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Starting Problems


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S1lent Echoes
Novice
S1lent Echoes profile image

Jun 1, 2013, 9:48 AM

Post #1 of 11 (1122 views)
  post locked   Starting Problems  

1995 Ford Ranger 4 cylinder 200k+

Hi all, I am having some start up problems and having trouble narrowing down the cause. It should be noted (please don't just assume this is the problem, I only mention it because it should be noted and kept in mind) this truck has had electrical problems since it came off the lot waaay back when. I have even had to create a switch to the fuse panel for turning off the door ding because it would drain the battery down even while just sitting. Also, I do not drive/get out much, only about once a week and even then only a few miles at a time (I mention this because I did read that this type of driving can be hard on a battery so I thought it worth mentioning).

It start a month ago when the truck just did not turn over at all, just that clicking sound. Radio and lights all worked fine but nothing else. It ended up turning over and starting a few minutes/tries later and acted fine for about a month. Then it just didn't start at all, same as before but no matter how many tries or how long I waited it did nothing, even jumping it would do nothing. We assumed it was the starter so we took it off and had it tested, it came back fine. We then tested the battery and found out it had a bad cell (or two), so we replaced it and it was fine for about a week or two. Right off the bat, I could tell (only slightly but it was there) that it was having a hard time turning over. Today it had a very hard time turning over and after a quick trip to the gas station it did the exact same thing as before - it would click and the radio, lights, etc.. worked fine but it would not turn over at all, even while trying to jump it.

Since it was acting exactly like before I naturally assumed the cells had gone bad and that I had gotten a bad battery (would not be the first time for me). We popped the clutch to get it started and it did, so we headed to the store. The battery tests came back good, all systems worked perfectly even under a load test. We put the battery back in but noticed part of the ground/negative cable was a bit loose and tightened it up (again, I just thought this was worth mentioning but I cannot say definitively that this was the problem). Well, it ended up starting though it did have a hard time turning over again. We took a couple of quick trips (2-3) here and there, turning the truck off and sitting for a while then starting it back up again. It continued to work fine, no turning over problems after that initial start up.

It just seems to be very erratic about how it acts which is why I wanted to post here and get some advice/help. It doesn't seem to be the alternator because again the battery tests came back clean and it would definitely have been dead by now given the amount of use and time since I replaced the battery. We are inclined to think that it might be bad cables and that is the next troubleshoot as soon as we can get around to it (I will post afterwards but it might take time to truly see if that was the problem or not). The starter tested fined a couple of weeks ago when had the last problem, although I guess that does not rule it out 100%. Maybe the solenoid as well?

What is everyone's opinions? Many thanks in advance for any help!
_____________________________________________________


"I feel somewhat like an inverse tangent function that's approaching an asymptote."


MarineGrunt
Enthusiast
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Jun 1, 2013, 1:54 PM

Post #2 of 11 (1092 views)
  post locked   Re: Starting Problems  

Try cleaning the battery cables really good. Pop them out of the rubber boots, take a wire brush to them, and clean them up real good. Follow the cables and check both ends. Don't just concentrate on the positive but also the ground. A little corrosion is all it takes to make a poor connections. It's a good idea to pick up some dielectric grease to put on the terminals too. That will help prevent corrosion in the future.

Give that a try. If that doesn't do anything post again.


S1lent Echoes
Novice
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Jun 1, 2013, 5:53 PM

Post #3 of 11 (1084 views)
  post locked   Re: Starting Problems  


In Reply To
Try cleaning the battery cables really good. Pop them out of the rubber boots, take a wire brush to them, and clean them up real good. Follow the cables and check both ends. Don't just concentrate on the positive but also the ground. A little corrosion is all it takes to make a poor connections. It's a good idea to pick up some dielectric grease to put on the terminals too. That will help prevent corrosion in the future.

Give that a try. If that doesn't do anything post again.


Thank you for the response. We are planning on just replacing the cables, and since cables are not too expensive it is not a big deal to just replace them altogether. And again, I will report back afterwards but with the way it is acting, it might take a few days or weeks even to see if happens again before knowing for sure.

I was just hoping someone with more experience than myself might see these symptoms and recognize what the problem is.
_____________________________________________________


"I feel somewhat like an inverse tangent function that's approaching an asymptote."

(This post was edited by S1lent Echoes on Jun 1, 2013, 5:53 PM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 1, 2013, 6:02 PM

Post #4 of 11 (1077 views)
  post locked   Re: Starting Problems  


Quote
I was just hoping someone with more experience than myself might see these symptoms and recognize what the problem is.


