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Hello! 1997 Ford Explorer won't start...

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New User

May 5, 2009, 9:06 PM

Post #1 of 7 (2078 views)
Hello! 1997 Ford Explorer won't start... Sign In

I have a 1997 four door Ford Explorer V6 4.0 liter. It has approximately 180,000+ miles on it.
Now my car will not start!
In the past year I replaced the serpentine/tensioner belt and alternator; both work fine. I also replaced the heater control valve a few weeks ago FYI, though I doubt that matters. Just yesterday I replaced the plugs and wires. When I try to start my car it tries to turn over but WILL NOT start. HOWEVER, when I get a jump from somebody it will start and runs fine, but when I turn my car off it will not start on its own again. It must be the battery right?! Well, I went to Autozone and got my battery tested; everything is A-OK. The battery and connectors were quite corroded so I cleaned them and tried once more. Nothing. And that's where I'm at now. Does anyone have any clue what the problem could be? Any suggestion would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks guys. Here's hoping to a long relationship; I'm always eager to learn Smile

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator

May 5, 2009, 9:27 PM

Post #2 of 7 (2073 views)
Re: Hello! 1997 Ford Explorer won't start... [In reply to] Sign In

Condition of those battery cables are probably the issue. They make quality replacment ends or whole cables. In that it takes a jump but won't start by its own with a know OK battery the ends at the battery are in question,

Long retired now

New User

May 6, 2009, 5:14 PM

Post #3 of 7 (2055 views)
Re: Hello! 1997 Ford Explorer won't start... [In reply to] Sign In let me get this straight...

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator

May 6, 2009, 5:37 PM

Post #4 of 7 (2049 views)
Re: Hello! 1997 Ford Explorer won't start... [In reply to] Sign In

Not sure what you meant by that?? What I meant is the OUTSIDE of the u-bolt at the battery isn't making good contact with the top post that Ford's use. The solid lead type could be adjusted and fixed up. If this has thinner metal there then what I think happens is you get a trickle connection to battery but the jumpers are connecting to the outside of u-bolts which doesn't always hold up well.

Again: They make quality splice in ends (not the cheap temporary ones) or whole cables should solve the issue,

Long retired now

New User

May 6, 2009, 9:55 PM

Post #5 of 7 (2039 views)
Re: Hello! 1997 Ford Explorer won't start... [In reply to] Sign In

Sorry, Tom. I meant to apply an attachment to that reply which would have made it made sense Unsure
I went to some auto stores and all they offer are splicing kits, not new cable sets (I just went to two tonight). I bought some battery cleaner for a couple bucks and plan on trying that tomorrow...I've talked to several people about my problem and all have suggested maybe my starter is kaput...and although I'm no car expert I don't know how that could be if my car easily starts with a jump??? BTW thanks for your suggestions Tom, I appreciate them.

Also, "u-bolts" is a term I'm unfamiliar with...are they the rods/bolts that are part of the battery that the terminals cable terminals connect to?

(This post was edited by threadfall on May 6, 2009, 10:07 PM)

Veteran / Moderator

May 6, 2009, 10:01 PM

Post #6 of 7 (2033 views)
Re: Hello! 1997 Ford Explorer won't start... [In reply to] Sign In

Cable ends might help.... I only use them as a temporary fix...

Personally if they are that corroded I would change out the whole cables IMHO. You have to have clean connections & a good ground to accurately check the system....


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator

May 6, 2009, 10:15 PM

Post #7 of 7 (2032 views)
Re: Hello! 1997 Ford Explorer won't start... [In reply to] Sign In

If it takes a jump it ain't your starter! I can be sure of anything but death and taxes but this is totally at battery cable at the battery problem. Go to a real parts store - NAPA is usually one but not assurance with any.

They make a $10 or so buck splice that's permanant. Not the 99cent ones and this is screaming that that's the problem. Bet this doesn't have lead (connectors and they can't be tightened to work - you gotta trash those at some point.

FYI - especially chain parts stores are there to sell parts. If you need then fine but I'd bet you are barking up the wrong tree with this with marginal advice. Parts store folks may and probably do have all good intentions but they don't necessasarily have a strong mechanical background.

That's why you are here. If I'm wrong shoot me - but this smacks of the cable ends being the only problem from info I can see here!

BTW - I'm not right there but this with your symptoms is NOT rocket science! Anything suggested at this and other sites are guesses and opinions as best we can. I'm pretty damn sure of this one!
Sample pic of the ends........

The one in the middle is what you want NOT the cheap lower one shown which was probably original!

Long retired now

Hello! 1997 Ford Explorer won't start...

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