Question about 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis

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With no previous indication, when I turned the ignition key on my 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis, it just limply spun over to the "on" position. The engine test lights came on and would not go out when I spun the key back to the "off" position, but there was no characteristic spring resistance you normally get when you engage the starter. I thought that it was the ignition switch but when I replaced it, it made was no difference. As I disconnected the battery to prevent it from being drained, one of the black modules, about 10 inches square on the drivers side fender well made a series of clicking noises that I had never heard before when disconnecting the battery. Is there an ignition starting relay in that module that could produce this type of problem?

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Hello, I noticed this post is 6 hours old. If you remember turning the Ignition switch, there is a replaceable core for the key, and the switch housing is what the core goes into. If you did not replace the switch housing you probably have a broken spring in the Ignition housing.

On most Ignition switches you have to set the switch to Run or ACC positions, press a pin release at the bottom of the Ignition housing, and then slide out the core with your key. At any other position, the core should not slide in; if it does it will be out of alignment.

There is also an adjustment on the Ignition switch outer housing. This adjustment lengthens or shortens a connecting rod or cable inside the steering column so that the Interlocks will line up with the switches. The switch below the dash is called a "neutral start" switch which cuts power to the Starter circuit unless the gearshift is in Park or Neutral and the foot is on the brake. All in all this arrangement is an Interlock system.

It sounds like the Ignition switch is out of sequence or has a busted spring. You should be able to take the switch off and take it back to the store and see why the switch does not spring back. Also save a trip and look under the dash at the foot pedal lever and look for a broken switch there too.

The noises you heard were in the Powerbox. Your Ignition switch is not shutting off and the Relays are remaining on and live. You should have a power relay in the Powerbox, but the limp return on the Ignition switch is what is keeping the power on.

I hope my solution will be very helpful in fixing this. Just take the keys, the ignition switch, and get one that has a working spring in it.

Posted on May 23, 2011


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