That's not the way this business works............. We may have seen that problem 10 times and found 10 different causes. You have to systematically follow the power supply and ground circuit and determine where it is being lost.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



S1lent Echoes
Novice
S1lent Echoes profile image

Jun 1, 2013, 6:13 PM

Post #5 of 11 (1073 views)
  post locked   Re: Starting Problems  

Okay, sorry for the confusion. You are right of course, I just misspoke. I was hoping someone more experienced than myself has seen this problem before and had some solutions, theories, ideas, etc... Or even some more troubleshooting ideas to see if they might be correct about a particular one. Even if it is ten different ones, it would help to hear them and what they entail.
_____________________________________________________


"I feel somewhat like an inverse tangent function that's approaching an asymptote."


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 1, 2013, 6:16 PM

Post #6 of 11 (1066 views)
  post locked   Re: Starting Problems  

You're already been given excellent suggestions to get started. We don't jump to the end because we don't know where your findings are going to take us so you do what's suggested first and then take it from that point.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



S1lent Echoes
Novice
S1lent Echoes profile image

Jun 1, 2013, 6:35 PM

Post #7 of 11 (1059 views)
  post locked   Re: Starting Problems  

I agree, MarineGrunt's suggestion/advice is excellent and I thanked him for it and greatly appreciate it (truly MarineGrunt, I appreciate the help and anyone else who pitches in). That is exactly what we were planning on doing already and his suggestion reassures me to go that route.

However, I fail to see how more ideas is a bad thing. That could take a long time to see if that truly is the problem and being disabled it is a real pain for this to happen to me, especially time after time in a short period as someone has to come all the way down here to help fix it and get me around town to go anywhere. If someone has more ideas/insight into this problem then I definitely would like to hear them. If nothing else than for just debating purposes, as it hurts nothing to discuss something and you never know when a solution will present itself. I'm not pulling anyone's leg here, if someone reads this and decides it is not worth posting until more troubleshooting has been done then great. But if someone sees it and wants to help through healthy discussion then even better.

I respect your decision to withhold advice until more has been done but not everyone will see it the same way and I would love to hear from them.
_____________________________________________________


"I feel somewhat like an inverse tangent function that's approaching an asymptote."


MarineGrunt
Enthusiast
MarineGrunt profile image

Jun 1, 2013, 6:35 PM

Post #8 of 11 (1058 views)
  post locked   Re: Starting Problems  

I've only been a member of this forum for around a little over a year. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people post with symptoms identical to yours. They list off about 20 different parts they've tried replacing and say they're stumped. You'd be surprised how many times all that needed done was the terminals cleaned up. There was even one guy that ended up parking his car for a year because he couldn't figure it out. Someone asked if he had cleaned the battery terminals and his response was something like, "They look clean so I know that couldn't be it but I'll do it anyways and report back". Well, he came back happy as can be because it worked. Will it work for you? Maybe or maybe not. But, you always start with the basics and go from there. I'd be surprised if this didn't take care of your issue too. I know the same thing has happened to me in the past.

If this doesn't work report back and we'll move on to the next step.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 1, 2013, 6:40 PM

Post #9 of 11 (1052 views)
  post locked   Re: Starting Problems  

Sorry, we don't use the "Dartboard method" of just throwing everything at it until something sticks. We systematically test things. We don't waste a bunch of effort with "what if" scenarios that may never arise. If this method is not what you are looking for, you are welcome to try another forum.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



S1lent Echoes
Novice
S1lent Echoes profile image

Jun 1, 2013, 7:01 PM

Post #10 of 11 (1045 views)
  post locked   Re: Starting Problems  

Thanks again MarineGrunt. I thought you meant the cables specifically but as for the terminals themselves, that is one of the first things we tried back when this first started happening (dirty/corroded terminals have been a problem before for me) and even cleaned them again when we replaced the battery a couple of weeks ago. If the terminals are not the problem, what would you suggest next?


((HammerTime as for you, you are also free to leave this post all the same as me trying different forums, same difference - you do not have to post here. You do not speak for everyone and not everyone will feel the same way as you do so don't assume so. I don't know, maybe you're a great guy and helpful to but you sure don't come across that way, you seem hateful and spiteful. Or maybe you are so knowledgeable about vehicles that you look down your nose at everyone else, either way you are not helpful nor kind and I would greatly appreciate it if you left my post alone since you are not interested in helping.))
_____________________________________________________


"I feel somewhat like an inverse tangent function that's approaching an asymptote."


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jun 1, 2013, 7:08 PM

Post #11 of 11 (1038 views)
  post locked   Re: Starting Problems  

Consider it done



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.







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