Question about 2001 Ford Focus

3 Answers

2001 ford focus will not start

Will turn key in ignition, panel lights will come on and windows will work, but car won't start every time. sometimes will start after wait a while, sometimes if let car roll backward in reverse a little, sometimes if slam car hood down (think it must jolt something), have had car towed to mechanic, only to have it start, so that they would not be able to help me, and even started on tow flatbed truck, seems to happen more often when weather damp and rainy, but happened 5 times yesterday although day dry. this has been going on for over a year. please help.

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  • Ford Master
  • 5,341 Answers

It sounds like...very frustrating. Really, a year?
If I understand correctly, sometimes the starter motor doesn't work? But every time the starter spins the engine, the car starts easily? If this is the case, then the problem is confined to the start circuit, which narrows it down a lot. Basically the starting circuit is the battery, the starter, and the ignition switch-and the wiring connecting and associated with the circuit.
It seems to be happening a lot now, so a tech with patience and understanding of your Focus starting circuit, should be able to have it occur and find the problem. It could be as simple as rust or corrosion on one of the electrical connections. The place to start is with the battery terminals and connections, the starter motor connections, battery ground connection and a couple of other grounds in the start circuit. The starter motor and attached starter solenoid could be taken off and tested on a machine to see if it has anything wrong. Parts stores will test them for free if people bring them in.
One thing you could try: you said slamming the hood might jolt something, and cause starting: sometimes you can cause a failing starter motor to turn on by tapping on the case. Find the starter- the positive battery cable is connected to it- and when it won't try to start, rap on the starter with a heavy screwdriver, or tap it sorta lightly with a hammer, then try to start. If it starts up, you have a failing starter. If it doesn't help, you will probably need someone with a multi-meter to check out the circuit.

Posted on Nov 16, 2013

Testimonial: "Thanks! Will give your suggestions a try."

  • Anonymous Nov 17, 2013

    Hi! The advice given by this tech is the way to go first being you have eliminated the security light test.

  • jrb102059 May 27, 2014

    It sounds like you have a manual transmission. If this is the case, you have to push in on the clutch to get the starter to turn the engine over. If the neutral safety switch is bad it will keep the starter from getting power even if the clutch is pushed in or even if it is in neutral.

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  • Ford Master
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Clean the battery posts and terminals to shiny clean and tighten securely. Check for loose rusty earth wire connections . Check that all terminals are tight and that includes the wires on any relays . have the ignition switch checked for loose wires /terminals on the start side Bumps /jolts indicate loose fittings some where in the starting circuit. It may be a commutator bar in the starter that has a dry joint and when the armature stops spinning and that bar is under the brush there will be no connection to complete the circuit. If all else fails have the starter pulled and bench tested for faults.

Posted on Nov 16, 2013

Testimonial: "Thanks, will give a try."

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Hi! Does the security light flash when it doesn't start?

Posted on Nov 16, 2013

Testimonial: "Usually I turn the key partially first and wait until the security light stops flashing before I try to start it, but the panel light are on."

  • 4 more comments 
  • Anonymous Nov 17, 2013

    If you turn the the key on without trying to start it does the security light flash continuously?

  • kim higgins
    kim higgins Nov 17, 2013

    No. it stops after a few seconds.

  • kim higgins
    kim higgins Nov 17, 2013

    For clarification, if I turn the key partway for just the radio to come on wih panel lights coming on, I think the security light continues to flash, but if I turn the key for the panel lights come on the security light stops flashing.

  • kim higgins
    kim higgins Nov 17, 2013

    Sorry, if I turn key partway for just radio and no panel lights...

  • Anonymous Nov 17, 2013

    That's normal, but now that you say the security light flashes when trying to start it, then you may have a bad key or issues with the security system. That would cut the starter out also. Try to get it to autozone and do a free computer check and see if there are any codes stored and check back with us later! Thanks!

  • kim higgins
    kim higgins Nov 17, 2013

    Thanks! Will do.

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