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Ford Mustang Electrical Problems



  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Interesting post and a theory not heretofore suggested. Unfortunately, that sounds like a PIA.

    My battery stays up when the car sits for weeks if the radio is turned off and the anti-theft system is not engaged.
  • I totally agree with the intermit ant nature of the battery going dead.
    My Stang could set 6 weeks or 3 days - totally unpredictable.
    Thats why I quizzed the dealer techs so closely my be they got lucky and caught the radio when it "cycled just right" and recorded the current draws by chance.
    All I know is it more than Ford Engineering has done for me.
    All Ford wanted to do was go to arbitration not fix the problem
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Please update us after they do the swap.
  • I have the same problem that many others have reported. My car is completely dead after siting a week or longer. I have a 05 GT with 33,000 miles. I don't drive this car very much in the winter. Last winter I did not have this problem. The dealer keeps replacing the battery. I suggest everyone who has had a similar problem to ask your dealer for some names and addresses of Ford employees you can call/write and complain. The dealers operate separate from Ford, so we should try getting to the source of this problem, Fords cheap and poor engineering.

    In a previous post, said he has had the same problem. He has already contacted Ford employees about the problem. He said to email him for the names. I plan to do so.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    That last post was written in such an obnoxious manner that I can't believe I'm trying to help you.

    FORD: 2005-2008 Mustang
    2005 Explorer Sport Trac
    2005-2008 Expedition, Explorer
    2007-2008 Explorer Sport Trac
    LINCOLN: 2005-2008 Navigator
    MERCURY: 2005-2008 Mountaineer

    Some 2005-2008 Mustang , Explorer 4dr, Mountaineer, Expedition, Navigator, 2005 Explorer Sport Trac and 2007-2008 Explorer Sport Trac vehicles may experience a no start and have a discharged battery. They are usually stored for prolonged periods of time or are driven infrequently for short distances. Batteries will discharge while the vehicle is in storage due to normal current draw loads. Over a period of time, 30 days or more, vehicles in storage will have shallow to deeply discharged batteries as a result of lack of use or normal current draw.

    Follow the Service Tips steps to correct the condition.


    Charging system diagnostics and battery draw test are located in Workshop Manual, Section 414-00.
    Discharged batteries need to be properly recharged following the procedures in TSB 07-5-8.
    All modern automobiles have several micro processors in their electrical system that will draw small amounts of electrical current when the vehicle key is off. Normal current draw is between 20-30 milliamps (workshop manual specification is up to 50 milliamps 0.050 amps).
    The more discharged a battery becomes, the more susceptible it is to permanent damage. This is more likely in low temperatures (below 32 °F (0 °C).
    Batteries will discharge while the vehicle is in storage due to normal current draw loads. Over a period of time (30 days or more), vehicles in storage will have shallow to deeply discharged batteries as a result of lack of use or normal current draw.


    The vehicle's charging system is designed to supply the vehicle's electrical power needs and maintain the battery to near full charge during normal vehicle use. The charging system is not capable of bringing a deeply discharged battery back to near full charge in a short amount of time such as allowing the vehicle to idle for 15 minutes to "recharge the battery" or from short drive cycles.
    Short drive cycles will only provide a small surface charge to the battery. To fully recharge a battery that is fully discharged requires operating the vehicle for approximately two (2) hours with engine speed above 1500 RPM.
    Vehicles that are stored for extended periods or are driven infrequently for short distances may need to use an auxiliary battery maintainer/charger that is expressly designed to maintain the battery state of charge during storage. These maintainers/chargers are available in the automotive aftermarket and should be used according to their manufacturer's direction.


    Information Only - Not Warrantable

    I am always willing to try to help people who have questions or problems that their dealer can't seem to help them with if I can.

    I don't need to come to the forum though to read people bitching about how bad Fords are written in the implication that Fords are uniquely worse then other vehicles out there.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Under $50 from Walmart, they even have solar poweared ones for those who don't garage their cars.

    Read my post of above. If you do, you will understand that if there is a 50 milliamp or less draw on your battery while the car is OFF then there is no problem with the electrical system.

