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Pete
Pete, Auto Service Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 24671
Experience:  Over 17 years diagnosing and repairing automobiles various makes and models with some training and certifications.
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Bob
, 2003 Ford Windstar 3.8 V-6 94,000 miles
,

Customer Question

Customer: Bob
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: 2003 Ford Windstar 3.8 V-6 94,000 miles
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $28) to post your type of question to Ford Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: yes but need to get this resolved today and will pay the premium. The 2003 Windstar has several issues the initial one is that it will crank, but not start. then if you go to crank it a second time it will not crank, unless you wait about 5minutes then it will crank once then wait. The battery is new, the starter is new, the alternator is new, just bought a new key and had it programmed by a lock smith, and I swapped out relays with no change. The connections are clean and tight, and in this one crank opportunity the starter spins over at a normal speed. Also I do not have the owners manual to identify the relays and fuses so if you can send a diagram or list of which fuse is which it would help
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Pete replied 11 months ago.

Hi my name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist with this today.In some cases I may need more info to assist better.I apologize for any delay.

On your model here fuse 2.19 (10 amp) is the starter relay energizing signal with the ignition switch held in the crank position.Fuse 1.105 (30 amp) is the relay main power and starter main ignition power when the relay is energized.The relay is energized by a ground control from the PCM (engine and transmission computer).If the electronic igntion switch is acting up intermittently it will cause both of these issues here or if the PCM is acting up intermittently it will cause the issues as well.

What needs to be done is locate the 4 prong starter relay located in the battery junction box.Remove this relay and keep in mind which way it was installed.Then test 3 of the four prongs the relay plugged into.One should have power at all times.One should have power when key held in start.If the one with power with key in start is not present I suspect the electronic ignition switch is at fault needing replaced.One should have a ground signal only when held in the cranking position.If there is no ground signal in the cranking position then I suspect the PCM itself is at fault needing replaced.

The battery junction box is located in front of the battery on the drivers side under hood area.Here is the location of the relay inside the box as seen as the Starter Relay https://www.dropbox.com/s/4vdohc3rblwq9vd/start-12-23.gif?dl=0

If more help is needed, use the reply tab to continue our conversation. If no further assistance is needed, kindly rate my service.You can rate at any time and we can continue to work on your question as this will not close out your question.Keep in mind in some cases it can be difficult to fully diagnose or help repair your vehicle without seeing it and I work on delivering the best possible answer from what I see to work with.

Thanks Pete

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I did the light probe test on the relay terminals. Found the constant hot, and found the hot when the key is in the start position. The other 2 terminals are both constantly grounded, and there is no effects on either when the key is rotated to start. The other thing to mention on this vehicle is that the PCM was replaced, because it ran like crap and had 27 fault codes, and they would instantly return after clearing the codes prior to the PCM swap. We had the PCM reflashed by the rebuilder, and a local locksmith program the security as well as make a new key. After this was done the vehicle started every time, but ran like crap, and only had about 11 codes. Now we have this intermittent crank issue, where you only have 1 shot to crank then you have to wait 3 to 5 minutes before it will crank again.
Expert:  Pete replied 11 months ago.

Was the wiring checked leading to and at the PCM for any issues needing repaired?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Under the hood everything appears intact, and the vehicle doesn't appear to have any body repairs. We did not open up any harnesses to directly check wiring integrity.
Expert:  Pete replied 11 months ago.

The other 2 terminals that are grounded do these terminals change at all with the key rotated to any position?Ground,no ground,voltage,etc?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Both grounds remain grounded without change regardless of the key position whether or not it is in start, auxl, or off. The one that is constantly hot remains so. The other hot is only hot in the start position.
Expert:  Pete replied 11 months ago.

O.k.,when acting up do you have constant power at the starter on the large wire at all times key on or off and on the other wire do you have power when the key is held in the start/cranking position?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Have power and a good tight connection on the main battery wire. When it is acting up I do not have power to the starter relay wire. The starter will turn over while its acting up electrically if we jump out the battery to the starter relay wire with a remote starter switch.
Expert:  Pete replied 11 months ago.

O.k.,does the starter relay click when trying to start with the key when it is acting up?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
When it is acting up you can hear a relay click on the inside drivers side under the dash. You cannot hear any relays clicking under the hood. We also changed the starter relay, as well as swapped it with another checking the relay as one of our first tests.
Expert:  Pete replied 11 months ago.

Is there any way you can check the wiring and terminals under/inside the fuse panel for any issues with broken or damaged wiring or corrosion at all and see if any issues are found.I have seen this cause this type of fault here in some cases.

Thanks Pete

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Normally I would agree with this as the next logical, but before we do this is there any thoughts or further diagnoses to consider as to why if we wait 3-5 minutes consistently it will crank one time normally
Expert:  Pete replied 11 months ago.

If there is corrosion inside the fuse panel this will cause this here.It may be intermittent as the corrosion or poor connection in the fuse panel can cause a wait as it can heat up with poor connections.It looks like your signals are all present at the relay to energize the starter when the fault occurs but the starter is not receiving the signals from the relay which usually indicates a fault in the fuse panel itself or wiring from the relay to the starter.

Thanks Pete

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok took the fuse box under the hood apart no signs of any corrosion, all terminals were tight, and connected. Reinstalled everything. Didn't notice this before, but not to say it wasn't happening previously (just simply didn't notice). The theft is blinking rapidly when it won't crank, but if you rotate the key quickly between auxl. and start after 5-7 tries consistently it will crank for a split second while holding the key in the start position then stop cranking before you let off of the key. Also when you let it time itself out and it does crank normally (but it does not run) the theft light is solid then goes out then it cranks normally. After that the theft light goes back to blinking rapidly and you can get the partial cranks after 5 -7 tries.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
This happens both with the old and new keys. No differences.
Expert:  Pete replied 11 months ago.

This sounds like the fault here is with the alarm transponder that reads the key.This is located around the ignition cylinder itself as seen here.This can be a common component that intermittently will not pick up on the key signal and causes this issue.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9z94wbamuig119a/tra-12-28.gif?dl=0

Thanks Pete

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ordered the part. Won't be in until Wednesday Afternoon probably won't get a chance to install until Thursday Morning. Would this malfunctioning part cause the vehicle to not start once it is cranking? When we get the vehicle to crank it doesn't exhibit any sign of trying to attempt to start. Just curious if related as I wanted to eliminate one issue before moving onto the next.
Expert:  Pete replied 11 months ago.

This can disable the fuel injectors from operating as it disables the starting of the vehicle so this can cause this here.

Thanks Pete