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Engine won't crank -- Lots of troubleshooting with no result

Discussion in 'Elite Explorer 911!' started by cherrybomb, August 4, 2008.

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    1. cherrybomb

      cherrybomb Active Member

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      So, I hopped in the truck to go back to work after lunch and it cranked for a couple seconds as usual, and just as it would have normally started the dash went dark, the cranking stopped and..... Nothing.

      I tried cranking again with no success.

      I've tried all 3 keys I have which previously worked. When the key is in the run position or while attempting to crank the "THEFT" light is either blinking rapidly or on solid.

      There is no Check Engine Light when the key is in the on position or while attempting to crank.

      I have not yet tested the PCM relay, nor checked the 30A PCM fuse, though I would expect that it simply wouldn't start, rather than not cranking.

      I've also tried disconnecting the battery for ~5 minutes and retrying, with no success. I do hear a relay clicking on and off beneath the dash on the drivers side of the steering column while the battery is connected.

      Any thoughts?

      I think that it's an anti-theft problem, but I'm not certain how to troubleshoot further. Gonna consult the service manual, but I was hoping I might get some guidance from users who might have had a similar experience. Search didn't yield anything particularly useful either. :-(

      Thanks in advance!
       
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    3. Blee1099

      Blee1099 Evil Asian Moderator Emeritus EF Vendor

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      Yeah sounds like the PATS lock system is causing the issue.. You can try to find a locksmith who has the capabilities of programming your keys again or going to the dealer to remedy the problem.
       
    4. Turdle

      Turdle Step-buddy Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Or--
      you can buy an xcal with tunes from Henson performance and have him just turn the PATS off in the tune file-
       
    5. cherrybomb

      cherrybomb Active Member

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      I might just consider that, but I want to be sure that's the problem first. I'm gonna try playing around with the transceiver and seeing if I can make any progress there.

      The great part is, I'm in the middle of swapping heads on my wife's car so we're without a vehicle at the moment. At least the X failed to start at home where I have my tools. I have until tomorrow morning to get a vehicle running so I can get to work.
       
    6. aldive

      aldive Elite In Memoriam

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      When you say the cranking stopped, are you saying there was a complete power loss and the starter would not turn the motor over?
       
    7. Turdle

      Turdle Step-buddy Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Ok
      the cranking stopping has me a bit off track
      How is the connection at the starter relay and at the + connection on the starter itself?

      Have you tried jump starting it?

      The pats does nothing to the starter-only the fuel pump is affected
       
      Last edited: August 4, 2008
    8. explornj

      explornj Active Member

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      i was thinking the same thing that something is wrong with the battery, or possibly the main fuse in the fuse block under the hood
       
    9. cherrybomb

      cherrybomb Active Member

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      Yes... Well, sorta..

      It was cranking, and then stopped completely. When it was cranking though, it was cranking as it would with a full charge in the battery.

      The connections to the starter look fine.

      The main reason why I'm not suspecting the starter/starting system is because the "THEFT" light blinks rapidly when trying to start.

      As for the relay I hear "switching" it's a large yellow relay directly under the steering column.

      I know there must be a way, but I can't seem to find a way to "hotwire" the PATS system so that it's removed from the equation.

      Looks like I might have to get it towed to the dealership tomorrow. :-(
       
    10. cherrybomb

      cherrybomb Active Member

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      Hmmn... More weird symptoms..

      I can use the remote to lock the doors, but I cannot engage the alarm. I.E a second press of the lock button does not honk the horn.

      Intermittently when I turn the key to the RUN position the dash lights do not illuminate to their full brightness, and the "THEFT" light stutters in sync with what sounds like a relay stuttering.

      Lastly, I can't seem to connect to the ECU using my scan tool.
      http://www.obd-2.com/

      I'm very much afraid that the ECU might be the problem.......
       
    11. Turdle

      Turdle Step-buddy Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Sounds like a dead battery to me--
      Have you tried a jump start?
       
    12. Willard

      Willard Well-Known Member

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      Seems like it could be a battery to me as well....

