get weak in the battery they will hit together and causes the whole car to short out. The mechanic who fixed it said that he has had one other car to do this and that is how he figured it out. The battery will not show battery on the testers unless it is actually doing it at the time. Replaced the battery and it has ran fine for over a month now. So Happy. :D
  • breedenbreeden Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 Taurus that I bought about a year ago. When I turn the cruise on and hit the set button, the "cruise" light on the display flashs but doesnt stay on and the cruise ofcourse then doesnt work. If anyone has any ideas about how to fix this, if its something that I can fix, I would really appreciate any suggestions,

  • kevinc3kevinc3 Member Posts: 1
    2003 Mercury keeps blowing fuses for the horn and cruise controls. It happens each time I blow the horn for anything more than a quick. No other electrical problems just this one quirky thing..suggestions????
  • eleoneleon Member Posts: 1
    Where can I locate the on board computer of a 1996 Taurus LX
  • dmysterdmyster Member Posts: 12
    This is stupid and unimportant, but I still want to know. On newer Fords (2003+) and other makes, it is possible to have the fog lights on with the parking lights. I have a 2002 Sable, and I have to have the headlights on in order to operate the fog lights. Is there any way to make it so that I can have my fog lights on without the headlights?
  • julieljuliel Member Posts: 1
    We just bought a '95 Ford Taurus with a turn signal that was out. Replacing the bulb did not work, and now nothing happens at all when I try to signal. Is this electrical or a just a simple fuse? Equally compelling, where is the fuse box located on this car? Having a similar problem with the brake lights. Changing to bulb makes no difference, and only the center one works. Any suggestions would be extremely helpful!
    Happy New Year.
  • moonraven24moonraven24 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2000 Sable wagon LS. A couple weeks ago the door ajar light came on, my interior lights came on, and the doors kept locking/unlocking. It happened a couple times, then it started to happen more frequently. Then it drained my battery a few times and my battery died. We replaced the battery yesterday and now I am disconnecting my battery when I park so I don't come out to a dead one. My husband sprayed all the door locks last night with WD-40 (yay for that smell- yum, eh?) and today it was doing it again on my way to work. Yesterday it started doing something else as well. When I start it in the morning or after it has been sitting for a few hours, it sort of sputters and the idle keeps dropping for the first few minutes that it's on. The lights (in and out) dim when it sputters as well. Once I get going and drive, it's fine (except for the door locks going up and down the whole time). My husband couldn't find any vacuum hoses that were messed up or anything (that's what the sputtering reminded me of) and he took the alternator off the battery and the car still ran so it's not the alternator...any ideas? Could a fuse be causing the door problem? Or something really simple? I looked up door sensors and I think I saw that they were $130 dollars each?
  • sunoco260sunoco260 Member Posts: 1
    :( I have a 1997 Taurus sedan with 68k that has been in the family since new. There have been no problems until a year ago.
    1) The factory alarm system sets itself off under different circumstances. Leaving the car unlocked is the only way to avoid the problem.
    2) The passenger window sometimes works and sometimes does not. The motor was replaced.
    3) I noticed what appears to be a ground strap on the drivers side that is attached to the body below the windshield and then to the hood. This strap is broken. Neither of my 2003 Taurus's have something like this. Does anyone know what it is for?

    Any suggestions? Could the two issues be related?
    Thanks, Frank
  • billgolfer09billgolfer09 Member Posts: 18
    I'm sure there is a way to install something in the existing wiring harness to activate this feature. (Ford Motor Co. does try to sell their cars in Canada which requires them!)
    Does anyone know where/how to do it? What part number is required? (Probably only sold to Canadian Dealers).
  • truckinbeantruckinbean Member Posts: 1
    Did you get this resolved, we are having the same exact problems? thanks
  • dmysterdmyster Member Posts: 12
    One of the dash light burned out in my '02 Sable, so only half the tach. lights up. How do you replace these bulbs? Is it a fairly easy fix?
  • ergo3ergo3 Member Posts: 3
    the upper oval thing in the fusebox...95

  • moonraven24moonraven24 Member Posts: 4
    After doing diagnostics, my husband has decided the sputtering is my O2 sensors, and its worse when its cold out. They will be a couple hundred to replace I guess, so we're going to do that soon. The door sensors are worse when it's cold or raining, and then they work fine when it's warmer out. They stopped causing problems for the most part a few days after I posted. If it rains or gets below 30 though, they give me problems. As soon as we can we'll be replacing all of them, since we can't seem to figure out which one is doing it. I found a seller on Ebay that charges like 22 bucks each for the door sensors, and about 45 or 50 for the rear tailgate sensor, so for $150 we'll just get them all and be done with the wondering. Will post the results after we get these things done
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