Question about 2005 Ford Escape

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INtermittent problem....I turn the key, the engine tries to start all lights flash rapidly off and on - the engine seems like I'm turning the key rapidly on then off. Then my battery is dead and I have to jump start it. Battery and alternator test fine.

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HI...

COMMON CAUSES OF NO-CRANK NO-START
Low battery (Check battery voltage, recharge if low, or jump start with another vehicle or battery charger).
Loose or corroded battery cables (Inspect, clean and tighten BOTH ends of BOTH battery cables).
Bad starter relay wiring connections or ground connection (Inspect, clean, tighten wiring connections).
Bad starter relay/solenoid (Check for voltage at relay, if relay has voltage but there is no "click" when key is turned to start, replace relay).
Bad starter (Jump battery voltage direct to starter to see if it spins, or remove starter and have it bench tested at auto parts store).
Damaged starter drive or teeth on flywheel (Remove starter and inspect drive gear and flywheel teeth, replace damaged parts if necessary).
Bad ignition switch (Check to see if voltage reaches starter relay/solenoid when turn to start. If not, check for open P/N switch and brake or clutch pedal switch. Replace ignition switch if defective).
Open P/N safety switch, or open Brake Pedal Safety Switch (automatic transmission) or open Clutch Pedal Switch (manual transmission). Bypass switch with jumper wire to see if engine cranks, or use test light or voltmeter to check for voltage passing through switch when ignition is turned to start.
Engine seized due to bearing failure or internal damage (Use socket and long handle to see if engine can be turned by hand, if not engine is locked up).
Engine hydrolocked due to coolant leak from leaky head gasket (Use socket and wrench to see if engine rotates, remove spark plugs and see if coolant comes out or engine can not be cranked with plugs out).

ENGINE CRANKS OKAY BUT WON'T START
If the engine cranks over normally when you attempt to start you car, but the engine does not start, the problem may be NO FUEL, NO SPARK or NO COMPRESSION. The engine needs adequate fuel pressure, a properly timed spark and normal compression to start.
TIP: To find why the engine won't start, remove the air inlet tube from the throttle body, push the throttle open and spray a small amount of aerosol starting fluid into the engine. Crank the engine. IF it has spark and compression but NO FUEL, it will start and run a few seconds before dying. If it does NOT start, it probably has NO SPARK.
TIP: Another method to check for spark is to pull a spark plug wire off of a spark plug (if it has plug wires, coil-on-plug ignitions do not) and place the open end of the plug wire near a metal surface on the engine. Have a helper crank the engine while you watch for a spark. DO NOT hold the wire while doing this as it can shock you. If you see a spark, the problem is not spark, but most likely NO FUEL or NO COMPRESSION. If you do not see a spark, the problem is in the IGNITION CIRCUIT.
TIP: Proper fuel pressure is critical for fuel injected engines to start and run. You should hear the fuel pump inside the fuel tank buzz for a couple of seconds when the ignition is turned on (no buzz means the pump is not running and the engine is not getting fuel). You can smell the tailpipe for gasoline vapors after cranking the engine. If you smell gas, the problem is likely not fuel but NO SPARK. You can also remove the plastic cap and press the schraeder valve test fitting on the fuel rail to see if there is any fuel pressure to the engine (not a very accurate test because fuel pressure must be at a certain level for the engine to start, for that you need a gauge). Even so, no fuel at the fuel rail would tell you fuel is not getting to the engine
Hope this helps.

Thanks and Rate
Smith

Posted on Jul 28, 2009

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