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

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Old 08-04-2008, 07:02 PM   #1
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Engine won't crank -- Lots of troubleshooting with no result

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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Old 08-04-2008, 07:20 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:33 PM   #3
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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-
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:40 PM   #4
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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-
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.




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Old 08-04-2008, 07:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cherrybomb View Post
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.
When you say the cranking stopped, are you saying there was a complete power loss and the starter would not turn the motor over?




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Old 08-04-2008, 07:43 PM   #6
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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 by Turdle; 08-04-2008 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:01 PM   #7
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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
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:36 PM   #8
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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?
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. :-(




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Old 08-04-2008, 09:38 PM   #9
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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.......




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Old 08-04-2008, 11:04 PM   #10
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Sounds like a dead battery to me--
Have you tried a jump start?
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:06 PM   #11
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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)




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Old 08-05-2008, 07:51 AM   #12
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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.




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Old 08-05-2008, 02:02 PM   #13
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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




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Old 08-05-2008, 03:32 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:54 PM   #15
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i have seen to battery's explode when trying to start the car they are strange
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:38 AM   #16
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I have never experienced anything like that. Weird.




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Old 08-06-2008, 08:40 AM   #17
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sounded like a shot gun
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Old 08-14-2008, 01:24 AM   #18
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Same problem 03 xlt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobraguy View Post
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.
Is this nut on the passenger side on an 03? It's behind the tire?

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Originally Posted by cherrybomb View Post
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
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsmith View Post
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.
It clicks rapidly under the drivers side, then slowly.... then stops, then starts again. Could that nut that Cobraguy mentioned cause all of this?




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Old 08-14-2008, 07:17 AM   #19
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Clean you battery terminals and connections!
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:01 AM   #20
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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.
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