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Battery Light Blinked, Lost Power, Car Won't Start

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I wish I was driving the car. My gf was driving the car. I was on my motorcycle in front of her. We were doing 60 mph and I lost her. She fell behind. I got off the interstate and checked my phone. She said the car stunk and was hot. Anti-freeze was all on the ground. The battery light on the dash blinked and the car lost power. She was able to get it on the side of the road.

When I showed up, the car would not start. It was not running. We pulled it home. I pulled the alternator and battery, thinking that the alternator went out and the fan stopped turning when the battery died, causing the car to stop. Both the alternator and battery checked out GOOD at Advance Auto. We cleaned the battery posts and changed the terminals. Still no start. Looked at the fuses. Nothing to report there.

It seems electrical... but not as simple as the alternator going out and then the battery dying.

What else can it be? When I turn the key, the starter spins, but the car does not start.

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If the alternator died she would have seen the battery light turn on.

One flaw in the logic though. The car wouldn't have overheated and died if the alternator died. If the alternator did die, the car would continue to run until the battery died. Yes the fan would turn off, but the motor would stop running too because no spark due to no electricity. So if it was just the alternator, the car wouldn't have overheated.

So looks like you have a bigger problem, like the water pump died and the car overheated. Possibly the car overheating is causing it not to start now.

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The water pump dying would cause the battery light on the dash to blink?

Also, oil is not burnt and is clean. No anti-freeze in the transmission fluid or oil.

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No that wouldn't. When you say blink, did it blink once, did it blink rapidly? When does it blink?

Well head gasket seems to be okay.

Check for codes.

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Codes would have been cleared when we pulled the battery. No codes. The battery light does not continue to blink in the car now. She said the battery light and dash lights blinked when she lost power.

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Do you have electrical power to anything in the car? Dome light, headlights, anything? How is the coolant level? You can blow a headgasket and not have anything in the oil.

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You can also blow an engine and have all those things be okay. Does the engine actually turn over?

What about the CPS -- if that went out then it would be pretty catastrophic.

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Dome lights, headlights, everything works. Engine sounds like it wants to turn over. It's almost like the fuel shutoff switch in the trunk was flipped or something or like the car is out of gas. We checked the switch and flipped it back and forth. No changes. The overflow tank had no coolant in it. I put water in it.

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My money is on a blown headgasket. If you pull the spark plugs and try cranking I bet coolant will come out. All the signs seem to be pointing to this.

I'm not sure why it lost electrical power though. Maybe some coolant got on something and shorted a circuit...

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do the idiot lights on the cluster illuminate when you turn the key to the run position?

Can you hear the fuel pump buzzing. (probably more to it than just this).

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I wish I was driving the car. My gf was driving the car. I was on my motorcycle in front of her. We were doing 60 mph and I lost her. She fell behind. I got off the interstate and checked my phone. She said the car stunk and was hot. Anti-freeze was all on the ground. The battery light on the dash blinked and the car lost power. She was able to get it on the side of the road.

When I showed up, the car would not start. It was not running. We pulled it home. I pulled the alternator and battery, thinking that the alternator went out and the fan stopped turning when the battery died, causing the car to stop. Both the alternator and battery checked out GOOD at Advance Auto. We cleaned the battery posts and changed the terminals. Still no start. Looked at the fuses. Nothing to report there.

It seems electrical... but not as simple as the alternator going out and then the battery dying.

What else can it be? When I turn the key, the starter spins, but the car does not start.

Consider the chance that the coolant leaked and got on the belt, causing it to slip and make the alt not charge due to slip. Could explain blinking Alt with no Alt or battery issues.

When cranking with the starter, if it sounds normal but does not fire, then it is likely ign, or fuel.

When cranking with the starter, if it sounds very different, likely overheated and stuck the rings, thus loosing compression.

Report back.

If it has stuck rings, there is a way to start it.

-chart-

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I pulled the spark plugs. There is coolant in each cylinder. The spark plugs look like s**t. They look burnt. I put a motorcycle spark plug in a spark plug wire boot and turned it over to see if I have fire. I have fire.

The head gasket is shot or the head is cracked judging by the coolant in the cylinders.

This might be the end of the line for the Blue Bull.

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Given how difficult it is to compress water, I'm betting that you are correct. A moment of silence for the blue bull :beat-tcca:

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Vulcans are cheap and easy to change if you have an engine hoist and basic hand tools.

How many miles are on this car now? I seem to remember this one having quite a few.

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Vulcans are cheap and easy to change if you have an engine hoist and basic hand tools..

(slowly smiles...)

This is bad. Always did like that car.

Im thinking a head gasket... cant rule out bad head.

$had3 :ford::merc::Shady_J:

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Man that sucks. If its just a gasket it might be worth repairing, if it's both sides of engine I'd have to call it a day.

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What years of Vulcan are of the same? (Thinking about pulling an engine from the junkyard).

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96-99 for sure. A newer one can be used pretty easily as well by swapping intake and a couple of sensors over.

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We took a moment of silence for the Blue Bull....

 

 

I went to the state auction on Saturday and placed a winning bid on a white 1999 Taurus...  Vulcan (who would have guessed?!?!?)  with 146K miles.  The white taurus sounds good.  I will be putting the cassette deck and tires from the blue bull in the white taurus soon.  I will check out the brakes on the white taurus.  I switched the drums to disks on the blue bull, so if I have drums on the white taurus...  you guessed it.

 

......hums "Back in the Saddle Again........."

I'm BACK!

 

Back in the saddle agaaaaain.

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I can almost see the dark tint on the white car already.  Always kinda liked black on white.

 

Still humming, "back in the saddle again."

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So is the Blue Bull officially gone? :(

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I'd grab as much as I could from the old (blue) car. Alternator, belt tensioner, coil pack, etc. You could also advertise it on craigslist as a parts car. Maybe somebody with a Taurus with a bad trans would buy it and make one good car out of the two.

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I'd grab as much as I could from the old (blue) car. Alternator, belt tensioner, coil pack, etc. You could also advertise it on craigslist as a parts car. Maybe somebody with a Taurus with a bad trans would buy it and make one good car out of the two.

 

 

I'll buy it. Louisiana isn't too far for me to drive. The '96 Wagon needs a trans and other bits.

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