What would cause total electrical loss when the ignition switch is turned to start?

Tiny
BARAY
  • MEMBER
  • 1992 FORD CROWN VICTORIA
  • 200,000 MILES
The car will start sometimes, but mostly when I turn the ingition switch on there is a loud click over on the passenger side, seems like it is just inside the engine compartment; all electrical goes out, no gauges, no lights, no starter turn over, no nothing electrical; however, the battery still maintains a full charge. Usually there is a buzzing, humming, electrical vibration noise coming from the same area as the click. Seems like when the noise stops, the electrical comes back on. This sometimes takes just seconds, and sometimes minutes. I can feel the vibrations of the noise on one of the posts of the starter solenoid mounted on the wheel well on that side; it seems like it might even be coming from the wire attached to that post; it's the smaller wire, not the main battery wire. I put in a new starter solenoid and had the battery and starter tested ~ both good.
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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 AT 2:41 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Remove, clean, and properly tighten the battery terminals. Make sure the terminals are clean and tight on the solenoid too. It sounds like a battery terminal that isn't making a good connection.
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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 AT 2:46 PM
Tiny
BARAY
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your reply; one of the first things I did but it didn't fix the problem.
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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 AT 2:51 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Did you check the ground to the engine block?
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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 AT 4:33 PM
Tiny
BARAY
  • MEMBER
I haven't specifically checked the actual connection, but a volt meter on the + side of the battery and the ground side connected to the engine block shows the battery voltage without fluctuation. I'll check the actual connection when I get to where the car is later this afternoon. Thanks.
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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 AT 5:42 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Let me know what you find.
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Saturday, October 8th, 2011 AT 5:57 PM
Tiny
CADIEMAN
  • MEMBER
You need a multi meter to read the voltage at the starter whyll cranking. Try tapping the starter with a hammer whyll cranking.
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Saturday, October 8th, 2011 AT 6:19 PM
Tiny
CADIEMAN
  • MEMBER
Make sure the small wire is going to the s terminal on the seloniod.
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Saturday, October 8th, 2011 AT 6:39 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
CHECK YOUR FUSES!---YOUR OWNERS MANUAL MAY SHOW YOU LOCATIONS THAT YOU KNEW NOTHING ABOUT! REMOVE AND REPLACE "SUSPECT" FUSES SEVERAL TIMES--THIS MAY SCRAPE OFF CORROSION AND GIVE THEM BETTER CONTACT!

THIS WILL WORK FOR YOU, PROVIDED THAT YOUR BATTERY IS GOOD---OR YOU CAN BE JUMPED OFF!

REMEMBER "NEW STUFF" CAN BE BAD TOO!

YOUR STARTER MAY BE BAD! YOUR SOLENOID MAY BE BAD! Try the stuff below (actions)

TAKE STUFF LOOSECLEAN"SCOOCH IT AROUND TO OBTAIN BETTER CONTACT. THEN TIGHTEN NUTS AND BOLTS WELLDO NOT JUST PASS ANYTHING OFF AS."IT LOOKS GOOD", OR "THAT LOOKS TIGHT".

JUST A LITTLE MORE ATTENTION AS YOU GO, MAY SAVE YOU A HECK OF A LOT OF TIME AND $$$!

Do not leave off where the Battery cables connect to the Battery clamps! (Not the posts, the "squeeze connections" on the cables) While you are at it, Both ends of Pos cable, Both ends of NEG cable. If you still have the problem. Follow Battery Positive cable to find the Solenoid. Clean it's connections.

Clean and tighten the starter connections too!

ALL IN ALL, EVERY CONNECTION, FROM THE BATTERY, UNTIL IT ENDS MUST BE CHECKED!

Usually a situation like yours is a cable connection, next step after this will be to find and check fusible links. They will sometimes burn up, ESPECIALLY if jumper cables were installed wrong!

KEEP US INFORMED.I'M PULLIN' FOR YOU!

THE MEDIC
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Saturday, October 8th, 2011 AT 6:46 PM
Tiny
BARAY
  • MEMBER
Thank you all for your input; checked everything, replaced the battery clamps and cleaned the cables on both the positive and negative cables. Started right up, seems to be running okay now. Negative battery cable where it attached to clamp seemed to be very corroded, I will be replacing it. Again, thanks.
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Monday, October 10th, 2011 AT 12:55 PM
Tiny
CADIEMAN
  • MEMBER
Np ty for using 2cafrpros
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Monday, October 10th, 2011 AT 4:36 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
That was the first thing I mentioned. That is one of the most common problems. Glad you got it fixed.
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Monday, October 10th, 2011 AT 5:21 PM
Tiny
CADIEMAN
  • MEMBER
I said that to jacobandnickolas. Good one
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Monday, October 10th, 2011 AT 7:01 PM

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