Reader Question: I have a 2002 Ford Taurus. My husband was sitting in it with the air on and the car was in park. When he looked down the MPH gage was going up and down so he turned the radio off and could not hear the engine revving at all.
He put his foot on the break and the car died. When he tried to restart it, it would not start. It was not making any noise at all when you turn the key. The lights work and the seats move but the key pad for the alarm does nothing to lock and unlock the doors.
Can you suggest anything?
Is the battery dead or very weak? Turn on the headlights and make sure they are good and bright. When you turn the key to start the engine, do the headlights go out completely if so, you probably have a bad or dead battery, or there is a loose connection at the battery cables.
If the headlights stay good and bright when you turn the key to start the engine, you might have a wiring problem or an alarm problem. If the lights dim when you turn the key, you probably have a starter motor problem.
I suspect the battery died or the alternator quit recharging the battery and the battery does not have enough power to start the engine.
You might try charging the battery or jump-starting from another vehicle and see if you can get the engine running again. If the alternator is bad, the engine will die again as soon as the power is sucked out of the battery again.