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Bubba Bob

Automotive Help!

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Ok, ive been having some car trouble lately. NO ONE seems to know what the hell is going on. Maybe some of ya'll could help?

Heres the deal:

A couple months ago my key got stuck in the ignition. So, a lock smoth drilled the ignition out and replaced worn washers in it.

Since then they damn car beeps when i open the door. (like when the key is in, but its not) I called the locksmith back and they said not to worry. Im like ok...

A couple weeks later, the car has trouble starting. Its seems like the battery was weak or something because the car wouldnt start with the A/C on, and cranked REAL weak. So, i took it to auto zone, and they said the alt. and battery were both fine.

So, i took it to my mechanic to have the plugs and wires changed (it idled rough) and he said he thought th serp. belt was slipping too much. So, he changed that also.

The car did fine for a little while, untill one morning i get up and the damn thing is DEAD! COMPLEtely DEAD! So dead a battery charger wont start it. Thankfully my neighboor jumps me.

Now, sometimes i can leave it over night, and it starts right up, while other times i leave it for an hour and BAM! Its dead.

Any thoughts on what is draining that battery?

OH! It's a 95 Ford Escort

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Thats what i think, but my mechanic checked it all out said he doesnt "think" thats it... Im thinkin on visiting the lock smith monday. (damn, more $$$)

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could you start pulling fuses, and checking to see if any current is flowing. put a test light in between the two ends where the fuse was. If it shows current being passed thru, that could help you narrow it down to a specific circuit.

I am no mechanic, there might be a flaw to this technique :-)

in older cars you can check for a short anywhere in you system by putting a test light between your negative cable and the batterie terminal. If any power is being drained it will light the light.

Edited by shanenin

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it may be your alternator is shot

have it checked.

it sounds as tho some one wired it up wrong

maybe your horn wiring was

was attached to your door lights

because on most cars when you open your door

the lights come on

im only guessing and speculating of course

good luck

marty

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Hmm, i have no test light. Would a wet finger work? :)

Im hoping that's it Marty. Maybe they just miss-hooked a wire. (PLEASE be it : ) )

Till i can have it checked out, I leave the negative battery cable unplugged when im at home or at the store. Which means i have to pop the hood to start my car and when i turn it off. (i feel like the stereotypical redneck now :(

Thanks for the tips :thumbsup:

Anyone else? :blush:

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did he replace the ignition or just repair it? he probably drilled into the contacts. replace the ignition.

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It sure sounds like a wiring thing to me. The locksmith should guarantee his work, I'd start there, especially since the problem started after he messed with it. Be a stinker. Sometimes the "cost of business" is losing money due to screw ups! If he wants your repeat business and recomendations, he should fix it for free. Word of mouth is important and bad news travels fast! Please don't use a wet finger, Bubbabob, we want you here!

Liz

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Yeah, BubbaBob. a wet finger and a 20amp DC circuit is a shocking experience.

I sure would throw it back at the locksmith. Drill it out??? What's up with that? He deserves to eat the fixing and replacement costs. Because he saved a ton of time *not* removing the steering wheel like he should have in the first place. My bet is he damaged a wire and it's grounding out.

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got to agree with Bozodog on that, I had to change the ignition on my accord last year and there are several wires that could be hit by a drill. My guess would be that he nicked the insulation on a wire and left a short there. Is it more likely to drain down when hot? If so expansion in the heat is probably the cause for the fact that sometimes its ok and others it goes dead

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Anyone who drills a ignition switch needs to be shot on the spot. :angry2:

First off the lock and switch is some cases are two different parts,not sure about the escort.

What parts if any did the fool with the drill replace??

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To give him the benefit of a doubt, a locksmith about a year or so ago actually did the drilling. I had my keys stolen and they had to make a new key. So, this locksmith didnt REALLY do the drilling.

Anyway,

On the first day, he replaced the ignition switch. I came home and STILL couldnt start the car. So, i called him and he said he would come out the next day. The next day he came out and worked for 5 hours to replaced a worn out washer in the ignition. (he didnt bill me for the 5 extra hours) Apperently the escorts have something about them. The last locksmith said it was a B%$^& to put back together, same with this guy.

SO, ill take it to him Monday.

EDIT:

Also, heres what someone at FEOA.com (FOrd Escort Owners Ass.) wrote when replying to someone elses reply.

Not necessarily true. TONS of people on here (including me) have their cars beep when they open the door, and everything is off, key is out,. Mine has done this for over a year and hasn't died.

Anyway, On monday if the locksmith doesnt find the problem ill go by and get a test light.

