I have a 2007 Ford Explorer that died on me earlier. When I was driving yesterday, I had maybe gone 2-3 miles when everything in the car died (headlights, dash lights and gauges, interior lights, windows, door locks) except for the (aftermarket) radio head unit. The car was still running when this happened but when I pressed the accelerator, it was revving high but not shifting, however as soon as the revs went up (not redline), everything in the car flicked back on and it continued driving for a little while after with no issues.
This morning, I went out to grab my girlfriend some coffee creamer and about a block away, the same thing happened again and I pulled over and the car cut off. When I tried to start it, I got nothing but the slow “click click click” that happens when the battery dies and is dead. Signs pointed to a completely dead battery as nothing was working, however the radio still was powering up without problem (my guess is because it’s wired in differently because it’s aftermarket) and when the ignition was in the “on” position, all of the lights and systems started rapidly pulsing and the car made an effort to start but didn’t turn all the way over and everything went dead again.
I do not have a lot of experience working on cars but I’ve always had an easy time understanding machines. Generally reading up on a particular car system or looking at blueprints has helped me to figure out things in the past. I’ve been reading up on what I can today (dealing with a newborn however) but figured some direct advice may be best for this particular problem.
My slightly educated guess is that there is an issue with the ground circuit, the battery terminals, or ignition switch. I’m not thinking it’s the alternator because of the working radio and the fact the car started with no issues and suddenly cut off power. Maybe a bad battery but then why would all of the systems be dead but the radio still coming on without problem?
Just for possible help, the truck has had some computer issues where the ABS, Drivetrain, and another light I don’t know go on and off intermittently while driving and sometimes the engine light comes on for a couple days and goes off for awhile (months usually). The code given by the engine light says it’s a problem with a control module and I’ve read of other Explorer owners having similar issues.
Any ideas would be appreciated. I don’t know if it can be avoided but I’d like to do whatever I can before paying to get it repaired. I can borrow tools and have a voltage meter.