    Even though you are driving your car on an average of once per week, you are clearly not driving it far enough to recover from the discharge that is occuring while the car sits.

  • Is this a new TSB posted somewhere? I have been very vigilant about keeping up on TSBs and haven't seen this one. Thanks for addressing this issue I am at wits end with my car, but LOVE it and Ford...wouldn't drive anything else! :D I am just curious what I can tell my dealer to point them in the right direction. The current dealer that I am working with (I switched from one because they treated me like I am a stupid girl) is very good and I trust that they have checked things out thoroughly, but they still couldn't find anything wrong the last time I had my car in the beginning of December.
  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    Thanks for the posting. Unfortunately, it does not appear to address the discharge problem suffered by myself and others when the vehicle has been parked for a relatively short time (less than two weeks). Turning the radio off and not engaging the anti-theft system has taken care of it for me.
  • this might sound stupid but maybe you have a short somewhere? obviously somethin is pulling power from your battery even when its off.. so if its not the electronics of your car.. its probably a short or somethin?
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    If you check your car when it is off, it should be drawing 50 or less milliamps. If that is the case, then your car is operating as designed.

    more than 50 milliamps you have something broken.
    less than 50 milliamps, you have a normal Mustang.

    Second, if you read the TSB, you will clearly see that just because you drive the car on a regular basis, if you do not drive it far or long enough to deep charge the battery, you are still going to need to jump it. Hence the battery minder.


    PS the TSB I posted was:


    Publication Date: March 5, 2007
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,480
    Also don't ever charge a completely discharged battery with your alternator. Use a trickle charger to bring the battery back up, THEN drive it.

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  • cccompsoncccompson Posts: 2,388
    No, not likely a short - tests have shown that the Shaker radio draws a signifcant amount even when the car is turned off if the radio is left on. The various Mustang websites have discussed this issue at length. I don't know exactly how much power the anti-theft uses (or is designed to use) but logically it has to take some. Fortunately, mine's garaged in a safe area and so system activation is not necessary.
  • I am just getting frustrated with my car. I have an under hood trickle charger mounted on the car that hasn't been attached to the battery since March when I took the car "out of storage." I have tried to re-create the draw, but am struggling with that. Because of all the info on the Shaker Radio pulling the draw I have tried to empty the CD player and let it sit. I have re-loaded the player and let it sit. I cannot re-produce it. It is a lot of trial and error right now. This is an '05 with only 5600 mi. on it, so I know that it doesn't get much use, however, half of those miles are from this year alone and this is the first time since '05 that I have had ANY problems or complaints. This car is babied beyond belief...that may be the problem. :)
  • waterdrwaterdr Posts: 307
    Folks, ponies are meant to have their legs stretched. Storing a car in the winter and dead batteries go together like ham and cheese. My 2000 GT Vert does the same thing. I usually just buy a new battery every March or April....goes with the territory.

    The worse thing you can do is run it ocassionally for short periods of time. Builds up a lot of condensation in the exhaust too when you do this.

    If you just lay it up for the winter, pull the battery out and store it inside the house. Then, in the spring, use a deep-cycle charger to boost it up and install it.

    Each time the battery goes dead, the computer will have to reprogram itself is not just the radio pre-sets. You are supposed to start the car and let it idle until it warms up before you drive it too. This ensures that the idle speed is set correctly and allows the car to be out of "open-loop" mode.
  • Brake lights quit working on car. We have checked all bulbs, fuses etc. The switch works but it is not getting power so we are assuming there's a short since the cruise control quit working couple months before that.

    We are not sure where to start to look for shorts etc. and was hoping someone might have some suggestions.
  • veightveight Posts: 4
    You have a legit beef on trashing Ford for no reason.
    I've driven or owned Fords for 37 years and my daddy and grand daddy before me.

