Electical Trouble-shooting


Asked by Jun 14, 2013 at 02:00 AM about the 2009 Ford Focus SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Last evening, we had a pretty significant lightning storm.
So the next day, I  use my car remote to unlock my car, didn't work. So I had to manually unlock my car with my key. I get in the car, and it started right up, but It wouldn't shift into gear. The dash lights was on, but the radio, power locks/windows, headlights, and all the electrical components would not work. So I called my local Ford dealership, and they said it was possible that my car was struck by lightning, and said to check the fuses. So I did, and they seemed fine. I knew it wasn't the battery knowing the car started right up. So I unhooked the battery for like an half hour, and took out all the fuses one by one, and tapped them a little.. I hooked the battery back up, get in the car, and everything was back to normal.
Now can you tell me what caused this, and do you think that I may've fixed the problem? I always heard when you unplug the battery, it resets everything.  Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.. Thank you..

2 Answers

Tracy Hooks

I've heard of similar circumstances but never experienced them myself. Yes, disconnecting the battery for a short period of time does reset the computer(s) back to the original setting in some cases. Electrostatic Discharge can wreak havoc on electronics. Ford has gone to great lengths over the years to protect their modules and computers from frying due to short- circuits and even the occasional "oops I hooked up the jumper-cables backward". It's possible that the modules needed to be reset. It's also possible that the extra ozone and humidity in the air caused a connection problem you cured by wiggling a loose fuse. Another possibility: the Body Control Module that controls the Keyless Entry and other security features on your car, may have received erroneous signals too many times and locked itself down. Some thieves have frequency generators to defeat remote systems and many systems "lock out" if they get the wrong code too many times. Lightning generates radio frequency signals - IDK. Just an educated guess.

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Thank You for your info.. Appreciate it.

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