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Discussion Starter #1
I have had intermittent problems for a few years. The car always starts but sometimes there is a hesitation or may take a second try. When it does this my display always changes to miles remaining on the fuel left in tank. I always have it on MPG. Maybe 3 times over this period it would turn over and not start on first try. I did not notice or remember any lights displaying to signify anything. On second try it starts up. The more usual scenario is it seems to hesitate when starting and does start but changes the display to miles remaining and everything is fine. It may seem to happen more when it is cold, raining or wet outside. There have been times once where no dash lights or clusters did not come on at all. Other times the windows wouldn't work or the fan wouldn't work etc while the car was started. They either did after a couple minutes or I restarted the car and everything went back to normal.

Some history I did change the ecm with an after market ecm. I do believe this started before I changed the ecm but not positive. I have an original key and 2 keys supplied with the new ecm. The keys were cut off of the original key because Ford said they could not cut them from the vehicles ID #. It happens with any key.

I have had the battery and alternator checked over this time and had no diagnosed problem. I haven't checked recently but do not suspect a problem there.

Yesterday I sprayed some WD40 into the ignition.

I was thinking of getting a new ignition just to see if that is the problem. I know that there is a module that communicates that I suspect may be the issue as well. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. This a 2005 SE with a flex engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Any thoughts?

Could this be the ignition switch as opposed to the ignition cylinder?

Too wordy or too much information?
 

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Could it be the ignition switch, quite possible. But do I know it for sure, no. One of the Cam-Locks on the ECM could be loose, could be a ground that has some corrosion on it, it could be...

There are a lot of different scenarios that could cause the problem. I would start by checking all the ground straps, pulling the nuts off, brush the terminals and bolt/nut off with a wire brush, and see if the problem repeats. I say to start here because these 12V systems are very finicky about power, and arcs of power. A bad ground can cause a whole slew of problems, and its nearly free to fix.
 

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Could it be the ignition switch, quite possible. But do I know it for sure, no. One of the Cam-Locks on the ECM could be loose, could be a ground that has some corrosion on it, it could be...

There are a lot of different scenarios that could cause the problem. I would start by checking all the ground straps, pulling the nuts off, brush the terminals and bolt/nut off with a wire brush, and see if the problem repeats. I say to start here because these 12V systems are very finicky about power, and arcs of power. A bad ground can cause a whole slew of problems, and its nearly free to fix.
Good call, see pic this one hides but can cause lots of issue. However, mostly running since the Alt ground primary current is through the large eyelet which is bolted to painted metal. Other eyelet is the PCM ground. On this one, causes irregular idle. Easy fix. Sand, clean, and use electric corrosion compound on the mates and the bolt threads.


-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good call, see pic this one hides but can cause lots of issue. However, mostly running since the Alt ground primary current is through the large eyelet which is bolted to painted metal. Other eyelet is the PCM ground. On this one, causes irregular idle. Easy fix. Sand, clean, and use electric corrosion compound on the mates and the bolt threads.


-chart-
Thank you both for your replies and suggestions.

Chartmaker your in depth photos should be famous if they are not already. Do you have pics of other ground wires to look for? That would be much appreciated.

Is that pic on the firewall on the passenger side?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Update

I ordered the ignition switch. The one under the dash but decided to wait until the problem was happening again. Funny thing it hasn't happened since I posted this thread. What I did was to spray the key cylinder with WD-40. I removed a cheap dollar store usb charger that I left always plugged in. I believe I had it in the top plug. I have heard different things about which plug to use etc. I still don't know if it makes a difference. I also lightened my key chain. I basically had 2 rings on one with another ignition key etc. This is the longest time it hasn't occurred in 3+ years and I remember now that it was doing it with the old ecm in place. I am crossing my fingers and will keep you posted.


The grounds appear to be OK and I did a little testing but will probably improve them after I am convinced the above fixed the problem or if it starts up again. As others have said some of the grounds are on painted surfaces etc..
 

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My '00 wagon had the ignition switch go bad. It's not in the key hole either but it's on top of the steering column under the dash.. Erratic dash lights and functions stopped, switch off and restart and things would be fine. It started erratic and slowly got worse. NAPA had the switch in stock, that tells me it's not a unusual thing to go.
 

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I have heard of heavy key chains causing ignition switch damage, over time.
Heavy key chains wear the lock tumbler and many cars have a theft sensor in the lock assy. . The theft sensor is the item that gets affected by the key chain causing a theft sensor nightmare.
 
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repairman54
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