Question about 2001 Ford Escape

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Battery is strong but when I tey to start I get a loud "tack-tack-tack." I'm guessing it's my starter, but could it be the solenoid or something else? 130K, this vehicle has been very solid (apart from the original Continental tires, which were horrible). I'm asking because I am not much of a mechanic.

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I have a question lingering in my head of how you know the battery is "strong". The symptom you are describing is one of a weak battery, but it also has a few other culprits. Just because a battery will power your interior lights/radio and headlights does not mean it is a strong battery.

Test the battery with a multimeter, preferably one that checks for current under load. If it checks out, then try the following.

Clean your battery posts or if you have the type that the battery cable screws intot he battery...clean the threads inside the hole. Next clean the cable's ends that connect to the battery...both positive and negative.

Next step you need to get under your vehicle and may need to jack it up to get some room to move around. Find where the positive battery cable meets the starter. Unscrew it and clean all those connections with a wire brush or sandpaper, also clean up the bolt itself that holds the cable to the starter/solenoid.

Follow the negative cable to where it meets your frame, clean the connections there also.

While doing all of this, look for any breaks/cracks in your battery cables. replace as needed.

If none of the above work, then replace the starter solenoid. While you have it all off your vehocle, it can save some time to also take your starter in with you to have it tested for free while at the auto parts store.

Hope this helps.

Posted on Feb 03, 2010


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Thank you for using Fixya.

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