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1992 Mercury Cougar Starter Troubleshoot


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FullGrownNut
New User

Nov 18, 2012, 7:44 PM

Post #1 of 5 (1644 views)
1992 Mercury Cougar Starter Troubleshoot Sign In

Hi there,

Over the past few months I've been having trouble starting my car, and it has gotten progressively worse. I spoke to a mechanic friend of mine, gave him the symptoms, and he said that it is more than likely the Starter, but I wanted to make a post here just to make sure before I purchase a new Starter and get into the replacement of it...

When the problem first started occurring, I would turn the key tumbler back and forth from Run to the Start position four or five times (hearing the click each time) before the starter actually engaged to turn the motor over right away... in other words, once the starter gets the message, the battery has normal cranking capacity to just start the engine... but now over the past several months, it takes me 50 to a hundred times of turning the key tumbler from Run to Start back and forth before something in there seems to heat up, and then the same thing, the motor turns right over once the starter gets the message... my mechanic friend told me that it is more than likely the Starter Solenoid that is going bad...

But today, my fingers got sore trying to start my engine in the same fashion as explained above before I gave up because it never did engage the Starter, so it's time to fix it (I SHOULD have done it a few months ago, but I've been just dealing with it)...

So before I get into purchasing a new Starter, can someone please confirm that it is probably the Starter Solenoid like my mechanic friend suggested, or can it be something else, like the Relay Switch?... not sure if a Relay Switch would cause such symptoms or not, and my mechanic friend didn't even mention it, but I just want to make sure... THANKS for any help on this.


(This post was edited by FullGrownNut on Nov 18, 2012, 7:52 PM)


chickenhouse
Enthusiast

Nov 18, 2012, 8:04 PM

Post #2 of 5 (1626 views)
Re: 1992 Mercury Cougar Starter Troubleshoot Sign In

Nut- before you go throwing $ at it, have you tried cleaning ALL the connections? Battery, +&-, ground cables, connections at solenoud and starter. Good place to "start".


FullGrownNut
New User

Nov 18, 2012, 8:22 PM

Post #3 of 5 (1623 views)
Re: 1992 Mercury Cougar Starter Troubleshoot Sign In


In Reply To
Nut- before you go throwing $ at it, have you tried cleaning ALL the connections? Battery, +&-, ground cables, connections at solenoud and starter. Good place to "start".


Thanks for the reply... I DID recently take a wire brush to both my positive and negative battery terminals and the cable connectors to it, so that wasn't the problem... but I have not tried cleaning the Solenoid and/or the Starter cable connections yet... MAINLY because my car is so low to the ground that it would require me to jack it up, and get underneath it to get to the Starter...

I was thinking that even if it WAS those connectors on the Starter/Solenoid, getting a new Starter would be a good idea because I've owned my car for eight years, and who knows if the Starter has ever been replaced at all yet before that... don't know how long those Starters can last...

There is one more little piece of evidence that might help you or someone else with advice who knows about these things... when I rock the key back and forth numerous times before it actually starts, I KNOW I'm getting close to it finally making a connection when I hear more of a thumping noise going back from Start to Run with the key... once I start hearing that different type of a click (more of a thump than a click), I know it's finally going to make the connection and engage the Starter... I don't know if dirty connections to the Starter/Solenoid would cause that, but obviously something ends up heating up in the Solenoid after SO many times of rocking the key back and forth to finally make a connection to start... even knowing this, you still think that it COULD be dirty connectors on the Starter/Solenoid, instead of just a bad Solenoid itself??... Thanks again for the suggestion.


chickenhouse
Enthusiast

Nov 18, 2012, 10:11 PM

Post #4 of 5 (1592 views)
Re: 1992 Mercury Cougar Starter Troubleshoot Sign In

Starters can and do last 1-200 k miles easily. I have 2 going now that have over 200k. Did you clean the neg cable where it attaches to the engine? I see no need in replacemnt from what you've said so far. The switching of the key back & forth sounds like the start system is overcoming resistance and then spinning the engine over fine. Bet if you had the starter off and tested, it would probably test good.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Nov 19, 2012, 4:18 AM

Post #5 of 5 (1573 views)
Re: 1992 Mercury Cougar Starter Troubleshoot Sign In


Quote
I DID recently take a wire brush to both my positive and negative battery terminals and the cable connectors to it, so that wasn't the problem..


Did you actually remove the cables and clean the inside or did you just clean the outside of the terminals, which really does nothing?



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