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My 2004 SES would crank but not start. I have 3 keys so I thought I'd try another and see what would happen. The car started right up. I figured I had a bad key so I changed keys and hung the "bad one" in the garage. A week later the car would crank but not start again. I tried a third key and the car started. Then I tried the 1st key just to see what would happen and the car started. This cycle seems to change like the weather as one week one key works and the next week a different key works. I've already had to try all 3 keys till the car started. If I ever need a 4th,I'm screwed. I only have 3. I haven't found a mechanic at a Ford dealer yet that has ever run into this problem. I could use some help.
 

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A theft system failure will stop the crank signal, right? So it's probably not the keys...
 

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I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I have a 2003 doing something similar, but I haven't tied it to the keys. It happens in cold weather after the car has sat all weekend. It cranks but wont' start on Monday mornings. When I get home from work it starts right up, I just did it tonight. I scanned it and no codes pop up. This happened all last winter every monday morning, was fine all summer long and now on the first cold Monday no start. Maybe similar to what you are seeing. Anyone got any clues?
 

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My 2004 SES would crank but not start. I have 3 keys so I thought I'd try another and see what would happen. The car started right up. I figured I had a bad key so I changed keys and hung the "bad one" in the garage. A week later the car would crank but not start again. I tried a third key and the car started. Then I tried the 1st key just to see what would happen and the car started. This cycle seems to change like the weather as one week one key works and the next week a different key works. I've already had to try all 3 keys till the car started. If I ever need a 4th,I'm screwed. I only have 3. I haven't found a mechanic at a Ford dealer yet that has ever run into this problem. I could use some help.
Its the Starter, i had the same problem with my 04 Taurus SE. You can see the starter right below the oil filter. If its caked with oil then its burnt out. It will cost $145.00-150.00.
 

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cranks but wont start

if it cranks fine, it's got nothing to do with the starter. mine cranks great, but won't fire sometimes. other than that it runs fine. no codes. it has something to do with the security system and the keys.

when this problem occurs the temp and fuel gage needles also peg to the left and vibrate. I understand from a ford mechanic that the key security system and the instrument cluster are interconnected. anyone experience this with a fix?
 

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what fixed my car

Hello, this is a fyi regarding the described crank but won't start condition. I wondered if there was a possible low-voltage condition during the crank, causing the electronics (occasional crank but won't run, and instrument/warning light bugs) to malfunction. I had the battery tested at a parts store and the cold-cranking amps tested low. The battery was replaced and the symptoms appear to be gone. So, although the old battery had enough reserve to spin the engine nicely, the voltage during the crank got low enough to cause issues with the key and instruments. Fortunately I figured this out before resorting to a trip to the dealer and the associated costs.
No need to reply, I just thought that this info might help someone else.
 

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I had same problem for about a year off and on. Turns out it was the battery.
 

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Its the theft system... they change the codes everytime u go to start the vehicle... id take the keys back to where you had them made and ask for different ones and tell them what is going on and see if it clears up
 

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Now that a month has gone by since my last post on this issue I thought I would confirm that in this case replacing the car's battery solved the problem.
 

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2004 SEL 24V Low Cranking Voltage

Hello Everyone,

Newcomer to the forum, but "old timer" Ford owner.

I received the dreaded call from my better half around 8:45 PM last night that her 2004 Taurus would crank but not start (Meijer parking lot). I was thinking fuel filter or pump as I loaded up tools, gas, and cables. The car has 50K miles on it, and replacing the fuel pump was not what I had in mind for the weekend.

On arrival, the symptoms were identical to those described previously in this thread. The engine cranked well but showed no signs of firing. I could also hear the fuel pump start and shut down after pressurizing the system. Still thinking fuel pump/filter, I tried opening the airbox and feeding it some starting fluid to rule out an ignition problem. To my amazement, it not only fired, but caught and ran normally. Drove it home with no problems whatsoever.

