Not starting after leaving it sit over night


Asked by Apr 28, 2014 at 11:15 PM about the 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis 4 Dr GS Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a '99 mercury grand marquis. I just got a brand new starter put on and some wires cleaned up. I paid an extra $90.00 an hour on a machine for the wiring and nothing came up. It starts up but after leaving it sit for a few hours or over night, it acts like the car is dead for days at a time and will not start again unless I go back to autozone to switch out the starter relay fuse. It helped a bit but the car is dead again. Battery is good and so is alternator. Could it be a solenoid? or ignition switch? I've heard the starter relay clicking but thats it... I have no idea if it's worth putting money into or just scrapping it?... Someone please help me

34 Answers


Sounds like something is draining your battery. Measure the voltage in the morning. Shoud be over 12v. Try disconnecting the battery overnight. Try charging the battery overnight. I've seen alternators that are bad and drain the battery. Until you try those things, no one has a clue.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

I have also encountered Alternators that draw power when the engine is shut off. So if what I understand from your story is correct: after sitting overnight, your vehicle will not crank. If you replace the starter and Starter Relay (there is no such thing as a relay fuse), it starts and runs normally without having to recharge the battery? If you're just jump starting it and hoping the Alternator will charge the battery, all you will end up with is a burned out Alternator and half- charged battery. Have you actually Load tested the Battery or Alternator? The Charging system is designed to carry the load of the vehicle and maintain the battery - not resurrect it from the dead.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

I've talked to numerous people. If my alternator was going out or is shot, the battery light will come on and the car will start to loose power. My car isn't loosing power at all. Now what I've been told is that I have a bad ground wire somewhere from my battery cable that is making my car not start and only when it wants to start, when the wire is getting hot, and cools down then my car doesn't start, somedays it does and somedays it doesn't. If it was a bad alternator and charging system, how would it be able to start if I change the starter relay and it fires up every time?

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Have you replaced the starter? A bad ground wire would not burn out a relay, only prevent it from engaging. I would make sure the neg. battery cable is routed directly to the engine block, and run another grounding wire from the block to the chassis. Many times grounding can be the problem, but this time I don't think it is. I used to fix old VWs with a similar problem by installing an additional relay, activated by the key, to send power to the starter relay. Worked like a charm. Any 12v universal relay will do.


Derek932121: I don't know who you have talked to but please understand that I have been a Master Certified Ford and ASE Technician since 1987. I've been to college and have spent hundreds of hours in the classroom and tens of thousands more under the hood. My current position has me repairing, maintaining and equipping a fleet of over 800 Police and specialty Law Enforcement vehicles - I kinda know what I'm talking about.

11 of 11 people found this helpful.

I've replaced the starter. I got a remanufactured one from Auto Zone. I had it professionally done at a mechanic shop, before they had put the new starter on, They ran the car on a machine that charged me $90.00 an hour, They had it on for about 2.5 hours and nothing showed up, they had wiring ripped apart and everything. He said the only thing that wasn't getting power was the S wire to the starter. So They had replaced the starter and it fired right up. I picked it up and the next morning it wouldn't start. Same problem everyday and I have no idea what's going on. The tested my battery and alternator there too and nothing wrong with either of those. Maybe a defective starter? But it still starts if I switch out the starter relay...

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I'm an electrical genius, I have patents on many things electrical. Find the wire from the starter relay, route it to a new aftermarket cheap 12v relay, to actuate it. The output from that relay goes to the starter solonoid, the power to your new additional relay comes from a fairly heavy wire that you supply, connected to the battery positive post, through an inline fuse. I have fixed many german cars this way, when no-one else could.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Hi I have a 1989 Honda accord Lx and I think I'm having the same problems... If I get a jump off my car will do good for 3 days but now it only last one day with a jump off... Something is killing my battery over night but I don't know how because all the lights in the car still come on and the horn blows the night day but it won't crank without a boast, the battery is brand new and the alternater, and the battery terminals... Can someone tell me wat I need to do or wat I need to get my Car back running without having to get a jump off everyday???? Thanks....

