Question about 1998 Ford Taurus

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Engine won't turn over

I put in the key... turn it... lights and electrical all work...turn the key to the starter and I can hear it trying to fire up but it just does not catch and start...... the batter is okay... we thought the damp weather might effect it so we got some Quick start and opened the air filter section and sprayed it into the hose area (not sure if this was right) .. tried to start up the engine and again we still hear it trying to start but no turning on.... neither of us are mechanics... we have no Idea what is wrong other that it does not want to start up right....any help would be appreciated as we can't even get it started to take it into a shop for repair

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  • trujewellers Jan 09, 2009

    The tow truck driver came to tow the car to the garage and when he got in and turned the key it started no problem.... he said It just needed to be threatened with a TOW JOB to start working... it is working fine now... I am thinking the Quick Start we sprayed into the air intake earlier that morning took time to work and must have loosened up a clog maybe? Perhaps we got a dose of bad gas? should I take it in and have anything in particular checked or done such as a tune up?



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This sounds like either a immobiliser problem? or ignition switch fault?
Are the batteries o.k. in the fob for alarm/immobiliser if you have one? or when you push the sender into is socket does the red light stop blinking? if not then faulty fob.
The back of the ignition switch has a large plastic block when you turn the key all the way the contact fails to make (Possibly worn out) so no power is received from the starter motor solenoid.
Hope this helps?
Paul 'W'
Onyer~EDson(:0)~[>< U.K.

Posted on Jan 09, 2009


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My car sat idle for about a month but I had a friend start it occasionally to keep the battery up and running. One day the engine would not turn over when he tried to start it up. The lights come on like...

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I have a 96 pontiac grand am that doesnt start all the time

Starting Problem # 1: Engine Won't Crank At All

Scenario: You turn the key, but nothing happens: And by nothing, we mean there is no dash light, no sound, nada. The first thing you should do in this case is to pop the hood and check the battery. Either the battery is completely dead or there's a wiring problem in the starting system. Try jump-starting the battery. If that doesn't work, you'll probably have to call for assistance.

Scenario: When you turn the key, you hear a rapid clicking sound, and the dash lights dim. This is your classic low-battery symptom. Jump-starting the battery should get the engine to start.However, if you keep experiencing this problem, you could have a bad battery or alternator, or it could be some­thing as simple as a loose alternator belt. Take your car to a mechanic just as soon as you can.

Scenario: When you turn the key, the lights on the dash come on, but you don't hear anything. Make sure you have the shift selector all the way in park. Move it out of park and then back, or try starting it with the shifter in neutral. If your car has a manual transmission, make sure you have the clutch pressed all the way to the floor. If that doesn't help, you can try jump-starting the battery, but it probably won't work. There's a good chance your car has a bad starter or a problem in the starting circuit. That could mean a prob­lem in the ignition switch, neutral safety switch or starter sole­noid.

Scenario: The dash lights come on when you turn the key, and then go right out, and the engine doesn't crank when you turn the key to start, But, the lights slowly come back on when you release the key. This is another classic: the bad battery connection. When you turn the key to start, the starter pulls so much current that it breaks the connection. Then, when you release the key, the connection slowly comes back. The connection provides enough power to turn the dash lights on, but not enough to crank the starter. Cleaning and tightening the battery terminals may fix this prob­lem.

Scenario: When you turn the key, you hear a single, hard clunk. Turn the headlights on and try again. Do the lights dim slightly when you turn the key? If so, you probably have a bad starter or a seized engine. If the headlights don't dim at all, or just barely dim, there may be a connection problem between the starter solenoid and the starter itself.

Scenario: When you turn the key, you hear a loud, scraping or grinding sound like metal on metal. The starter drive is bad, or the ring gear on the flywheel damaged, or both. You may get the starter to engage if you try turning the key a couple of times, but let go of the key right away if you hear the noise again. If the car does start, you should drive it right over to local repair shop and have the problem fixed.

Starting Problem #2: Engine Cranks but It Won't Start

Scenario: The engine seems to crank normally, but the engine doesn't even sound as if it's trying to start. Is there gas in the tank? Gas gauges are notoriously inaccurate. If you have to move your head to one side to get the needle to move off empty, try adding some gas to the tank.

Scenario: When you first turn the key on, you don't hear the fuel pump run. In cars with electronic fuel injection, you should hear a light hum a few seconds from around the fuel tank. That's the electric fuel pump running. If you don't hear the fuel pump run for a couple seconds when you first turn the key on, try cranking the engine until the oil light goes out. That may start the pump running and allow the engine to start.

Scenario: The engine cranks normally, and it sounds like it wants to start, but it won't. You may have flooded the engine. Hold the gas floor and try again. (Let the gas pedal up when it finally starts). If it's raining out, the ignition system may be wet.

Scenario: The engine cranks unevenly in a repetitive-sounding pattern. You may have a bad timing chain or timing belt. Call a tow truck and have it towed to the repair shop.

Starting Problem # 3: Engine Starts but It Shuts Off

Scenario: The engine starts right up, but shuts off as soon as you release the key. This is the classic symptom of a bad ignition switch. A new switch should fix it.

Scenario: The engine starts and runs, but when you put the transmission in gear, the car lurches and the engine shuts off. The converter clutch in the transmission torque converter probably is engaging when it shouldn't. On some cars, you can bypass this by disconnecting the torque converter clutch solenoid; but unless you know which wire to pull, forget about it. Call for assistance.

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Jul 21, 2011 | 1996 Pontiac Grand Am

1 Answer

I took a 3 hour drive to see some friends and stay a couple nights. well we went to eat and when i got back to the car it didnt try and start or anything. It also has a problem with not wanting turn over.

If you can hear it trying to turn over but sounds weak, then a clicking noise and dimming of lights - your battery is low on power. Have someone jump it. you can run your car without a full battery, It will charge after you run it. if your battery is fully bad then you will just have to jump it to turn it on, after turning it off. You can also pour tap water into the cells of the batt as a last resort.

If you hear nothing at all when you try to turn it on it, could be your starter. make sure when you turn your key to "on" position you hear one click from your starter. If not its goin bad. if you can see your starter under the hood or under the car (looks like heavy electric motor), try hitting it with a hammer when you try and start it. sometimes that gets it going.

If you have more then one key, try using another key, sometimes the immobilizer in your car "forgets" a keys code.

If it is turning over but not running, it might be a weak fuel pump. Everytime you turn your key to the on position, your fuel pump primes the fuel lines. but if its weak it takes a while to fire up. try turning the key (engine off) from off to on (not start) in 3 sec intervals a few times. that will prime your car more before it starts.

Also some sensor are required to work to run the car. If they are messed up or dirty the car won't start. Mainly the Mass Air Flow sensor near the air filter box or crank senor on the block. If these sensors are whats wrong, you have to tow it or keep trying to turn it on later in the day. electronics sometimes work better or worse depending on the air temp and humidity.
If you have a check engine light on, get a obd2 code reader. it will tell you exactly whats wrong. You can barrow them at advanced auto parts stores sometimes. Or buy one for 20 bucks.

hopes this helps!

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