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HDGENE
HDGENE, Ford Senior Master/Diesel/Trans
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 5518
Experience:  25 years Auto experience, Ford ,GM, Chrysler, Asian & European
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I have a 2000 ford mustang gt and now I've been having

Customer Question

I have a 2000 ford mustang gt and for awhile now I've been having problems with starting the car. Its bot a battery problem i know that cause when i turn the key to crank the engine i have lights and radio and everything. But when i go to turn it all the way to crank the engine it doesn't do anything. No clicking or anything doinding loke its even trying to turn over. This doesnt happen all the time though. I would say it happens probably once every 3-4 starts. And if i sit there and fiddle with the key a bunch of times it will eventually turn over. I looked onto it awhile ago and it seemed like the problem was probably the ignition switch box thats under the sterring column so i got a new one and put it in and it seemed to do the trick at least for a little while. Then the aame problem started to happen again. A few times at first, like probably every 15-20 starts, but now it is really frequent. So i thought that maybe its the key ignition itself. So i went and got a new one. But i took the old one out and when i did i noticed that inside the cylinder where the key tymbler goes into the sterring column, theres a switch that the plastic molding supporting that switch was broken somehow, so i did some rigging to give that switch some support by using electrical tape and then put the new ignition key tumbler in. But i didnt realize that i needed to have one of the ones that have the transponder thing so it would crank over. So i took that one out and put the old one back in and it worked....at least a little while. So i thiught that maybe the tape and support i put on that sqitch came loose. Took the ignition key back out but found that its still holding strong. So now I'm not sure what to do. Should i get a new ignition key with the transponder thing? Is that the problem or coyld jt be something inside my sterring column that the ignition key tumbler moves or what???
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Hello, is teh thing that broke the transponder that sits around the ignition tumbler in the steering column? When the car wont start is the THEFT lamp flashing fast? Have you verified you are getting power to the starter motor and starter solenoid when it wont crank?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No the thing that broke was basivalky a plastic support thing thats inside the cylinder in the steering column that supports some kind of metal spring switch thats in there, I'm not sure what the switch does on there but it makes some kind of electronic connection to the key tumbler. The theft light doesnt flash when its not starting. And i didn't check that power is getting to the starter or starting solenoid. I thought that it would be getting power seeing as it starts after messing around with the key sometimes.
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Oh if its on the ignitin cylinder its just the key in ignition reminder chimer. Thats not a big deal and can be left off the cylinder if you dont mind the key in chime not working. Need to verify there is no problem with the pats key theft lamp, this can cause a no start concern. Then verify the key tumbler is working properly and turning the ignition switch on the steering column. If you arent getting power to the starter when holding the key to crank, it can be a starter relay issue or problem with the circuit back at the switch or an issue with the park neutral switch if its an automatic or clutch switch if its a standard transmission

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i dont think theres a problem with the theft lamp, cause when i got the one new key tumble, that didnt have the transponder the engine wouldn't crank over and the theft light was flashing. I put the old one back in and it worked. I'm thinking its not a problem with the park neutral switch cause when it's having the problem and won't start sometimes I'll move the shifter all the way down and back up and it still wont work. Other times i won't touch the shifter, just mess with the key, and it'll work. Then when i had the steering column covers off, i put the tumbler back in and rotated the key and can see it moving the ignition switch inside the steering column. I didn't have the battery plugged back in at the though so i didn't actually know if it would or wouldn't crank over at the yime, but it was moving the switch in ther. Now as fas as getting power to the starter at the time that its not working, im not sure how to do that. I don't have a multi meter or power meter. Is there another way to do that and a way to check the circuit back at the switch?
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Not really, you would need at least a test light if not a voltmeter to test the circuit. The starter itself could be bad, especially if its the original one or a loose connection to the starter itself. Check the connections to the starter motor and make sure the wiring is tight

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, I'll check that out next. Not tonight though. Been a long day. If the starter is bad is it that hard to change out? And how much do they normally run?
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

No not too bad. It has 3 bolts that hold it to the trans, the upper bolt is a little tricky to get out but if you have a universal socket to swivel and some short extensions you can get it. Starters range round couple hundred bucks depending on where you purchase it and will want the old one back as a core. So if you buy it before returning the old one, they will charge you a core until you return the old one

