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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a 3.0 Duratec OHV in my SE. I had an issue with my starter, swapped it out. Then I still had an issue so I called a mechanic. That ended up being a bad idea. I paid $80 for him to tighten up the battery cables and I had to argue for that price. He wanted to charge me $150 and he didn't even use a voltmeter. So now here I am. My car started in the morning after I fought with it for five minutes.

Previous symptoms after new starter:
If I hold the key to ignite, it clicks intermittently and eventually it starts to crank. That's if it works.

If I am cold, it will have a LOT of trouble starting. I have to keep it clicking for a long time before it cranks. Once it cranks, it only needs to crank once or twice and she's off.

My yellow flag should be the battery symbol in the car. But it seems like no matter what I do I always have this light.

When warm, the car started fine, until today.

Now it still gives me **** cold. Like it will NOT start cold and I have to really fight with it.

After clicking for like 5 minutes it eventually gets going.

But now, it won't even start when hot. I just came back inside my work building after being outside for 10 minutes. It started twice in 10 minutes after repeated attempts, holding the key. Some times if I press the brake REALLY hard, it'll fire right up. But even warm it won't start right away. Now it won't start at all.

I think it's the battery but I don't have a voltmeter. None of the headlights are dim but now the windows are a LITTLE slow on battery alone.

The thing is, I also feel like it's the battery cables. I'm truly sick of this car. My friend has a Corolla with 170000 miles, 10 years older than mine, runs like a dream and has only needed a timing belt and general maintenance.

My car has had the doomed brake booster failure (which is a ROYAL pain in the butt to remove. Ford engineers need to be fired for how they designed the layout of the engine), also had an IACV which I replaced with a crappy after market part that means I can't run AC in town anymore or it'll stall. Then the starter, now this. This car was built to fall apart and I hate when people say "well it's a fleet vehicle" like that's somehow justification for this car falling apart. How? There's plenty of other fleet vehicles which are built to last.
 

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The Tec is a DOHC not an OHV so it may help in the future to clarify what you have. Your description indicates most of the hallmarks of a bad battery. Getting it load tested is the place to begin.
 

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I agree 100% with Mark...... Bad battery.
 

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Have the battery checked, If bad replace. I would also replace bat (+) (-) cable, It sounds like that mechanic was a hack..
 

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Bad battery or cables connections with high resistance.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
^That's what I'm thinking at this point. My friend tried to jump me, no go. I played with the cables for a few seconds after 20 minutes of trying to jump and it fired up QUICK. Zero problems.

Then I got home (after stopping at Autozone and buying cables) and now it won't start again. I replaced the cables but it's still not going.

Can anyone post a picture of the starter and how the cables look? I'm wondering if I didn't connect the starter properly. Also, which would cause all the electronics to come on but the starter not to go? Bad (+) cable between battery and starter, bad (+) cable between battery and fuse box, bad ground between battery and chassis or bad ignition cable between harness and starter?

I'm feeling like it's either of the bold ones. How would I force it to start with the battery directly to the starter? Which post on the starter do I touch?
 

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Feel good in knowing you won't need to get another battery or starter for at least a few years, probably longer. I mean, I had to replace my battery about two months ago. The dead battery is a Motorcraft Max from 2005. I also had to replace the starter but the old starter is probably at least a few years old.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The cables may well be suspect but a bad battery would produce those symptoms and as trouble shooting goes testing a battery is pretty simple
But why would a bad battery prevent the car from starting from a jump? My friend has an Optima yellow top and his car was running and idling. It didn't even click or anything with jumpers connected.

Even in all my years, whenever I had a REALLY bad battery (like 2 bad cells and wouldn't hold a charge), the car would start when jumped.
 

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What battery voltage do you have static? should be 12.5+ DMM. While starting vehicle should not drop below 10vdc. Do you hear anything from starter when you turn the key to start vehicle? If not could be starter or solenoid that is bad..
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
This thread should be linked in some sticky about following peoples' advice.

The things I replaced and money I spent because of the intermittent symptoms:
$160 on the starter
$20 on battery cables
$80 on a d-bag mechanic who tightened my battery cables and argued with me for 30 minutes

It would start with a roar and then leave me stranded after a drive. It would start when warm and then when cold, 20-30 clicks and no crank or no clicks. But the electronics were fine. Finally I thought, you know what, I'll Frankenstein start it and get it to O'Reilly, check the starter and alternator and see what's wrong. How could it be the battery if a jump start wouldn't get it going?

In the end, it was the *** **** stupid ******* battery. Are you SERIOUS?! Strangest symptoms ever and it ends up being the simplest thing, the battery.

I'm out $130 and I basically threw a whole bag of parts at the car but I found the problem. I mean at least I won't have to replace my battery cables or starter any time soon but it was the battery.

O'Reilly tech checked it and it wasn't capable of putting out 650 cranking amps consistently and my alternator was overloading to try to charge it fully. The reason why it would start SOME times is because occasionally it could put out enough amperage to get going but a bad battery doesn't necessarily mean it's 100% empty. It could just have 10-15% of its capacity ruined which would give you all the mixed signals.

So yeah, I messed up. I'm in the whole $400 but my ignition system is solid.

I agree 100% with Mark...... Bad battery.
The Tec is a DOHC not an OHV so it may help in the future to clarify what you have. Your description indicates most of the hallmarks of a bad battery. Getting it load tested is the place to begin.
^Literally the first two posts.
 

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Thanks for posting the fix, have to love a happy ending. Too many times on something like this the resolution is never posted denying the folks researching similar issues in the future the benefit of your experience.
 

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Did anyone mention the relays under the hood? Like the starter relay to "start" with. One can always find some other car that has more miles on it and runs well, but it probably has had better maintenance in all those miles. I have found these cars to be more reliable than most, especially considering the use to which they are put. Or, should I say mis-use?
 

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Same issue for me ! Haven't found the solution yet.

Hi ! I am having the exact same issue on my Taurus SES 2003 !

I notice that the serpentine belt was not turning when the car doesn't stat.

I had my battery checked at Auto zone and they told me the battery was OK but needed to be a bit charged ... I am driving at least 15 mile each time after starting the car so I don't get why the battery is not fully charged.

Does anyone know if there is places where you can recharge your battery (in Pittsburgh) ?

I hope I have the same issue than you and that it is only the battery.

Thank you for the post !
 

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@jag1959
Well when the car starts, everything seems fine ;) when it doesn't, the serpentine belt is not turning.
I have not check if the starter was engaging or not when it is not starting. But sometimes after several tries, the car will start.

Last time, I disconnected the baterie, pull by hand the serpentine belt a bit, tryed again and it started. This starting issue seems quite random.

Maybe I need to mention that sometime my braking light appears when I am driving.

I putted the car to a mecanic to see if he can find something (difficult as the car is starting now)...
 

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Since I've recently been in this boat (and I'm quite confident in my case it's the starter - which I plan on replacing this weekend) - I already replaced the battery.

Anyway - Here is an excellent bad starting you tube video that stresses the check the stupid stuff first....

(eric the car guy)

Most of what he says has been suggested as well in this thread.....so nothing new....
 
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