2003 Taurus Wont Start

2003 Taurus, about 45K. Had been problem free so far. However, out of the blue, it has decided not to start, appears to be an electrical problem.
After a roughly 100 mile drive, I parked it for about an hour, then went to run an errand. Lo and behold, turned the key and nothing. Noticed that pretty much everything electric was dead, except dome light. Tried to jump it. With the cables connected, all the electrics came back after a moment - windows, door locks, trunk release, radio, blower, etc. However, when would turn the key to start, everything would kinda shut off, and Id get a click...click...click (sounded like from engine compartment). I did notice before jumping what appeared to be a faint (it had sat for an hour) fragrance of electrical smoke smell from the engine compartment after I opened the hood, but couldnt be sure.
Let it sit for several hours, tried the car again. Initially, the dome light worked and that was it. After a moment, at least some of the other electrics would function (radio, door locks). Tried start once, nothing.
There were no early-warning symptoms that I observed at all... No idiot lights, nothing.
I left the car at my original destination, about 100 miles from home, so any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated.
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When my 91 Taurus died like that it was a short in the battery with no warning.

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i would check the battery ends and posabillty the battery could be bad but i would clean the battery ends first
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rstaggs01 wrote:

Most likely battery, but could be starter motor starting to go out. Get battery load tested, clean terminals at battery & grounds, check alternator output with a voltmeter. If the Taurus doesn't have a voltmeter gauge, consider installing one. here's a discreet app that works well (and it's cheap): http://www.e360west.com/marktester.htm
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On 11 Jul 2005 13:36:26 -0400, rstaggs01

Sounds like a battery problem for some reason. Try cleaning the terminals for a better connection. Check voltage accross terminals - should be 12.5 or better. If it drops under about 10 when you try to start, the battery is probably bad. Is this the original battery? If so, it is probably not going to recover for any period of time even if charged. IF it starts with a boost, get a new battery. Have the charging system checked just to be sure that is OK.
Lugnut
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