Question about Heating & Cooling
There are a number of variables within the smaller Ford vehicles, due to their smaller alternators and loads. So, here are a few questions which may help to narrow down the culprit.
Generally, this involves the fuel/air intake or electrical supply to the cylinders.
While trying to start, does the engine backfire a fair amount? If so, the issue is most likely electrical, and this can be caused by a variety of things. Gas-powered engines tend to backfire when the fuel/air mixture isn't ignited by the spark plug before the valve(s) open for exhaust (but not always).
Does the engine sound like it's trying to start, like firing intermittently, but laboring without backfiring until the battery is dead? ...and, are there any other sounds, like clicking or "clunking" sounds prior to the battery going dead?
1) If the vehicle is fairly new, understand the limitations of the electrical system, especially if you added any after-market items (big stereo, large bass box, etc.), which may require a heavy electrical current to power. It could be as simple as having some sort of power disconnect to these devices, so that all of your battery power can be directed to the spark plugs, and perhaps upgrading to a higher output alternator and battery with more CCA capacity.
2) If the vehicle is older, or has high mileage, it could be the electrical distribution to the spark plugs (any number of places this can happen, between the battery, the regulator, distributor/electronic ignition module, etc.). Also, check your battery terminals, because often the corrosion limits current from the battery posts to the electrical system (check the cables, too, where that blue/green corrosion can build up), which can be cleaned (after disconnecting) with a mixture of baking soda and water to neutralize it, or replace the battery cables altogether.
Fuel / Air Intake Mixture:
1) If an older vehicle, check the fuel filter and/or fuel pump, to make sure there isn't something going on to limit the flow of fuel. Likewise for the air intake filter. Sometimes, the automatic adjustment within the vehicle for cold starting isn't working properly, which can cause problems like you're stating, so that needs to be adjusted and/or replaced.
These would be the easier things to check first, and of course a number of other elements could be at play, such as cylinder compression (bad rings), spark plug build-up (usually from misfiring, requiring spark plug cleaning or replacement), major fuel/air intake or electrical system malfunction.
Unfortunately, without more specifics, it's difficult to diagnose accurately. However, I hope this gives you a few areas to look into, which may provide an answer and solution for you.
Posted on Feb 13, 2012
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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