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Mytoy
08-23-2006, 11:34 AM
Hello Everyone, I'm a brand new member as of today. I hope someone can help or suggest what I need to investigate. Its a 2003 Cobra and occasionally will not start. What I mean by that is the battery is charged and all electrical stuff works normally but the starter will not engage. This just recently started for some reason. When this occurs I will depress clutch in a few times or shift the gears or turn the steering wheel and after going through this ritual, the darn thing will start. Does anyone have a clue as to what is going on here? If so, please offer some suggestions. I say its intermittent because it might start on first try next time I take it out.

Thanks in advance.

BlueOvalPower
08-23-2006, 12:25 PM
It may be your nuetral safety switch that the clutch depresses when push the pedal down so the car will start, it is located just above the gas pedal area, attached to a metal plate. If you hear the starter turning and not engaging then it may be the starter.

Larry95
08-23-2006, 12:45 PM
I agree with BlueOvalPower that it sounds like an intermittent clutch depressed interlock switch (Iím sure thatís probably not what Ford calls it, but thatís the function). However, one of my friends had the same problem and he tried replacing the clutch switch first, but it ended up being an intermittent starter solenoid and replacing the starter cured the problem. Check for loose connection at the switch and starter first. Intermittent problems are always so hard to find. Good luck.

Mytoy
08-24-2006, 09:34 AM
Thanks for replying to my intermittent problem. Additional information is the starter will not engage or turn over, all you can hear is a faint click somewhere on or near the engine compartment firewall.
About a month ago I returned the car for the recall concerning the throttle not releasing under full throttle. Could they have gone in there and knocked something loose?

Thanks again for the help!

cobrabitn
08-24-2006, 10:29 PM
Battery connections or battery... like your member number. ;)

ausie
08-25-2006, 07:50 AM
Thanks for replying to my intermittent problem. Additional information is the starter will not engage or turn over, all you can hear is a faint click somewhere on or near the engine compartment firewall.
About a month ago I returned the car for the recall concerning the throttle not releasing under full throttle. Could they have gone in there and knocked something loose?

Thanks again for the help!
Just a click, sounds like the relay is making noise but the starter is not. The starter relay is located in the distribution box under the hood near the battery. The starter relay is the fourth relay from the hing of the distribution box. Also there is a 40 Amp fuse (third in from the hinge of the distribution box) for the starter. If the relay or fuse has a loose connection that may be the cause. Pull them out and reinsert in the same locations. Removal in reinsertion will clean off the contacts of the fuse and relay since the sockets will dig into the metal tabs of the fuse and relay. Since the problem is intermittent, I would suspect that the relay is to blame since the full load of the starter motor and solenoid is passing through the relay. However, it it turns out that the fuse has blown, that would mean that there is something wrong with the starter motor or solenoid that pulls out the bendix. It may also indicate that there may be a short circuit at the starter connection or in the starter motor.

Another source of intermittancy can be the power connections to the starter. If the connector or wire looks corroded or burned you will have to replace the damaged section. Also inspect the ground strap to the starter as well. Sometimes if there is a ground fault (weak ground connection either at the part in question or at the battery) problems may be erratic or hard to diagnose since they only happen at random.

The safety switch at the clutch works along with the ignition switch position. Either one may have a bad connection or poor contact. Then there is the PAT ( passive anti-theft circuit) that can cause the same issue as others have had problems with it as well. More than likely it is part due to a contact ( clutch switch, ignition switch, or relay contact).

cobrabitn
08-25-2006, 09:32 AM
Everything Ausie said but do the simple stuff first. Go check all of the connections for your battery including the starter connections and the most likely culprit, the ground wire from the battery to the block. Don't just visually inspect it, corrosion can set in so take it off and clean it. The reason your relay is "clicking" is most likely because you don't have enough juice to turn the starter solenoid/starter. Save yourself some headache and try the simpliest thing first, then go to the next step. :thumbsup:

ausie
08-26-2006, 11:22 AM
With electrical problems, and as far as other things including mechanical, always go to the basics first. Since ford did not place volt meter for the battery in the dash, it makes it difficult to diagnose the issue when sitting in the driver's seat. In the earlier models (pre 03) all you had to do was watch the battery guage and see what happens when you attempt to start it up. Hope is not lost if you have someone to turn the key and a simple volt meter.

