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Suddenly dies

My 05 Ford Focus just suddenly died. I had it jumped and moments later it died again. Jumped it again and it died again. Could this be an alternator problem?

Could very well be the alternator. Buy a voltmeter like this one:

It should read greater than 14V when the engine is running. Be sure to remove it if it’s still powered when the key is OFF.

Had me worried. I thought it was a valued member for a second. It could very well be if the battery is dead after each episode.

The car went to a very well known mechanic. Had the car back for a few days now. I was driving down the street and the car just suddenly died again. The car has power Interior lights, Head Lights, radio, it all works. I turn the key and get absolutely nothing. The lights don’t even dim when you turn the key. Any thoughts to this issue

Why are you posting the same question twice? Test the ignition switch.

Sorry, I realized I could have just followed up with this post.

Have the battery tested.



“car went to a very well known mechanic. Had the car back for a few days now”


And what did this mechanic do?


Replaced alternator

The alternator could not be the cause of the engine suddenly dying driving down the road

If the alternator fails, the engine won’t stop running from one second to the next

I agree that you may want to look at that ignition switch

“The lights don’t even dim when you turn the key. Any thoughts to this issue”

That means the starter isn’t even getting power when you turn the key to run position

Battery connections are the first place to begin when you have a “No start” situation. Even
if you have a new battery, if the connections are loose, dirty or corroded, you will not be
allowing the full flow of current to pass thru the connections. The connection may be
enough to turn on the lights, but not enough for the huge flow that is needed to operate the
starter. This is where many people say that they know the battery is good….”because the
lights come on”. This is no more a battery test than licking a 9volt battery. It only tells you that there is electricity…not how many volts or the amperage that flows from the battery.
Jump starting may have wiggled the terminal just enough to allow the current to pass and start the engine, but tomorrow you have the same problem.

First remove the cables from the battery and use a wire brush to remove any corrosion and dirt from the battery posts and the cable terminals. There is a tool with a round wire brush for this purpose, found at any auto parts store for less than $10
Before connecting the cables, apply a coating of di-electric grease to the battery posts this will keep oxygen away from the connection so that it will not corrode as fast.

It is just as important that the other end of the cables also have a clean connection. Remove the positive cable from the battery again so that you do not short anything out. Follow both cables to their far ends, remove this connection and wire brush the connection and the cable terminal clean and retighten these connections.

If there was work done recently, there may have been an “engine to body” ground that was not installed following the work. These grounds normally run from the rear of the engine to the firewall and are uninsulated and most are a braided wire. If any of these are found unattached…reattach them.
Remember….this is not a “Sherman Tank” don’t over tighten the connections.
Tight…tight………………too tight…broke!!!



What tool would you recommend to test the ignition switch?

Thank you so much for that well detailed response.

sounds like what happened when my voltage reg went bad

No problem @Hooptie94; glad to help.

But I cheated! I’m not a good typist and this fix seems to be suggested at least twice a week on these boards.

So I wrote it up and just cut and pasted.

I figured that I’d let the creative juices flow and give an in-depth discription.

Wait till you see my next work in progress. “Installing muffler bearings with a funnel and toilet plunger”


Test continuity of the switch with a multimeter set to ohms. Proper connections should display 0 ohms if the circuit is active.