Car shut off - won't start - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018 Thread Starter
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Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 17
Car shut off - won't start

Hello all, need some suggestions or ideas on what could have occurred. As I was driving yesterday and I was slowing down for a stop my '98 5M just shut off. At first I though maybe I stalled it, but it won't crank at all. I tried jumping it and nothing. The lights and a/c work.

Fuel pump? I don't think this is the problem as the car doesn't turn over

Battery terminals are tight, but maybe it's the ground?

Something to do with the ignition? I hope not, I put new msd coils when I did the tune up earlier this year.

I'm out of theories, help me out ...


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018
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My vote. Bad battery. Perhaps an open or shorted cell.

I know what you are thinking. "but I jumped the battery and it still didn't crank". Consider that when jumping a battery the jump provides assistance. Rarely can a jump provide enough current on it's own to crank a car with a TOTALLY dead battery.

Further there are some battery failures such that the old battery actually consumes some (or most) of the jump current.

The other thing you might be thinking is "how can a bad battery cause the motor to shut down". For a modern car with a modern alternator:

no battery = no alternator
No alternator = no motor

Here's some more information that may help:

Howto perform charging system voltage drop test

But why guess? Test.

Either take the battery to your local Auto parts store as most will test for free. But regardless the out come of the battery test, you will KNOW if the battery is good or not.

The other quick DIY'er way to test is with a volt-ohm meter (VOM). Measure the no load voltage at the battery. Now attempt to crank. What exactly does the voltage do? Stay the same, drop? If it drops, what does it drop to?

The "on the side of the road method" is to turn the head lights on. Are the bright? What happens when the motor is attempted to crank? Do the head lights Dim? Go out? Stay the same?

If the head lights stay the same, that means the starter isn't drawing much if any current.

If the head light get very dim or go out, that means battery voltage is dropping very low.

If the head lights don't dim much or very little, that would be normal starter operation.

But it's not a bad idea to perform a through check of:
  • The battery terminals.
  • the battery cables.
  • the grounds around the radiator core support
  • Confirm there is +12 volts at the main alternator B+ terminal.

It's almost always a good idea to start every car trouble shooting session with a through review of the battery and charging system. Don't be "that guy" who replaces a bunch of parts only to find out it's something basic as a bad battery.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018 Thread Starter
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Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 17
Thanks WMBURNS for the detailed info. Yeah, the alternator was the other thing I thought. I take a look at what you mentioned tonight. Thanks
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018
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Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 251
^^^^Definitely what WM Burns has said. Get a fully, fully, fully charged battery in their, and go from there.
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