Edmunds Answers

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  • avatar 0patience 06/24/08 8:29 pm PST

    Did your mechanic check the positive battery cable?
    On a lot of those vehicles, the positive battery cable bends right at the battery and often breaks the cable.

    The mechanic should check to make sure there is power on the starter side of the starter solenoid/relay when the key is moved to start. If there is, then he should check that there is power to the main positive cable attached to the starter when the key is turned to start.

    He may find that it will show power to the cable until the key is turned to start. If that is the case, the positive cable needs to be replaced.

    Just a shot in the dark.

    Also, did your mechanic check ALL of the fusible links that come off the starter solenoid/relay?

    And I gotta ask this..............
    What kind of shop is this that you took it to that they think it is a module?
    I am correct in reading this right, the engine won't turn over and all it does is click, right?

Answers

  • jhenn 06/24/08 1:55 pm PST

    Me again.....they still do not know what is wrong. I'm tempted to go and have it towed from the shop. In checking out this site I see that this has happened a lot with Explorers. Mostly, having to do with fuel pressure and sometimes changing the fuse fixes it. I can't believe that they don't know what's wrong. Any ideas?

  • 0patience 06/24/08 8:29 pm PST

    Did your mechanic check the positive battery cable?
    On a lot of those vehicles, the positive battery cable bends right at the battery and often breaks the cable.

    The mechanic should check to make sure there is power on the starter side of the starter solenoid/relay when the key is moved to start. If there is, then he should check that there is power to the main positive cable attached to the starter when the key is turned to start.

    He may find that it will show power to the cable until the key is turned to start. If that is the case, the positive cable needs to be replaced.

    Just a shot in the dark.

    Also, did your mechanic check ALL of the fusible links that come off the starter solenoid/relay?

    And I gotta ask this..............
    What kind of shop is this that you took it to that they think it is a module?
    I am correct in reading this right, the engine won't turn over and all it does is click, right?

  • jhenn 06/25/08 12:10 am PST

    Shop was local that has been used before. BUT they couldn't fix it. They said that their computer diagnostic tool was broke. So two days wasted there. Problem was ....car would make clicking sound when turning key but would not start. All lights and radio came on. Shop said that it was not firing up and the starter and battery were fine. I was trying to check to see if this was a fuel pressure issue or what. They originally said that it might be a module problem but then they couldn't figure out what was wrong. The car is being moved to another shop Wednesday morning to see if they can fix it. I just fear being ripped off.

  • patrick88 06/25/08 12:46 am PST

    Check the cable as stated above. I'm guessing the solenoid. Where is the clicking coming from? Try this, I'll get laughted at here, but I've seen it done and have done it myself (especially on Fords), take a wrench and give the solenoid a tap or two (not real hard though just enought to give it a slight jolt) sometimes they'll stick and all it takes is a wack or two to free it. Just don't kill it with a grandslam hit :-).
    Solenoids stick and will not allow the starter to engage (the plunger won't move and doesn't activate the process).
    Is it getting power all the way to the starter solenoid (if that's not were the clicking is coming from)? I'm not sure what module they could be talking about, but most of them would not keep the engine from turning over (maybe not firing but turning over no because you are getting power everywhere else). Could they have been talking about the relay? When you check the cable, check the relay and the connections to the solenoid. It's in one of these two places either solenoid or relay.
    Try the above suggestions and let us know what happens and if it doesn't work out I'll research it more for you.

  • 0patience 06/25/08 2:01 am PST

    "Problem was ....car would make clicking sound when turning key but would not start. All lights and radio came on. Shop said that it was not firing up and the starter and battery were fine."

    Ok, now I have to ask............
    How exactly did they determine that the starter was ok, if it wasn't cranking the engine over?? Did they pull the starter to check it?
    This shop is beginning to sound less than favorable.

    If you can't get the starter to spin, you cannot confirm it isn't the problem.
    I'm afraid to even ask how they determined the battery was good.

    The starting system on your vehicle is the basic of basics. This is first year apprentice stuff. Determining the problem should be relatively simple if one has his hands on the vehicle.