    But the TSB does not provide information on the battery that has been driven for long drives then goes dead in 3 days followed by a miraculous recovery and sits in storage for 3-4 weeks and starts up fine. We all have more of a life than to sit around making this crap up.
  • rbright13rbright13 Posts: 10
    dude thats bs.! ford products are not any different than any other maker out there , I got a 1999 mustang GT and the battery keeps going dead, I put a new duralast gold battery in and fully charge it with a charger , and in 2 days it was dead . There isnt any car made out there that uses that much stand-bye power to kill the battery in within 27 hrs of sitting!! The alt. is the main source for the battery draining that quick , if it is bad. Just because it it charges doesn't mean it is good.
    I had a bad a** stereo systems hooked up in my cars in my younger days , and I could jam them all day long and still crank my car up with no problems
  • rbright13rbright13 Posts: 10
    its says that there is a recall on taillights .make sure that your car has been fix from this recall before paying alot of money
  • bandit10bandit10 Posts: 28
    This just a thought. I had this happen to my Toyota. It turned out the rear bulb was burned out and that's why my turn signal on the dash stayed on. And my front signal stay on constantly. Just a guess.
  • rbright13rbright13 Posts: 10
    from what I heard ,is that under the hood on the pass. side there is a hole on the fender where the hood closes that when it rains the water goes into that hole and then goes back where the cpu is .water gets into the cpu and messes-up . That got to be true because where the cpu is mounted , the water can get to it. The cpu is on the pass floor behind the kick panel under the dash. when you remove the cpu the area behind there is where the water is coming from. If it was me , I would remove the cpu and seal off that area , then make sure that the inside of the cpu is dry ;)
  • mygt350rmygt350r Posts: 1
    i have a moderately modified 05 GT and my cruise control quit working. The light does not even come on. I took it to ford and they hooked it up to the computer and tried to briefly trouble shoot the problem. We checked alot of sensor and switches that all seemed to be working fine. He told me to bring it back another time (because he was originally fixing a recall). Does anyone have any suggestions other than fuses? That is the only problem i have had.
  • Hello,
    I have a 98 Mustang V6 automatic 3.8L engine. My problems first started when my aftermarket cd player gave out and wouldn't eject the cd and I couldn't adjust the volumn. I ended up pulling the whole player out of the dash and disconnecting it. Shortly after this, my odometer stopped at about 163,000 miles and my check engine light came on. Couldn't find anything wrong, car working fine otherwise. Then my emergency brake light came on even though my brake wasn't engaged. Started to have difficulties getting the car started, especially in cold. Battery meter and power started fluctuating for no apparent reason. Had battery tested, it was bad, bought new battery. Seemed to solve the problem for a while. Then, power started fluctuating again and finally all gauges went out and car died. Assumed bad alternator. Got new alternator, installed it and seemed to fix the problem. Car worked great for 3 days, no fluctuating power, starting fine. Day 4, car completely dead, only clicks when I try to start, power locks not even working. Did the bad alternator drain my new battery or could I possibly have another bad alternator? Also, have been having what I assume are transmission problems, car jerks at certain speeds when accelerating, worst at 45mph. Would this have anything to do with my electrical problems? Could it have to do with the emergency brake light being on? Could I have messed up some important wires in the dash when I took out my cd player? Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I really need a new car, but just can't afford it right now. Thanks
  • gtforme2gtforme2 Posts: 23
    Your message is very interesting to me. I have an 05 Mustang GT vert (delivery in June of 05) that only comes out to play from May -Oct. and only on nice days. Have had it parked the last three winters and only started it once in January each year (including Jan 08) and never an issue. Then this April needed to move it and wham nothing. Interior lights would work, radio would turn itself on at half volume and the CD changer (have the 500 watt system) would go whacky and would act like changing CD's and there were no CD's in it. So, I took Jumper cables and took long time to charge battery enough to start, got it started ran it for an hour and shut off. Tried to start right back up and was as dead as dead could be. Called the dealer they towed it (still under warranty) and diagnosed as battery shot. Replaced Battery and starts fine. Also complained about vibration and told them read about drive shaft rotation and possible muffler hanger issue's read here on forum. What's dumb [non-permissible content removed] technicians do, they say they drive the car steering wheel vibration and shuttering and so they turn my rotors :mad: . I'm livid about that. I specifically told the Service Advisor the vibration was only at between 1300-1400 rpm and then again at between like 3250 & 3400 rpm. I plan to drive car soon but am waiting on some good days (missed couple this past week) which won't be until next week. Man it's frustrating dealing with people who aren't willing to let the customer help them. I figure tech's needed to get paid for something so they create a diagnosis that's not there and that way dealership can put in warranty claim and make some money. Believe me next time I'll ensure they call me after they have a diagnosis and perform any kind of work.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    very inexpensive from Wal-mart. Idling the car for an hour will not charge a dead battery.

