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2015 Ford Taurus - Battery Failure

Hey Ray, I own a ‘15’ Ford Taurus. One day I got in it, it started just fine as always. A few blocks later I turned it off to fill the tank. When I got back in it was dead. Not the usual dash lights, outside lights, none of the usual stuff that happens as soon as you open the door, just DEAD. Couldn’t roll the windows up, lock the doors or put it in neutral to tow it. I had to wrecker it to the dealership. Three days later they called and said it’s ready. It was just a dead battery! How the heck can a battery go completely dead, from ‘just fine’, in a matter of minutes? With a new battery the car is just as good as new! I don’t get it!.

Don’t think Ray ever replies on this section of Car Talk. But yes , it is not uncommon for a battery to work and the next time be a completer failure . It happens all the time . And some will last a long time and others give up sooner.

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I had a 93 Taurus that failed 2 batteries in exactly that way while I owned it. Internal failure of the battery. Never had another car that did that. Some cars are worse for that than others.

Years ago a battery would give warning with lower and slower cranking, but not any more. I had a late 80’s Taurus with a 5 speed (MT5) that had the battery fail with no warning, could not start it by catching it in gear. Got a jump start and replaced the battery after scratching my head as to why I had no warning.

Yep, my 3 year old Acura did the same thing. OK for church, stopped for gas to head out 200 miles for a funeral, and dead dead. Paid for a jump, went home, bought a new battery and on my way in an hour. After that I bought a battery tester and test them at least twice a year and when I see they are losing capacity, I just replace them. Also bought a battery pack. It could have been out in the middle of no where.

We’ll assume this was the original battery . . .

If the car was built in 2014, that means the battery was 5 years old . . . a normal life span for a battery

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My observation is that the newer batteries don’t give you the type of warning (slow cranking) that batteries did years ago. I had the exact same situation as the OP with–coincidentally–my '86 Taurus.

No symptoms whatsoever that the 4 year old battery was failing. I drove home from work with everything functioning normally, and when I had to return to work for an evening meeting a few hours later, the battery was completely dead. Luckily, AAA’s roving battery truck got me up & running in time for my meeting.

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