Question about 1997 Ford Econoline

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I Starting problem...

Drove the van in am and sat til evening. Turned key but just "click". Cleaned battery cables and battery posts with baking soda. still just "click". Jumped from known good battery, but just "click". Checked battery cables at starter (negative where starter bolted to engine flange and positive on solenoid) but connections clean and good. Replaced solenoid switch (mounted on starter) but just the same "click". Replaced starter motor, but the same "click". Bench tested old starter motor and it worked fine. The "click" seemed coming from solenoid switch area. Then, 2 days later, I planned to wiggle the gearshift lever and try starting it in neutral. But before I did anything, I turned the key and got a "click", but as I backed off the key, it sounded like the starter motor kicked on. I turned the key again and the engine started perfecftly, I had not yet touched the gearshift lever. It has started strongly without incident 4 or 5 times since. The battery cables seem in good condition, though the end of the negative cable at the battery post is a bit corroded. I tend to think this is not from the gear selector cutout switch since the "click" suggests power went to the solenoid. I isn't my auto alarm system since the cutout is again for the ingnition switch and the solenoid went "click". It seems far fetched that the battery cables are so bad. They are in a plastic sheeth as they go down past the engine. Besides, I wiggled the cables early in the process. Am I mis-interpreting the "click" sound? Is there some other system that isn't working. The battery is fine. The alternator charges it fine. What is this likely about? Can you help?

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  • Anonymous Mar 30, 2014

    The ignition has been acting up for a bit now. Today it started just fine & when tried to start it again, it wouldn't even click. We've changed the ignition & are still having no luck getting it to turn over.We checked the battery and it is good.

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If you notice this van should have a statrer solenoid on the fender as well as on the starter, clean the body of the solenoid on the fender area and make sure that the ground cable is secure and tight do not wiggle which is just making it loose if it is so go under the vehicle and make sure that the cable is tight

Posted on Nov 11, 2008

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What's your question? hi if the wire leading to the positive terminal of the battery gets corroded by battery acid can it effect the car in starting. ....


Most certainly. If battery acid is present on top of the battery, the seal between the post and the top of the battery is leaking. Replace your battery and use baking soda and water to clean the battery cable.

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JUST REPLACED STARTER .lESS THEN 100MILES,BACK TO CLICK,CLICK NOT STARTING AGAIN


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If the battery is good check your power cables at the starter. Make sure there is no corrosion (green gunk) and that they are tight. A lot of times the cables are the culprit, the ends get corroded and rot sets in and they can't deliver the power. Check the battery ends to make sure they are clean and tight as well. All your electrical contact points should be bare shiny metal to metal.
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This means that the battery is probably good. Next you need to check if the cables are bad or the starter is bad.

Corrosion on the cables can prevent the starter from receiving enough power to start. With a voltmeter, first make sure that the battery is providing ~13.5 V (full charge). Then measure the load between the starter and the battery when someone else tries to start the car. A bad cable will be obvious when you test on both the positive and negative sides.

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Cindy Wells
(we had a vehicle that wouldn't start earlier in the month. After removing the starter and finding that it was good, the corrosion was noticed. Cleaning all of the terminals got the vehicle to work (once the starter was correctly reinstalled). Cleaning was done with a wire brush and a baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) water mix (to neutralize any acid that was on the battery). Only the baking soda that dissolved in the water gets used.)

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