  • reshat2reshat2 Posts: 1
    A few of you guys own my car, it seems. I have a 98 v6 Mustang Manual Transmission. I bought it 4 years ago with about 55k, and now have about 115k on it. About 2 years ago I had my first experience. One day when I was enjoying my AC, my internal lights flickered, and my battery meter dropped right in front of my eyes until my car died. I sat there for a few minutes, called for help, then it just started, and I drove home. Then for the next few weeks, I replaced the battery (wouldn't hold a charge), alternator, oh battery again (in like 10 days), alternator again, and then gone, no problems. In the clear right? Wrong, tonight, I go out to my car to leave, it wont start, totally dead, lights, interior, key chain power locks, everything. By the way, while I was inside it was pouring rain for 40 minutes like you read about, monsoon like. I have my buddy jump me right? Wrong. Still no power. My other buddy hooks up his jumper cables, and still nothing. While were are fooling around with the cables, my interior lights turn on, then it works, starts right up. Story over right? Wrong. Driving home, when I rolled down a bit, all my lights flickered, and my battery voltage meter went up slightly. It normally sits right in the middle, not tonight, about 75% or so. Then when I pulled in safely at my home, me being the smart guy I am, I started rolling up my windows, and when it got to the top, it started squealing and all my lights flickered. Not going down, only up, after it was at the top totally. Then all my lights flashed, my windows wouldn't go down, although my car was started, headlights on, stereo on.... shut it off. Totally dead. No lights or anything. Now I can understand that at this point in time my battery is dead.... but that is not the problem... it seems water related... ground related... AND... I also have the vibration, it made my mirrors fall off... sad I know :( ....I also have a squeak that wont go away, no matter how times I change what they tell me too... An earlier post said his problem was firewall leakage... I am going to follow up on that. Hope this helps... And by the way I love my mustang. Dont take it out on your car! lol
  • jc71676jc71676 Posts: 1
    Today my 2005 mustang would start but the windows,locks,radio,guages and the car wouldnt go into gear i was messing with the car and unplugged a plug right above the fuse box on the inside of the car and plugged it back in and everything started working I was wondering what that plug is for.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,480
    First off, replace your battery cables and clean the connections on BOTH ends of BOTH cables. Also make sure your engine is properly grounded to the chassis. This will eliminate this one obvious problem and it's simple to do. If the symptoms persist, ,this sounds to me like a wiring harness issue or an ignition switch issue.

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  • 96gt96gt Posts: 1
    did you ever figure out what was wrong with your emergency brake light? because mine has turned on and it isn't engaged, and my check engine light is on but nothing is wrong with it, and before i go and buy some fuses i wanted to know if you figured out what was wrong?
  • quade420quade420 Posts: 3
    The only thing that worked on my '89 5.0 was the the tach...good times...
  • Kinda of strange problem I can't seem to figure out with my 03 cobra. Pretty much my blinkers work with my headlights off, but as soon as I turn my headlights on my blinkers in the front of the car stop working. The rears are fine no matter what.

    Now at one point it seems someones had their hands all over this car changing and modding it so who knows what was touch and how they did it. I also noticed that the front headlights don't seem to be original so someone swapped out the headlights. I have yet to replace them but I changed the bulbs and took the flasher out from another car that I knew worked. Still nothing.

    Problem is I need to pass inspection and they won't with my blinkers no working, if anyone has any ideas let me know. I'm thinking maybe I need to just replace the headlights all together. Could someone have messed with the wiring? If anyone's got any idea's let me know i'll give em a shot.
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