Question about 2003 Ford Focus

5 Answers

Engine wont turn over. No power is going to the "command wire" to the starter when we hit the ignition switch. We can "jump" the command wire on the back of the fuse box, and hear the solenoid click. We have replaced the starter relay in the fuse box, but still no power to the command wire. It seems that the probem is somewhere from the fuse box to the ignition switch. How can we tell if the ignition switch is bad, and not routing power to the solenoid?

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  • 13 more comments 
  • royboy444 Feb 01, 2010

    We checked #85 and there is power. We checked all the fuses. How can I check for the resistance problem at the ignition switch that you mentioned. It seems that something like that is more likely. Thanks.

  • royboy444 Feb 07, 2010

    I checked the #85 slot and there is power there even with the key in the off position (Is this a problem). There is constant power to the #30 slot. Also, I tried to trace power from the slots the the post on the back of the fuse box for each slot. I cannot (with a test light) get anything for the #86 slot that shows that power is going through the box to the post.

  • royboy444 Feb 07, 2010

    I am sure. It sounds like the problem is back at the ignition switch, or possibly a problem in the fuse block itself. Sounds like we are close to isolating. Is there a way to isolate the problem to the switch?

  • royboy444 Feb 07, 2010

    The power on the 85 slot is 11.58V, and on the 30 slot it is 12.1V. I ran a jumper wire into the starter wire on the back of the fuse box. Then with the relay removed, I touched the 30 slot, and it did indeed turn the starter over. I did the same with the 85 slot which is less than 12 volts and it did not turn the starter. Apparently, you have to have at least 12 volts on the command wire to start the solenoid. Knowing the difference in voltage, is the next step still to disconnect the ignition, and see if that stops the power to the 85 slot?

  • royboy444 Feb 07, 2010

    We replaced the relay back at the beginning of the process. There is no ground on 86 I tested it with the multimeter red probe on 30, and the black probe on 86. I got no reading. To validate, I grounded the black probe to the dash and got the 12 volt reading so as best as I can tell there is no ground on 86. I went on and disconnected the ignition switch, and I still have power on on 85. Could the fuse block be bad.

  • royboy444 Feb 08, 2010

    There is no ground on 86 no matter what I do. Key on, no ground. Key to start, no ground. Thanks for you patience. At the end of this, I will compensate you for the exta time. I don't know that it means anything but this is the slot that I couldn't get any power to flow through to the pins on the back of the fuse block using a test light.

  • royboy444 Feb 09, 2010



    The wire that ends up connecting to the #85 slot on the relay has a constant voltage regardless of the switch position of 11.6 volts. I think this is the wire from the switch. The 86 slot seems dead, no ground no power regardless of switch position. Your predecessor(fingas) thought that the 86 slot should show ground with the ignition in the start position, and wanted to figure out why not. That is where we left off. These cars have a reputation for the ignition switch going bad. This one doesn't seem to display the symtoms that I see related with the bad switches though. This problem was intermitent until it finally became permanent. There was a heavy draw on the battery. So much so that the battery would not charge as long as it was conected to the car. After disconnecting, it charged up fine. So if you still think it is the switch, tell me if that switch is a plug and play, or does it have to be replaced at the dealer and a hint of the cost. Thanks.

  • royboy444 Feb 10, 2010

    I wasn't done with fingazz22 when I got a response from another expert. I don't know if I fat fingered something that ended the thread, but would like to get back to working with fingazz22. How can I reestablish the thread with him.

  • royboy444 Feb 10, 2010

    daniboi, It seems I lost the thread to you. Want to hear the results of your test, send me a thread.

  • royboy444 Feb 11, 2010

    SorryD aniboi,

    I was pretty far along with another expert when I lost the thread, and got you. We are way past the starter. It looks a lot like the ignition switch. We were in the middle of testing the starter relay connections for power and ground. I couldn't get a ground on the 85 slow, and had constant power on the 86 slot of 11.5 volts, and on the 30 slot of 12 volts. Haven't identified the correct wire from the switch, unless it is just thd 86 slot. Another expert that got into this at the same time you did, gave me some test procedures which seemed to suggest that the switch may be ok, but lost the thread to him, and haven't been able to continue that conversation. My last question to him was whether this iginition swithch is a plug and play or does it require a dealers expertise and tools.

  • royboy444 Feb 11, 2010

    to TDISline,
    I did your test. My multimeter showed "1" in the off position, and -.00 in the start position for the 86 slot.

