2004 Mustang 3.9L won't turn over - Mustang Evolution

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Old 12-21-2013, 07:58 PM   #1
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2004 Mustang 3.9L won't turn over

Hey guys, this is my first post. I've used this site before for diagnostic help but never have posted. I have a problem that has let me scratching my head so I need some help. For starters, I have a 04 3.9L Convertible, and she is dead. Last week, got in it and it wouldn't start, so I jumped it off (which took a good 30 min) and brought to a parts store and they told me the battery was shot. So I got a new one, they installed and cleaned my terminals (which are tight). In the past 5 days I've found out I have some type of overheating problem. I noticed it was running hot, was a mile away from a store, so I stopped and put some water in it. The water was leaked out within a day or two. Not sure what the problem is, haven't had the money so I haven't drove it since. Got in it to crank it yesterday and it's dead again. It won't even attempt to turn over. And it wouldn't take a jump either. Sometimes the gauges will light up and act normal (still won't turn over) and others the interior lights won't even come on. It's like the car has no battery. The car has a new battery, alternator is less then a year old and working, so it's not either of those. When you turn the key on, the gauge cluster sweeps, which Mustangs don't do. The speedometer needle is also just stuck at 120 mph, it won't move. I've also noticed in the past 2 weeks, the e-brake light has coming on during acceleration. Not sure if that's a connection. I'm also experiencing idle surging and hesitant throttle response during acceleration. Any ideas what the heck is wrong with my car? Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:50 PM   #2
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To me (not a pro) sounds like it could be computer issues. The battery not staying charged is an indicator of a bad (or failing) altenator or voltage regulator(i think). The clusters do sweep, but the only time ive seen mine do it was after I had unplugged it and did some work on it. It did it to me once while I was driving but I have no clue why and it hasn't done it since. I believe the sweeping could be it going bad. You can put it in test mode(?) by holding the trip reset button in while turning it to on, but that wont help really unless you have enough power. Also I believe PATS is linked to the Gauge cluster, which if the cluster is going out it wont let the car start (another "I think"). I would start with the cheap checks like usual. I know its a stupid/obvious question but its also the most overlooked when we get frustrated, make sure your fuses and relays are good. Then I would start with your battery cables, from the altenator to the battery to the computer. Make sure there are no shorts/broken wires/bad connection/corrosion/etc.

Is there any SES/CEL?


I hope this helps and I havent made you more confused. Hopefully someone will correct anything I have wrong.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:01 PM   #3
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You lost me on some of that, I'm not the biggest car guy out there. Just a young college guy who knows it looks good and is fun to drive, lol. I've never had a problem fixing anything in the past but this has me stumped. I'm going to add a picture to the conversation tomorrow of the battery wires, they look pretty bad to me but I honestly don't know if it's bad enough to cause a problem. The battery isn't dead at all though, which is one of the things that throws me. It's only a week old and is testing perfect. I was hoping it'd be something simple like a relay (I have no idea how to check all that) but I have a good friend that is a mechanic that take a look for me. Even something as simple as a starter/solenoid. Not too bad of a fix. I'm just dreading it being electrical because that can be a needle in haystack to find :/
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:23 PM   #4
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Auto or stick?

And the only way I know to check a relay is to unplug it and shake (somewhat gently) it, if it rattles its bad.

IMHO, if the battery is testing good, and the cables look bad, I'd start with checking them to make sure they are tightened down correctly. Disconnect your battery then trace the positive cable and check the connection on that end for corrosion and tightness. then trace the negative cable and do the same.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:11 AM   #5
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Which relays do I need to check?
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Old 12-22-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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If you have a manual, look in it for your Ignition switch fuses, Starter relay, Battery relay or fuse. You want to check any fuse or relay that has to do with your battery, altenator, ignition, starter, computer, ...


if you arent sure which ones are which....check them all lol
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:06 PM   #7
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Forgot that part, sorry it's auto. I'm going to check the manual and do the fuses today. And show y'all the battery wires. Hoping I find a fuse that rattles lol
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:27 PM   #8
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To fix the leak you must first discover where it is. Go to your local parts store and get a pressure tester. It is a loner tool so the only investment is the down payment. Take the radiator cap and read the pressure recommendations. Put it on the radiator and pump to pressurize. Now spot the leak
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samuelsmith View Post
To fix the leak you must first discover where it is. Go to your local parts store and get a pressure tester. It is a loner tool so the only investment is the down payment. Take the radiator cap and read the pressure recommendations. Put it on the radiator and pump to pressurize. Now spot the leak
Lol, well i dropped the ball there didn't I, lol
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:41 PM   #10
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Thanks for that, I'll go pick one up. But first I have to find the problem that's keeping it from starting lol
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:37 PM   #11
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Just got back home from my weekend trip, thought maybe I'd try to see if it would crank. Of course it didn't. Here's a more detailed explanation of what it does. The inside lights came on, (I got kinda excited) try to crank it, one click, nothing. Then the interior lights all go off. It's dark already so I'm going to wait till tomorrow to start checking stuff. But I took a pic of the battery cables that look bad to me, (picture is attached) Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByMustang Evolution1387759063.710658.jpg
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ID:	142597so take a look and let me know if y'all think they are bad enough to cause this. I know they are bad and need to be changed anyway, but at this point I'm worried about what's causing this.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:20 PM   #12
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The cables may not be the whole cause, but are definately part of it, you shouldn't really see the wiring exposed that much, and you most definately want to get as much of that corrosion gone as possible, most of the time you can use a little Coca Cola and it will eat away the corrosion. It sounds (since the lights came on) like you are getting power, but the battery needs to be recharged. the fact that you heard the click is a good sign but since there was only one, and everything died suggestion either the starter has a short and is draining the battery or the starter is going bad.

