1996 Mercury Cougar - Ignition does not turn over when you turn the key. Car won't start.

Tiny
BENTLERPRIDE
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 MERCURY COUGAR
  • 14,403 MILES
Was told buy another mechanic that it was the ignition cylinder. So I bought a new ignition cylinder lock and key and replaced it. It started like every other time. Sometimes it took four or five tries to get the car to make contact and start. Yesterday it would not start at all. Had it towed home. Another mechanic said it was most likely the ignition switch instead of the cylinder lock. So I bought an ignition switch today and installed it. Still won't start. Am now out around $60.00 for parts plus a tow. Been looking for a job for 2 years and have now lost my transportation to try and find a job. What is your suggestion? Don't have any money left.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 AT 12:13 AM

20 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Do you have a test light or multimeter to do some testing?You will need one.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 AT 12:54 AM
Tiny
BENTLERPRIDE
  • MEMBER
If you are talking about a pointed screw driver type that lights up when you poke it into live wires, then yes.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 AT 8:02 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
What exactly is it doing? Is it cranking over and will not start or just won't crank over at all/nothing when your turn the key to cranking position?
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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 AT 11:02 AM
Tiny
BENTLERPRIDE
  • MEMBER
When I put the key into the ignition and turn it, it does nothing. The engine does not crank. You can hear the fuel pump engage. For a while, if I would wiggle the key while turning it, it would make contact and then start right up. So, I replaced the ignition cylinder lock. Then it started just fine for a couple days then it did the same thing. I had to wiggle the key to get it started like every other time until it just finally would not make contact at all. So I had it towed home and then I replaced the ignition switch because I was assured by a mechanice that this had to be the problem. So now, you turn the key and nothing again except for hearing the fuel pump engage. The battery is fine and has a full charge. All lights, heater, radio, wipers work fine.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 AT 5:02 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Start by checking the ignition switch
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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 AT 5:10 PM
Tiny
BENTLERPRIDE
  • MEMBER
I just installed a new one yesterday.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 AT 5:20 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Check the starter motor-tap on it a few times and attempt to crank it over and see what happens
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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 AT 5:34 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Alright get your test light with everything plugged in at your ignition switch you should have constant power at the black with a orange tracer wire then with the key in the start position the red with a light blue tracer should have power. Also do you have factory anti theft on that car?Let me know what you find.
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Thursday, December 29th, 2011 AT 6:40 PM
Tiny
BENTLERPRIDE
  • MEMBER
Stop raining so I jacked up the car and tapped on the started a few times. Tried to start the car and still nothing.
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011 AT 6:58 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
SOMETIMES IT'S JUST A MATTER OF GETTING IN THERE, AND GIVING IT SOME "TOUGH LOVE"

TRY THIS STUFF, BE DETERMINED WITH THE CONNECTIONS!

Xnostart

THIS IS SORTA GENERIC

YOU COULD HAVE FAULTY RELAYS OR FUSES. SAVE RELAYS FOR LAST! (IF ANY)

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!

BATTERY COULD BE BAD!

Try the stuff below (actions),

IN MOST CASES THIS IS THE PROBLEM!

PEOPLE GET LAZY!----THEY DO NOT ACTUALLY DO THIS STUFF

IT BITES 'EM IN THE BUTT. THEY COULDA BEEN RIDING LONG AGO!

TAKE STUFF LOOSE (REALLY!--EVERY ONE OF 'EM!) CLEAN"SCOOCH" THE CONNECTORS AROUND----TIGHTEN THE NUTS OR BOLTS WELL! DO NOT JUST PASS OFF ANY BIG CABLE CONNECTION AS, "IT LOOKS GOOD".

PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE BATTERY POSTS---CLAMPS---CABLE CONNECTIONS TO THE CLAMP (I'M TALKING ABOUT THE OLD STYLE "SQUEEZER" DEALEES, CLAMP TO CABLE)

IF YOU HAVE SIDE POST TERMINALS---TURN THE RUBBER INSIDE OUT/ REMOVE THE BOLT/ SCRUB THE FLAT CONNECTOR WITH A WIRE BRUSH OR SCRAPE IT WITH A KNIFE, TILL IT'S CLEAN---SAME FOR ITS MATING SURFACE ON THE BATTERY!

MANY TIMES THERE AIN'T MUCH SLACK IN THE CABLE----NO WHINING!---YOU GOTTA GET IT CLEAN, ESPECIALLY IF YOU CAN SEE "GREEN CRAP" CAKED ON 'EM!

YEAH, IT'S NOT EZ TO GET IN THERE, BUT LOOK AT WHAT YOU WILL GO THRU IF YOU DON'T!

THIS IS WAR--YOU GOTTA CHECK IT ALL--ANY CONNECTION---POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE THAT A BIG CABLE BOLTS TO. GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY!

IF A CABLE GOES TO A BOX--IT GOES ON THRU IT---CLEAN CONNECTIONS COMING AND GOING---TO WHERE EVER THEY GO!

EVENTUALLY YOU WILL REACH THE STARTER CONNECTION (POS)AND THE ENGINE/ BODY (NEG)

DON'T TELL THE SHOP, AS YOU GIVE 'EM YOUR $$$---WHILE WHINING---"I WAS TOLD TO CLEAN THAT CONNECTION, AND I DIDN'T!"

AS YOU PROGRESS, TRY TO CRANK HIM UP---YOU MAY FIND EXACTLY WHICH CONNECTION WAS THE PROBLEM!

