Engine not cranking over

Tiny
MIKEH.
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD ESCORT
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 168,000 MILES
Some mornings after car has sat it will not crank over right off. After several cycles of turning key on and off it will fire right up. Does it mainly when outside temperature is not real hot. I just put new battery in last night. All lights on dash and headlights, radio work while not cranking. All at once it will fire up and work rest of day. Until it sits up
Does not do it 100% of the time. When problem occurs it always eventually cranks up.
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 8:19 AM

194 Replies

Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hello,

It sounds like the starter motor is bad. To be sure lets follow this guide to confirm the failure.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/starter-not-working-repair

Use a test light to test the starter trigger for power. Please run down this guide and report back.

Cheers, Ken

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Monday, November 5th, 2018 AT 2:59 PM
Tiny
MIKEH.
  • MEMBER
Starter solenoid was bad. Finally went completely out. $200.00 to get it changed part and labor. Well worth it due to Fords great design.
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Thursday, December 13th, 2018 AT 12:09 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Nice work, we are here to help, please use 2CarPros anytime.

Cheers, Ken
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:34 AM
Tiny
CNKFOREVER
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD ESCORT
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
Car needed jumping. A couple days later needed jumping again. . Randomly would start. Or not. Somet jumps would be dead first 3-5 times trying the ignition before cranking. Always started when it cranked. Changed battery. Worked for about 3 days. Same business. Then driving home. Went dead in middle of road. Put in park. Pushed into parking lot. Put in park. Tow truck couldn't get it to neutral, even with jump battery. Replaced corroded terminals. Took the battery to autozone. Said it was 100% carged and good and that my 4 year old alternator was probably not the problem either. Came hime put battery back in, Started it and worked. For a few more times. Oil, topped off coolant. Jiggled the spark cables to see they were down because the idle sounded like a rocker was loose kind of sound. Went to start it Dead again. No power. Just a click when I turn the key I have the ignition switch out ready to replace it. At 269 dollars I want some professional to give me some advice as to if I am on the right track. Or should I be looking at something else.
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
If your alternator is brand new or 4yrs old I would be testing it to see if its good. Then if it tests good I would check for a parasitic draw. But you said the battery went dead while you were driving down the road?If so then sounds like a charging issue.
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CNKFOREVER
  • MEMBER
Thats what we originally thought. Even with the tow service not able to jump it or get it out of park. We thought is was dead. When testing the battery. It was 100% charged and good and had not been the battery or terminals at all. I was told it must have been a problem from the battery to the dash.
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CNKFOREVER
  • MEMBER
How do you test an alternator when you turn the key and no power seems to exist? No cranking or lights or anything?
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
You can't test the alternator when the engine isnt running. So when it wont crank do you have dash lights etc?Also do you have a multi meter to do some testing?
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CNKFOREVER
  • MEMBER
Well changed the battery terminals. Still didn't work. Changed the ignition switch. Yikes! The switch assembly was 269$. Still didn't work started messing withe the cables on the positive terminal cause the light probe showed no current off the positive terminal. Tightened up the cables and. Walla it worked. I'm not sure I needed the ignition switch but it's already in there. Bad battery connection was my suspect after all that. Thanks for your info.
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I thought you said you replaced the corroded terminals in your first post. Glad to hear you got it fixed though thats what we like to hear.
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BRIAN DAY
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD ESCORT
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 120,000 MILES
Just had the clutch pedal mechanism replaced. Ran ok for 2 or 3 days then it started loosing power and seemed to be firing on 3, ive had this before with tesco petrol, and a tapping noise, I stopped the engine and restarted it started again and nothing. Got the car home, checked out battery and starter motor all fine. Tried to bump start it nothing engine wont turn over. Theres plenty of oil in engine and no real signs of damage. Seems its locked up. Any ideas?
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
1998 Ford Escort engine wont turn over, if you mean it cranks over and refuses to start=Look for spark and fuel perform a spark and fuel pressure test.
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BRIAN DAY
  • MEMBER
. Thanks for the info, but the engine doesnt crank, just locked up.
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Try this remove all sparkplugs and manually turn the engine over by turning the crankshaft center bolt-unable to do so-could be seiged. Also investigate the starter drive pinion might be jammed with the flexplate and get back.
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BLUWOLFF
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD ESCORT
Electrical problem
1998 Ford Escort 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic

My son has a 1998 Ford Escort 4 door, He was driving down a dirt road, he went through a mud puddle
( at least 1 foot deep ) at about 15 MPH
The car just died in the middle of the puddle. It never had any problems before this, and was a great running car. It cranks over like it wants to start, but just can't seem to get there. We have removed all the spark plugs and cleaned and replaced them, We have replaced the spark plug wires, Put HEET in the gas tank. And nothing. When you crank it over you can smell weak watery gas. It does not have a digital multi meter. Can you please help? My son is devastated. Thank you.
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Do below to determine if its fuel or spark problem

Get a helper disconnect a sparkplug wire or 2 and ground it to the engine atleast 3/16 away from ground-have helper crank engine over-do you have a snapping blue spark? If so-you have a fuel related problem, check the fuel pressure to rule out the fuel filter/fuel pump/pressure regulator and listen to the injector/s are they pulsing or hook up a noid light. No snapping blue spark continue to troubleshoot the ignition system-power input to the coil/coil packs, coil's resistances, distributor pick-up coil, ignition control module, cam and crank sensors and computer Note: If it doesn't apply disregard it
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JSB85
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD ESCORT
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
So when you turn the car over it Sounds like it wants to but makes no unusual notices from the sound of trying to start is all it does it don't crank the motor over to start. When last ran it had boggy little power when went to leave again it just turned nor never starts any ideas
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
All "crank, no start" conditions are approached in the same way. Every engine requires certain functions to be able to run. Some of these functions rely on specific components to work and some components are part of more than one function so it is important to see the whole picture to be able to conclude anything about what may have failed. Also, these functions can ONLY be tested during the failure. Any other time and they will simply test good because the problem isn't present at the moment.
If you approach this in any other way, you are merely guessing and that only serves to replace unnecessary parts and wastes money.

Every engine requires spark, fuel and compression to run. That's what we have to look for.

These are the basics that need to be tested and will give us the info required to isolate a cause.

1) Test for spark at the plug end of the wire using a spark tester. If none found, check for power supply on the + terminal of the coil with the key on.

2) Test for injector pulse using a small bulb called a noid light. If none found, check for power supply at one side of the injector with the key on.

3) Use a fuel pressure gauge to test for correct fuel pressure, also noticing if the pressure holds when key is shut off.

4) If all of these things check good, then you would need to do a complete compression test.

Once you have determined which of these functions has dropped out,
you will know which system is having the problem.
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DAVISSC
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD ESCORT
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 120,000 MILES
My escort zx2 will not start. I have a new battery and I had the started checked out and they are good. The car just clicks when you turn the key. It will not turn or anything. What do you suggest doing?
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Make sure cables are clean and tight on batt and on engine.
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Friday, December 14th, 2018 AT 9:35 AM (Merged)

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