won't start/starter doesn't engage - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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won't start/starter doesn't engage

didn't take me long to have another problem.

If you have been following another issue I was having with subframe bolts, I just had finished with that problem.

I had put all the parts back into the car. I had started the car 3 or 4 times to check the power steering fluid level, that the serpentine belt was on right, and the power steering high pressure fitting wasn't leaking. put the battery charger on the car. come back in 12 hours and it won't start.

I turn the key and just get a click. nothing else. Seems like the starter isn't getting engaged.

I have cluster lights, clock, radio, dome lights, front/rear lights. Don't think is the battery. although, I'll take in to have it checked tomorrow. don't think it is the ignition switch. when I turn it to start, I get the click and a few of the cluster lights turn off. Not sure if it is neutral safety switch, but it does the same thing when in park or neutral.

I guess I'll get under the car and see what i'm getting for voltages at the starter.

anyone have other suggestions to check out?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 08:10 PM
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Check battery voltage after the battery is charged and it should be around 12.8 volts. Then check it when you engage the starter, it should be over 9.5 volts. You won't get the click if it was the neutral safety switch. Clean up the terminals also on battery. Did you have the thick yellow wire off the alternator while you had the power steering off.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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just got back from checking the battery.

wasn't 12.8 but it was 12.7. about a 100 cranking amps low. said he would say it is bad, but I should be getting more than a click.

I had the battery out when dealing with the subframe bolts. so it only took a few seconds to clean the terminals when putting the battery back into the car as the cables were already off. My car has some terminal shielding on the thick wire, but mine is red and not yellow. and I did have the alternator removed before pulling the accessory bracket with the power steering pump. and the wire and the connectors were removed from the alternator before removing it from the car.

I'll have to get some assistance to check the voltage when turning the ignition to "start", but I'll let you know what the results are.

lots of good information there. thanks for helping out.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Well I guess I have a weak battery.

left the battery on the charger over night. installed it. got just a click.

took the battery out. jumped the taurus from another car. from their battery to the just the battery cables. got just a click. tried it again. and got that whrr whrr of a dying battery. then the whrr whrr whrr got faster. then it started to fire. and then it was running.

turned it off. and it started right up after that. but the idiot light on the cluster for the battery was on.

so, put the battery back in. jumped the taurus again. started right up. and the idiot light on the cluster for battery turned off.

went to see if it would started without being jumped and it started right up.

started by itself again and I took it for a short test drive around the neighborhood. test drive went fine. just needed gas and some air in the tires.

started it up and took a longer test drive with no problems.

I guess I will see if it will start tomorrow morning after sitting over night and it being about 20 degrees colder.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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being the coldest part of winter is upon us, I purchased a new battery.

It is starting fine now. just wish the weather would warm up.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-19-2019, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Well my luck hasn't changed any lately.

even with a new battery, I'm still just getting a click when the car has sat over night.

car will start with a jump, a new battery, or when it is started shortly after having started.

That sure does sound like a parasitic drain. but I know "sounds like" and "is" aren't always the same. So, I will check on the state of the battery.

and with my old battery, I did leave the battery charger on it all night and still just got a click in the morning.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-19-2019, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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with my cheap analog meter the battery voltage was about 11.5 and the current draw as over 250 ma.

brought the battery inside and got a better analog meter. still reads about 11.5 and only 12 with the battery charger hooked up.

and there doesn't seem to be any current drawn from the charger either. So, the battery seems to be charged up.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-19-2019, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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I also noticed that on my car there seems to be a plug-in to the driver's side of the front license plate. I hope that is an engine block heater or something along those lines. I plugged in an extension cord. so i guess I'll find out if it works. I have not used it since I purchased the car 15 years ago.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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I do have some more information.

as far a parasitic drain, with the car off, between the pos battery post and the pos battery cable, I measured 325ma. That does seem to be high. But not enough to drain the battery over night.

when I was charging the battery on the 2 amp setting of my battery charger, the battery charged up to 12.5 volts. I also noticed on the 10 amp setting of my battery charger, its output voltage was about 14.5v. So I charged it at that setting for about an hour and the battery's voltage was 13v.

Put the battery into my car. and it went click, click again, and then vroom. Don't know why it wouldn't start, then 2 seconds later start right up. started it a few more times. then checked the amperage above.

The voltage of the battery was reading 12.5v. tried to start the car but nothing but clicks. put the battery charger set to the 10amp setting on the battery. it clicked the first time, then started up. changed the battery charger's setting to 2 amps. the car started, then just clicks.

It does seem like that 2v difference between the 2 amp setting and the 10 amp setting is the difference it takes to start the car.

maybe I'm not getting the right output from my alternator? I know the alternator puts out something like 14.4v but what do you read at the battery with the car idling?
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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anyway, my car's battery is reading just a little over 15v while idling. That should be good.

Last edited by clarson651; 01-20-2019 at 07:21 PM.
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