12 of 12 people found this helpful.

Ok someone help me Ford mechanic or non. My 2002 Ford Escape V6 4x4 has been giving me lots of electrical issues (I know it's prone to them). The latest and greatest is my car was dead after sitting for so long and I purchased a new battery. Put it is and viola, car was in champ mode again. About a week or two later and starting it every other day, it went dead again. Jumped it and bam worked great. Left it overnight and dead in the AM. Went back to the shop I purchased the battery from and exchanged it for a new one. Installed and "champ mode" again. Vehicle ran great, everything normal until a few days ago when it was dead after leaving it sit for a few days. It takes a jump and starts right up but after leaving it overnight stays dead (until I jump it). I've cleaned terminals on battery and changed battery connectors. Now my only guess is my radio because it will actually stay on until I turn it off manually. It has a removable face as well and I always turn it off before I take out the face (just in case leaving it on was draining it). I am in no way mechanically inclined just been around vehicles and shops so I assume I remember "shop talk" and if the battery is dead, vehicle wont start...if the alternator is bad, vehicle wont run...mine starts and runs (like a champ once it's on) so I'm totally lost, please provide assistance.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

A working alternator can have bad diodes and drain a battery. If that's not it, Remove the Positive battery cable. Measure the current drain, if you have a multimeter. Hook a seat-belt buzzer, or 12v light bulb between the batt. and the cable. If it's buzzing, or lit, start disconnecting things and pulling fuses until the problem is found. (if you don't go crazy first)


I have a 2002 Ford tuarus , I wake up every morning to a battery that turn all electronics on but won't start car.. every time I get clicks an the gauges jumping which kills the battery more.. anymore detailing advice anyone can offer so I know every possible problem I may have with this vehicle.. my name is D or Shandrell if ur response is for me... Thank you kindly

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

something's draining the battery. Use a multimeter, light, or buzzer. Try the things in my previous answer 4 mo. ago.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Hey OldFordIssues I am having the same exact problems! 02 ford escape. Just replaced the battery, alternator, and spark plugs. It is still pulling power from somewhere. I've had it tested and they can't figure out what's pulling the battery down. I have old friends telling me something about a relay switch, but no parts store or mechanic I have asked about it knows what I'm talking about. Did you get yours fixed, and if so, how? What was wrong?


Disconnect positive cable. Use a multimeter to measure current draw from battery to cable. If it's more than a few milliamps (clock, ect), then start pulling fuses and disconnecting things until the current draw stops. A buzzer works sometimes, also, in place of the meter.


It Turns Over But Thats It Put A Jump On It And Bam Starts Right Up Then It Will A Few Times. Let It Sit A Couple Hours Same Thing Turns Over But Won,t Start

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

You've either got a bad battery, or a current drain, draining the battery. Try disconnecting the battery overnight. See if it starts.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Hey guys ok so im going crazy ..i have a 2000 chevy suburban just replaced my starter my battery is good ...was driving and car stopped ... When i try to start it it sounds like it wants to start but it does not ... My lights come on and my gages go up ...battery light comes on and security feature starts to blink as well ... I only have a certain amount of money im working with ppl have told me its either my fuel pump...ignition gage or something else ...idk what to do ..heeellpp

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

O and i got my spark plugs changed as well

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Need help bad.I have a 2014 Chevy Sonic Lx.I jyst brought it 7 months ago.My car keeps dying after it sits for hours or overnight.Went to Auto Zone after a jump start and gotten it tested.Machine revealed good alternative,starter,and battery.Car still after left won't start up after sitting.Husband brought a multimeter,his first time use.Nothing showed up.Battery was disconnected the negative when testing.An advice will be helpful.Thinking it's a blown fuse but nothing came up.Think I have two fuse boxes.Hopefully there's no third fuse hox I missed.Engine light come on when trying to start but won't turn over.Fast clicking than after several attempts nothing.My first car.Help please,God bless you!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