    All fuses should be checked.
    All fusible links should be checked.
    The solenoid/relay should be checked for power in and out and the signal wire (small wire) when key is turned to start.
    Power to the cable, as I mentioned earlier.

    On the starter, there is One large battery cable.
    With the key to start, the large wire should have 12+Volts. If it has more than 12 Volts, then the circuit is working.
    All that leaves is the starter.

    Simple battery and circuit test (this is a quick check and not to be confused with actual diagnostics)
    Check voltage at the battery with a voltmeter. Is it more than 12Volts?
    Yes, then keep the meter on the battery, have someone turn the key to start, does the voltage drop more than 2 volts? Yes, then the starter is drawing power but not turning.
    Pull the starter and have it bench tested.
    No, then power is probably not getting to the starter.

    Sorry for the book I just wrote. : )

  • 0patience 06/25/08 2:11 am PST

    Oh my, it just occured to me that it may be an automatic?
    Try shifting to Neutral and seeing if it will crank.
    It is a possibility that the neutral safety switch (Digital Transmission Range Sensor) has gone bad or come unplugged or one of the wires has broken.

    Please tell me this shop checked that. (I'm not holding my breath)

  • patrick88 06/25/08 10:57 am PST

    Good points from Opatience.
    I don't believe it would be the neutral safety switch because if its not operating correctly it will more than likely do one of two things either (A) not allow elect. through the circuit and not start the vehicle, then there wouldn't be any clicking noise or (b) allow it through the circuit and start the vehicle in any gear position.
    BUT having said that, we don't know where the clicking sound is coming from so just to track down and do a good diagnosis of the vehicle I'd good ahead and check everything we've talked about above and the neutral safety switch.
    And you are correct Opatience, the only way that they could've checked the starter was by doing a bench test, unless they feed current straight to the starter bypassing the whole system (this is possible), But if they did this and it worked, any good Techician would be able to see that the problem was between the starter and iginition switch, and as we all know there's not too many things to check after that (ignition switch, relay, battery, possible fusable links, cables and connections) and with a DVOM (or even a test light) and 15 minutes, the Tech should be able to pin point the problem.
    I'd still like to know what module they is bad. Is there one that controls the starting system that I don't know about????? (for the firing system and everything else yes but....)
    Sorry another book from Pat :-)

  • patrick88 06/25/08 11:06 am PST

    I forgot,
    They said their diagnostic tools were down, well they could've checked just about the whole vehicle system with just a DVOM and basic tools. Granted there are a few (very) things that are hard to and you need to use the scanners to get a 100% (or close to) accurate reading but with the basic tools and meters, the tech should've been able to narrow it down to a certain component or two.
    I see this every day, ooh my scanner is down so I can't do any work at all. Whatever happened to basic diagnostic skills and steps (people are getting too lazy :-) ).
    Sorry about the ranting

  • 0patience 06/25/08 8:22 pm PST

    Pat made some very valid points.
    I mentioned the neutral safety switch, because I have had a few go bad and you could hear one of the relays click when you turned the key to start.
    Basically, I was grabbing at straws. : )

    As Pat stated, knowing where the clicking is coming from would help.

  • karjunkie 08/14/08 1:52 pm PST

    You or your mechanic can plug in an OBDII code reader as this is a post 1996 vehicle. The reader will tell you exactly why the car won'r start and any other problems the onboard computer is detecting. You can check the fuses yourself as that is a 5 minute process. If you are handy and don't want to use a mechanic an OBDII code reader costs about 50 bucks and it is easy to use.

