My Canon Rebel XT doesn't work

It’s weird. I’m not sure what it is. When I was in Panama a few weeks ago, I was out happily snapping pictures when, for reasons I simply don’t understand, the auto-focus stopped working.
My first thought was condensation. My camera had been inside an air-conditioned room for a day or so, and Panama is warm and humid. Bad combination for cameras, I tell you. I figured enough time to warm up and allow the condensation to leave should be enough.
It’s been a few weeks. The auto-focus still doesn’t work. The camera still seems to take decent pictures (manual focus is still available), but I’ve come to rely on the auto-focus to make sure my pictures are tack sharp.
I’ve checked the AF regions. I’ve reset all the settings. I’ve cleaned the pins and lens contacts (it happens with both my lenses). I’ve cleaned the mirror, too.
Anyone know what might be wrong? I’m outta ideas, and sending my camera to the shop to fix here in Costa Rica raises a number of language-based issues.

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  1. How did you clean your contacts?
    There’s a couple different ways – you can use one of the white erasers, but I would follow that up with a wipe with something like Eclipse solution (the stuff sold for sensor cleaning). Dana has this problem periodically with his Nikon.
    You have the Rebel XT? (not XTi?)
    I’ll also ask one of the guys next time I’m in the Camera Store – probably sometime in the next couple of days

  2. Aw, thanks, Lyn!! That would help so much!
    I fear that this isn’t something with the contacts, though. They look super-clean, and the contacts on the lenses look fine. When the auto-focus runs, it’s running the full range — one end to the other — before it gives ye olde green flashing light. Methinks (mefears?) the auto-focus sensor might be shot.

  3. I got the camera in December 2005 in Boxing Day (Week) sales. The lenses are both Canon, one is the 17-85 EF-S, and the other is a 50mm 1.4 (first version, not the second).

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