You have a current drain. Could be the alternator diodes. Could be something that's not turning off. Disconnect battery at night until you find it. Take off the Pos cable, hook a 12 volt tail lamp bulb from the battery cable to the pos battery post. If it lights you've got a drain. (if it doesn't, you could measure draw with the multimeter). Less than one amp, maybe 200 ma. Then start disconnecting things, and temporarilary removing fuses until the light goes out. Then you've found it. Start with the large wire to the alternator. You might find things like trunk light staying on, window trying to go down, or any of the many electrical systems in the car. I still somewhat suspect the battery, but you'll know if it starts the next morning with the cable disconnected all night. If it doesn't, and alternator's OK, then the battery is shot.


Thank you will do this tonight.Will uodate how it goes


Taken the ground off overnight tested it the next morning still at 12 volts.Tested fuses with circuit testor and all lights stayed on.Never turned off no bad fuses.Inside and under hood. Lost at what else can drain the battery.


(Tracy ) I'm Having A Problem with my 2006 grand marquis . Battery light on . Battery and alternator tested good .So I went and got a new battery. Battery light still on. And don't start sometimes when it sits. And when I back up it sounds like it won't to die

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

If the battery light is still on, the alternator must be bad. Measure the voltage at the battery when running, should be 14.7 volts or in that vicinity. If it measures good, then there's something draining the battery. I'm almost sure it's the alternator.


It whined up being the battery after all.Dealership exceeded the time or just enough to sell me my car.


Thanks for letting me know. I thought it was the battery.

Need help and may have similar problem. 2002 pontiac grand am v6, car wont start if it sits longer than 5 hours or overnight. It will only start if I use starting fluid in the throttle body vent, or if I disconnect the battery at night. Otherwise, the engine keeps cranking, but won't turn over. I have replaced the fuel filter, fuel pressure regulator, brand new battery and AutoZone checked the battery and alternator and both are good. Someone please help, I'm getting so pissed off lol


I would be too. You've got to see what's draining the battery. It may be too low to run fuel pump is left connected. Disconnect the battery positive cable. hook a 12v bulb, or a seat belt buzzer between the battery and the car. If the bulb lights at all, you've got a heavy drain. If the buzzer sounds, you've got one somewhere. With it hooked up, start disconnecting things (even the alternator),pulling fuses, disconnecting wiring harnesses(last resort) until the buzzing that's driving you crazy stops. If so, then you're zeroing in on the problem. It could be lots of things like trunk light, radio, a module, alternator diodes, power seat or window, and more. Also, it helps to use a multi-meter to measure the current draw (in place of the bulb/buzzer). The clock, and the electronics in the car draw a very small amount of current, just a few milliamps. The turning over but not starting is a puzzle, also. Check fuel pressure, maybe a weak fuel pump? No, don't use that sledge hammer yet :)

The battery isn't draining. I've discovered that if it doesn't start, I can just disconnect the battery for a couple hours, and reconnect it and then it will start. Disconnecting the battery seems to be resetting something.


you need to hook up to a scanner and see if any trouble codes are showing. There are guys on this forum who should know a lot about this, I've never run across it. also, you should replace the fuel pump relay, just in case. Cheap and easy, and they do go bad.

i have a 1996 ford crown vic police interceptor and it keeps blowin the starter/alternator fuse under the hood any idea what it is


I didn't know there was a fuse for both things. I'd have the alternator checked first, because it's easy. Maybe it's a high amp alternator that puts out more than the fuse can handle. Also, have the battery checked, it could be shorted. Then, start dealing with the starter/starter relay.

I have 2002 mercury i left my light yesterday at work i get a jump it start right up i let it run for a min then turn it off then try to start it back it won't start back up what u think that could be


Probably a bad battery. Also, you didn't let it run long enough to charge the battery back up. Next suspect is the alternator. How old is the battery?

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