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04 Not Starting - PATS/security system problem?

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Old 03-15-2010, 10:37 PM   #1
djnet5
Bethlehem, PA
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Angry 04 Not Starting - PATS/security system problem?

I have a 2004 Explorer with nearly 50,000 miles on it. Today before work I went to start my Explorer and was met with problems. I used the keyless entry remote to unlock the vehicle, then put the key in the ignition. I was met with the car alarm going off when i turned the key to start the car. I quickly pressed the unlock button the remote to get the alarm to stop going off, then tried to start the truck again. When I turned the key, the ignition just ticks, and the truck doesn't start. The theft light is flashing at rapid fire after every attempted start, and the only light that comes on in the instrument panel is the airbag light when attempting to start.

Later, I tried to start it again, and noticed that the interior lights are dimming every time I unlock or lock using the keyless entry remote. Then, when I armed and locked the truck for the night, I noticed the horn was considerably lower than normal. THUS, making me think it's the truck's battery that is going bad. I haven't tested the battery or tried jumping it yet, I'm saving that until tomorrow when it's no longer going to be raining, supposedly.

I also think this is weird because we've had about three straight days of rain here in Pennsylvania, and now all of a sudden it doesn't start.

1: Does it sound like a dead battery?
2: Is there a problem with PATS/the security system also?
3: Could water play trouble on something underneath the hood or to do with the security system?

ANY HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:46 PM   #2
BigRondo
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Sounds like the battery to me.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:51 PM   #3
djnet5
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Yeah, tomorrow first thing I'm gonna go out and test it out, see if it'll jump or take a charge. I'll post what I find out on here then. Thanks for the quick input!
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:55 PM   #4
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Good luck!
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:15 AM   #5
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Well, went out this morning to start it and heard the click again. So, I moved my brother's truck and jumped it off of that. First time I turned the key, it had power on all accessories that it didn't before - stereo, lights, etc. Then, it sounded like it wanted to fire up and BANG the alarm goes off, blocking me from starting the engine. Tried both of the sets of keys I own for the truck, same thing. Then, just on a whim, I pulled the PATS fuse underneath the drivers' side on the fuse panel, and pulled the horn relay under the hood (so that the horn wouldn't wake my neighbors up). I tried starting, now nothing - with the PATS fuse pulled I guess it won't let me start the truck. So, I replaced the PATS fuse and the horn relay fuse - now it's working fine. I let my brother's truck charge the battery for a little while and now the truck starts up like normal and runs fine. Anything?
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:09 PM   #6
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djnet5, it still sounds like the battery to me. They die slowly over time. My Focus wouldn't start one day so I roll started (manual trans) and it worked fine for a long time. Every now and then I would have to roll it and it would work fine for a while. Eventually the battery died and it wouldn't start at all. Same story with my Mustang. They didn't have all the fancy electronics, etc. so it was just a matter of rolling it and popping the clutch. Did you try testing the battery with a volt meter? How about the output of the alternator? Maybe the battery is not getting a charge. Any indication of trouble coming from the battery gauge? Just throwing some ideas out. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:00 PM   #7
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BigRondo - I really appreciate all your help with this. I think it had something to do with the battery this morning, because I was getting very low lights and horn reaction when arming/disarming the alarm system. However, when I connected it to jump it, all the lights and chimes seemed to work again. After jumping it and charging it for a little while on the other truck, it has worked fine all day. I made at least six small trips today (gas station, food, etc.) and it started fine every time. The battery was tested with a volt meter this morning and seemed to be low, but not crazy dead. About 5 minutes after it was jump started, it was right on par with what it should be again. The output of the alternator is good (THANK GOD) and the battery gauge has yet to make an appearance on my instrument panel. In fact, when it wasn't starting, it wasn't the battery gauge that was lit up, it was the airbag light for some odd reason?

You've been a great help and I hope all this trouble is gone for good. But, if it comes back - I know what I'm dealing with now at least!!
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:05 PM   #8
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djnet5, any update? Like I said the battery can seem fine at times when it is on it's way out. I hope it all works out for you.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:33 PM   #9
djnet5
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BigRondo - had battery tested and seems to be fine. The truck has been running fine ever since. And, since I just don't have the cash (or feel the need) to take it to the dealer at this point, I'm just writing this off as a fluke. Hopefully the battery doesn't die; it seems just fine - tested good and all.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:57 PM   #10
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djnet5, good luck to you. I hope it all works out. In the middle of doing my parking brakes on my 02 xlt. What a serious PITA!!!
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