Mechanics

96 TRIO STALLED ON FREEWAY

1996 Mercury Tracer • 88,000 miles

I have a 96 Merc Tracer Trio. While driving on the freeway, the engine completely shut down. I still had lights, etc. Once I got it to the side of the road, I let it sit for a few minutes, then tried to turn it over with no luck (Could hear the starter trying to engage, but it wasn't clicking like a dying battery). I'm thinking I might need a new ignition coil/distributor cap. Has anyone experienced this, or have a better idea of what could cause this? If so, is it an easy/cheap swap out?

Thanks!
Avatar
Micheal777
August 11, 2011.



CHECK OIL LEVEL AND RADIATOR LEVEL---CAN YOU TURN THE ENGINE OVER WITH A WRENCH OR SOCKET? (VERIFY IF IT'S LOCKED DOWN OR NOT?)

NOT GOOD WITH COMPUTER CARS. OK WITH MECHANICAL STUFF.I MESS WITH OLD JEEPS AND OLD FORDS MOSTLY

IF IT WILL NOT TURN OVER. LET ALONE START. COIL AND CAP WON'T FIX THAT PART OF THE EQUATION!

I REALLY THINK I WOULD START WITH FLUIDS 1ST----IF YOU CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS/ WAS ON, HAVE IT CODED (MOST AUTO PARTS STORES WILL DO THIS FOR FREE, ALSO SELL CODE SCANNERS STARTING AROUND $40+)---DISCONNECTING THE BATTERY MAY ERASE YOUR CODES, SO CODE 1ST!BATTERY AND CHARGING SYSTEM TESTED LAST!

YOU CAN--USE A VOLTMETER AND TEST YOUR VOLTAGE AT THE BATTERY POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE POSTS. IF ITS BELOW 12 VOLTS. BATTERY AND/OR ALTERNATOR COULD BE THE PROBLEM. WITHOUT EVER TAKING THE BATTERY LOOSE!

SOMETIMES ON MODERN VEHICLES, IF YOU CAN JUMP START (STILL MAY HAVE BAD BATTERY/ALTERNATOR/OR PROBLEMS IN THEIR SYSTEMS) IT MAY FIRE RIGHT UP. BAD THING SOMETIMES IS, THE COMPUTER MAKES THINGS GO CRAZY--DUE TO THE LOW VOLTAGES IT RECEIVED PREVIOUSLY---TO FIX, INSTALL A FULLY CHARGED BATTERY, OLD OR NEW (ACTUALLY REMOVE FROM THE CABLES). THEN TEST THE CHARGING SYSTEM, FIX IT'S PROBLEMS, TO KEEP THE BATTERY CHARGED, IF NECESSARY.

MAYBE SOMETHING HERE WILL HELP

RETURN WITH GOOD NEWS---CODE NUMBERS---QUESTIONS

THE MEDIC


Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
Aug 11, 2011.
When I had it safely towed off the road to inspect it, nothing seemed terribly out of place. I checked the rad and oil, which were about normal (topped them off while I had the chance), though, I did notice that there was some corrosion around the positive terminal of the battery. As soon as I finished, I did have a chance to attempt to get the car to turn over, and I could hear the starter engaging, but My friend picked me up within about 15 mins of parking the car, so I didn't a chance to let it sit and try it again, or see if the engine seized.

While the car stalled, there wasn't any warning signs like surging, sputtering or spiking gauges, etc. If that makes any sense. Literally, I felt an immediate loss power, then immediately looked at the cluster, and all the lights were on (oil, temp, fuel, etc.) Then coasted to the safety lane. Before that point, I remember looking at the cluster (normal habit for me to check time on the radio, and then speedometer, etc.), And seeing that temp gauge was normal, fuel OK, but losing the Speedometer.

I did notice that when I started the car (when leaving work) was that it seemed to be idling a little rough, which fluxuated between 500-1000 RPM while stopped.

So, possible seized engine? Timing belt?


Tiny
Micheal777
Aug 11, 2011.
OK SEIZED, MAY NOT BE THE ISSUE

LOSS OF IGNITION OR LOSS OF FUEL MOST LIKELY THE CASE. LOW BATTERY OR FAULTY CHARGING SYSTEM ARE ALSO POSSIBLE

FURTHER TESTING IS NEEDED, IN ORDER TO SWAY TOWARDS ONE THING OR THE OTHER

1ST PLACE TO START IS

CHECK ENGINE LIGHT MAYBE BEING ON, AND HAVING IT CODED, IS THE 1ST THING TO DO, BEFORE THE BATTERY MIGHT BE DISCONNECTED (LOSE CODES)

CHECK BATTERY VOLTAGE. RECHARGE/ REPLACE BATTERY IF NECESSARY, CHECK CHARGING SYSTEM, IF IT WILL START

IF NOT

CHECK FOR SPARK. AND THEN FUEL

IF YOU WILL GO BACK TO THE "HOME PAGE", AT THE TOP, THERE ARE "GUIDES" TO RUN YOU THRU SOME OF THIS, PROBABLY BETTER EXPLAINED, THAN I AM DOING!

