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2000 Ford Taurus Starting Problems

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New User

Oct 21, 2012, 4:43 PM

Post #1 of 5 (5024 views)
2000 Ford Taurus Starting Problems Sign In

3.0L V6
210,000 miles

It began to have trouble starting over a year ago. Every great once in a while, when I would turn the key to start the car, instead of clicking, cranking, and starting, it would just click. I would then turn the key a few dozen times, and it would click each time, but not crank, or start. Finally, after about 20 key-turns it would click, crank, and start. Honestly, I'm lazy, and this never really bothered me because it only ever had trouble every great once in a while, and it always eventually started.

But a few months ago, it started doing this about once a week. Then once a day. That's when I decided to get off my lazy butt and look into it.

I began by taking off my starter and having it tested at our local O'Reileys. It passed the test, but compared side by side with a new starter it was noticeably weaker and louder. So I bought a new starter and put it in.

The car started right up immediately! It started up several times for us throughout that day. I thought I had solved the problem, but the next day, it had the same troubles as before. Upon turning the key the solenoid would audibly click, but the starter would not crank and the engine would not start.

Next, I had the battery tested at Wal-Mart (the place I bought the last one from). They said the battery was a little weak, but it still passed their test. I replaced it anyway.

Once I had the new battery in, I turned the key, the solenoid clicked and the starter cranked and it started immediately! It started just fine for the next week to two weeks. Once again, I thought I had solved the problem, but after about two weeks it had the same problem. The solenoid would click, but the starter would not crank and the engine would not start.

After talking to friends and family, I took my alternator out and had it tested too. Again, it passed O'Reiley's test, but according to them it was pretty weak. I went ahead and bought a new one and put it in.

When I went to crank it right after putting it in, the solenoid clicked, but the starter never cranked, and the engine never started. This was pretty disappointing. I tried jumping the car with our van, but even after an hour of being hooked up and trying to start it, the solenoid would always click, but the starter would never crank and the engine would never start.

I took the battery out and had it tested just incase it had run dry and developed some kind of problem or something, but according to both Wal-Mart and O'Reileys, it passed both of their tests.

So it's got a brand new starter, battery, and alternator on it, but it still won't crank and start. Does anyone have any advice for what I should look into next? I was pretty sure it had something to do with the starter, battery, or alternator. Any ideas?

(This post was edited by mattj on Oct 21, 2012, 4:46 PM)

Veteran / Moderator

Oct 21, 2012, 4:54 PM

Post #2 of 5 (5010 views)
Re: 2000 Ford Taurus Starting Problems [In reply to] Sign In

Make sure your battery connections are clean and tight. If a battery terminal is broken or eaten up, time for a new one or new cable. Inspect the ground at the engine block. It should be free of corrosion and tight. Make sure the ignition wire at the starter solenoid is tight and free of corrosion. It is possible you may have gotten a defective starter, so if everything checks out, next time it does that get under the vehicle and tap on the starter with a hammer while someone holds the key in the start position. If the starter takes off, it's defective.

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Oct 21, 2012, 4:55 PM)

Veteran / Moderator

Oct 21, 2012, 5:01 PM

Post #3 of 5 (5005 views)
Re: 2000 Ford Taurus Starting Problems [In reply to] Sign In

Clean up the contacts on the cables at the starter and the battery. Don't just eyeball them and call them good, they must be clean, shiny and tight. Put some dielectric grease on them when you put them back together to make sure they stay that way for a while. Also clean the battery ground post end and the ends where it meets up at the engine. Most of these problems are a result of poor contacts. Your alternator wouldn't have anything to do with this unless it was undercharging. If your battery was at full charge it would still fire up the car, and the alternator would then kick in to keep the voltage at the proper level. Think of the alternator as keeping the tank topped off. If you have bad connections on the power or the ground side, you cannot flow enough current to allow the starter motor to turn. You may have corrosion in the cables internally, but clean the ends as specified first and then see what you get. If the problem persists, you will need to have a digital multimeter handy and I will walk you through how perform a voltage drop test on the circuits in order to determine the culprit.

New User

Oct 22, 2012, 10:10 PM

Post #4 of 5 (4956 views)
Re: 2000 Ford Taurus Starting Problems [In reply to] Sign In

So while cleaning all the connections on the battery and starter, I noticed that the cable going from the positive battery terminal to the starter was fairly corroded and loose at the terminal. So I took off the clamp that connected the wire to the battery terminal, cleaned off the wires and the terminal and bought a new clamp and replaced it.

It started right up.

Its started several times now, so I'm hoping that was it.

I really appreciate all of your advice. Thank you so much!

Veteran / Moderator

Oct 22, 2012, 10:42 PM

Post #5 of 5 (4948 views)
Re: 2000 Ford Taurus Starting Problems [In reply to] Sign In

Glad its working for you. Now you've seen how much a simple connection can cost and be such a pain, I'm sure the next time you have a situation like this you'll look closely at the connections first. Good luck.

2000 Ford Taurus Starting Problems

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