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For the past few weeks, I've noticed a problem with my car. While I don't think this is related, let me preface this by saying that 2 months ago, I got all 4 engine coils replaced. The battery is 6 months old and the proper battery for the car, and I've double checked the cables, they're tightened properly. The car was used when I got it, but there's no after market radio or anything of that nature that would seem like an obvious cause. The first few times this problem presented itself, it seemed minor. I was driving and the radio more or less reset itself. Was off for 2-3 seconds and came back on, I noticed no other problems, so I assumed it was a loose wire/fuse. The next step was that the air conditioner went along with the radio. Again, 2-3 seconds, no interference from me, and it came back on its own. The next time was a little more severe. Everything above, plus all the lights on the dash came on as if it had stalled, but it did not stall, the car does keep running while this happens. Again, 2-3 seconds, and things were back to normal. I kept driving it, and it happened again about 3 minutes later, but was fine after that. I took it to Advanced Auto for a systems test, and he did find that something was draining the battery (what should be .5 amps or so was 26). I think the problem MAY be related to the air conditioning. The times it's happened so far, I've had the AC above the lowest setting. If I kept it on the lowest setting, it seemed just fine. Today, the problem happened four times on my way home, three within maybe five minutes of each other. The only thing I'd done was switch my AC to defrost, but as it was raining, I had my headlights and wipers on. Also, this does seem to act up on the hottest days (hence the need for more air, today was a record breaker heat-wise), so someone suggested that it may be more temperature related than AC related? Again, these are only speculations, but they're the only patterns I've noticed for sure. I'm fairly certain I have a short, but I thought it might be my best bet to ask here first, and if any of you could give me an idea of where to look before I take it in for a complete electrical servicing (money I do NOT have thanks to the $700 coil problem), I would really appreciate it!
 

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Um.... can I shoot the guy who replaced your coils?

I'm hoping your current problem is loose terminals at the battery, and you should also double check the smaller ground wires on the negative terminal- there should be one big wire, and 2 little ones. Make sure the ring terminal on the small wires is still connected and not coming loose. Mine were coming loose, and caused some freaky problems- very different than yours.

There are other possibilities, but let's hope it's simple.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Um.... can I shoot the guy who replaced your coils?
Hah. That would be the dealership. To be fair, it was an ongoing problem nobody could figure out, I finally took it to the dealer, and they narrowed it down to one, which was $500 of it. A week later, same problem, but now that we knew what it was, I bought the other 3 and my stepfather replaced them for me. This car kills me, because I'd wanted a Focus for years, finally found one I loved, and I've had so many problems out of it. But thank you for those suggestions, I'll check them out and pray that's all it is!
 

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Yeah, I just find it strange because I've had mine since 5 miles, I have 130k now, and other than one of the clips not engaging without persuasion- no coil problems. I had coil boot problems at 100k miles that I'd expect, and would've suggested for your car before replacing the coil. I just find it strange. I've been on this site for 6 years now, and I don't recall seeing anyone have to replace one of those coils. Of course, it's not impossible, and certainly there are bad coils out there. The fact that you had the "same problem" a week later, leads me to believe they were grasping at straws. Once again, not impossible, yet undeniably suspicious.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So apparently, the guy I had check the battery terminals didn't know what the [mad] he was doing. I trusted his word, but when I went for lunch today, the car wouldn't start. I opened it up and checked it myself, and sure enough, loose terminal. Problem was, the nut to tighten it was stripped, so I couldn't get enough contact to get it to actually start. I guess it had been hanging by a thread this whole time and had finally wiggled completely loose. Had my grandfather come with some tools, he tightened it up for me until I can buy a new terminal head (I think that's what he called it) and have my stepfather put it on for me.

So, in a nutshell, you appear to have been absolutely correct and thank you very much for the advice!
 
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