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1979 Town Coupe Eating Batteries

Hi Bill,

It's me again, the guy with the bad cornering lamps and crooked steering wheel. Now I've got a whole new problem. I had stored my Lincoln Town Coupe away for the winter and when I pulled it out again for summer the alt light came on. It does every time I start it but when I start driving it goes off again, meaning there's just a fault somewhere that's otherwise harmless. Driving it from the shed to the house through the light stayed on. I had the battery disconnected all winter so the clock wouldn't drain. This concerned me because I knew if the light stayed on while in motion that meant there was a serious problem somewhere. I parked it by the house and left it there still hooked up, I came back a few hours later and it started up just fine, and again a few more hours later. I had no idea what was wrong because it seemed ok. So I left home for a few days and when I returned I found that the car's battery was stone cold dead. Upon trying to boost it the power components worked just find but it wouldn't crank, and when I disconnected the vehicle doing the boosting it was dead again, so that battery is toast. It worked fine all summer last year, and I had dropped $110 dollars into having the alternator redone, completely rewired engine, new voltage regulator, and a brand new battery. My battery cables are crap though, I need to replace them, could they be causing this? I don't understand how this could have happened just sitting in one place all winter. We just recently rat/mouse proofed the shed so that's got nothing to do with it, and I went out in plus weather and started it up to keep the blood flowing 2 or 3 times during the winter. Any suggestions?



Tanner -

If your battery cables are that bad of course you should replace them first. Then if the problem persists you would need to do a complete charging system and battery condition test even though you have already made repairs last year . This will tell you if the charging system is operating properly and if the battery is capable of receiving and maintaining voltage etc. during a load test. If your alt. light is on as you describe, the above tests will be necessary in order to diagnose the problem. It is possible that some underhood wiring has suffered a over winter "rodent chew" in a hard to see area.