  • royboy444 Feb 13, 2010

    I have tested just about everything I can from the starter relay back to the starter. I think I have identified the problem with some of your guys help. It seemed that I was not able to conclude the discussion with one guy before someone else got involved. Here the problem as I have narrowed it down with some key facts. Working on the power at the starter relay, there is power to the 30 slot. There is power to the 85 slot. When we hit start on the ignition, instead of creating ground on the 86 slot, it throws power (about 12 volts) to the 86 slot. I have tested the relay, and if I set up power to 30 and 85, and then ground 86, I get the power I need to 87 which is all I want. So why is 86 getting power instead of ground when I hit start on the ignition switch? Does this confirm a bad switch, and if so, is the swith a plug and play, or is changing it something that dealers/shop tools and expertise are needed to do. Thanks.



    ps. I tested the black and grey wire going into the back of the fuse block from the ignition, and it has the same behavior meaning that it gets power when the ignition is in the start position. This confirmed to me that there was not a problem internal to the fuse block.

  • royboy444 Feb 13, 2010

    For the record, I didn't go to some else, and I did nothing to rate you. I think there is something funky with you web site, or I just don't know how to properly use it. When I got offered someone's else's solution, the thread automatically went to them and I couldn't get back to you. Now against my better judgement, I just tryed your suggestion to jump ground the 86 slot and try the ignition. I was uncomfy with this because I knew that the 86 slot gets power when I hit the ignition. The reaction is what I expected. Smoke. When I hit the ignition, the power came into the 86 slot which was grounded and smoked the ground wire. I would like to continue to work with you but I think you make be looking at the diagrams upside down. I know this without a doubt. The 85 slot is the constant power to the relay. ONce the 86 slot is grounded, it flips the relay, and connects the 87 slot which is the the power to solenoid to the 30 slot which has a constant 12 volts. Hitting the switch is not getting the ground to the 86 slot, rather just the opposite, it is given positive 12 volts to the 86 slot. How else can I tell if this is a security problem or a iginition switch problem? Thanks for getting back into this.

  • royboy444 Feb 13, 2010

    I understand time is valuable. I got into this job trying to help a friend who couldn't afford to take it to the shop. The friend is using one of my cars while we try to fix it. This is the first time I have seen your phone number and will be glad to call you. I never intended for you go without fair compensation, so we can work that out if I get a good soltion.r

  • royboy444 Feb 13, 2010

    Hey Mike,
    One more point. When we grounded the #85 slot and it blew a fuse. I was wrong, it was not the same fuse as the 86 slot popped when we grounded it. Do you know where the fuse for the 85 slot is. I can't find a bad fuse, but there the power on 85 is gone, and I heard something pop when we grounded. Thanks for your help.

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5 Answers

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  • Master
  • 1,068 Answers

Sounds like your vehicle security system is at fualt. there is a transponder in the ignition that reads the key while in the ignition and if there is an issue with the resistance it will not let it start.

you can check the starter wire at the ignition switch. it is a gray with black wire and if you have power there check cavity # 85 of relay socket while turning key if power is there then check # 30 to see if there is constant power there if not check fuse f1.8 30amp .

that fuse gives the relay constant power to power the solenoid. the gray with black goes to the #85 of relay but has no direct connection to the solenoid. do you understand how a relay works? Engine wont turn over. - 432a775.gif

Posted on Feb 01, 2010

  • 6 more comments 
  • michael schultz
    michael schultz Feb 01, 2010

    you need a special computer and key reader to do that and the most likely people to have it is the dealer or a local lock shop/lock smith. but i don't know exactly what you have and have not tested so i am still wanting to know is is the computer. and the way we can tell if the computer is causing itdue to the security is to test relay socket # 86 to see if there is ground there while key is on. this will tell us if it truly is due to sec.

  • michael schultz
    michael schultz Feb 07, 2010

    okay #85 slot is the wire from the ignition switch and should only have power to it when key is in the crank/start position. # 86 should have ground there when cranking. are you sure you tested them correctly? constant power on 30 is good and how it should be.

  • michael schultz
    michael schultz Feb 07, 2010

    I would unplug the switch and see if 85 loses power if so switch is bad and if not the wire is shorted to power some where and you will need to trace back from relay socket to switch harness. I still thing there is something amiss where 86 should have ground and 85 has power when switch is in crank. So I'd 85 has constant power like you say and 86 has ground that would keep the relay pulled in and inturn would be sending powwer to starter all the time. So I would double check everything again. Test it and get back to me.

  • michael schultz
    michael schultz Feb 07, 2010

    have you tried another relay? also can you confirm that slot 86 has ground on it. i need to know this to further assist you. let me know about those two things.

  • michael schultz
    michael schultz Feb 07, 2010

    okay then we need to figure out why there is no ground there first. did you do this test with the key in the on position? this is a crucial part of the diagnostic procure. please let me know because the computer controls that and with out that then the relay will no pull and will not send power to starter. check that and then we will go on to the ignition or if we can't get ground there then you have an issue with the security chip key or computer itself. but we need to start here first because if not then even if we get the starter to work and the computer is thinking theres a security fault it will not feed spark or fuel to motor.

