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Is my Taurus really a Gremlin?

My 99 Taurus won’t start if it’s been raining heavily, or gets too cold. We recently had a ton of rain, and it’s now dead as a doornail!

I went to start it the other morning, and everything was fine until I tried to ignition, then everything went out. I turned the key to the On position and slowly, the dashboard lights came back on.

It made a “ticktickticktick” sound while they were coming back on then all of a sudden, the windshield wipers went on and the interior lights, indicators and whatnot all sprung back to life. Tried the ignition, but the whole died all over again.

I think there’s a short in the wiring somewhere, but wanted a professional, not to mention more experienced, opinion.

Just offhand, this sounds like a weak battery or bad battery cable connection to me.

Battery is 1 yr old, connections are clean. Could be cables though? It’s an older car that lived most of it’s life in New York and Wisconsin.

The battery terminals can look clean but still not be making very good contact. Also, have you checked the other end of both battery cables?

In addition to that, there can be corrosion hiding underneath of the cable insulation. Before I went spending much money on a professional I would worry about these things. Start by pulling both ends, cleaning & reattaching wrench tight, as suggested. If that doesn’t get the job done, slice some of that insulation off & if you see any corrosion under there just replace the cables.