Question about 1996 Ford Contour

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Car won't start - repeatedly clicks when I try to crank

My 96 Ford Contour will not start. (82,000 miles)

When I try to start the car it makes a loud clicky noise repeatedly until I stop.

Prior to this, I noticed it took a little longer than normal to start. It was worse when it was cold out and starting it for the first time of the day.

I had the battery tested at the auto store. The guy said the battery looked pretty old and was shocked when he read the meter. Even tested it a second time. He said the battery had a lot of life and would probably out last the car.

The car has been great but recently started experiencing odd problems:

crapater stopped blowing warm air. Always took a while to warm up but now it never warms up.

* Check engine light comes on, stays on.
It will randomly not come on (always comes on when first starting) sometimes.

* Took to auto zone to find the code for the engine light and it read O2 sensor #1. > Bought new one and had it put in. > Got the emissions tested (to get my tags renewed) > Drove out of the emissions place, and it drove like **** after I pulled out (this was about 50 miles since replaced O2 sensor). Started overheating on way home, engine light flashed and stayed on. Had to pull over and let it cool down. FIY: This was a cold day in the Winter cold but I didn't have heat on.

* First time the engine light came on: I was pumping gas and the pump pulsated. (Sounded like air bubbles being forced into my tank) Gas came out slow. Didn't think twice then but they where filling the tanks up at the time. I did not fill it up, got about 7 gallons. I was in a hurry and the pump was really slow and I didn't like the noise it was making, so I stopped it. I started my car and drove less than a mile and it all started!! Sputtered, lost power, shook, and BAM the light. Problem after problem since. :(

* The air only blows out of the window defrost.

* ALWAYS had a rough ideal when stopped at a red light (stopped, foot on break, and in drive gear) also any time the a/c is on.

* Bought used as a baby (25,000 miles) engine light came on on way home. Drove it back to guy (mechanic that rebuilt and sold to me) he set the idea higher(?)

Other Notes:
Car is only driven short distances Monday thru Friday.
I park in an enclosed garage. Garage not heated but attached to house. I keep pop and water in the garage (In dead winter it will get ice cold but never freezes, if that matters!)

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The first issue is the clicking response. That always means the starter isn't getting the voltage it needs which usually means a dead battery. If the battery is good under load testing then it's either the voltage regulator or a bad ground connection. The ground wire may have corroded so check that first and the battery connections. The ground wire bolts to the block. I recommend the you jump start the car after you find the problem. Now go to an auto parts store that will test your ignition system: alternator, battery, etc. while running. O'Reilly does it in MI. The car is old so it may need spark plugs, wires, fuel filter, etc. Candidly, it may be time to take it to a good mechanic.

Posted on Feb 27, 2017

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Sean80000
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SOURCE: 87 f250 drained brand new battery

I would first have the alternator checked by an auto electrician to ensure it is working correctly and is providing the correct volume of current. It may be faulty and when driving you will be drawing battery power instead of power from the alternator to run the electrics. This will drain the battery.

Alternators do not last forever and if you are still running the original unit it is likely to be on it's last legs and you will need a replacement unit.

Posted on Nov 30, 2009

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SOURCE: I have a 2004 ford explorer 4x4, alternator/battery/?

voltage regulator in alt gone bad..will strain battery

Posted on Jun 08, 2010

  • 135 Answers

SOURCE: My 2002 Ford Taurus, just

could be bad water pump,leaking anti freeze,may have blown the head gasket as result overhaeting engine,check oil for milky gray color,or see if coming out exhaust if so blown head gasket,have someone help you check it out

Posted on Aug 21, 2011

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