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Old 05-31-2014, 07:14 PM   #1
robdlouisville
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Clicking noise from the power distribution box

Never a problem with this car til now. 2008 Focus automatic 54,000 miles. Went to start it and interior lights sort of go on and off. Clicking noise coming from the power distribution box. I cannot even shift the car out of Park. Battery reads 12 - 13. INstrument panel looks like power is coming on and off. Never heard this before. And ideas? Thanks - RD


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Old 05-31-2014, 09:12 PM   #2
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The clicking is a relay that wants to energize a circuit, but has a bad power or ground feed on it's coil circuit.

It is acting like a light switch being flipped on/off rapidly.

I would start by checking the ground wire connections.
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Old 06-01-2014, 04:11 AM   #3
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I'd add the basics of battery connections, and ask if that voltage was when it's happening.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:00 AM   #4
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I tested the battery and it registered 12.9. BUT - the past few months, no matter how many times I cleaned the negative battery terminal from severe corrosion, it always got corroded again. Yesterday I changed the oil and have never seen so much corrosion. I didn't have time to clean it again. And coincidentally, it wouldn't start. I cleaned it last night and jump started it. But after a few minutes the battery smelled of sulfur so I disconnected it again. Today I will replace the battery and try to clean the battery connectors again. I also use the little green and red terminal pads which always have worked in the past - but not on this negative terminal. Thank You - Rob
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:01 PM   #5
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You're right, that battery has had it.

Those felts can help with minimal seepage seen on some top post batteries, sounds like that one has quite a bit of seepage - too much to be useable.

Check charging voltage as well as voltage at rest once the new one is in, just in case there is an overcharge issue.

Luck
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:00 PM   #6
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Sailor - Williamsville, NY ? I grew up in Cheektowaga. My younger brother lives in Getzville. Thank you for the reply's. I left WNY for the job. But I sure miss it. Rob
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:36 PM   #7
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That's the area, CheektaVegas - home of the mirror balls (Grin).

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Old 06-02-2014, 07:49 AM   #8
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Outside of automotive applications, relay chatter can also be caused by dirty contacts. Certain machines have relays with two or more levels of normally open contacts, one of which is a hold-in circuit that feeds power back to the coil. The idea is that once the relay fires, it will feed power to its own coil until the circuit is interrupted by a cam switch, for example. This enables one event to fire the relay, and later in the machine's operation, a different event to terminate it. This circuit is also used when a reset function is desired. Say the machine interlocks through a pair of parallel cam switches, which cut power to the machine and fire a relay to turn on a trouble light. The light will stay on until you hit a push-button switch (normally closed) and break the holding circuit to that relay's coil. If the normally open contacts for the holding circuit are dirty and not making good contact, the relay will bounce between the two power sources and you'd hear the clicking. Before solid state, electrical troubleshooting could be fun.

A special contact burnishing tool is required for silver contacts, because a file, however fine, will leave a rough surface that will arc, pit, and carbon up again.

Toby

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Old 06-06-2014, 06:25 AM   #9
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Thank you, Toby. I appreciate the response
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