Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Having problems with car starter

asked by on

My car won't start. I checked the keys, battery fuel, there's no turnover on key to ignition, checked relays on starter and changed them with my neighbors, re-flashing ECU, checked connector on clutch NSS and manually pressed it. No DTC's, no warning lights. It seems like there is no power to the starter. The car has good fuel, 13.2V on battery, and no other odd behavior. There is nothing touching ignition circuits, and it has a factory exhaust (through the midpipe. It's a boss midpipe, but it is all factory Ford parts).

I am thinking that there might be a loose connection on the starter. Here is a rundown of what happened:

key on power was good, accessories would run, you could hear the starter relay trigger when the key is pushed to start, no noise or movement from the starter, I did not look for theft light, play with clock spring, or otherwise (did try both keys); eventually on one start attempt at the very end the starter began to move. On the next start attempt, and every one since, the car starts normally.

I am thinking there is a loose wire, or something is overheating. This seems to happen when the car had been driven in the past 3 hours. Here is some additional troubleshooting I tried:

jump started the car (no joy/no change), pulled the battery for an extended period, flashed ECU to stock, flashed ECU to other tunes, adjusted the column, locked and unlocked the steering wheel, and turned it to various positions, reset the key programming, locked, unlocked and engaged the alarm of car, and then disengaged the alarm through the remote, verified good operation of NSS, checked for DTC's and found none, moved the car back and forth, bounced in it, moved and checked all fuses and relays, and then I called a tow, pushed the car out onto the street for loading, and then it started.

It has started every time since the last occurrence. The dealer feels they may have to charge me a diagnostic fee, and that they may be unable troubleshoot it if it doesn't happen while it's there. Are there any other steps I could take to fix this?

It sounds like the starter itself may have some internal electrical connection issues. By rolling the vehicle with a manual transmission, this causes the flywheel to turn and in some cases the starter may turn as well.

If the starter motor does not have continuity, it will not function at all. What the most likely cause of this issue is would be an intermittent loss of continuity to the starter motor. I would recommend having the starter motor removed by a certified mechanic and have it bench tested several times. If the starter fails more than once or twice out of every ten tests performed, purchase a new starter and have it installed.

When the new starter gets installed, ensure that all electrical connections are secured and free of corrosion. While the starter is disconnected, it is also a good idea to check for continuity in the wires that go from the starter to the battery.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Having problems with car starter

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Can a jumped timing chain cause an oil or coolant leak?

The damage that can be caused by a timing chain jumping on your particular car should be fairly minimal as it is a non-interference motor. It may be possible for it to cause an oil leak potentially if the chain...

Q: When replacing the left front pad i had to pull the piston out to get the thing open i had to release fluid an air my uncle said i

Hello, thank you for writing in. The braking system can be confusing at first. By removing the piston, you have introduced air into the system. This air will need to be bleed out or the hydraulics will not work. The...

Q: I have a bad oil cooler, however I also am getting almost no boost at all.

Hello, thanks for writing in. This can be caused by a few different issues. If you had an oil pressure issue from a bad cooler then that could starve the turbo causing it to fail. If the turbo is not...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.