Another dead battery PLUS elec. smoke!?! | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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Another dead battery PLUS elec. smoke!?!


New Member
March 24, 2010
Reaction score
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 XLT
On vacation, July 4th Sunday. Get back from church. Change clothes and back out again. Explorer won't start. The big relay by the intake (forgot its name) chattering away with key in accessory. Disconn batt cables, let it sit, check voltage (12.2), hook her back up and try to start.

Loud chattering from relay by intake again AND A PUFF of grey elec smoke from ceter console above the radio. WHOA.

New battery (2nd one in 13 months!) and all is well except radio display goes brt/dim..... etc... As a precaution I pull the 3 radio related fuses and now am back home a week later. Scheduled back in garage in 2 days.

I did read the display power board thread. Don't know if that is what caused the smoke or not. Old battery just welded itself internally when we got back from church. BUT, the battery was only 13 months old (Ford new...)

I've searched these forums high and low. Dead 1 year old batteries are here and there. Many links to the wiring harnesses under the driver's and pax's siderails.

Any other suggestions before I let the crack Ford mechanics look at it?

BTW, two days earlier, we did have the center console removed and replaced for the repair of the heater control motor (the Explorer 75k mile joy as I call it). I am wondering if when they put the center console back (did not have to remove dash), something made contact with ground or came unplugged???...

Any ideas?




Well-Known Member
July 4, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Jacksonville, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
2020 Ford Explorer XLT
FWIW, a year and a half ago, the 3 year old Motorcraft battery on my '06 shorted itself out. Never had a battery do that in 30 years. But replaced the battery with a Duracraft, and all is well so far.