Dead Battery, Won't Charge | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Dead Battery, Won't Charge


Well-Known Member
March 10, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Raleigh, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 5.0L AWD XLT
Basically my battery is dead, but there's more to it then that. It won’t charge. I'll get the thing jumped, go driving around for awhile, come home, shut the engine off, and then everything cuts out. Could this just be a battery at the end of its days (it is a rather old battery) or could there be a problem with the alternator. Is there some way to check to see if the alternator is good or bad, without a mechanic saying "hmm... looks old, most be bad"? What about the battery, can Wal-Mart or somewhere check the battery and tell without a shadow of a dought if it’s bad? I only really wont to replace one or the other, I’m not made of money, and I don’t want to replace the wrong thing.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Take the battery to your local auto parts shop and have it checked. If it holds a charge under load it's good. If that's the case you'll need a new alternator. If the battery won't hold a charge then replace the battery and go from there.

I just went through this last week myself.

Sounds liek the battery is dead. The altenatpor seems to be keeping the vehicle running after you get it started.

I'd agree with the dead battery diagnosis. If it were your alternator, you wouldn't be able to run the vehicle, and your check engine light would pop up. Having said that, many of the chain auto stores (Advance, Autozone, Battery Warehouse, etc) will do a FREE electrical systems check for ya.

you might want pick up a fuel pump relay while your there (cheap - about $5 @ murrys), from what i've read in the threads, the original relays have a tendancy to get stuck open, and kill the battery, i've dead celled 6 bats in 8yrs, and still get phantom dead batteries on occasion. not saying it will cure all but @ $5 why not rule it out. i'm replacing mine this weekend.

I vote for a shot battery too. Keep us posted on the results.

Good luck....

turns out the cold start was really low. I got it replaced with an Everstart. Thanks for the help.

Yep, dead battery gets my vote!