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loosing electronics in reverse

  #1  
Old 01-04-2009, 10:43 PM
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I own a 96 sable and recently when shifting into reverse I lose my radio, power steering and power windows. All other lights and options appear to work (haven''t tested everything, but dash, radio and headlights all stay on). After returning to park or drive everything works fine, but the seatbelt light will come on (no other warning lights light up) for the normal time as when first starting. The radio does cut out when shifting from park to drive without actually putting it in reverse.


Any ideas as to what''s going on? I did replace the battery a couple of months ago along with the idler pulley and cam sensor.
 
  #2  
Old 01-05-2009, 05:52 AM
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I don''t have the first clue as to what would cause that, but stranger things have happened. Check the battery terminals and make sure they''re good and tight. You might even give them a cleaning with a battery terminal cleaner or wire brush just for good measure. also, if the terminals are aftermarket clamps on the wires make sure the clamps are really good and tight on the wires. My wife''s vic was having trouble starting and it was that the battery wasn''t being charged properly due to the battery terminals not being good and tight.
 
  #3  
Old 01-05-2009, 07:24 PM
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I think you have a short in (not too sure of the proper term) the reverse light sender, or back-up switch, or sensor, etc. I would call the dealer and see what it is really called. Losing the power steering is a bit odd since it is mechanically driven.
 
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:00 PM
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Everything is now working again, but another odd thing happened this morning.


My son moved my car out of the driveway and parked it. 20 min later I got in to go to work and it wouldn''t start at all. All the lights and electronics worked but it would not even attempt to turn over. No clicking or any hint that the engine was even trying to work.


This has happened before and hitting the gas tank and fuel filter with a hammer cured the problem. So I did that, pumped the gas a few times and it started hesitantly. It''s been working just fine since.


I stopped at my local garage and theythink its a short in the steering column somewhere. I know the fuel filter has never been changed so that''s on the list to do real soon. Is this something that needs to be calibrated to the injection system or can you do it yourself (or in my case have a friend do it)?
 
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:15 AM
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changing the fuel filter is something you can do. Just have to know where it is and how it connects. There is no calibration to be done, just remember that you may have to crank it a bit for the first time after changing the fuel filter since there will be air in the system.
 
  #6  
Old 01-07-2009, 08:43 PM
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Did you try to start it in neutral? If you do the fuel filter remember that it''s probably directional<>. One other thing, when you turn the key can you hear the fuel pump prime the system? Let me know.
 
  #7  
Old 01-31-2009, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bzaw


I own a 96 sable and recently when shifting into reverse I lose my radio, power steering and power windows. All other lights and options appear to work (haven''''t tested everything, but dash, radio and headlights all stay on). After returning to park or drive everything works fine, but the seatbelt light will come on (no other warning lights light up) for the normal time as when first starting. The radio does cut out when shifting from park to drive without actually putting it in reverse.


Any ideas as to what''''s going on? I did replace the battery a couple of months ago along with the idler pulley and cam sensor.


I have a ''97 that does the exact same thing... Been chasing the problem for over a year now.. Had the column apart so many times..[img]smileys/smiley7.gif[/img] I''m beginning to suspect it''s a problem with the GEM (Generic Electronic Module aka Body Computer) Mine started with just the radio going out.. Then later on the windows would quit too.. But only whenever the shifter is in, or passes by reverse... I''ve chased wiring and grounds all over the damn car with no luck... Been thinking about getting another module at the junk yeard and seeing what happens....


 
  #8  
Old 01-31-2009, 11:33 PM
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It was the transmission range sensor (neutral safety switch), an easy cheap fix that bf and I were able to doin less than an hour. It is in a service bulletin posted by Ford for both Taurus''s and Sables and is a "common" problem. I don''t have the link handy but should be easy to find with the correct problem identified.


Mylocal mechanic was going to tear apart the column also, but thankfully my bf was able to research the problem more before I took it in. The sensor sits right below the air filter, it''s a black plastic box. Not too much involved to replace it you just need to make sure that the link is in the right position so the car starts in both park and neutral.
 
  #9  
Old 02-01-2009, 05:49 PM
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I know which bulletin you mean... It lists 96 Models built though 5/13/96.. Or has it been updated to cover later? Maybe I was the poor SOB that got a leftover part... Build date on my car is 4/97.. It seems to be functioning okay when I watched it on the scan tool but eh who knows... I guess it can''t hurt... At least when I was tearing it apart to chase thisa got alot of the other electrical crap that didn''t work right to function again... I''m already not sure how to handle having a working dome light, no random warning lights popping on and off, and 4 speakers, and the fact that the security system allows it to start every time now... Man if the range s/w fixes this and I can get it to stop drinking oil I might start to like this car...


 
  #10  
Old 02-03-2009, 05:33 PM
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Well, the trans range sensor fixed mine pretty much... No more radio and such going out in reverse... Although the windows are still a bit sketchy... Sometimes they don;t work... Sometimes they continue to work after shutting the car off and opening the doors several times.. The intermittent wipers and the low coolant light are kinda random too amoung other things.... All of which goes through the GEM...
 
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