Engine will not start? Starter engages/clicks?

Tiny
JOSEPHBEST23
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 FORD TAURUS
  • 110,000 MILES
Wow, there seems to be a lot of Taurus questions on here. I know you guys will help me.

FACTS:
-Battery fully charged
-While helper turns ignition key to crank, I got under the car and checked the solenoid to starter braided wire with a multimeter. 12 volts.
-While helper turns ignition key to crank, starter makes a loud repetitive clicking sound.
-While helper turns ignition key to crank, while the clicking noise is happening, the serpentine belt and accesories move very very very very slowly.

Could the engine be suffering from hydraulic lock? Could it be something that causes the ignition not to fire? Wouldn't starter still turn motor just as easy if no ignition present? Thank you guys in advance.
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Thursday, May 31st, 2012 AT 9:19 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
It sounds like the starter is shot. Make sure the main power cable from the battery to the starter has 12 volts at the starter at all times. Next check the smaller wire on the starter solenoid for the presence of 12 volts while cranking. If 12 volts is present on both wires, you have a bad starter/solenoid.
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Thursday, May 31st, 2012 AT 9:39 PM
Tiny
JOSEPHBEST23
  • MEMBER
What if I take the starter off and power it through the solenoid just as it normally would and it spins pretty good and fast? Could the starter be weak due to an internal problem? Also, just because the battery has 12 volts, and the starter clicks, does that completely rule out the battery?
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Thursday, May 31st, 2012 AT 10:17 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
The starter motor overrunning clutch could be slipping-

Hydro-locking-remove all the sparkplugs and crank the engine over is the engine cranking freely-
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Thursday, May 31st, 2012 AT 11:11 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO REMOVE AND TEST YOUR STARTER YOURSELF, YOU CAN TAKE IT OFF AND MANY POPULAR PARTS STORES WILL DO IT FOR YOU.

TAKE ALONG THE BATTERY TOO....THEY'LL CHECK IT FOR FREE TOO!

IF YOUR CYLINDERS AREN'T FULL OF WATER (SORTA WORST CASE SCENARIO)

TRY THE CRAP I SUGGEST IN THIS LINK....DO THIS BEFORE YOU START SNATCHING OUT THE BATTERY AND STARTER

http://www.2carpros.com/questions/1996-chevrolet-tahoe-wont-start-sounds-dead-battery-jumpbox-get-same-reults

THE PIC IN THE BOTTOM OF THE LINK ALSO YIELDED 12 VOLTS WHEN IT WAS TESTED AT THE SOLENOID.....THERE WAS JUST NO AMPS MAKING IT THRU THE CORRODED CRIMP. SORTA LIKE GETTING A HYPODERMIC SIZE STREAM OF WATER, WHEN A FIRE HYDRANT'S STREAM IS NEEDED

RETURN WITH SOME GOOD NEWS

THE MEDIC
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 1:24 AM
Tiny
JOSEPHBEST23
  • MEMBER
Hey, I cleaned all the connections from starter to battery. It done the same clicking. So I took the starter out from the top and connected all the wires back. Then I case grounded it. I had my helper turn the ignition to crank and the starter gear engaged then spun like a top. But before the gear spun, the clutch clicked about a dozen times, shouldn't it just move once then spin. In other words, it took about 3 seconds before it started turning. That clicking sound we been hearing is definately the overrunning clutch. Is that normal, is my starter good?
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 1:35 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
That test is irrelevant because there is no load on the starter. It will typically draw about 250 amps to get started, then once it is spinning, it acts like a generator and develops "back EMF" just like a generator develops a voltage. There is no way to measure that current but we DO see the effect it has when it opposes battery current. That causes battery current to immediately drop to around 150 amps.

When you do this testing off the engine, the starter motor is free to spin way faster than normal so it develops a lot more voltage, (that back electromotive force) and current goes down even more. Big old heavy V-8 starters will draw less than 50 amps under those conditions and appear to work fine. That's why the only way to accurately test a starter is on the engine with a load. For a better explanation with sad drawings, see:

http://randysrepairshop.net/starter-systems.html

At the bottom is a link to Ford starter system diagnostics. There are four different systems they used over the years. One of the things you might especially look for is a corroded cable at the solenoid, battery and starter. The strands of wire corrode away under the end of the insulation where you can't see it.

Another good test with this type of problem in a high-current circuit is the "voltage drop" test. It works better than measuring voltage at various places in the circuit because when the starter is kicking in and out rapidly like yours is doing, the voltage AT a point in the circuit is bouncing around wildly due to those voltage drops ACROSS a point and digital voltmeters do not average out the fluctuating voltage to make it readable. Here's a link to explain voltage drop readings and why they work better at finding this problem:

http://randysrepairshop.net/voltage-drop-tests-in-a-high-current-circuit.html
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 7:33 PM
Tiny
JOSEPHBEST23
  • MEMBER
Wow, you won't believe this. A friend told me to put the starter back on and jump the car with another vehicle. It fired right up. But after it fired, it cut right off unless you kept the throttle mashed. Could a battery that's not holding current cause the car to cut off after start. In other words it has enough cranking amps, but it's not keeping the car firing at idle. Then again, that sounds kind of like the emmission system has a fault(s).
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 9:24 PM
Tiny
RIVERMIKERAT
  • MEMBER
Yes. Perform 2 tests:
1:Starter draw. This tests how many amps the starter requires to spin.
2: Battery load test. This tests if the battery is capable of supplying the type of current needed to start the vehicle, and if so, at what voltage. You need to know the cold cranking amps rating of the battery. It should be printed in the label somewhere.
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 9:55 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
JUST FOR GIGGLES

COMPLETELY REMOVE YOUR BATTERY AND HAVE IT TESTED AT AN AUTO PARTS STORE, THEIR MACHINES DO A THOROUGH JOB.12 V ON A VOLTMETER DOES NOT LOAD TEST YOUR BATTERY, SO YOUR HOME TEST MAY NOT BE GOOD ENOUGH!

IF YOU FEEL YOU CAN'T DO THAT. AT LEAST DISCONNECT YOUR BATTERY FOR 10 MINUTES THEN HOOK IT BACK UP. THIS MAY RESET YOUR COMPUTER WHEN IT SENSES A FULL 12 VOLTS

IN MY PIC BELOW---THIS '85 CJ 7 HAD A NEW BATTERY IN IT, IT WOULD NOT CRANK, UNLESS IT WAS JUMPED

THIS CONNECTION WAS AT THE BATTERY----THE OTHER ENDS OF THE WIRES MAY BE THIS WAY ALSO. BE THOROUGH! EVEN LOOSENING AND "SCOOCHING" THE CONNECTORS AROUND MAY MAKE BETTER CONNECTIONS

THE MEDIC
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 10:01 PM

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