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I was running errands in my 2011 focus today and had to shut the car down briefly after about a 30 minute drive. When I got back in the car, literally not more than 2 minutes later, everything was dead. The engine wouldn't turn over, the lights wouldn't turn on, even the doors wouldn't lock. I left the car for about an hour and came back to test the battery (only six months old), which turned out to be fine. I checked back again five or six hours later and the car started up and everything worked normally. I'm stumped! Anyone have any idea what happened?
 

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I was running errands in my 2011 focus today and had to shut the car down briefly after about a 30 minute drive. When I got back in the car, literally not more than 2 minutes later, everything was dead. The engine wouldn't turn over, the lights wouldn't turn on, even the doors wouldn't lock. I left the car for about an hour and came back to test the battery (only six months old), which turned out to be fine. I checked back again five or six hours later and the car started up and everything worked normally. I'm stumped! Anyone have any idea what happened?
Hi DougQuail,

Have you had the chance to contact your dealer for a diagnostic appointment? Please let me know, along with your mileage.

Meagan
 

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I haven't talked to the dealer yet, I was hoping someone here might be able to shed some light on what happened. The car has 40,000 miles on it. I was driving it today with no problems.
 

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Always hard to guess at a one time problem.

Battery cables/ground points are always a good first step with electrical, easy for them to look OK & be marginal.

Years ago I lost a number of functions after going through a car wash, pulling & reinserting under hood fuses solved it with no recurrence in the last 6 yrs. (minor corrosion of terminals is cleaned this way)

Luck
 

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Always hard to guess at a one time problem.

Years ago I lost a number of functions after going through a car wash, pulling & reinserting under hood fuses solved it with no recurrence in the last 6 yrs. (minor corrosion of terminals is cleaned this way)

Luck
Interesting you should mention that. While the car was dead I pulled and reinserted a few fuses, not all of them. I stopped when I realized I'd need a multimeter to test the larger ones. Perhaps that's what did it!
 

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Could solve the mystery knowing you did that Doug.

Learned the trick working on Motorcycles, where you get older things to work on that have been weather exposed more than the fuse boxes on cars.

It's solved an untold number of problems when the fuses "looked good" despite an issue. Even a fuse checker for the blade type fuses might not catch it if the poor connection is on the non-powered side.

Hard to convince folks to try it when they "already checked". Pulling them out for a better look does double duty by cleaning the contacts a bit.

[cheers]
 

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I've never had to do the fuse trick. However, battery terminals do tend to corrode under the terminal if not greased before installation. That's the most common cause of something like this. I'd still advise you to remove the terminals, clean, and re-install with grease.
 
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