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New Member: HELP! Starter Motor Explorer Non-Start, impending holiday

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by starskee, August 5, 2010.

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  1. starskee

    starskee New Member

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    Hi Everyone!

    Okay, I'll try and keep this brief. I have a UK spec 1997 Ford Explorer 4.0. I love it. It takes me, the wife, the kids and all our stuff to the beach and mountains of North Wales and pulls the boat or the caravan. Its great.

    And it starts and runs great. Or it did do. Here's what happened.

    On Sunday 1st August I lost the Bosch immobiliser key fob. I called the breakdown service and asked to be recovered to the Ford Dealer where a new fob could be ordered and programmed.

    The breakdown service (RAC) sent a guy out who said he would try to start the car. I explained that from what I understood the immobiliser both cut the feed to crank the engine and the fuel supply as well. I showed him the immobiliser unit in the rear wing/fender and then I left him to it while I went to look again for the keyfob in the area I think I lost it.

    When I came back he had a wire bridging the fuel relay, had removed number 2 relay to stop the vehicle horn sounding / alarm going off, (had at some point unplugged the wire block from the immobiliser to stop the hazard warning flashers blinking - though that could have been earlier on) and was operating the starter from under the bonnet/hood with a direct live feed. It was making a screeching sound that I had never heard before. When I asked him what that was he said it sounds like your battery is going flat because the starter isn't turning the flywheel.

    The vehicle was recovered to the Ford dealer who recoded the key but pointed out that my starter motor was damaged and the vehicle would not start. They had made sure the battery was fully charged. Sure enough, when turning the key, there was this horrible screech again. The technician manually moved the flywheel round a little bit and got the car started.

    My question is this, with the immobiliser engaged as it was, is there any way that the RAC mechanic could have caused damage to the starter or ring gear by trying to crank the engine from under the bonnet/hood with a direct feed to the start motor (the keys were in the ignition but he was alone so was doing it from under the bonnet/hood)? It seems a big coincidence to me that my Explorer was starting fine until this was tried.

    Any help or advice gratefully received.

    Jo
     
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  3. Rick

    Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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    I wouldn't have been happy with the tow truck driver rigging the electrical system that's for certain. However, I don't see how that would have damaged the starter. It sounds like a tooth is chipped off the flywheel, or the starter pinion gear.
     
  4. starskee

    starskee New Member

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    Thanks Rick. With the RAC they always send a mechanic first before a tow truck - that's their policy. But, just a freak coincidence? That would be bad luck...
     
  5. 96_sport_ct

    96_sport_ct New Member

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    is it making the sound every time you start it now?like everyone said before, it could be just a coincidence that it happened after the mechanic tooled on it. there's not really any ways to damage the starter or flywheel from the top end. now if you saw them go under the truck and start messing with the starter or trying to turn the crank with a wrench then it could be caused by them. if the sound happens every time you might want to check the starter and flywheel to be sure there is no damage. if there is a problem the longer you run it the worse it will get.
     
  6. starskee

    starskee New Member

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    Yes its every time. To make matters worse, the tow truck driver damaged the car getting it off the tow truck - quite badly, denting the front right wing/fender and wheel arch and driver's door, as well as the tow electrics at the back. I'm left without suitable transport for the forthcoming holiday but I'm an easy going guy so take it in my stride but in the last week I've had my Apple computer blow up (power went bang), radiator in my wife's car holed, the kids pet guinea pigs run away and then this. Honestly, you couldn't make it up. Its like a comedy (of errors). Oh well.
     
  7. 96_sport_ct

    96_sport_ct New Member

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    hold on, this was happening before the truck was loaded and unloaded? if it was after then a shock from being unloaded could have knocked something loose. i know that doesn't sound believable but a small knock could potentially knock a worn piece loose. i don't know how you feel about the company but personally i would pursue making them pay for the damages. it may sound kind of mean but considering the fact that they damaged your property they should be responsible to pay for it but again, that is totally up to you what you decide to do
     
  8. starskee

    starskee New Member

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    I am going to try and make them pay for the damage to the bodywork and I'll have the Ford dealer look at the starter problem and give me their opinion as to whether and how any damage could have been caused.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. 96_sport_ct

    96_sport_ct New Member

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    no problem, best of luck to you
     

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