Caution: make sure that the volt meter is set to measure DC voltage. Double check the volt meter (or multi meter) setting to verify it is not set in the Amp position since this would cause a short across the battery contacts and could result in arcing, electric shock or worse. Most digital multi meters are fused in the event of a mistake but best not find out the hard way.

Connect the volt meter across the battery terminals and have someone attempt to crank it over. If the battery voltage drops considerably, it could mean one of two things or both. Bad battery or cell, or the battery is not charging up which may link to the Alternator or one of the diodes in the power distribution box. If it starts up keep monitoring the battery voltage it should be around 14 volts (you could rule out the battery and alternator but do not exclude it yet). If every thing seems fine at the battery end and if all connections are good and free of corrosion as well as all of the fuses are in check. Fuse # 6 under the dash is for the starter motor relay, #34 is for the instrument cluster and CCRM securilock transceiver module (PAT ?). More than likely you will find them in good shape.

What I would probably do next is to take a look at the clutch switch and inspect the connections. If it was disturbed, disconnect it and reconnect it. Sometimes those wire connectors may look like they are connected but if they are loose you will get intermittent operation. Also if the switch itself is not getting the full travel from the clutch arm that could cause issues as well. It may be easier to remove the driver's seat to gain better access. The throttle sheild is an easy install and should not have interferred with anything else. Once you have checked the simple things, an if they appear in good condition and operational, take it back to Ford with a complaint (if you still have a warranty on it). It may be the switch, a bad connection in the multi position lock cylinder switch, or the starter itself. If you do not have a warranty, I would start with the starter relay. Since there are two other relays in the power distribution box, one is for the wiper motor #3, and the other is for the fog lamps #5. The relays should have the same part number engraved in the casing,and can be interchanged. Relay's #3, 4, and 5 are the same type (FOAB-14B192-AA) (there is also another set of numbers which is a date code on the relay (4020-A3) but I would not be too concerned with that number since they can differ from each other. Relay #5 is the closest to the fender (fog lamps) and relay #4 is the starter relay. Remove relay #5 and replace it with relay #4. Turn on the fog lights and the light switch and see if the fog lights are on. If not, the contacts in the relay are bad and the relay should be replaced. I would not recommend testing the relay with the starter position since the currents are much higher and if there is a fault it would damage another relay if that is the cause. If the fog lights turn on, the relay is okay. Even though you may hear the relay click, it does not mean that the contacts are still intact. If the relay tests out fine, the next step would be to determine if there is voltage at the contact pins in the relay socket in the #4 relay position. Only reference the voltage measurement to ground. You should at least find one pin that is live which would be the one fed by the starter fuse. You may find two pins that have voltage on them which is okay too. I just realized by after looking under the hood of my 04 that the fuse I suggested was closer to the hinge previously. In retrospect it is closer to the latch (toward the motor). 40A fuses related to ignition or starter, #3 starter motor relay, ignition switch, #4 and #5 is for the ignition switch. When looking at the manual, the relays would be closer to the fire wall and toward the drivers fender, the fuses would be the third, fourth and fifth position in the center from the side closer to the engine.

The next step would be to remove the starter and have it tested at a local auto parts place that has the capacity to do so. If it works then the problem may be else where. Hopefully you have checked the easy stuff first before removing the starter.

Hopefully any of this helps you out. Good Luck :thumbsup:

One last thing, look over the work order that was done when you had the throttle sheild put in. There may have been other things accomplished other than the sheild install, say for instance, repair or replacement of the cruise control module since that is under a recall as well (potential fire hazzard). Not quite sure what vehicles are effectd by that one.

Mytoy
09-07-2006, 04:33 PM
Hello again everyone.

I finally gave up and had the local Ford dealer take a look at my intermittent starting problem. Long story short is the starter went bad and it was rather costly to have replaced. This is also disappointing because the car only has 7100 miles on it and of course out of the warranty period.

Since I had so many responses I thought I should share what was found to cause this problem.

Thanks everyone that responded.

:)

JOKER
09-07-2006, 06:40 PM
thats not good!!!!

InfamousSVT
09-08-2006, 04:48 AM
Hello again everyone.

I finally gave up and had the local Ford dealer take a look at my intermittent starting problem. Long story short is the starter went bad and it was rather costly to have replaced. This is also disappointing because the car only has 7100 miles on it and of course out of the warranty period.

Since I had so many responses I thought I should share what was found to cause this problem.

Thanks everyone that responded.

:)
Well atleast you figured it out, too bad it was costly for you.