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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Angry Heeeeeeeeeeeelp!

This is the 4th time this has happened to me. I will drive the car for weeks maybe even a month and then just out of nowhere it doesn't start. The starter solenoid clicks and thats about it. The first time it happened, I tried to get a jump and that didn't work. I still get power to everything in the car and the headlights don't dim when I start it. The second and third time I just let the car sit and then it started after a day or two days. I took it to autozone so they could test the battery and the alternator and they said that the battery was kind of low but the alternator was fine. I drove it for 7 hours to DE and had it tested again and everything was fine. I was able to drive back from DE to NC and then I drove for a month after that. The next thing that I am thinking it could be is the starter but I'm not 100% sure. Anybody got any ideas?
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 10:02 AM
 
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It could also be your wires. That happened to me. I had an old battery and the positive wire termial on it started to collect battery acid. I cleaned it off and thought nothing of it. Threw in a new Optima and ran into similar problems. Turns out the battery acid also seeped into the wires and created resistance.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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I had thought about that also. Coincidently it is raining bad here. The first time it happened it was kinda cold outside, the second time it was right after it snowed. Now its raining. But now where are the wires routed, the car is sitting in the parking lot of a bank so I can't really do an in depth search for them, but I can do my best.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 12:38 PM
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Before you get to in depth clean the battery terminals, possibly replace the terminal connections.

Some supercharged cars blow.......Others just pick up and move.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I will do that, I was planning on replacing the Big 3 like I read in the audio/electronics forum (i think) so I will just go ahead and clean and replace the terminals. They look bad anyway, I tried to clean them with a wire brush but I'll just go ahead and replace them.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEDM8
Before you get to in depth clean the battery terminals, possibly replace the terminal connections.

***image removed from signature due to rule violation***
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 09:32 PM
 
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Cables come with new terminals, and its better insurance.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 11:31 PM
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He said his car is stuck in a lot. The terminals will be the easiest for him to deal with given his situation. Running new wires would be a ****ty job in a parking lot.

Terminals are three bucks each and easy to change. Id go that route first.

Some supercharged cars blow.......Others just pick up and move.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
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Well I went back to get the car and decided hey it doesn't hurt if I try at least one more time. So I turned the key and it clicked once and the started, easily. I put on new terminals and figured I would be ok for at least a little until I got to do the wires. I went outside at about 5 in the morning to go to work, and I get nothing. It clicks, but no start. Is there supposed to be a splash guard or any type of shield near the starter, becuase there is isn't on my car and its rusted like a ***** down there. I'm thinking thats where my bad connection is so thats what I'm taking a look at next, as soon as it gets a little lighter around here.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 01:25 PM
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Just a splash gaurd over the wires connecting to the starter.

You have a bad connection somewhere. I think your on the right track. At least you are out of the lot now.

Some supercharged cars blow.......Others just pick up and move.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, its just freezing down here now, it was 35 deg. this morning. I have to work all day tomorrow too, I won't get to take a look until at least Monday. I'll let you know what happens then. Thanks alot for your help though. After I fix the problem I'm going to try and make a better guard for the starter and starter wires.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 05:56 PM
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freakin 35 degrees?!?! If its above freezing it's warm buddy! It's 0* here! BE A MAN
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 05:59 PM
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Are you complaining Thomas? Im farther north than you. NO chance Im going outside today....but I do have a heated garage.

Some supercharged cars blow.......Others just pick up and move.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 06:27 PM
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change the starter, mine did the same thing until I changed the starter. takes about 15 minutes to change and its under 100$ for a reman. Mine would click every once in a while then if progressivly got worse over a few 1000 miles until I changed it. usually tapping the starter with a hammer would make it start.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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I wish I had a heated garage. I live in an apartment, all the work has to be done in the parking lot at high noon, or at least before 3. Thats when its warmest around here. lol Oh and yeah, I'm trying to be a man about it, but I would rather be warm in the process.
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 08:38 AM
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so houston is in lovely weather. whats it like 75 today....just thought i'd tease you guys a little! bundle up!!!
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 10:23 AM
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today here, high of 10* low of -6* and I'm replacing a local guys fuel rail in his apartment garage but the front of the car will be pointing towards the door because there's no lights in the garage. Yay hehe.

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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Is it windy? lol. It is down here, wind chill is about 16*. I don't mind the cold at all, it feels good sometimes but the wind is ridiculous.

Really quick today I went out to take a look at the starter. I jacked the car up and found what was probably the most heart wrenching sight. The starter bolts were stripped NEVER buy a car from an auction, you never know what your going to run into. Apparently someone tried to remove it and stripped the bolts and now I get stuck with it.

I saw something in Autozone once, it was like a socket that had teeth in it. Do you think that will loosen the bolts up. I don't to give my car to the mechanics around here, they always find something wrong with the car that has nothing to do with the original problem. I did my mom a favor once and had the starter to her car changed at the dealer and when I got it back, the cigarette lighter was somehow ripped out the dashboard and they wouldn't take any responsibilty for it.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Talking

Ok, for those that may be interested. I went out today and took a look at the starter. I'm not sure what to call it but there are three wires at the starter. Two 8 gauge and one 16? gauge wire. Well the smaller wire was worn to pieces. Water had gotten up there and corroded the wire to the point where the connector snapped when I tried to take it off. So I went up to autozone and got some new wire and connectors and wired it all up and now she runs once again. Its a beautiful thing to hear a car start. Thanks for everyones input, I really appreciate it.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 12:53 PM
 
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All the cars I have ever owned have been Fords. I can honestly say, everytime the car or truck didn't start, it always led me to the starter. It has been SO consistent, that I don't even bother with cables, or batteries......I always head straight for the starter.

Glad to hear it's running again. Nothing is worse then having a good running vehicle not start in weather like this because of some botched up connections.


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post #21 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 04:56 PM
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My SC did the same thing for a couple months and it ended up being a loose connection on the same spade terminal that ECU described. I crimped the female portion with some pliers to get a tighter fit and haven't had a problem since.

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post #22 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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I crossed my fingers all day today,I didn't want to get stuck again, but everything is fine once again. For a moment I thought I was the only one that had this problem. I talked to other Thunderbird owners in the area and they all told me to get a new starter.
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post #23 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 07:53 PM
 
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Just a tip for you guys in the snowbelt. On mine the starter ground seems to corrode due to salt getting at it.

And for the record it was -35 Celsius today without the windchill.
Did my tranny cooler lines last weekend at -20.
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post #24 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking of either making a shield for it or trying to cover the wires and connections in a wire loom or something. We haven't seen much snow in NC but I used to live in NY and I always go up north so I need something to protect the wires from corrosion.
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post #25 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 10:00 AM
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I wouldn't put a cover on, because it might actually hold water or ice and cause a bigger problem. What you had lasted more than 10 years and now that you fixed it, it's likely to last another 10. Drive On.

David

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post #26 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Yea thats true, never thought of it like that. I won't worry about it then.
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