No power to starter solenoid

Tiny
KWDAYE
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD RANGER
  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 300,000 MILES
Seems like electrical problem somewhere under dash near where left foot is, started hearing a buzzing/clicking sound and noticed the battery needle was fluctuating up and down, checked battery and found battery had dead cell and wouldn't charge. Replaced battery, and tried to start, it cranked over a few time and then went dead. Thought it might be the starter, sink took it out and I'm going to take it to have it checked, while I was under truck I took my voltage meter and check the power wires to starter, I got 12 volts on the red heavy wire and then had wife turn the key as if she was starting it while I checked for voltage on the solenoid wire. I did not get any thing on the small solenoid wire. Other people I have talked to said to check the starter relay, problem is, is I don't know where that's located, would that possibly be the noise I was hearing under the dash, if more info is needed please feel free to ask. I will let you know what the auto store says about the starter later today
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Saturday, December 19th, 2015 AT 7:49 AM

13 Replies

Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
I looked at info for 4.0L engine, automatic tranny. The starter relay is in underhood fuse box. Hopefully the fuse box lid is labeled so you know which relay is which?
Do you have a security system on this vehicle? If so, when battery voltage was lost, it could effect starter circuit.
If starter motor is functional, we can always crank it, for testing, but, that doesn't mean the vehicle will start. Any testing, make sure tranny is in park or neutral and the parking brake is set.
Note the partial starter wiring diagram. There is a starter enable relay for your security system, I didn't think to check location of that relay. I'll have to check.
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Saturday, December 19th, 2015 AT 9:22 AM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Just to add, there is a relay box under dash, to right of steering column, I believe. That is where the starter interrupt relay for the security system is located.
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Saturday, December 19th, 2015 AT 9:29 AM
Tiny
KWDAYE
  • MEMBER
I'm pretty sure there is NOT any security system on the vehicle, that I know of
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Saturday, December 19th, 2015 AT 9:33 AM
Tiny
KWDAYE
  • MEMBER
Here is a picture of the fuse box under the hood
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Saturday, December 19th, 2015 AT 9:34 AM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
That's a nice picture. Click on the link for location of starter relay in under hood fuse box.
I doubt the problem is the relay, but, you never know. Look at the starter relay and blower relay, if both are the same, swap-em, see if it changes anything?
You need to be sure about security system.
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Saturday, December 19th, 2015 AT 10:07 AM
Tiny
KWDAYE
  • MEMBER
How do I find out for sure about the security system? I don't have the owners manual
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Saturday, December 19th, 2015 AT 10:09 AM
Tiny
KWDAYE
  • MEMBER
Would I be able to find out from the VIN number?
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Saturday, December 19th, 2015 AT 10:09 AM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Note the picture for instrument clusters, there is a conventional cluster and an optional instrument cluster. Do you see the theft lamp?

Also, check under the dash for the relay that is making noise. Usually you can put your hand on relay and feel it vibrate, it may be warm to the touch.
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Saturday, December 19th, 2015 AT 10:43 AM
Tiny
KWDAYE
  • MEMBER
I believe I have the standard cluster, ( I'm working right now) and also the buzzing noise never happens when it sitting still only seems like it does it when I'm speeding up but not slowing down or cruising at a steady speed
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Saturday, December 19th, 2015 AT 11:06 AM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Do you see the theft lamp on the dash? Is it on or flashing when you try to start it? Can you check applicable trouble codes, see if a code points at the theft/security system?
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Saturday, December 19th, 2015 AT 2:30 PM
Tiny
KWDAYE
  • MEMBER
Starter checks out good, you said in a previous post, "Just to add, there is a relay box under dash, to right of steering column, I believe. That is where the starter interrupt relay for the security system is located." Would this be it, see picture
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Monday, December 21st, 2015 AT 11:33 AM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
I don't know? My info shows this.
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Monday, December 21st, 2015 AT 1:38 PM
Tiny
KWDAYE
  • MEMBER
Thank for all your help but I finally figured out what the problem was. It was the switch on the steering column for the shifter, that tell it that it's in park, that's why it wouldn't do anything.
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Sunday, January 3rd, 2016 AT 2:14 PM

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