I'm attempting to get my 1998 Ford Expedition 5.4L V8 to start after sitting for a few months.

Initially, the battery was dead, so I put it on my charger for a while. After the battery was charged I put it back in the car and it refused to start.

Attempting to start it after the battery was charged led to the following symptoms:

  • Cranks for about 1/4 of a second, then completely stops. No clicking from starter.
  • Loss of power on dashboard, interior lights, etc.

Next, I thought "well maybe the battery is bad", so I put it on my jump starter. Same issue occurred. So I made the assumption that "maybe my jumper box doesn't have enough power", so I plugged in my Camry while it was also on my jumper box. Same symptoms.

The really weird thing for me is that the loss of electrical power after attempting to start it doesn't fix itself when I stop attempting to crank it, like a low battery situation. The multimeter still shows battery voltage, but the interior lights and dash don't light up when I stop trying to crank it. These issues only get fixed when I remove the battery connections, and reconnect them.

Any pointers in the proper direction are truly appreciated, thanks in advance.

  • How much battery voltage does the multimeter show? And what does it show while cranking? The battery may be sulphated, or have a cracked plate jumper. This could be due to freezing or a battery voltage less than 10V for an extended period of time. The battery can be ruined, with no hope of jumping, charging, or revival.
    – SteveRacer
    May 9, 2019 at 3:10

2 Answers 2


The battery is dead. Replace it.

  • 1
    Hi there, your post really doesn't help the OP. While the core of it is probably good, what we expect in an answer is some detail and guidance. Please read our tour and How to Answer pages for guidance.
    – Rory Alsop
    May 3, 2019 at 16:39

Check your connections at the battery, then follow them out to their respective end points. Ensure you have a good connection on all of these points. This means, checking/cleaning the connection at the battery terminals, then ensuring these connections are tight. Then following the same leads to their end points to ensure there's no corrosion there, either. It could be on the ground (earth) side or the positive side ... you'll just have to investigate. You can try starting the vehicle, then when the vehicle goes dead, wiggle (one at a time, keeping the movement localized to the end point your testing) the connections to see if the power comes on. If it does on any single point, you've probably found your culprit.

It sounds like it's got enough connection to get things started (ie: lights on and 1/4 second of starter engagement), but not enough to keep things going under a high amperage load. What you describe is very typical of this situation.

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