I'VE SEEN THIS SAME CATASTROPHE, MANY MANY TIMES (I SAW IT YESTERDAY, AS I WAS ABOUT TO "CAR DOLLY" A FRIEND, THEN I DID THE CHECKS, IT WAS THE SIDE POSTS ON THE BATTERY CONNECTIONS). AND IT'S SO SIMPLE TO FIX. SAD THING, WHEN I GOT THERE, NOTHING HAD BEEN DONE 'CEPT AN ATTEMPTED JUMP START.I WAS GONNA HAVE TO PULL HIM 40 MILES, HE WASTED 3 HOURS OF MY TIME. LAZY, LAZY, LAZY

YOU COULD BE RUNNING BEFORE YOUR "CALVARY" ARRIVES!

RETURN WITH GOOD NEWS!

THE MEDIC
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011 AT 7:21 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Its a lot easiser to just follow my instructions then banging on things and hoping something happens. Try what I asked you two and please answer my questions.
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011 AT 7:27 PM
Tiny
BENTLERPRIDE
  • MEMBER
Just checked the wires. Black and orange have power. The red and light blue has been seperated from what appears to have been spliced into a solid blue. I touched the two together and turned the key and the car turned over. Do you know what gauge wire this should be so I can splice in a new piece?
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011 AT 8:14 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So you have a aftermarket alarm?Also do you have a wire stripper that lists the different gauge wires on it?
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011 AT 8:22 PM
Tiny
BENTLERPRIDE
  • MEMBER
The car has an aftermarket alarm that does not work. I think there might be a wire stripper like that in the tools left by my husband. I will check.
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011 AT 8:30 PM
Tiny
BENTLERPRIDE
  • MEMBER
OK. So I spliced in a longer piece of wire, put the car back together, and she started right up. Thank you so very much for your assistance. Saturntech9
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011 AT 9:03 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Did you use the wire strippers to measure the correct gauge wire to replace?You dont want to use too small of a gauge wire because over time the wire will fail.
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011 AT 9:10 PM
Tiny
BENTLERPRIDE
  • MEMBER
It looked like a 12 gauge but 14 gauge was what fit in the hole so I used 14 gauge. Had some of both. Thanks.
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011 AT 9:59 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Your welcome have a safe and happy new year.
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011 AT 10:36 PM
Tiny
BENTLERPRIDE
  • MEMBER
Ok, car ran great for a while. Now it is doing the same thing again. Ran great yesterday when I went to the grocery store. This morning I tried to go to an appointment and when I turned the key, nothing again. Just like before. You hear the fuel pump engage but the car does not turn over. Checked the fuses and they seam fine. Did the wire check again and all looks good. Any suggestions?
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Thursday, May 10th, 2012 AT 10:41 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
WELL I SORTA POSTED THE "ATTACK YOUR CONNECTIONS" ANSWER ABOVE

I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH YOU GOT INTO DOING IT

MAYBE YOU MISSED SOMETHING. MAYBE A BAD STARTER? (IT CAN BE REMOVED AND TESTED AT A POPULAR AUTO PARTS STORE)

BELOW IS A PIC OF A BATTERY CLAMP---JUST PART OF THE CONNECTIONS ARRAY

LOOK AT WHAT I LABELED AS WRONG---APPLY TO EVERY CONNECTION, NOT JUST THE CLAMPS

THIS BELONGED TO A JEEP GUY AND WAS ON HIS 1985 CJ 7. HE'S NOW A NEW PAL

EVEN WITH HIM HAVING A BRAND NEW BATTERY, IT WOULD NOT START UNLESS IT WAS JUMPED OFF FROM ANOTHER VEHICLE

I OFFERED MY ASSISTANCE IN HELPING HIM, TUNE UP HIS JEEP. HE ALWAYS PAID SOMEONE AND NEVER TOOK PRIDE IN DIYing HIS OWN STUFF

THIS WAS GONNA BE HIS VERY 1ST DIY (I AM A WHIZ WITH CJs--NO DOUBT IN MY ABILITIES)

THIS CLAMP ALMOST RUINED MY SOON TO BE PAL-NESS WITH THIS GUY

HE WAS SO HARDHEADED, WHEN I INSISTED HE HAD A CONNECTION PROBLEM BETWEEN THE BATTERY AND THE STARTER. HE KEPT TELLING ME HE HAD CHECKED EVERYTHING AND IT HAD TO BE THE BATTERY.I MONKEYED WITH IT AND LOST ALL POWER AND IT WOULD NOT JUMP OFF (EVEN THOUGH THE BATTERY SHOULD HAVE DONE IT ON IT'S OWN)

THE MAN HAD KNOWN ME FOR A TOTAL OF ONE HOUR, AND NOW HE WAS ABOUT TO BAN ME FROM TOUCHING HIS JEEP! BEFORE HE COULD SAY A WORD, I WHIPPED OUT MY KNIFE AND SKINNED THE ELECTRICAL TAPE BACK ON THE POSITIVE CLAMP. BELOW IS WHAT I FOUND, I CUT OFF THE WIRE ABOUT 8 INCHES, INSTALLED ONE OF "MY" NEW SPARE CLAMPS.

WAH-LAH. NEW PAL

SINCE THEN WE HAVE INSTALLED A NEW CARB, CLEANED UP THE MESS UNDER THE HOOD. IT PURRS LIKE A KITTEN!

IF YOU WANNA REALLY SEE ME IN ACTION, LOOK AT THE JEEP CJ 5&7 FORUMS IN THIS SITE

KEEP US INFORMED

THE MEDIC
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Friday, May 11th, 2012 AT 12:48 AM

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