  • michael schultz
    michael schultz Feb 09, 2010

    i would rather have no thumbs up than two thumbs up. because that herts my rating more. i spent alot of time with you and i still can help you diagnose this but we would just need to stay with it and get a better comunaction going on.

  • michael schultz
    michael schultz Feb 13, 2010

    listen man the computer is not sending ground to the relay and that is why t will not start. you have to figure out why this is happening and it could be two thing most commonly. the security system or the computer itself. what i would do is jump ground to the relay 86 slot while still in the socket and try to turn it over. if it turns over but does not start you have most likely a security system issue. but doing this will tke the guessing you are doing out of it becuase you do not have the proper test equipment. hope this will help and change your mind to give me a better rating because i did spend alot of time with you and then i was getting close to soling it and you went to someone else. so good luck man and thnk you for using fixya.com

  • michael schultz
    michael schultz Feb 13, 2010

    i under stand this site is funky. but i am a trained professional and own/run my repair shop so time is money. and i only recieve 4 dollar for helping you and only when you accept my solution do i recieve that. so please understan my frustration. i gave you my phone # and you never called and if i had you on the phne while you where working on the car i know i could solve this for you.

    about the diagram it is right so it maybe labeled wrong on your end or you maybe be getting confused with the relay being in the socket and then having it out of the socket it is oisite.

    so my help is at this point is to call me mike @ a plus auto service inc. 401-623-7494 hope you call because i want to fix this for you.


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  • Master
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Did any one bother to ask how many miles were on this vehicle??? Was the ignition switch actually tested for power out??? I don't want to get involved at this point, but my previous question is a valid one to say the least....................

Posted on Feb 11, 2010

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  • Ford Master
  • 17,970 Answers

I suggest check your diagrams...

Engine wont turn over. - 3ef2f8c.jpg

Fig. Starting System, Page 01 (2003, Automatic transmission)

Other details can find in autozone.com (free register).

Hope helps with this.

Posted on Feb 10, 2010

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  • Master
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Hi
How do you know there is no power from the ignition to the command wire?

Have you checked both battery leads mainly the earth lead from the battery to the car body? If it is clicking then it must be jammed up. Try giving it a tap with a hammer.

Regards
Dan

Posted on Feb 09, 2010

  • Dan Doherty
    Dan Doherty Feb 09, 2010

    Hi

    Please try adding a second earth wire from the car battery to the car body, see if anything changes.

    Regards
    Dan


  • Dan Doherty
    Dan Doherty Feb 10, 2010

    Hi



    Yes not sure what happened there, let me know how you got on.



    Regards

    Dan

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If you test the supply wire which comes from the ignition switch to the starter relay. Disconnect this wire out from starter relay in back of the fuse box and with a multimeter check the voltage between this wire and chassis earth ignition key in "START ENGINE" position! If you find +12 Volts then ignition switch is in good condition. If not, then ignition switch is out of order!

Posted on Feb 08, 2010

  • TDISLine
    TDISLine Feb 09, 2010

    No #85 relay slot it is not the wire coming from the switch, but is OK, because this one has a constant voltage 11.6 volts regardless of the switch position. This #85 wire is correctly connected to the starter relay (+12 volts ignition key in "ON" position). It is the electrical supply of the command line of the starter relay (low power circuit). The another #86 pin of the starter relay is the wire coming from the ignition switch, because it is the another relay slot low power circuit connected to the ground only when driver turn the ignition key in "START ENGINE" position. At this moment the starter relay command line will closing the high power relay contacts by internal relay coil, and the starter motor solenoid will be supplied with +12 volts (high power energy) from #30 relay slot to #87 relay slot. The starter motor will turn on the engine if all electrical circuits are OK. Actually the #86 relay slot must be ground connected only with ignition key in "START ENGINE" position. Try this electrical circuit as follows:

    1. Disconnect the battery from car terminals and be sure that no accidental connection possibility!

    2. Check the electrical continuity of the #86 wire. Turn the multimeter switch on "beep" position, or in "Resistance - ohms" position. Plug out the starter relay from socket and put one multimeter terminal in #86 slot of the relay socket. Also put the another one multimeter terminal on the chassis ground. Put the ignition key in "OFF" position or pull out the ignition key. At this moment no "beep" sound, or infinit resistance on the multimeter display if the #86 circuit is OK. I guess this is OK until now.

    3. Now turn the ignition key in "START ENGINE" position of the ignition switch. Multimeter must beeps at this moment or zero electrical resistance on the display if the #86 circuit is OK.

    IF NO BEEP on multimeter or a zero different resistance value then could be the #86 wire broken or the ignition switch out of order. But first time check up the electrical continuity of this #86 wire from starter relay socket until ignition switch slot!

    Tell me please what you did find. I will search for the type of the ignition switch if it is simply plug and play or together with transponder coil (immobilizer).

    I'm waiting for news from you. Best Regards!



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