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay so even thought this doesnt happen with every start there still could be a problem with the starter itself and/or the connections on the starter. It does seem like it takes longer and longer for me to get it to turn over when I'm messing around witb just the key. Even a couple times i got so pissed off at it that i had my wife pick me up so we could get some stuff done, and when we went back to the car i got in and it'd start right up! So is just like a luck of the draw that sometimes i get a good connection in there or what? And i just looked up removal of the starter in ky book and it doesn't look hard at all.
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Yes because over time the starter can wear out and heat especially plays a factor in restarting if the starter is defective, it increases resistance in the armature of the starter motor.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay....so interesting you bring up heat. We just moved here to Denver a couple months ago during the summer were it was still warm here. And now that i think of it this starting problem seemed to really get worse when fall and winter came along with colder temperatures. So could this much colder weather be the problem that would affect the starter? Cause i don't think this car has been in this cold of weather since we've had it since 2003?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, i never have a hard time starting it first thing in the morning when its been sitting all night. Most all yhe time i have a problem is when i turn it off to run in a store or something for a few minutes and come back out and it wont start for a while.
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

It could be the battery with a weak cell too, most auto parts stores will test the battery amd charging system for me, cold weather and a weak battery are a good combo for an intermittent no crank because you pull a good 150 amps or more when startimg, if they can test the starting system too with an amp probe that clips on the battery cable, if the starter is pulling more than 250 amps while cranking, its time for a new one, its pulling too many amps away from you 500cca and up battery

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay cool thanks. Sounds like my next stop is the parts store to have the battery tested. And do parts stores have an amp probe to use or one to rent to test the amperage pull when starting?
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

They might have one on the tester cart they will come out to your vehicle with, depends on their setup.If not you can probably rent one from them free, you just give a deposit and they return your money when you return the tool. They will probably test it for you as well. Its a part for them to sell you of course

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, awesome. So I'll be going to the parts store tomorrow! Thanks for you help.
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Very good, if you need more help just respond back to this question. If I was helpful please hit accept and leave a positive rating so I get credit for assisting you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, so if i go and get those things checked tomorrow. And it all checks out. Will i still be able to message you on this chat, or will i have to pay again?
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Yes, pay once keep goin if you need more help no problem, we all follow up to make sure things are ok. Just respond back here tomorrow and let me know what they found if anything and of course if it acts up again. You would have to get underneath the car to check the starter wiring, if you have a jump box or charger, if at home it doesnt crank, see if it fires up ok with a jump or boost

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cool, thanks. Will let you know how it goes. Have a good night.
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Very good, you too!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i went to auto zone and they checked the battery and its good, jas a 100% charge. He wasn't able to check the starter cause we couldn't get to it without jacking the car up. And of course when i had it there it didn't have a problem with starting at all. I think i turned it off and on like 4-5 times and it didn't happen, but it has happened before that and since i left there too. Anyways, i also boticed that my negative terminal connector on the battery is loose. But the bolt is tightened all the way down. So i got some terminal chimes to put on, maybe its not making a good ground sometimes. But since i left the store the starting problem did happen again, i got out and made sure that terminal had a good connection and tried starting it right after and it didn't work. So now i think tomorrow im gonna jack the car up and check my wiring to the starting and go ahead and take it off and have it benched. So i think thats where I'm at with this. Any other ideas or tips?
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

No thats all I have to offer, loose connection is a bad thing. They should have been able to hook up an amp clamp right at the battery to test the amount of amperage draw.When its bench tested and cold it may pass a bench test. Id probably put a known good starter in it to be sure if its the original one.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh really? The guy didn't say anything about a clamp to put on the battery. Well i guess i can just the starter anyways, see what happens with the bench test i guess. And then probably get a new one just to test it anyways. Or maybe put it back in and get it warm and then go back to auto zone or somewhere else hland ask specifically about the clamp yhing for the battery to test the draw....or should i go back tomorrow and do that first before pulling it? I have a holiday party to go to tonight for my work so not gonna be able to get to that today.
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

No problem, thats how I test them at the battery to measure amp draw. Enjoy the party and get back to me when you can

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
got the starter test done through the battery. It didn't want to start for a while but when it did start the tester said it passed with a 115 amp pull. So i don't know, i guess it could still be the starter or maybe a bad connection so I'm going to get it home and get the car in the air and take a look at the connections. And maybe go ahead and take it off and get it benched anyways. What do you think? Any other thoughts?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Got it in the air. The connections look fine. So im gonna go ahead and take the starter off and have it benched anyways....any tips on getting that damn top bolt attaching the starter?
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Ok, need to verify when the car wont start if it is getting power to the starter and the solenoid wire from the igniton switch to confirm if its a bad starter. You can use a universal swivel socet to get the angle and small extension to get the top bolt out

