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Q: Car cranks but won't start.

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Sons car will turn over but not start a lot of the time. It was dumping some water going uphill and seems to be hot but gauge is broken/no steam. Losing water and have to replace but no noticeable leaks but overflow dumps after climbing up hill. After driving it it may not start again for the rest of the day. Used to be till cool 2-4 hrs but now all day if not till next morning. He runs battery down sometimes trying to start it. Positive battery cable was very corroded. Cleaned it thoroughly and next day was corroded again. Looks like something leaks out of it because of streaks running down side of battery but not on top. Changed dist cap & rotor. No help. Put in new thermostat today. Ignition lock switch spins. Not symptoms of relay, seems to be getting fuel but no spark. Ignition coil is my best guess but would LOVE some other opinions/possibilities PLEASE. Tonight he couldn't get it to start. I tapped on the coil and then pumped it a few times and it started right up on 2nd try.

My car has 165000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. I would need to know what kind of Ford this is to know for sure what may be going on. Most of the time on these older Ford models the issue is fuel-related. It may be a result of the coolant loss and overheating, but that is not as likely if it does run some of the time. Most of the time, when this occurs it is because the fuel pump is either failing or the circuit is not functioning. I have found a lot of issues with the fuel pump relays on most older Fords as well as problems with the inertia switch if it has one. If you are planning on having this condition fixed, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose the starting issue and move forward with repairs.

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