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Weird alarm/shutdown/battery drain problems

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by Adasha, April 3, 2012.

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    1. Adasha

      Adasha New Member

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      City, State:
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      Year and Model:
      2003 Ford Explorer
      I just bought a used 2003 Explorer and have had this happen 3 times now.

      The first time I was parked and loading the vehicle with the key in the ON position, engine off, my window down, back gate open, with my headlamps on. This was about ten minutes. When I went to leave, my headlamps blinked quickly as I turned the key, the red light on the dash for the alarm blinked quickly, and when I tried to start it, it clicked and would not start.

      I waited a bit and tried again. No start. I read my Ford book while waiting for road service. I read about the PATS system, and since then have also seen some people thinking the alarm system is running down their battery while sitting and searching for the key to start it. I'm not sure, but when the man got there he hooked up the battery to charge and it did the same thing at first. I got out of the car, hit the lock button twice and it beeped twice instead of once. I hit the unlock button once, got in, tried to start, click click click. I took the key out and turned it upside down and it started.

      Ran fine after that for days.

      Now it has done it again. Did same thing with jumping with battery, etc. it does nothing, like the battery is totally dead, but it is not that old.

      Any help on what this is and how to fix it?
       
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    3. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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      >>>>>>>>

      Whether or not the battery you have isn't that old, get it checked out (tested) anyhow at a parts store. They/parts stores, test batteries for free. A lot of these starting/electrical problems in these EX's can be attributed to a bad battery. Also check all your battery connections, make sure they are clean/free of corrosion and tight. Check the water level in the battery as well. Use "distilled water" to top off the battery if needed. If everything with the battery checks out okay, then move on to the charging system/alternator. Get the alternator tested at a parts store.
       
    4. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome aboard!! :salute:

      When you press the key fob twice and the horn beeps twice that is an indicator that there is an issue. For instance if I have a door open and hit the key fob twice, the horn will beep twice, indicating the issue.

      I had similar electrical issues with my 02 xlt. When I hit the key fob twice, the horn would sound twice. The dome lights would stay on until the battery saver feature turned them off, the accessory delay wasn't working, the driver side puddle light didn't work, the keypad on the door would set off the alarm when I pressed it, the door ajar light would flash and beep at highway speeds, the radio would shut off as soon as I turned the key off, the delayed accessories didn't work, etc. Most recently all 4 windows stopped working.

      A lot of electrical issues can be traced back to broken/damaged wire(s) in the boot between the body and the driver's door. I found 2 broken wires and repaired them. The thin black ground wire was broken and after repairing it all was back to normal. When the windows stopped working, I repaired the thick black ground wire and the windows now work like a champ.

      Here is the thread for removing the door panel: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums//showthread.php?t=303524

      Here is a great thread for checking for broken/damaged wires, thanks to synyster for this awesome write-up: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums//showthread.php?t=270081

      Be sure to take your time when looking for broken/damaged wire(s). Check all the wires for breaks/damage. When you think you're done looking, look again, and again, and again. A bright flashlight can be very helpful.

      Could also be related to the door ajar switch.

      Here is a great thread for checking/replacing the door ajar switch, thanks to borland for the awesome write-up: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=249253

      Please keep us posted as feedback helps others reading this post looking for a fix to the same or similar issue!

      Good luck with the fix. :D:thumbsup:
       
    5. Adasha

      Adasha New Member

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      Quick update. Had the battery tested and it is fine. Going to have alternator checked tomorrow.
       
    6. Adasha

      Adasha New Member

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      Ok, alternator tested ok. We cleaned the battery terminals and it has started several times. I'll see how it does, but I still think there is some weird perimeter alarm battery drainage going on...
       
    7. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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    8. D Hook

      D Hook Elite Explorer

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      Is this an aftermarket alarm system?

      I've had instances when a car will just click, not crank and then wait a few seconds and try again and it starts just fine. Corrosion in the terminals will do that. Cleaning the terminals is a good first step.

      Please keep us updated on what you find.
       
    9. jad2411

      jad2411 Well-Known Member

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      Well since there is no stock alarm then yes I assume it s an aftermarket one, unless he means the stock keyless entry.
      The other thing to check is the battery cables, on my truck we had those issues that everyone told me were caused by the alarm, it was the neg cable to the battery, it was all corroded under the sleeve, I replaced it and it has worked great ever since
       
    10. Adasha

      Adasha New Member

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      Not fixed!!!!!

      IT IS NOT FIXED...

      Battery and alternator test fine.

      Try to start it - click click click with all gauges going back and forth fast and crazy and won't crank.

      ARGHHHH
       
    11. D Hook

      D Hook Elite Explorer

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      I only had that happen once on my Explorer. It was a bad battery. Nothing but clicking and gauges went crazy.

      I know you say they tested fine but if you can put in a new one or one from a known good source, you might find out more info. Borrow one from a friend or another vehicle you own?

      Does this have an aftermarket alarm or remote start system?

      Also check the cables for corrosion. Sometimes it's difficult to see if it's inside the wiring cover.

      Good luck and keep us updated.
       
    12. Adasha

      Adasha New Member

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      The alarm evidently came with it because it is fully explains it in the owner's manual that came with it. It is the strangest system and I would love to dismantle it if possible. I am all for locking criminals out, but it locks me out, too!

      I am going to get a new battery. Let's see how it goes. Any way to make these things not use the battery even when car is off?
       
    13. jad2411

      jad2411 Well-Known Member

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      try replacing the cables to the battery, the whole thing.
      Mine was doing the same thing the neg cable was nasty green under the plastic sleeve, under 30 bux and so far no more issues
       
    14. Mario81587

      Mario81587 New Member

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      I had this exact same problem on my Nissan Sentra. The battery tested good but the issue kept repeating itself. Go and get the battery tested again, but this time leave the ignition on and let it die down some to the point where it won't start. Then have them test the battery. I did this on my Sentra and the battery tested bad. I'm guessing that when I drove to Wal-Mart, where I had the original battery installed, they tested it right after I shut the car off, so it still had a full charge and tested good. The second time, after letting it sit with the ignition on, and then testing it, the battery charge was low, therefore it tested bad.

      - Mario
       
    15. lyricsembraceme

      lyricsembraceme New Member

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      can someone post pictures of wiring I found a wire and have all the same issues.. it has a number 3 on the tip and its pink plastic under drivers side dash, no radio, no power to windows, mirrors, gages and click, click, click... the wire looks like it would hold a glass fuse. battery doesnt take water. help!!!
       
    16. explorer5

      explorer5 New Member

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