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2000 Ford Escort Question: Battery is showing 12.86v but nothing electrical is working.

 

Question

zx2Tom, Springfield, MO, April 14, 2014, 17:29
 Rookie

Only the Service engine light comes on, but nothing else. When the key is out, the service engine light stays dim. Starter does not even engage, no dome, radio, dash, hazards, NOTHING. Tried to jump it just to see and nothing. I added AC Coolant about two weeks ago and the only other issue with the car is the gear shift. I have to stick a straw through a emergency hole next to the gear shift to engage the release mechanism so the button on the shifter will press in and change gears but I don't see how either would effect the entire electrical system. I'm a full time student and on a strict budget so I can't take it anywhere to have it checked. NEVER have had a issue with electrical system before. It has always been a great running car since coming off the lot. I did one time about two years ago pull the radio out of the dash just to see how easy it would be but I never disconnected any wires. Would it have something to do with the Ignition Switch? I thought if it was bad it would not send a signal out but that doesn't count for the dome or headlights not even working. I did notice the my gas gauge looks like it is ping as far as possible WAY passed the normal full mark if that makes a difference.

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  • Answer #1

    ziptie12 April 14, 2014, 17:49
     Master

    I'd guess you have a voltmeter/ohmmeter since you stated you have 12.86 v@ battery.Start by checking for proper voltage at fuse box. IF you can get a wiring diagram , that would be a big plus. Does the horn work?

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    zx2Tom, April 14, 2014, 18:15
     Rookie

    Horn, wipers, hazards, dome, radio, brake lights, headlights, nothing is working. Yes I do have a voltmeter but not a wiring diagram. I have been trying to find one on the web but no luck as of yet. I tried calling the auto stores around town but they are stumped. The Ford dealers were already closed for the day so I couldn't ask them any questions.

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    ziptie12, April 14, 2014, 18:28
     Master

    OK , do you have battery voltage at main fuse or any fuse in underhood fusebox?--IN other words trace wiring starting at battery positive cable and see how far you get power. Sounds most likely like a simple(but annoyingly hard to find) bad connection , or blown main fuse (which might be right at the point where the pos. cable hooks into fuse box). ....Got me curious... -I'll try to check back in about 20 min. or less to see if you had any luck.

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    zx2Tom, April 14, 2014, 18:46
     Rookie

    Thanks for checking with me. I can't mess with it right now. Between trying to finish my homework and searching the web for diagrams and the drizzle outside@ 34F. I WILL check it either before class or after tomorrow. Thanks again for checking up with me!!

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    ziptie12, April 14, 2014, 19:03
     Master

    Forget diagrams for now and tomorrow just start looking for where you're losing power. BUT finish your damn homework FIRST!!

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  • Medium-star Best Answer
    lightsaber April 14, 2014, 21:14
     Journeyman

    Disconnect the battery terminal closest to the firewall that has two plastic wire connectors along side the battery. Disconnect the two connectors and clean all the terminals with electrical cleaner, and an old tooth brush and paper towels. After the cleaner is dry, apply a small dab of dielectric grease to the contacts and reconnect everything. Leaking battery acid tends to foul-up these terminal connections.

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    zx2Tom, April 16, 2014, 17:56
     Rookie

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA............... How simple it was. Even though the battery and battery clamps are pretty knew, it WAS the connections on the negative cable. Thanks for the replies gentleman, one never knows where a helping hand can come from : )

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    lightsaber, April 16, 2014, 19:49
     Journeyman

    Thank You for the feed back. You're quite the mechanic now zx2Tom! I fixed this same issue a month ago and remember it well. Good Luck!

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