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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched and found some possibilities, but thought I would post, in hopes of narrowing it down.

I have a 1999 Taurus with about 37000 miles on it. I picked it up at an auction, it was a city department vehicle. I've had it about 7 months, and I personally had no problems starting the car. My dad has been using the car for about a month. He is losing some of his strength as he gets older.

The problem is that if he does not keep the starter engaged long enough for the engine to fire, when he goes to try it a second time, the engine does not crank. Everything else seems to be fine...the dash lights come on, the blower works... If you let the car sit for an undetermined amount of time, the engine will once again crank.

If the engine starts and you turn it off, you can successfully start the engine again. The issue seems to be when you turn the engine over and release it before the engine fires up. I was thinking something needs to reset itself?

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update

I stopped by to try to troubleshoot the problem a bit more. It seems what I originally posted is what I experienced the night before.

Tonight I was able to not fire the engine up on the first try, and was able to have many tries with the engine turning over. After about 10 minutes or so of trying to get the engine to not turn over I was successful. For the next few minutes when you attempted to start the car, the engine would not turn over. Eventually the car started for a few times, and then it went back to not turning over.

I found this in another thread:
"Turn on the windshield wipers, and the right blinker.
Attempt the key dance again. if the windshield wipers cut off, no crank, and no blinker, along with no fuel pump, you need to replace the ignition switch slide."
Is there any truth to this? I tried and the right blinker and the wipers cut off...however I can't be sure about the fuel pump.
 

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I believe that was my post, and if that is not the case then the solenoid for the starter is failing, I dont know if the solenoid is built in to your starter or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
brokie, yes I believe it was you that posted that suggestion in another post. Looks like they are not too expensive, so I will give it a shot. From what I read, looks like it might be a slight pain to replace. Thanks
 

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Check all the connections(for tightness) at the starter and battery(including grounds) before you replace anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I took off the battery cables, and went ahead and cleaned them and the posts, and made sure they were tight. I checked the connections at the starter, they were all good. I pulled all the fuses to make sure they were good. I swapped relays around. I replaced the ignition switch. I can hear the fuel pump energizing up when I turn the key to on.

Then I attempted to start the car, and was unsuccessful. When I picked it up a few hours earlier it started right up. It however had been sitting for awhile. What are the chances that the starter is getting hot, and not turning over?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thought I would see if the Taurus would start before going to bed...turned the key and got nothing. Figured if it was the starter being hot, it would have cooled down by now.

I popped the trunk, pulled the connection off the fuel shut-off switch, and re-seated the connection...hopped back in the car, and it started right up. I'm kind of hoping that it acts up again, so I can see if it was the fuel shut-off switch. Looks like they run about 80.00 so I don't want to replace it until I am sure.
 

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The only way to know for sure is to measure the voltages at the starter when the problem is happening. Get test leads with clips on the end, hook up to the solenoid terminal and ground, and have someone try to start the engine. If you get 12V and no clicking, and you are sure the engine is properly grounded, the solenoid is bad. If the solenoid clicks, move the positive test lead to the battery termiinal on the starter, and try to start the engine. If the voltage drops to a few volts, the battery cable or associated equipment(including the battery) is bad. If this is not the case, the solenoid or starter is bad.
 

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The switch in the trunk is only for the fuel pump. It has nothing to do with the starter. I would check the relay in the under hood box for the starter. It it turns over at all the solenoid is probably good.

To test the starter circuit from the relay to the starter you need to pull the relay out and hot wire the outgoing connector. This goes right to the solenoid. If it cranks then all is good going to the starter.

Sometimes the small wire going to the starter solenoid from the relay is a bad connection at the solenoid and will give intermittent results.

If the relay is not getting power to the coil when the key is on then this may be the TRS switch on top of the tranny.

Power to the starter goes like this.....

From the ignition switch to the TRS to the stater relay coil. Starter relay switched power to the solenoid on the starter.
 

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I had kinda the same thing happen with a '98 Sable. It started with a intermittent loss of brake lights. I was checking that out and found a broken wire on the switch that's actuated by the brake pedal. The wire had enough "memory" to stay in place and sometimes contact the wire terminal, resulting in the brake lights coming on. However, in checking, I moved the wire enough to take away any chance of it contacting. That's about when I discovered that the car wouldn't start. Evidently that wire is part of the circuit for the park and neutral switch.
If the solenoid, relay, starter wiring checks all come back okay, I'd be looking for problems with the park, neutral switch wiring. I never got to looking at the wiring schematic to confirm the circuit.
Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the input so far. I was going to try the voltage tests last night, but it didn't start when I went to drive home from the park and ride lot, where it had been sitting for about 10 hours. So my theory of something getting hot or needing to reset was pretty much blown.

When I was trying to get it started, I did hear a clicking sound, and noticed that the top right relay on the fuse panel inside was making it. I put my hand on it and could feel it also. I don't know if it is related to this non cranking issue.

I went back a few hours later, and on the second attempt, it started up. I've had no problems when it is running, no lights come up showing any problems. When I parked the car at home, I tried to start it again, and nothing. I put my hand down on the relay under the dash, and it was warm.

Tonight I will try test the voltage at the starter and other places when it does not crank.
 

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I had this prob not too long ago as well , check the main ground @ the tranny( aluminum case+ steel stud+ copper terminal= green death ! , changed the relays in the power box , helped with the prob and at the end of the day was a dead spot on the starter
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Looks like my problem ended up being the starter. While I didn't get around to testing the voltage at the starter, when the engine didn't crank...I had a Shucks/Oreillys close enough nearby. When they threw it on the tester, the first time it didn't spin, but it did the second time. Got a new starter in it now, and it's been starting up fine.

Thanks for all your input...
 
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