Start with the corrosion on the cables, then try a jump. When you jump the car off, let the jumper cables stay attached with the jumper car running. Give it about 5 minutes of being attached before you try to start, then if you are able to start it make sure you leave them on for about a minute or at least slowly take them off.

If you can get it to start i suggest testing the alternator by taking the negetive cable off of the battery completely while the engine is running. If the alternator is still good then your car should continue running. If the car shuts off, you need to get it checked and more than likely replaced.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:45 PM   #13
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I'll start on all that tomorrow, thanks for that. I read a similar situation to mine and it ended up being the cable, so fingers crossed for an easy fix. Question: what is that one click I'm hearing? Where's it coming from? And I have tested the alternator, it is good.

---------- Post added at 01:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:45 AM ----------

Battery is also testing 12V.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:47 PM   #14
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Lol, well i dropped the ball there didn't I, lol
Your worried about the main important issue. All I can recommend is know how to use a voltage meter. You are better at a online diagnostics walk through.





Spray some hair spray on the new terminal so it does not corrode
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:51 PM   #15
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Idk if this has anything to do with it at all, but once my PATS was ****ing up (i slipped while turning the key and the car thought it was being stolen, lol) and when i would try to turn the key to turn it on it would click ONCE and then no power, all the lights would come on when i put the key in but it would not crank, i looked online for 30 minutes before i found someone saying it was PATS, so i clicked the lock button and clicked unlock button and tried to turn it on again and it worked, to me it sounds like you have somekind of problem with your PATS, the battery cables definitely need replacing as well, but PATS is what it sounds like to me.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:56 PM   #16
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During some of my readings, I've saw something about PATS but never looked into it. It's funny because my car was broken into a couple of days ago, but that was after all this started. But I'll go look into it.

---------- Post added at 01:56 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:53 AM ----------

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Idk if this has anything to do with it at all, but once my PATS was ****ing up (i slipped while turning the key and the car thought it was being stolen, lol) and when i would try to turn the key to turn it on it would click ONCE and then no power, all the lights would come on when i put the key in but it would not crank, i looked online for 30 minutes before i found someone saying it was PATS, so i clicked the lock button and clicked unlock button and tried to turn it on again and it worked, to me it sounds like you have somekind of problem with your PATS, the battery cables definitely need replacing as well, but PATS is what it sounds like to me.

But while this is going on, the lock/unlock button doesn't work. So could that still be it? Car acts like there isn't a battery in it.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by samuelsmith View Post
Your worried about the main important issue. All I can recommend is know how to use a voltage meter. You are better at a online diagnostics walk through.





Spray some hair spray on the new terminal so it does not corrode
I assume you're talking about removing the negative cable, I know how to use the volt meter, but I also know not everyone has one.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:49 PM   #18
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During some of my readings, I've saw something about PATS but never looked into it. It's funny because my car was broken into a couple of days ago, but that was after all this started. But I'll go look into it.

---------- Post added at 01:56 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:53 AM ----------




But while this is going on, the lock/unlock button doesn't work. So could that still be it? Car acts like there isn't a battery in it.

So your remote doesn't work? Lol. I meant the lock and unlock buttons on the remote
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:50 PM   #19
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I washed it a couple of weeks ago and haven't got a new one yet.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:56 PM   #20
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I washed it a couple of weeks ago and haven't got a new one yet.

Well that may very well be it. Because that's the only way to deactivate PATS... As far as i know. Like i said, the whole situation the way you explain it sounds exactly like mine was.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:58 PM   #21
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But why would the problems just now be showing its face? I've been without my clicker for weeks.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:14 PM   #22
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But why would the problems just now be showing its face? I've been without my clicker for weeks.

No clue. But your problem sounds very PATS related. Maybe someone on here knows how to disable it
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:36 PM   #23
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You said when you first turn the key that everything lights up like its going to start right?

and do you have a spare key for the ignition?
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:37 PM   #24
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Sometimes it does. Other times they won't light up. I'm wanting to say they don't light up more then they do. That's another thing that's throwing me off.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:42 PM   #25
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real quick, run outside and watch for the theft light, it should blink once every few seconds.


Do you have a spare key?
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:43 PM   #26
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Look for it outside of the car?

---------- Post added at 04:43 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:43 AM ----------

No spare.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:44 PM   #27
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it is in the Dash on the bottom near where the low fuel and airbag lights are.

---------- Post added at 12:44 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:44 AM ----------

you should be able to see it from outside the car, if not it should still be blinking if you have to open the door
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:45 PM   #28
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I mean open the door or just watch for it outside of the car
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:50 PM   #29
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you should be able to see it from outside the car, if not it should still be blinking if you have to open the door
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:50 PM   #30
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Theft light isn't blinking
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:55 PM   #31
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Ok.....you probably hate me if you aren't using the mobile app, buy take you keys, and make sure its not blinking again, if not then put the keys in and turn to on and see if you have power. If you have power and the lights come on its definitely a PATS problem.

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Old 12-22-2013, 10:55 PM   #32
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So I left the key on the on position, popped the hood and wiggled that cable in the pic I posted, hear the radio turn on and it crunk up.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:00 PM   #33
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to get it cleaned real good, Take the cables out of the connector for the battery, and take a wire brush and some coke to them, and same to your battery connector, they'll be good as new
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:03 PM   #34
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I'll get on that in the morning. I'm breathing a sigh of relief. I've never been so happy to hear her rumble haha now I get to focus on why it keeps overheating
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:04 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samuelsmith View Post
To fix the leak you must first discover where it is. Go to your local parts store and get a pressure tester. It is a loner tool so the only investment is the down payment. Take the radiator cap and read the pressure recommendations. Put it on the radiator and pump to pressurize. Now spot the leak
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