      I had a similar thing happen to my battery, it just died. Although my starter went with it (I think)
       
    13. Cobraguy

      Cobraguy Elite Explorer

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      I think these guys are on track with a battery problem. And it may not be a dead battery, it may be a poor connection. Time to clean up all your connections first. Make sure you check the connections at the mega fuse on the driver's side fenderwell. I believe those are either 10mm or 13mm nuts. Also check the connection and harness at the starter. Make sure it's all good and nothing is shorting anywhere.
       
    14. cherrybomb

      cherrybomb Active Member

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      I wouldn't have believed it had I not experienced it for myself, but... It was a dead battery! I was able to start it up no problem with the help of jumper cables and another car.

      I've never experienced a battery fail that way. It was (apparently) fully operational, and was cranking my engine as fast as it ever had, then just "poof" it stopped.

      Using a meter between the two terminals shows 0 voltage, bizarre!

      Thanks all for the help, I was just moments away from having it towed to be looked at because I was "sure" it was some sort of computer/PATS problem. That would have been embarrassing!

      Occam's Razor
       
    15. Turdle

      Turdle Step-buddy Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      We once had a Mercury Mistake. When the battery died in it one time, the widnshield wipers and horn turned on.


      I think the loss of potential across the various relay coils makes them start clicking on and off.
       
    16. explornj

      explornj Active Member

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      i have seen to battery's explode when trying to start the car they are strange
       
    17. Cobraguy

      Cobraguy Elite Explorer

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      I have never experienced anything like that. Weird.
       
    18. explornj

      explornj Active Member

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      sounded like a shot gun
       
    19. Donner

      Donner Explorer Addict

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      Same problem 03 xlt

      Is this nut on the passenger side on an 03? It's behind the tire?

      It clicks rapidly under the drivers side, then slowly.... then stops, then starts again. Could that nut that Cobraguy mentioned cause all of this?
       
    20. mawrazen

      mawrazen Active Member

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      Clean you battery terminals and connections!
       
    21. wnieberlein

      wnieberlein New Member

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      i am running into the same issue with a few added need help

      I have an 03 explorer that was fine yesterday and now today wont even crank. When i put the key in and turn all the dash lights come on as usual EXCEPT the mileage shows dashes for both the truck mileage and trip meter. The battery is fine. i have put a new one in and still same result. I have a viper aftermarket alarm in it and that still seems to work fine also. I need serious help because i only have this one vehicle. any ideas?????? Also, no click under the hood either. its almost like its totally dead. but when i let go of the key the interior dings and the radio turns off and comes back on.... please help.
       
    22. mattsharpie

      mattsharpie New Member

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      I am Having Very Similar Problems with my 94 Sport. i cleaned a MAF sensor to remove a rough idle which worked out great. after running it around the block to ensure a smooth ride i parked it and let it sit for a few minutes. then i had to drive to the store to get some groceries and it wouldnt crank. i also noticed that the smog?/fuel pump? didnt kick on as it usually does in the run key position. the battery light went on and i felt i should change a few things. while troubleshooting the battery i tried starting it when my key snapped off inside! X.X its been rough but after dismantling the column replacing the ignition switch and ignition lock mechanisms ive found myself with more of a problem child than id ever hope.

      it wont crank.
      the battery is drained of voltage when the terminals are connected.
      check engine and abs and battery light come on and off when they choose
      very confused slightly frustrated ive noticed a small black box to the right of my stearing coulmn that has one cable going in and one out to a recepticle that looks like a large 6mm audio jack with a flashing red light. possibly an anti theft killswitch system?
       
    23. mattsharpie

      mattsharpie New Member

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      Got IT!!!!!! there was an ignition kill-switch that was made in Sweden apparently it does not work all the time. i had not known of it and hadnt the key so i backtracked the wires and found that they just interupted my ignition switch. spliced the wires runs just as it did before!:salute:
       
    24. nida.dilo

      nida.dilo New Member

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      Would you know where the ignition kill switch is located? The one from Sweden?
       

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