Engine will not crank after going through carwash?

Tiny
SURGEIMPULSE
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 FORD THUNDERBIRD
  • 3.6L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 170,000 MILES
I recently washed my car at a carwash. At this particular carwash the bottom is sprayed prior to entering. Left the carwash with no problem and drove but after I parked and tried to start the car again, the starter wouldn't do anything. The engine did not even try to turn over. The battery works as everything in the car gets power like the instrument panel, stereo, etc. I am just wondering how I should approach this problem since I haven't had any luck with jumpstarting and stuff like that.
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Wednesday, August 4th, 2021 AT 7:51 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
SQM
  • EXPERT
Hello,

It sounds like you might have gotten water into the starter and it caused it to short out.
If the water gets sprayed directly to the starter it can make it go bad. It all depends on amount of water that might have gotten in.

You should take the starter off and get it tested. Most auto parts stores have the ability to bench test starters.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-a-starter-and-solenoid-works

You also want to check the starter relay. Located in the fuse box under the hood.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-an-electrical-relay-and-wiring-control-circuit

I have attached the starter diagram for your reference.

Please let me know of any questions.

Thank you.
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Wednesday, August 4th, 2021 AT 8:26 PM
Tiny
SURGEIMPULSE
  • MEMBER
Alright will do. The starter and solenoid assembly definitely looks like it got hit by water, so I'll take it off and take it to a store when I have the time to so so. I'll up date once it's either fixed or replaced. Thank you.
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Wednesday, August 4th, 2021 AT 11:52 PM
Tiny
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  • EXPERT
Sounds good.
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Thursday, August 5th, 2021 AT 6:55 AM
Tiny
SURGEIMPULSE
  • MEMBER
Bought a new starter assembly. The car is parked too far away from an outlet and the instructions say to crimp and use a heat gun on one of the cables connected to the solenoid for the heat shrink. Should a bic lighter do the job or could it hurt the heat shrink?
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Thursday, August 5th, 2021 AT 4:19 PM
Tiny
SQM
  • EXPERT
Lighter will work. Just move the lighter back and forth and don't hold it in one spot, that way it won't burn the wire or the heat shrink.
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Thursday, August 5th, 2021 AT 7:23 PM
Tiny
SURGEIMPULSE
  • MEMBER
Car works. Turns out water got stuck under the ground connector on the old starter solenoid. All that had to be done was cleaning the connections off with a wire brush! I'll refund the new starter. Thanks for the help!
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Thursday, August 5th, 2021 AT 7:27 PM
Tiny
SQM
  • EXPERT
That's great news. Glad that you got it figured out.

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Thursday, August 5th, 2021 AT 8:07 PM

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