Question about 1998 Ford Windstar

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Starter issues with 98 Ford Windstar (3.8)

Car won't start; nothing when turning key, interior stuff comes on. My husband took out the starter and got it tested, ended up replacing the cellenoid. It still wouldn;t start at that point, so my husband checked all of the fuses and relays, nothing there. He ended up "jumping" the starter and it worked. We were able to drive it and restart it approximately six times. I drove to the grocery store this morning on the way to work and when I came out of the store, it wouldn;t start again. Any ideas what needs to be replaced now? We are thinking it's possibly the electric starter switch.

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  • kendillm Jan 12, 2009

    We are currently having the same problem....the car will not start. All the interior lights come on, the radio works, everything but it will not start. Took the battery to be tested and it said it needed to be replace...so new battery, still wouldn't start. Pulled off the starter, tested it, it was completely dead, new starter installed....still will not start. My husband has bypassed the starter with a wrench to start the vehicle. While it was running he pulled the positive cable on the battery like the previous post suggested and we know it is not the alternator. We are checking the ignition switch next. If we have any success we will let you know.

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One problem that the 98 winstars ( 3,8L ) are prone to is the transmission range sensor. they are badly located and not well sealed. As a result corosion...
The starter solenoid wire ( red/ light blue ) runs throught the range sensor before reaching the ignition switch.
Try shifting back and forth between Park and L1 rapedly at least 5, 6 times and then try starting in Neutral.
If it starts the TRS is easy to replace and accesible.
( The TRS is also responsible for the transmission going into irradical kick down mode )

Posted on Apr 21, 2010

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I would check the battery to see if there is a bad cell in it first and then if you can get it started again have your husband to take the positive cable off the battery while it is running and if the car dies then it is the alternator

Posted on Jan 05, 2009

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