Why won't my truck start?

Tiny
MIKE3422
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 FORD F-250
  • 40,000 MILES
When I stick my key in the ignition the lights and radio work, but when I turn the key to start the truck everything dies (the engine won't turn over and the engine does not make any noises). When I hook jumper cables up to my battery I attach the red clip first and then when I attach the black clip my lights flick on for a split second then immediately turn off (note that I don't attach the other ends of the jumper calbles to anything). If I remove the jumper cables the truck won't start, but if I leave them on the truck will start. What is going on, and why do I have to hook up jumper cables to my battery for it start?
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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 AT 2:30 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Must be bad connection at battery. Is it side post?
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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 AT 2:48 AM
Tiny
MIKE3422
  • MEMBER
It is not a side post battery. The terminals are on top of the battery.
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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 AT 11:55 AM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
I agree on this one remove negative cable then positive test battery and cable ends. Looking for at least 12 volts for battery, and clean the cable ends. Warm water and a bit of baking soda will do the trick just soak them then clean battery posts. Put positive end on first then negative and tighten.
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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 AT 3:36 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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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 AT 4:43 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Ok top post then thoroughly sand the connecting surfaces. If that does nothing then suspect battery itself having internal problems.
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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 AT 6:01 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Also if its a diesel, replace both batteries.
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Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 AT 8:35 AM
Tiny
MIKE3422
  • MEMBER
It turns out that the problem was my ground wire. It was a little loose and once I tightened it the truck started with no problems. Apparently the wire was tight enough to transfer enough energy to turn on my inside lights and radio, but not tight enough to start the truck.
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Thursday, November 17th, 2011 AT 1:32 AM

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