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2003 Ford Focus won't start, only clicks

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Jan 11, 2015, 9:35 AM

Post #1 of 3 (1344 views)
2003 Ford Focus won't start, only clicks Sign In

Hello, this morning I went to start my car, as it's cold out and I wanted it to warm up. It started up fine, and I went inside. 10 minutes later, I come out and the engine light is on, and the heat is hardly blowing. I turned it off and tried to start it, but it would only click. Tried a few more times, nothing. The radio and lights work fine, and we tried to jump it to no avail. My car is a 2003 Ford Focus that just hit 80K miles.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 11, 2015, 10:07 AM

Post #2 of 3 (1330 views)
Re: 2003 Ford Focus won't start, only clicks Sign In

It probably stalled and whatever you left on kept draining battery while you thought it was warming up. I really good battery would take the 10 minutes but cold makes a battery 1/2 or less able than room temps or so just anyway.

You need to try to jump this again, better cables or leave then on longer and get it to run and really warm up noting if it's charging at all while running.

What do you have to check that? I'll guess, nothing unless this has a voltmeter gauge on dash it might not be easy to tell. Once running lights should at least brighten up and directionals work at a proper expected speed is a clue.

That's step one or get help now. Low but more often dead or drained batteries for any reason will freeze inside up to cracking and leaking acid all over - you don't want that.
Once you can do anything you need to really test the battery and charging system is really up to snuff. If you can, own a battery charger and charge it. There are some very reasonably priced automatic ones (you want that type) that will shut off when done which is important. Cheaper ones make take all day but you do get a better charge IMO.

Then on to checking all cable connections and do see if battery is marked clearly how old it is. If over say 4 years and died this easily it isn't very strong unless you really had everything going, blower, lights, rear window defogger all at once it really shouldn't have drained it in 10 minutes but could as it's not totally dead just not enough to crank engine.

Jump again. It's way too common for cables from a willing donor vehicle and knowing what you are doing to NOT make a good connection and sounds like that's the up front problem, then the tests.

I think this car has an impossible to get out alternator so you really want to charge this with a charger not just let the car run to charge it back up if at all possible,


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 11, 2015, 11:03 AM

Post #3 of 3 (1323 views)
Re: 2003 Ford Focus won't start, only clicks Sign In

Sounds like you could have an alternator problem that started all this in the first place. You should first have the battery fully charged with an external charger and then if it starts when you put it back in, immediately have the charging system tested before it dies again.


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