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need some help with a Ford...

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by AveragEd, Jan 7, 2013.

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  1. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    The daughter has a 2000 Ford Focus with the DOHC 2.0L L4 and a five-speed manual. It's one of the very first ones on the market - she worked at a Ford dealership at the time and bought one of the first truckload they received. It had umpteen recalls but has been a great car for her and although it won't win any beauty contests, it doesn't get driven much and is perfect for her parking lot at work.

    It won't crank to start - no click or anything. The battery is fresh and passed a load-test with flying colors. The starter and its solenoid and wiring harness were replaced two years ago. Give it a push, pop the clutch and it runs like nothing's wrong.

    She took it to an independent shop and the shop owner, who admits to doing little more than scanning the PCM for codes, claims those cars have an "electronic ignition box" that fails often and requires special Ford tools to replace and program to the car. I speak very little Ford but to me, the thing shouts "open circuit in my ignition switch or clutch safety switch." The shop guy also told me that he thinks the problem could be in the "thing you put the key in." When I suggested, "the lock cylinder?" he said, "Yeah - that. They're hard to get out of those cars."

    Obviously, we aren't dealing with an electrical whiz and I know just enough about Fords to be dangerous. So I'm wondering if there is any truth to that "ignition box" business. Is there a Ford tech out there who can tell me if that is a common failure for these cars and if my thoughts have any merit?

    Thanks in advance.

    Ed
     
  2. hoot619

    hoot619 Member

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    thing you put the key in. Run don't walk away from him. Wouldn't let him check pressure in my tires. And he is checking PCM codes etc ?? Hollar for Tron, HELP. hoot619 I is just a Finnish genius but damn now I believe it. probably should have had more sense then to say something but what little I know goes a long ways. I have to pull Jeep starter tomorrow to check wires and starter out. I know enough to disconnect battery. Guess how I know. Them damn sparks and wires are HOT. Ken U
     
  3. Carmen

    Carmen Member

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    Check the anti theft system. If the red light that blinks on the dash does not go solid when the key is turned to the run position that means that the key chip is bad or the pick up in the ignition cylinder could have gone bad. That's the first thing I would check if you have a no crank condition and know you battery is good. Hope this helps.
    Carmen
     
  4. brdslayr

    brdslayr Well-Known Member

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    Car runs though when pushed and clutch popped. Id still check the new starter and selenoid. May be bad or wire may have come loose on previous installation. Jw
     
  5. TD1958

    TD1958 Member

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    Probably a switch or safety sensor on the clutch pedal!!!! This will keep you from starting it with the clutch engaged. Good luck, Tim
     
  6. TD1958

    TD1958 Member

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    Probably a switch or safety sensor on the clutch pedal!!!! This will keep you from starting it with the clutch engaged. Good luck, Tim
     
  7. Carmen

    Carmen Member

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    Check for power to the trigger wire at the starter while someone cranks it. If you have power there and at the solenoid...Replace the starter. Basic checksz,
     
  8. Leo

    Leo Well-Known Member

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    I am no expert, but I had a car that had a programable chip key. I do not know if your Ford has the programable key. It sometimes would not start with my key. Of course it never acted up at the shop. Just by chance one day I tried the spare key. It would always start with the spare key. I had a new key "burned" with my cars code and never had another problem. It was an automatic car so I never tried push starting it. Good Luck
     
  9. kettles kritter

    kettles kritter Member

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    if I remember right still in 2000 the wiring harness had a circuit fuse down by the starter hook up. if that circuit is ok, then check safety start switch on clutch petal lever.

    kettle
     
  10. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the helpful suggestions. I plan to stop by the shop tomorrow and insist he perform some basic diagnosis while I am there. He's really a nice guy who has this shop as more of a hobby than anything else and doesn't really want any jobs that call for more than elementary diagnosis but he has every tool that Snap-On makes and a nice above-ground lift in a two-bay shop.

    Ed
     
  11. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Went over to his shop this afternoon to be told he hasn't had a chance to look at it yet - big bull session in progress in the office so the less important business gets left go - but he thinks it might be a relay somewhere. Or maybe a module.

    I told him to forget the high-tech stuff and just perform basic diagnosis. Check for voltage to the starter - if it is present, the starter's open. If it isn't receiving current, move up the electrical food chain until you find the open. It isn't rocket science. He grudgingly put a test light on the starter wiring while I turned the ignition lock to "Start" and said, "How about that - it's getting current but doesn't run."

    Good help is SO hard to find...

    Ed
     
  12. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Could be anything. I've seen a lot of battery connection and cable corrosion problems. I've seen quite a few ignition switches bad and bad starters as well. It shouldn't be too difficult, no crank no start are some of the more easier straight forward problems to repair.
     
  13. motordoctor

    motordoctor Shoji Tabuchi in Branson

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    make sure that the starter is also grounded along with the batter to complete the circuit and has good clean connections
     
  14. JT 27

    JT 27 Member

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    As much as I hate to have service performed in a dealership, sometimes it is necessary. Could be a neutral safty switch, or several other switches which are either worn out or stuck. But, I agree, run from the guy who you first took it to.
     
  15. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    The starter is a rebuild that she had installed about two years ago but it won't run. That happens - our son's first vehicle was a 1992 S10 Blazer that needed a new starter so often that I only had to buy the first one - the one-year warranty covered all the subsequent replacements. But installation in a 4x4 with a 4.3L was no fun at all, so I changed brands of rebuilds five or six years ago and sold the vehicle a year ago with that same starter in it! I would have liked to keep it around for a hunting/bad weather vehicle but the body was not-so-slowly rotting off the frame.

    The starter wiring harness on the Focus was also replaced with the starter but she can't recall if it was damaged or a redesigned part was available. The battery is a month or so old and our son installed it for her, so I know the terminals are corrosion-free and tight.

    Ed
     
  16. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Jerk the starter out and hit it with the jumper cables. Then follow your nose to the problem.

    Of course if she can park on a hill...............

    HM
     
  17. shannon391

    shannon391 Active Member

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    Rap on the starter a few times with a hammer. Sounds crude but it's worked for me on several occasions, different rides.
     
  18. RWT

    RWT Well-Known Member

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    Average ed,

    didn't you say it had voltage to the starter in the ignition switch in the start position but still wouldn't crank??? If so it has to be a bad solenoid or starter or both, or possibly low voltage to the solenoid.
     
  19. X Trap 2

    X Trap 2 TS Member

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    Low voltage can also be caused by a badly corroded cable. To test get a jumper cable and connect it from the positive post on the battery to the positive on the starter and try to start it. The covering on the cable will hide the corrosion. I have seen them with corrosion nearly from one end to the other. The test light might work but not enough voltage to engage the solenoid. Ray
     
  20. oz

    oz Active Member

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    GOOD GOD.... don't ever hit a starter with a hammer. In the OLD days you could. today's starters are built differently and a hammer hit will break the permanent magnents in the case and the starter is trashed.
     
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