Chugging 1995 Aerostar

Well, I was given my fatherís old ride, a 1995 Ford Aerostar thatís in pretty good shape with about 127k miles on it, 4 Wheel Drive, and the 3.5L engine.
Today, as I was driving home from school (which is a good 8 or 10 miles from home) everything was going well, or so it seemed, until I turned on to my home road (about a mile from my house). As I turned down the road I noticed that the sound from the engine seemed to be higher pitched. Not like whistling or anything, but just not itís regular hum. About 30 feet down the road it started to like chug when my speedometer got to about 25-30 MPH...I looked at the panel to see that the check engine light didnít just come on, but it was sort of flickering along with the chugging of the engine. I pulled over as soon as this started, but being so close to home, I wanted to just make it the rest of the way. So I did, pretty much just riding along the side of the road with my signal light on at about 20 MPH or less. When I got to my house I checked out the oil and the antifreeze, and both were a little low, so I fixed that. I started it up and tried to see if I could make it to the store down the street. I pulled to the end of my driveway and in that little distance, I noticed it chuged once again, and decided not to risk it.
I was just wondering, what kind of problem could this potentially be? Up until I turned down my road the thing was running fine going about 60 MPH. My battery has been going dead a lot lately, and Iíve been using one of those portable rechargeable power packs to get it started until I can get a new battery, could that be a problem?
Any help woul dbe appreciated...
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The bad battery is pulling most of the current from the electrical system. By running it with a bad battery you probably also overworked the alternator and damaged it. Replace the battery immediately and have the charging system checked.                 Tom
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"Tom Adkins" wrote: > > Any help woul dbe appreciated... > > > > The bad battery is pulling most of the current from the > electrical system. By > running it with a bad battery you probably also overworked the > alternator and damaged > it. Replace the battery immediately and have the charging > system checked. > &nbsp;&nbsp;                Tom
Ok...so the fact that that battery is pretty much dead would cause me to have such problems? I know that sometimes it will hold charge (so the alternator must be good, I assume) while other times it wonít. Sometimes I could drive to a store, go inside for 3 hours, come out and it would start right up, while other times EVERYTHING is dead, even the dome light. Iíve been meaning to get a new battery anyway...so this should fix the problem?
EDIT: Oh...and Iíve been reading some websites about the alternator as well (since Iím not really a tech guy). Theyíre telling me that if the batteryís dead, and the alternatorís not working, Iíll experience these types of problems. Just to be safe, should I get a new battery and replace the alternator? (This shouldnít be too big of a problem, because my father owns another Aerostar with virtually all the same parts that I believe blew a head gasket and is just there to take parts out of).
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You might have a bad alternator. That would cause the low battery and also make the whine. I lost one once while driving home, not only did it howl like crazy, it also smelled awful. It's hard to mistake the smell of burning wiring.
On the same car, I found I could tell when the battery was failing before it died because the engine ran like hell. Most auto parts stores will check the alternator and the battery for you if you take them in.
Of course, the chugging problem might be totally unrelated to the battery problem.
Just my 2 cents. Paul
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"Paul of Dayton" wrote: > You might have a bad alternator. That would cause the low > battery and also > make the whine. I lost one once while driving home, not only > did it howl > like crazy, it also smelled awful. It's hard to mistake the > smell of > burning wiring. > > On the same car, I found I could tell when the battery was > failing before it > died because the engine ran like hell. Most auto parts stores > will check > the alternator and the battery for you if you take them in. > > Of course, the chugging problem might be totally unrelated to > the battery > problem. > > Just my 2 cents. > Paul > > "thirdchildikari" <UseLinkToEmail@New & Used Cars Forums - > AutoForumz.com> > wrote in message > > Well, I was given my father's old ride, a 1995 Ford Aerostar > that's in > > pretty good shape with about 127k miles on it, 4 Wheel > Drive, and the > > 3.5L engine. > > > > Today, as I was driving home from school (which is a good 8 > or 10 > > miles from home) everything was going well, or so it seemed, > until I > > turned on to my home road (about a mile from my house). As I > turned > > down the road I noticed that the sound from the engine > seemed to be > > higher pitched. Not like whistling or anything, but just not > it's > > regular hum. About 30 feet down the road it started to like > chug when > > my speedometer got to about 25-30 MPH...I looked at the > panel to see > > that the check engine light didn't just come on, but it was > sort of > > flickering along with the chugging of the engine. I pulled > over as > > soon as this started, but being so close to home, I wanted > to just > > make it the rest of the way. So I did, pretty much just > riding along > > the side of the road with my signal light on at about 20 MPH > or less. > > When I got to my house I checked out the oil and the > antifreeze, and > > both were a little low, so I fixed that. I started it up and > tried to > > see if I could make it to the store down the street. I > pulled to the > > end of my driveway and in that little distance, I noticed it > chuged > > once again, and decided not to risk it. > > > > I was just wondering, what kind of problem could this > potentially be? > > Up until I turned down my road the thing was running fine > going about > > 60 MPH. My battery has been going dead a lot lately, and > I've been > > using one of those portable rechargeable power packs to get > it started > > until I can get a new battery, could that be a problem? > > > > Any help woul dbe appreciated... > > > > -- > > Posted using the http://www.autoforumz.com interface, at author's request > > Articles individually checked for conformance to usenet > standards > > Topic URL: > > http://www.autoforumz.com/Ford-Mecury-Chugging-1995-Aerostar-ftopict105894.html > > Visit Topic URL to contact author (reg. req'd). Report > abuse: > > http://www.autoforumz.com/eform.php?pI3172
Well, after I posted that last bit a little while ago, I continued to read the website that I was on. It talked about how if you take a voltmeter to the cable connections on the battery while itís running, and you get around 14 or 14.5 DC Volts (and not less) then you probably donít have an alternator problem. Well, since I had a votlmeter laying around, I tried that out and had about 14.7 Volts, so I assume the alternator is ok. Even though the alternator seems ok, could the bad battery be causing my problem, or is it something more serious?
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You know you have a bad battery. Replacde the battery and see if everything is fine.
Jeff
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thirdchildikari wrote:

Ok, you know the battery is toast, replace it and see what happens. The have the alternator tested.You have to do this before you do anything else. It is possible to get 14 volts from a bad alternator. The current capacity can still be low.You also need to check, clean and tighten all of the battery cable connections and the connections on the starter. Until you replace the battery you're just pissing into the wind.
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"Tom Adkins" wrote: > thirdchildikari wrote: > > "Paul of Dayton" wrote: > &nbsp;> > You might have a bad alternator. That would cause > the low > &nbsp;> > battery and also > &nbsp;> > make the whine. I lost one once while driving > home, not only > &nbsp;> > did it howl > &nbsp;> > like crazy, it also smelled awful. It's hard to > mistake the > &nbsp;> > smell of > &nbsp;> > burning wiring. > &nbsp;> > > &nbsp;> > On the same car, I found I could tell when the > battery was > &nbsp;> > failing before it > &nbsp;> > died because the engine ran like hell. Most auto > parts stores > &nbsp;> > will check > &nbsp;> > the alternator and the battery for you if you take > them in. > &nbsp;> > > &nbsp;> > Of course, the chugging problem might be totally > unrelated to > &nbsp;> > the battery > &nbsp;> > problem. > &nbsp;> > > &nbsp;> > Just my 2 cents. > &nbsp;> > Paul > &nbsp;> > > &nbsp;> > "thirdchildikari" &lt;UseLinkToEmail@New & Used > Cars Forums - > &nbsp;> > AutoForumz.com&gt; > &nbsp;> > wrote in message > > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > Well, I was given my father's old ride, a > 1995 Ford Aerostar > &nbsp;> > that's in > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > pretty good shape with about 127k miles on > it, 4 Wheel > &nbsp;> > Drive, and the > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > 3.5L engine. > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > Today, as I was driving home from school > (which is a good 8 > &nbsp;> > or 10 > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > miles from home) everything was going well, > or so it seemed, > &nbsp;> > until I > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > turned on to my home road (about a mile > from my house). As I > &nbsp;> > turned > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > down the road I noticed that the sound from > the engine > &nbsp;> > seemed to be > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > higher pitched. Not like whistling or > anything, but just not > &nbsp;> > it's > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > regular hum. About 30 feet down the road it > started to like > &nbsp;> > chug when > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > my speedometer got to about 25-30 MPH...I > looked at the > &nbsp;> > panel to see > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > that the check engine light didn't just > come on, but it was > &nbsp;> > sort of > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > flickering along with the chugging of the > engine. I pulled > &nbsp;> > over as > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > soon as this started, but being so close to > home, I wanted > &nbsp;> > to just > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > make it the rest of the way. So I did, > pretty much just > &nbsp;> > riding along > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > the side of the road with my signal light > on at about 20 MPH > &nbsp;> > or less. > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > When