Question about Mercury Cougar

2 Answers

When given power, car starts to crank with key in off position

Well, i got a new starter solenoid, and now i went to start it up and then it just kept cranking, i quickly disconnected the battery and checked all my connections. now everytime i hook up power to the car it starts cranking with the key in the off position? please help!

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  • 89cougarls Jul 31, 2009

    im sorry, i changed it because it went bad, the car wouldnt even crank at all, its the exact same solenoid by motorcraft and all?

  • 89cougarls Jul 31, 2009

    the command wire? it keeps cranking. could it be that?

  • 89cougarls Jul 31, 2009

    yes it is usefull! let me explain, i have a 1989 3.8L v6 cougar LS now the part IS motocraft which is recommended by ford and the original part, however i may have messed up the wiring, could you explain how a 1989 cougars starter solenoid is supposed to be wired in a diagram?

  • 89cougarls Jul 31, 2009

    well i mean if i hook power up to the car at all it starts cranking instantly, so thats going to be tough to test?????

  • 89cougarls Jul 31, 2009

    oh and there are 4 not including the command wire

  • 89cougarls Jul 31, 2009

    no i have two big terminals and one small one, the small one connects the command wire, i dont really know what side to connect the positive and negative battery cables then there are two more wires coming from the high current fuse box

  • 89cougarls Jul 31, 2009

    how do i know what cable is which? theyre all taped up and i would have to take alot of stuff apart to follow them to their source...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C5F...
    thats the solenoid, maybe that will help

  • 89cougarls Aug 02, 2009

    thank you very much, that was the problem, i had a hot wire connected to the same terminal as the starter so when power was applyed it started cranking, but its fixed now and running better than ever! thank you !

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler May 11, 2010

    If your 100% sure solenoid is hooked up right, what happens when you disconnect small wire at solenoid?

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Hi I'm litoshop if you connected the wires exactly the same way the old solenoid was connected then you have a bad solenoid if the parts are not oem you can get a lot of bad after market parts I prefer original parts to avoid these kind of problems, But if your not sure about the wiring then I need to know how many wires connected to the solenoid what year and engine is your car so I can help you. if this information has been useful please let us know thank you

Posted on Jul 31, 2009

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The new solenoid is probably causing this you didnt say why you changed the solenoid in the first place

Posted on Jul 31, 2009

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  • tim whitmire Jul 31, 2009

    the start wire could be the problem unhook it and use a test light to see if it is lit up with key on but not in start position if it is you might have an ignition switch problem being stuck in the start position let me know what you find out

  • tim whitmire Jul 31, 2009

    you probably have a hot wire connected to the start side of solenoid the wire on this terminal should only be hot with key in start position you should only have one wire connected to the s terminal im assuming you have two small and one big terminal on the solenoid

  • tim whitmire Jul 31, 2009

    the two big ones are both positive positve cable to one side of solenoid the other big terminal should have wire coming from starter the other wires should connect to battery side of solenoid on the big terminal

  • tim whitmire Aug 02, 2009

    glad to help you i would appreciate a vote if havent already thanks

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1 Answer

Turn key to crank position and only once in a while.has new battery and starter ,wires on starter are good.


When the vehicle doesn't start, you will need to check the purple wire at the starter solenoid for power when the key is held in the crank position. If there is power during this procedure, the starter will be defective. If no power, possible ignition switch... neutral safety switch..starter relay ( if equipped ) or wiring problem

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Have you checked the Solenoid? That would be why the starter would keep engaging, but not start. You might also want to check the Voltage Regulator, and the sensors. Here is a page of images that might help you with identification.


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1 Answer

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So it's a no crank condition? Do dash lights, gauges, and everything else work when the car won't crank over? If so, buy a cheap $5.00 testlight, and when the car won't crank, pull the small black wire off the starter solenoid. While someone holds the key in start (cranking) position and clutch pedal depressed, see if the black wire has power as it should. (Ground the testlight and just touch the wire's end terminal. If powered, the testlight will light up.) If power there, then the starter solenoid is failing. Toyota starters are very good units, but the solenoid's internal contacts get old and pitted.
If no power at the black wire, then the start circuit from ignition switch to clutch safety switch (on the clutch pedal) to starter relay to starter solenoid will have to be diagnosed. To double-check: take a single battery jumper cable and put it on the positive battery post connection. Put the other end of the jumper cable on the solenoid terminal where black wire was removed. Key can be off. Make sure car is in neutral, brake set. If starter now operates, solenoid is O.K., and it is a problem in the start circuit, -ignition switch, neutral start switch, or in the wiring.
Now find a grounding place for testlight under the dash. When car won't crank, check for power coming out of ignition switch on the black wire with white stripe. This is the start wire for the starter solenoid. Key must be in crank position. Wire shoud be powered-ignition switch is working. If no power, switch is failing. You can do the same for the clutch start switch-it's a simple switch, that when clutch is depressed switch is closed and passes power on from ignition switch to the starter relay (thus allowing power to the starter solenoid). Black wire, red stripe-this is wire from clutch switch to starter relay. When key is in crank, clutch depressed, this wire should be hot.
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