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
when i tested the started at the store with the battery, i should have done it when it didn't want to start? Cause go figure when we hooked it up at the store it started just fine. The test said 115 amps, pass. But i thought it should pull 150? Well I've got the two bolts off the starter but the thing doesn't want to budge! Is there another bolt I'm missing or do i need to really man handle this thing to get to come off?
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

No when you test for power to the starter to make sure the starter circuit itself is ok, wiring from ignition switch to the starter relay to the starter

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay so do i need to hit it with a multi meter at the starter when its not turning on? I've already got the starter disconnected right now.
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Thats the hard part, testing it when it acts up and wont crank

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, well i dont have a meter on hand i might be able to get one from a buddy. But I've got the starter all disconnected right now. So should still take it off and have it tested or not? And if so then how do i get this thing off? I got two bolts out and its still pretty stuck and doesn't want to budge. Am i missing a bolt or do I need to give it a little persuasion?
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

There are 3 bolts that hold the starter in place the third one is on the topside of the starter directly above the lower one on the topside. 12 o clock position, 9 o clock position and 6 o clock posiition the 3 bolts are located

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, let me look again
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

you wont see it, you will have to feel it, same size as the other two bolts

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Any tips on finding that damn bolt. I cant reach my hand all the way up there to feel it. So I've been trying to fish for it with the socket and extention but i just cant get it.
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Its reight above the solenoid on the starter housing excatly above the lower bolt location on the topside of the starter

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no matter what i do i can't get that damn bolt off on the top. So i got a muti meter from my buddy. Gonna put it all back together and try to recreate the problem and check voltage at the starter.
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Ok, ya its not easy but it can be removed just the right combination of a swivel socket to get onto the bolt and a short extension.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
with the multi meter i want to check voltage right. So i guess i want to put positive to the large red wire and negative to ground, like a bolt or frame right? And i want the meter directly onto the red wire right?
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Yes the large cable to the starter has battery voltage all the time.The smaller wire will only have battery voltage when turning the igniton key to the crank position.You can jump across the large and small wires to make the starter crank bypassing the ignition switch feed

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, how much voltage should be at the starter at all times and how much should be applied when ignition is turned to crank the engine?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay got the problem to recreate. When it would start i was reading voltage. So went down and jumpered from the big red wire from the battery to the small wire and it still didnt crank. I got sparks and thats it.
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Whatever your battery voltage is 12-13 volts

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yeah thats what i thought. But my meter only shows 1.3 volts at the battery cable on the starter. It read that too when it would start. So....I'm confused now. Why would be able to start when it was only reading that much voltage at the starter? And now it's not starting and reads the same. And when i jumper between the two red cables it doesn't crank the starter?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
now it just started back up....i dont get it.
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Most likely a poor ground when testing with you meter. You should have battery voltage all the time on the main cable to the starter the larger one. Which wire reads 1.3 that one or the ignition feed when holding the key to the crank position?

Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

If you arent getting battery voltage on the main cable it shouldnt start so I suspecting you may have a bad ground connection with your meter. You will see about a drop to 10 volts with a good battery and starter on the main lead but anything more than that would indicate a bad supply cable

Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

This is the starter circuit

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yep bad ground. Moved the ground wire and now I'm reading 12.37 on the big wire from the battery.
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Thats what I figured. good.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, so problem is recreated and when i turn the ignition to crank the voltage goes down to 11.37 and when i left off it goes back up. Should i test for power going to the small wire now?
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Yes you should check both, but you will need someone to try the key to crank while testing the circuit. Ths picture shows the bolt location for the starter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay just checked the other cable and when turned to crank tje engine it shows 11.37 volts the same as whats coming from the battery cable
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thats pointing towards the starter right? Especially since the starter won't start even when i jumper those wires right?
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

Yes if you have voltage on both wires and it wont crank and it wont crack when you jump across the battery feed wire and the ignition key feed wire it would be a defective starter. I use a 10 or 13mm swivel socket with a couple small extensions and hand ratchet between the edge of the starter motor and frame to get the 3rd upper starter bolt out. you can see it with a mirror and flashlight

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, cool. Damn it bow i have to get that damn bolt out. Thanks, ***** ***** you if i get it out or not! Lol
Expert:  HDGENE replied 1 year ago.

its tricky but it must come out