I got to my house I checked out the > oil and the > &nbsp;> > antifreeze, and > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > both were a little low, so I fixed that. I > started it up and > &nbsp;> > tried to > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > see if I could make it to the store down > the street. I > &nbsp;> > pulled to the > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > end of my driveway and in that little > distance, I noticed it > &nbsp;> > chuged > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > once again, and decided not to risk it. > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > I was just wondering, what kind of problem > could this > &nbsp;> > potentially be? > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > Up until I turned down my road the thing > was running fine > &nbsp;> > going about > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > 60 MPH. My battery has been going dead a > lot lately, and > &nbsp;> > I've been > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > using one of those portable rechargeable > power packs to get > &nbsp;> > it started > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > until I can get a new battery, could that > be a problem? > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > Any help woul dbe appreciated... > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > -- > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > Posted using the http://www.autoforumz.com > interface, at author's request > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > Articles individually checked for > conformance to usenet > &nbsp;> > standards > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > Topic URL: > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > > http://www.autoforumz.com/Ford-Mecury-Chugging-1995-Aerostar-ftopict105894.html > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > Visit Topic URL to contact author (reg. > req'd). Report > &nbsp;> > abuse: > &nbsp;&nbsp;> > > > http://www.autoforumz.com/eform.php?pI3172 > > > > Well, after I posted that last bit a little while ago, I > continued to > > read the website that I was on. It talked about how if you > take a > > voltmeter to the cable connections on the battery while itís > running, > > and you get around 14 or 14.5 DC Volts (and not less) then > you > > probably donít have an alternator problem. Well, since I had > a > > votlmeter laying around, I tried that out and had about 14.7 > Volts, so > > I assume the alternator is ok. Even though the alternator > seems ok, > > could the bad battery be causing my problem, or is it > something more > > serious? > Ok, you know the battery is toast, replace it and see what > happens. The have the > alternator tested.You have to do this before you do anything > else. It is possible to > get 14 volts from a bad alternator. The current capacity can > still be low.You also > need to check, clean and tighten all of the battery cable > connections and the > connections on the starter. Until you replace the battery > you're just pissing into the > wind.
Well what do you know...got the battery replaced (it was still under warranty, thank you Sams Club) and everythingís running great. I never knew that having a dead battery would cause the engine to mess up. Definitely a learning experience for this kid...thank you guys...
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thirdchildikari wrote:>

Great. Is that battery from Sams Club a Champion brand? If so, keep the receipt handy. Those have to be the lousiest batteries I've ever seen. I thought they were a pretty good deal at first. I had them in 3 cars, 1 pickup, and a garden tractor. They ALL failed in a litle more than a year and had to be replaced. After getting 2 replaced under warranty, I gave up and bought different ones. Yeah, they were still under warranty but...... I know other people who have had the same luck. To be fair, I've also seen a few outlast the warranty period, but I'll never take the chance again.             Tom
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"Tom Adkins" wrote: > thirdchildikari wrote:> > > > > Well what do you know...got the battery replaced (it was > still under > > warranty, thank you Sams Club) and everythingís running > great. I never > > knew that having a dead battery would cause the engine to > mess up. > > Definitely a learning experience for this kid...thank you > guys... > > Great. Is that battery from Sams Club a Champion brand? If > so, keep the receipt > handy. Those have to be the lousiest batteries I've ever seen. > I thought they were a > pretty good deal at first. I had them in 3 cars, 1 pickup, and > a garden tractor. They > ALL failed in a litle more than a year and had to be replaced. > After getting 2 > replaced under warranty, I gave up and bought different ones. > Yeah, they were still > under warranty but...... > I know other people who have had the same luck. To be fair, > I've also seen a few > outlast the warranty period, but I'll never take the chance > again. > &nbsp;&nbsp;            Tom
No...itís not Champion...some Nascar XLT dealie...it was my own fault for letting the last one go dead. I have a Sirius Satellite Radio (the kind that suction cups to your windshield). And I just turned it off the unit by the button on the front, not knowing that while it was still plugged in to the cigarette lighter thing, it was drawing out power.
I should be good from now on...
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