  • cherokeeguy94 08/17/08 3:59 am PST

    Theres an electrical component positioned before the tumbler in the steering colom....... check to see if you can bipass the ignition switch by touching a wire to both terminals on the starter cylinoid at the same time.... if it turns over you can just change that component out for cheap. Hopefully thatll do it because it sounds like the other alternatives could be costly. Id check that before making a big purchase like a module. Hope it works

    Source: Once had the same problem

  • waggawee 08/20/08 1:59 pm PST

    Your saying the engine did not rotate right? If so your having problem to get the vechile to turn over, so these are the checks you'll have to make. Make sure the starter is getting the 12 volts from the battery, your getting key signal from start that's why you hear the solenoid click. which mean the starter side is not working. You have the solenoid which is the small part, and the bigger part is the starter side, that is where your troubles lie. it's not a module. The module only make the vechile start up, or runs. In order for the vechile to start the engine have to rotate, and it needs the starter to make it rotate understand. Your mechanice dont know what he's saying. Your having a starter problem once the engine wont rotate and you say the battery is good and it dont need to be charge. You mechanice tell him that in order for the engine to start the starter has to rotate the engine, even if the module is not good the engine must rotate unless you have broken valves or the engine is jam up.Let him take down the starter and do these test. using a jumper cable connect the ground to the battery and the other end of the ground on the metal framing of the starter like where the starter bolt up from at the front on the sides. Now on the small part of the starter or the solenoid you'll see a small socket part that's where the key send 12volts and you get the clicking noise. you will then notice a wire running from the big part of the starter and bolt down on the solenoid. Now i need you to connect the red side (12volts ) on the other side of the battery and connect it to that wire, but dont put your hand where the gears are because you can lose a finger or get seriously injured. When you touch the 12volts to the wire you should hear the starter spin off like how a drill spins but faster. If your not getting that then the starter part is damage. It use brushes and ring gears that need to be grease up. Now if it spin off then the starter is good. The other nut beside the the one you test put the 12volts to it and connect a wire from the small socket and touch it on the 12volts and you should hear a click and then the starter spins. If it dont spins then the solenoid is damage and need to be replace ok. It's as simple as that ok.

    Source: auto electrican

  • cherokeeguy94 08/20/08 4:28 pm PST

    Or you could just hardwire the two prongs on top of the starter and bypass the cylinoid tempararily till it turns over like I said.... basically does the same thing without all the work.

  • jerryq 11/07/08 10:56 am PST

    just had this same problem with my neices car, turned out to be a bad altenator, and in turn, a bad battery. it would not take a jump, but when i put the new battery in it started right up. then i took it to auto zone (where i had the original "bad" battery tested). they bruoght the alternator output tester to the car and guess what? bad altenator. i would get a second opinion, sounds like your mechanic just lost out on selling you a new battery and altenator.

  • jkugler 01/20/09 9:49 pm PST

    did they check the flywheel for damage?

  • robert137 01/31/09 11:31 pm PST

    On some fords the starter solenoid is located on the right fenderwell. Since it acts as a relay it would be very simple to make sure that it is sending current to the starter.

  • alitsa 05/17/09 6:24 pm PST

    I had the exact same experience, and it turned out that that Patrick88 was exactly right. We were dumbfounded because everything seemed to have charge -- the sticky started was hard to detect, but tapping it with the wrench did the trick.

    Supposedly, turning the key until the engine actually starts helps prevent sticking. In other words, don't release the key before the car has turned over.

    Thanks, Patrick88!

  • nobody4 06/19/09 8:11 pm PST

    used to have a fleet of ford vans and had the same issue with a 95 e150 van turned out to be a fusable link that ran along the back of the fire wall,had to follow it with the wiring diagram but found it and replaced the link with a inline fuse and it fired right up and ran for another 100 thousand miles before it got totaled

    Source: fleet of vans and trucks,had to work on my self

  • erik_c 11/22/11 12:36 am PST

    Your starter is not grounded. It should have a postive and a negative going to the solenoid, then a ground wire going to one of the mounting bolts. If the ground wire is connected, then follow it and you'll find a loose connection, or no connection.

  • nloln4l 01/18/12 8:23 pm PST

    I am havering the same problem. It is my connector between the battery and the starter. I have to tap the connection from under the car while sum one starts the car for me. I am going to lift it and try to tighten the cable this coming weekend. I will post if it works.

  • nloln4l 01/22/12 2:44 am PST

    I was not able to solve the problem this weekend bbecause my car has been starting the past couple of days but if it has this problem again, I will post once it is resolved.

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