Thanks for the tips :thumbsup:

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sorry for taking so long to reply but i've kinda been locked in the garage again. sometimes when i get started on a project i can't (won't) be disturbed. so i guess it's time for my 2 cents worth. hmmm only 2 cents huh? i guess that saying was made when 2 cents was worth something?

anyways there is a big difference between the ignition "lock and cylinder" and the ignition "switch". the "lock and cylinder" is where you put your key and the "switch" is an electrical component that's behind or under the "lock and cylinder". the right way to fix the key problem was to just take the "lock and cylinder" out and then it does come apart. but it does take a while to do and you have to have basic mechanic skills. if you do it that way you can just take the pins out and put in what ever key code you want. there is no way that he could've drilled into a wire of any other electrical component unless he was drilling entirely in the wrong place. since everything electrical is far behind of off to the side or such. now if he replaced the switch instead then it's a different story and your problem could be there but i highly dought it. it's pretty much unplug and plug and almost no locksmith would touch that and only mess with the lock it's self. so i think it's defiantly not his fault unless he did something pretty stupid. if the car tries to turn over (start) then that part is working right. did he only replace the "lock and cylinder" or the "switch" too?

please forgive my suggestion as simple stuff but i honestly am getting the feeling that it's something simple that we're missing. you can over think these things some times and my gut feel is very surprisingly accurate but i'm not there and can't hear it.

playing with the fuses on a car that new will not find your problem directly. the best it could do is narrow it down to a few dozen wires and key systems. as far as the car beeping goes it is common but there are several things that activate it. even leaving your headlights on will do that. tonight double double check with the battery hooked up to make sure everything is turned off and use a wire brush to clean the battery cables on the inside and the battery posts. technically a corroded battery connection or a single worn out core inside the battery will give you that same sympthons. how does the belt look now. it could also be that the ac compressor bearings are wearing. when was the last time you had an oil charge on it? yea the ac needs an oil charge once in a great while.

are any of the lights on like the alt light or the check engine light? plus when you took it to autozone did they hook up an large machine on a a cart and run a load test or just a volt test?

i can go on and on with a few dozen things that it could be. there's nothing in particular with that escort that i know of with these sympthons. my advice is to take it to a mechanic who knows electrical systems well cause you most likely have an electrical short. in which case you just have to track it down by going through that system.

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He replaced the switch and a "washer" inside the cylinder.

It has a BRAND spankin new battery in it. Ive cleaned the corrosion off a couple times (hoping, and praying that was it). The A/C was "charged" last year.

Yes, Auto Zone hooked it up to, "The Cart". They said the alternator was fine.

No check engine lights.

ACbearings? **scratches head** What would that have to do with a dead/dieing battery?

Also, if it helps any, this car will go days on end w/o a single problem. THen, BAM! Its dead...

Thanks for your time Mac.

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Well, the locksmith looked it over and said he didnt see anything wrong. SO, i took it to a Ford dealership. After 2 hours of techs scratching their heads they said they didnt know.

So, i took it to a small garage and they said it was the battery terminal connector. (which is only 2 years old. The OEM went bad) I didnt think that was it, but im out of ideas so i said ok.

If that doesnt work im afraid ill need a new starter :(

Well, the car dies once a week or so it seems. So, well know in a few days.

Good news though. My "CW Mccall's Greatest Hits" CD came in today :)

Thanks for the suggestions!

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You have a ground leak.

Cars have 12 volt DC which goes to the ignition, accessories, etc. The return goes into the chassis as ground. (no neutral, unlike house wiring)

If any of the circuits are "leaking" power to ground, it will drain the battery.

Try to eliminate each circuit one at a time by taking out one fuse at a time. If the leak is after the fuse block, it should stop the drain. If it's before the block, it won't help. You'll need to have all the wiring checked. It could take a lot of work or a little, depending on how fast you can locate it.

Good luck,

Joe

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The car died again the same day or day after i last posted. I changed the positive battery connector (not the wires, just the connector) and it hasnt died since. (almost a week)

Thanks Joe. If it dies again ill troubleshoot that. hopefully thats not the problem though :)

.

Hopefully this problem is sloved.

Thanks for the help all :)

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Interesting.

Was the terminal cracked or corroded??

I have seen a couple of cars that had so much acid and dirt built up on the top of the battery(older ones you could add water to) that it shorted the battery and drained them.

Anyway hope you have it fixed this time :thumbsup:

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and use a wire brush to clean the battery cables on the inside and the battery posts. technically a corroded battery connection or a single worn out core inside the battery will give you that same sympthons.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

i wander who said that?

ACbearings? **scratches head** What would that have to do with a dead/dieing battery?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

ohh btw on those escorts and a couple of other fords there is a relay that has to do with ac system that when the bearing wear too much causes the ac to over heat and some how loacks up that certain relay. i've come across it twice. ford considered a recall on them but not enough of them had the problem. you'd be surprised at how one problem can cause a seaming other problem. i've even gotten pretty good at tracing Jaguar electrical problems. it just takes alot of patience and swearing and some throwing of tools and then some minor repairing of some small dents, that mysteriously appeared over night. it must've been those owls out back. ^_^

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Interesting.

Was the terminal cracked or corroded??

No, but i could tighten it till the cows came home, and still slip it off the nipple w/o untightening it.

it just takes alot of patience and swearing and some throwing of tools and then some minor repairing of some small dents, that mysteriously appeared over night. it must've been those owls out back.

:lol: Heh, damn owls.

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Ohhh ok.

Would bet if you had twisted the terminal on the battery post on one of those times it would not start it would have fired right up.

A johnny on the spot fix is to take out the bolt spread the terminal apart,then use a file to remove some of the lead so the terminal will close tighter.

I have seen people use a nail or a screw to do the samething.

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Would bet if you had twisted the terminal on the battery post on one of those times it would not start it would have fired right up.

Yup, thats how i figured out that was the problem. I jiggled the last time it died, and it started right up.

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