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Need some help. 2001 Sport trac problem

newok

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City, State
Shawnee, OK
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Sport Trac
Hello, I was wondering if someone might help me? I have a 2001 Sport Trac 2WD. Yesterday I tried to start it but it wouldn't crank. All of the lights came on the dash as normal. The Theft light was flashing slowly (as normal). I had the battery tested and it was OK. I tried two other keys. The gear shift seems to be nice and tight. I tried to start it in neutral with no success. I changed the starter relay and it didn't help. I checked all fuses in both fuse boxes and all fuses were fine. When I try to crank it the fuel pump is not activating. I tried to use a code reader but it wouldn't connect. I got under the car and tested the starter and it cranks just fine manually. There was no voltage getting down to the starter.
I left it for about 15 minutes and tried it again and it started right up. I've started it several times and it works every time.
I am afraid to drive the truck as I feel I cannot trust it. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
 
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410Fortune

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So the starters on these trucks have a built in solenoid, which is why they use a relay in the power junction box AND have two wires to the starter. The large red wire is direct battery power, the smaller red wire is the ignition "start" wire
I would suggest the solenoid on the starter itself MIGHT be going bad.
The other possible thing is your battery terminals and cables. Good clean solid connections are critical, on both the + and negative cables.

How many miles on your 01 trac?


Theft light slow flashing like normal pretty much rules out a bad pats key chip or pats issue
It could be a ignition switch issue, not the key and tumbler but the actual ignition switch in your steering column
Usually it is battery cables/connections or a weak starter/ starter solenoid

This is the ignition switch, what they call a ignition starter switch, it is located in your column behind the key and tumbler, this is what the key and tumbler push on when you turn your key, This thing is responsible for delivering power to various circuits when you turn your key from off to acc, run and to start

 
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newok

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Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Sport Trac
So the starters on these trucks have a built in solenoid, which is why they use a relay in the power junction box AND have two wires to the starter. The large red wire is direct battery power, the smaller red wire is the ignition "start" wire
I would suggest the solenoid on the starter itself MIGHT be going bad.
The other possible thing is your battery terminals and cables. Good clean solid connections are critical, on both the + and negative cables.

How many miles on your 01 trac?


Theft light slow flashing like normal pretty much rules out a bad pats key chip or pats issue
It could be a ignition switch issue, not the key and tumbler but the actual ignition switch in your steering column
Usually it is battery cables/connections or a weak starter/ starter solenoid

This is the ignition switch, what they call a ignition starter switch, it is located in your column behind the key and tumbler, this is what the key and tumbler push on when you turn your key, This thing is responsible for delivering power to various circuits when you turn your key from off to acc, run and to start

Thanks for the response. When it wouldn't crank, I put a meter on the voltage wire attached to the solenoid on the starter and wasn't getting any voltage when the key was turned to start. The truck has about 140000 miles on it. I think you're on to something with the ignition switch since it's original and is a movable electronic part. I've been thinking it could be the ignition switch or maybe the PCM module. I've read that ford trucks had GEM modules that were kind of finicky. I think I will start with the ignition switch first though. Thanks again.
 
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410Fortune

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The gem does nit control the starter in any way
The pcm / pats does disable the starter however via the starter relay in the power distribution box
Next time it happens you should test signals at the starter relay. If the pats system is happy with the chip key it will ground the starter relay. The pats is built into the pcm on the 01 truck
The dark blue with orange wire at the starter relay is the one that the pcm will ground and allow the vehicle to atart

Before working on the ignition switch it should be pretty easy to test for power and ground at the starter relay
 
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CDW6212R

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The THEFT light should not flash when the ignition is turned to ON, that's when it checks the PATS code of the key. That light should stop flashing as soon as the ignition is turned on, if it still flashes, then there is an issue with the PATS code it received. I had an issue with my first 98 truck, which ended up to be the small PATS receiver on the side of the key cylinder/column. The THEFT light would flash and the starter would crank, but the fuel pump was disabled. When I learned of the THEFT light test, I put the key in, turned it on, and watched to see the light continue to flash, or stop flashing. For about a week I could tell with the key if it was going to start, the light was flashing about 1/4 of the attempts.

Since you also had the starter not working, the issue is not just the PATS code, Jamie is right that the ignition switch may be a problem. Double check all main wiring for the ignition switch, starter, and battery, while watching the THEFT light carefully each time you turn the key.
 
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410Fortune

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Helpful

 
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newok

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Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Sport Trac
The THEFT light should not flash when the ignition is turned to ON, that's when it checks the PATS code of the key. That light should stop flashing as soon as the ignition is turned on, if it still flashes, then there is an issue with the PATS code it received. I had an issue with my first 98 truck, which ended up to be the small PATS receiver on the side of the key cylinder/column. The THEFT light would flash and the starter would crank, but the fuel pump was disabled. When I learned of the THEFT light test, I put the key in, turned it on, and watched to see the light continue to flash, or stop flashing. For about a week I could tell with the key if it was going to start, the light was flashing about 1/4 of the attempts.

Since you also had the starter not working, the issue is not just the PATS code, Jamie is right that the ignition switch may be a problem. Double check all main wiring for the ignition switch, starter, and battery, while watching the THEFT light carefully each time you turn the key.
This information is very helpful! I'll probably go ahead and change the ignition switch since the truck is 20 years old. If it happens again I'll check the power at the relays. Thanks again.
 
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429CJ-3X2

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Start by cleaning your battery connections. About every 3 months, I go to start my '02 Sport Trac, and don't even get a click from the starter solenoid, but everything else works. I clean the terminals and cables, and it's good for another 3 months. This reminds me, it's probably about that time again.
 
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CDW6212R

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Start by cleaning your battery connections. About every 3 months, I go to start my '02 Sport Trac, and don't even get a click from the starter solenoid, but everything else works. I clean the terminals and cables, and it's good for another 3 months. This reminds me, it's probably about that time again.

I had that same issue with my 1991 Lincoln, back in about 2007. I cleaned the cables for a while, then I changed it to a custom big cable(the power), and it happened again about two years later. I then installed my one spare Explorer 302 cable, and it has been fine since. Corrosion inside the cables, on a high option vehicle, at 15 years and more, it becomes an issue.
 
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429CJ-3X2

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"About every 3 months, I go to start my '02 Sport Trac, and don't even get a click from the starter solenoid, but everything else works. I clean the terminals and cables, and it's good for another 3 months. This reminds me, it's probably about that time again."

Right on cue, my truck wouldn't start Saturday! Fortunately, it happened at a good time and place - big home improvement store parking lot, sunny & 65 degrees, plenty of time, and I needed to reset my clock for the end of daylight savings time anyway.
 
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