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ABS Light And Dead Battery

njones1220

Member
Joined
February 19, 2013
Messages
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City, State
Virginia Beach, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer
After finally fixing all of the mechanical and engine issues with my truck yesterday, I had something new kick me in the teeth today. I was driving home, and the ABS light came on, steady not blinking.

I pulled over into a parking lot where I discovered I had no power to the windows, locks, etc. No lights, no nothing, but the engine was running.

I turned it off to check and see if anything was visibly wrong, and there wasn't, so I got a jump. It started right up, and everything had power again, and the ABS light was no longer on.

So I drive about 5 miles to my house, turn it off, then go to turn it back on again to see if it will start, and it's dead as a doornail. I turn the key, it acts like it might start, then it does the machine gun rattling noise and won't start. The manufacture date on the battery is December 2012, I just put it in a few weeks ago, so it is brand new. But I did notice when I was driving that the battery gauge, rather than being in the middle like it should, was at about the 1/4 mark, which is low.

I am tired of putting money into this truck, and hope to get a pretty certain answer. Is it more likely the battery or the alternator? Or is it something else entirely?

It's a 98 Explorer XLT 4.0 OHV. And I'd like to give a huge thanks for all the help this site has given me recently, and the headaches it has cured and prevented, you guys are phenomenal.

Edit: When I was driving before it died the first time, the speedometer and all the gauges were not working.
 



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I have a 2007 and this is the same thing mine done today. Any solution to this problem yet?
 






Google has been useless for a solution. According to various sites, it's the starter, the battery, the alternator, the ABS module, or bad fuse.

On mine, the battery is new, the fuses are all good, and I'm pretty certain it isn't the ABS module because of no related symptoms. That leaves the alternator or starter. I've replaced both on a few vehicles over the years, but I have to do it so infrequently that I can't remember from one time to the next what the symptoms are.
 






Now when I drive it, the battery gauge fluctuates up and down.
 






If all connections are good, have your alternator tested. My guess is the voltage regulator. GL
 






Google has been useless for a solution. According to various sites, it's the starter, the battery, the alternator, the ABS module, or bad fuse.

On mine, the battery is new, the fuses are all good, and I'm pretty certain it isn't the ABS module because of no related symptoms. That leaves the alternator or starter. I've replaced both on a few vehicles over the years, but I have to do it so infrequently that I can't remember from one time to the next what the symptoms are.

You don't have to worry about the ABS right now, because I know that the ABS light may come on when there's not enough power in the truck.
Is the battery connected properly without corrosion? I know it's new, but it may not have been installed perfectly.
 






All of the battery connections are new too, and no corrosion. I saw someone online mention something about the tensioner, and something about arrows lining up. When I look at mine, it has one small arrow head on the housing that the tensioner arm attaches to, and on the tensioner itself it has 3 long arrows. Is that small arrow head supposed to be within the other three? Because mine's about an inch to the side. And my idlre pulley looks like it has burned belt residue on it, but the belt is a month old, and the pulley turns freely when the engine is running.
 






Arrows are wear indicators that measure belt stretch. It would most likely be very noisy and
smelly if it were slipping that much. Unlikely your charging issue but you should remove the belt
and inspect ALL the pulleys and bearings anyway.

Again, have the alternator tested FREE at most of the larger auto parts stores. Call around. GL
 






its the Alternator, mine did the same thing. Real easy to swap out.
 






Here is a picture of the tensioner to describe what I was talking about. The red circles are at the tip of each arrow.

20130318_080101_zps1fc578b1.jpg
 






Looks to me like your belt has streched too far, based on those pulley markers. That could definitely result in under charging the battery. If the alternator wasn't charging at all, your battery light would be on. Also, check out all of your "big wire" connections among battery, alternator and ground and make sure that the wires are not corroded down into the insulation of the wires.
 






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