Woke this morning how to approach this "intermittent" problem. A quick google search turned up this thread. As I read through it I was thinking "no way I can be this lucky". Replacing a battery is topside work. The night before I was sure this fix would involve jack stands and a creeper.

I decided to test the battery theory in the garage. Here are the observations:

1) Battery voltage (unloaded) : 12.5 V
2) Ignition on battery voltage: 12.5 volts quickly reducing to 10V. Note, the SEL has the automatic headlamp feature which quickly reduced the battery voltage. Turning the headlamps off (unloading the battery), restored to voltage to ~12.3 V.
3) Headlamp on starting (10V): car cranks well, but requires seconds to fire.
4) After around 15 minutes with the headlamps on, the battery voltage reduced to around 9.6V. Engine cranks reasonably well but refuses to fire.
5) Adding starting fluid again allows the engine the "fuel" to start.
6) 30 seconds with the "boost charger" and all is normal.

Please note that the above voltages were not taken during starting - these would have been much lower.

So why am I posting all of this?

1) Obviously, I do have a battery (or charging) problem. The fact that the headlamps quickly drew the battery down to 10V underscores this. I would not have thought to look in this direction had I not found this post.

2) This is the first time that I've encountered an engine that had enough voltage/current to crank but not fire. My take is that the injectors are not firing properly at low voltage, but the starter can still turn the engine. Keep in mind that I come from the carburetor age - in my mind, if it cranks and has spark it should draw fuel. Obviously that isn't the case with EFI.

3) I'm a bit surprised that the headlamp relay isn't switched off when cranking the engine.

4) As mentioned in a previous post, a starter on it's last legs (drawing excessive current) could easily produce the same symptoms (draw a good battery down).

Sorry for the long post (from a beginner no less). I was so happy to find this was an easy fix, I wanted to give something back.

Thank you for saving me time, effort and money,

Boiler
 

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Thanks was the battery

Thanks for this forum did an oil change and rear shock replacement on 04 Taurus wagon and it sat in open carport for 1 week of cold weather 8-10 degrees went to crank car and gauges went all the way to the right and wiggled and car would not start. I knew where to turn i found you guys trying to solve the tweedy bird in the engine turned out to be cam shaft position sensor or something. Any way found this post took battery to o riley said it was good just needed a charge up. I put on trickle charge over night and installed next day and she fired right up. Just wanted to say thanks for the help got 265,000 miles and looks like we will get a few more till we can save up to buy another one. thanks for the forum guys keep up the good work! :)
 

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A theft system failure will stop the crank signal, right? So it's probably not the keys...
Correct...... A bad key of transponder problem will result in a no crank.
 

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Thanks for this forum did an oil change and rear shock replacement on 04 Taurus wagon and it sat in open carport for 1 week of cold weather 8-10 degrees went to crank car and gauges went all the way to the right and wiggled and car would not start. I knew where to turn i found you guys trying to solve the tweedy bird in the engine turned out to be cam shaft position sensor or something. Any way found this post took battery to o riley said it was good just needed a charge up. I put on trickle charge over night and installed next day and she fired right up. Just wanted to say thanks for the help got 265,000 miles and looks like we will get a few more till we can save up to buy another one. thanks for the forum guys keep up the good work! :)
As to battery stuff, see pic. There are two batterys and they were put under 14amp load resistor and volts monitored. One was new, then same battery 3.5 years later. New battery, exact same performance when new.
The used battery cranked the car fine in warm weather. I would not let my daughter drive this through winter, nor would I own one that old again. Key word: "again". Once burned twice shy.

Others have posted Bulls are very sensitive to low volts, weak battery, bad cables, and such.

-chart-
 

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PATS problems will result in a no crank no start, but you'd get a flashing Theft light.

Why not hookup FORScan, see if we have a B16xx PATS related code, then we'll know what direction to head.

Battery's been load tested, connections cleaned and tightened?
 
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