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Old 04-21-2014, 05:14 PM   #1
n0rr15
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Ive done my due dilligence...POWER OUTAGE ON FREEWAY

So I have a 2001 Ford Focus and I am the original owner. 240k + miles and it has been gently driven with all tune ups and oil changes. This is my daily commuter so we will drive her until she is done.
I was driving on the freeway the other night and suddenly BAM complete shut down. No bumps, nothing out of the ordinary. Everything shut down. No power, no engine, just darkness. Lasted for about 3 seconds and then came back on, engine revved and started running and all was back to normal. I wrote off my destination and decided to head home. Took the first exit and started back. DOES IT AGAIN, but this time lasted just enough time for me to pull to shoulder and after like 7 seconds (still moving) it all came back on again. I then did a 15 minute drive home with no more events.

Now I would think that this may be an alternator issue considering the battery just starts the car. However I am under the assumption that if that was the case wouldn't the car attempt to run off battery for a bit? I.E. everything begins to dim as I draw power from the battery due to alternator failure?

The power went out bad enough that all radio settings were erased, and no engine light stayed on.

Oh and yes I have searched all over this site and the Googles to try and find something. Nothing actually fitting perfectly.

Any ideas?


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Old 04-21-2014, 05:30 PM   #2
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Hmmm... Does not sound like an Alt failure. I am guessing a faulty electrical ground or the related power cables and connections. One item, -the power hold relay, if it cycles on/off while driving would create symptoms like you described. For starters, you, a friend or a car shop pro needs to comb it over and inspect, remove and cleanup all exposed electrical connections starting at the battery and beyond.
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:33 PM   #3
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I sincerely appreciate the reply. I am going to go over it myself to see if I can find anything that looks out of place. Thanks for reassuring me about the alternator it really didnt act like that was the problem
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:34 PM   #4
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im going with bad ground to the alternator, its obviously not charging the battery fully but since it comes and goes the alternator is functional, check for bad ground to the alternator
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5speedRuby View Post
... its obviously not charging the battery fully ...
Nothing reported indicates that to be true.

BTW - For the sake of clarity, the Alt does not have its' own ground cable. The Alt ground is provided by the engine block-> then to a engine block ground cable-> then connected to bat NEG terminal-> then to car chassis. Those cables should be tested, but I was leaning more toward other cables and wiring first because it sounded like the PCM and Power Hold Relay randomly dropped off. I also thought about that recent big Car Recall (not a Ford recall) where the ign switch was turning OFF while driving and wondered if the OP has a bunch of keys and junk on his/her car key ring... or that maybe the key cylinder and/or ign switch might be defective otherwise.

Edit: rephrased a few things and added bit on last sentence to include key cylinder.
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Last edited by Marde; 04-21-2014 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:27 PM   #6
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The radio stations being lost indicates a complete power loss, meaning a complete disconnect of the electrical system. By the time you read this you may have found a loose connection either at the battery, the starter, or somewhere else like a main connection to the fusebox. My money is on the battery or starter connection though.



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Old 04-21-2014, 09:58 PM   #7
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If still original battery terminals then grab them and attempt to twist sideways. These use a real crappy design that you swear you've tightened but they are still slipping on the post. Common. Not enough grab range, once someone cleans the post enough material is removed to let them slip.

Look at the battery/alt positive lead as it winds down the back of the motor, there are issues with the cable fraying to short against the engine block or melted at the starter power interface, either could do that.
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