REGARDLESS, WHEN I'M SPENT, OTHER EXPERTS HERE, TEND TO JUMP IN AND HELP OUT. SO DON'T THINK YOU HAVE TO SETTLE FOR JUST ME. WE ALL WANT TO HELP.

KEEP US POSTED, AS YOU GO

THE MEDIC


Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
Aug 12, 2011.
Yep, she was a goner. It appears that the engine didn't seize fully, but was really close, so I had to give her up to an auto recycler. So, now, I have a kia sephia with a possible startr issue. Lol. It just keeos getting better and better it seems, fortunately, I can come to this site and at least get a better idea of what I'm looking at or looking for.


Tiny
Micheal777
Aug 18, 2011.
IMMA JEEP CJ KINDA GUY. YOU SHOULD BE TOO. DEPENDABLE. ETC. ETC!

I'LL TRY!

GIMME COMPLETE CAR INFO.(GL, LS, XX, PX WHATEVER!) ENGINE SIZE, FUEL, ANYTHING ELSE I MAY NEED TO LOOK IT UP!

PROBLEM. DETAILED DESCRIPTION. COMPLETE LIST OF "MONKEYING" THAT'S BEEN DONE.

YOUR TURN

THE MEDIC


Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
Aug 18, 2011.
On the Kia Sephia? (BTW, I used to love my cherokee) I'm pretty sure it's the starter. On ignition, it's pretty sluggish. Alternator checked out (did the ol' removing of the batt cables while running, and it was fine, just replaced the belt yesterday), and looked for blown fuses and relays, and they're good as well. I took the battery in for testing, and it was greenlighted (I checked over the clerk's shoulder). The other reason I suspect that the starter's about to go is that the cables were hot to the touch (not just a little warm, makes me wonder if it's pulling too many amps?) Other than that, when the car is on the road, no major issues so far.


Tiny
Micheal777
Aug 18, 2011.
KIA SEPHIA. THEY MADE ONE. YOURS. NO OTHER INFO?

BAD "CLAMPS" AND CABLE "SQUEEZER" TO CLAMP/ LOOSE/ DIRTY/ POORLY CRIMPED ENDS/ CONNECTIONS. FROM BATTERY ALL THE WAY TO THE STARTER (POSITIVE)

(NEGATIVE) CONNECTIONS, ALL, UNTIL NEG REACHES THE STARTER

ALL OF THE ABOVE, WILL HEAT CABLES. AND YES, MAYBE THE STARTER ITSELF. A NEW STARTER, WILL NOT MAGICALLY FIX, BAD/ POOR CONNECTIONS!

YOUR TURN

THE MEDIC


Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
Aug 18, 2011.
Whoops, my bad. 1998 Kia Sephia GS, 5spd St, 1.8L DOHC, 109k on the engine/trans. I should've mentioned I cleaned the terminals first, and made sure they were tight. The one thing that perplexes me is that it will start after about an hour, and can be jumped without any major problems (though, the starter still sounds really sluggish).


Tiny
Micheal777
Aug 18, 2011.
EVERYWHERE A CABLE CONNECTS. IS A CONNECTION, NOT JUST AT THE BATTERY

MORE INFO?

AN HOUR. WHAT IS OR AIN'T HAPPENING/ WORKING/ DOING, ALL DURING THIS TIME. TURNING OVER. NOT TURNING OVER."TRYING" TO "BUST OFF"?

CHECK ENGINE LIGHT?

MUST I DRAG IT ALL OUT OF YOU?

THE MEDIC

MIDDLE PIC, WHAT A REFRESHING VIEW!


Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
Aug 18, 2011.
No, CEL or anything, it just won't turn over unless you wait a little while, then reattempt. I did get to thinking about the terminal connectors again, and swapped them out with some vetter ones (the originals are flimsy), and seemed a little more responsive, though the starter does still sound a little sluggish. Think maybe I should swap out the cables as well?


Tiny
Micheal777
Aug 18, 2011.
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