Starter or park sensor? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Starter or park sensor?

socci

Active Member
Joined
October 26, 2011
Messages
65
Reaction score
0
City, State
Coventry, RI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer XLT
So today she started up fine twice, then when I stopped at the gas station and went to start it I got nothing. There was one faint flow crank of the motor that sounded like a battery operated toy dying. My dash lights work, headlights work, when I attempt to start it they do no dim either. There is absolutely no clicking noise coming from the starter. Right after that dying crank I saw a small amount of smoke come from the right side of my hood. The past month the truck would take a good amount of cranks to start up once in awhile, but today she was starting no problem. Also over the past month once or twice I had to wiggle the parking lever to get it to turn over, so that is why I am not ruling out the park gear sensor.

Most likely it is the starter, but before I buy one lmk what you think.
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





does it start in neutral? if not, it might be a bad starter solenoid or wire connection at the starter. you should hear the solenoid click even if the starter is bad. also (if you haven't already done so) check and clean your battery terminals and cables.
 






does it start in neutral? if not, it might be a bad starter solenoid or wire connection at the starter. you should hear the solenoid click even if the starter is bad. also (if you haven't already done so) check and clean your battery terminals and cables.

It does not start in neutral, does the same thing. I just just cleaned the battery terminals and still no luck.
 






other than the starter soleniod, my only other thoughts are the starter switch (bottom of steering column) and also check your owner's manual to see if there's a starter relay listed in the power distribution box. if there is, swap it out with one of the other relays and see if that makes a difference.
 






For some reason I am wondering if the engine has seized.
 






For some reason I am wondering if the engine has seized.

even if that were so, you'd still get some find if click from the solenoid and maybe a thunk from the starter motor.
 






Well make sure to check the shift cable at the transmission I have seen them pop out of the mounting bracket.
 






Well make sure to check the shift cable at the transmission I have seen them pop out of the mounting bracket.

Will do, but I'm pretty confident the engine didn't seize. If it was the shift cable would I still be able to cycle through park and neutral though?
 






Stop guessing...Test it.

Check for power out of the solenoid while cranking. If you have power to the starter while trying to crank, and it doesnt spin, the starter is bad. (or the engine is seized.)
If there is no power, then its something else. (Ign. switch, neutral safety switch, relay, solenoid, wiring, etc.)
 






Stop guessing...Test it.

Check for power out of the solenoid while cranking. If you have power to the starter while trying to crank, and it doesnt spin, the starter is bad. (or the engine is seized.)
If there is no power, then its something else. (Ign. switch, neutral safety switch, relay, solenoid, wiring, etc.)

+1. time to get the test light out.
 






Yea I'm pretty lazy I don't want to pull it unless I'm pretty confident doesn't its bad which I am pretty sure it's the solenoid. I would test it but it looks impossible to get to the solenoid on the car. I do not have a test light I will probably just get to used starter off ebay for like 50 bucks and hope for the best. I do have a multimeter but can't find much on testing the switch.
 






Stop guessing...Test it.

Check for power out of the solenoid while cranking. If you have power to the starter while trying to crank, and it doesnt spin, the starter is bad. (or the engine is seized.)
If there is no power, then its something else. (Ign. switch, neutral safety switch, relay, solenoid, wiring, etc.)

So I took my starter off and saw that the ground cable that goes from the solenoid to the starter was practically split in half. When I touched it it actually did split in half. I tried to rig it with wire I have to fix the ground strap, then connected it back to my car and tested for power. I had no power at all going to the starter. Then I took it off and connected it directly to the battery and still got nothing. I decided to connect the ground jumper cable to the ground on the solenoid and removed my wire job. I then jumped the solenoid with a screw driver and the motor would pop for a second then I would get a spark and it would die. Does this mean the solenoid and starter work? Maybe my ground strap was the problem or it is the ignition switch? I cant even put it back on the car and make a better ground strap because the large positive cable tab snapped in half while my starter was hanging. I need to figure out how to replace that now too.
 






if your battery cables and ground strap are so fragile they break when you touch them, that could be a big part (or all) of your problem. while your starter is out, take it to the parts store and have it tested. while your there buy new cables. don't bother trying yo repair what you have. they're obviously past it. put it back together and go from there.
 






So I took my starter off and saw that the ground cable that goes from the solenoid to the starter was practically split in half. When I touched it it actually did split in half. I tried to rig it with wire I have to fix the ground strap, then connected it back to my car and tested for power. I had no power at all going to the starter. Then I took it off and connected it directly to the battery and still got nothing. I decided to connect the ground jumper cable to the ground on the solenoid and removed my wire job. I then jumped the solenoid with a screw driver and the motor would pop for a second then I would get a spark and it would die. Does this mean the solenoid and starter work? Maybe my ground strap was the problem or it is the ignition switch? I cant even put it back on the car and make a better ground strap because the large positive cable tab snapped in half while my starter was hanging. I need to figure out how to replace that now too.

This is hard to follow!!

There is no ground wire from the solenoid to the starter.


I think the starter is out now, bench test it yourself. Take a pair of jumper cables, attach 1 cable to the large + terminal on the starter. Attach the - to the body of the starter. Hook the other end up to the battery. Jump power from the + terminal to the small connection on the solenoid.

If it spins, its good. If it doesnt, replace it.
 






This is hard to follow!!

There is no ground wire from the solenoid to the starter.


I think the starter is out now, bench test it yourself. Take a pair of jumper cables, attach 1 cable to the large + terminal on the starter. Attach the - to the body of the starter. Hook the other end up to the battery. Jump power from the + terminal to the small connection on the solenoid.

If it spins, its good. If it doesnt, replace it.

It def has a ground strap going from one of the studs to the starter give me a minute to take a picture. I have to the replace the starter no matter what it looks like because my ground strap looks unrepairable. When I had that nut grounded to the ground on the jumper cable it would pop out for a second like it was about to spin and then stop. I have to remove the jump to get it to pop again, but it will never actually spin.

The black rubber piece you can see the old copper wires that are so fragile they snapped. There used to be a grounding strap on the large stud closest to the wire.
photo_org.jpg
 






snoranger is correct. there are no ground straps on the solenoid or starter. i didn't know what you were referring to either. what used to be a braided copper wire going fom the solenid to the starter was a power cable. at any rate, by the looks of that starter, just replace it.
 






snoranger is correct. there are no ground straps on the solenoid or starter. i didn't know what you were referring to either. at any rate, by the looks of that starter, i'd just replace it.

Yea its in rough shape huh, but then what is the copper braided strap that connects from the long stud to the black rubber piece on the starter?
 






Yea its in rough shape huh, but then what is the copper braided strap that connects from the long stud to the black rubber piece on the starter?

read my answer above (edited)
 






Oh makes sense. I ended up buying a starter but now need to figure out how to replace the positive batt cable I broke. Is the ignition cable on the starter attached to the batt cable or does it just look like that because they are both in the plastic shield?
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





It def has a ground strap going from one of the studs to the starter give me a minute to take a picture. I have to the replace the starter no matter what it looks like because my ground strap looks unrepairable. When I had that nut grounded to the ground on the jumper cable it would pop out for a second like it was about to spin and then stop. I have to remove the jump to get it to pop again, but it will never actually spin.

The black rubber piece you can see the old copper wires that are so fragile they snapped. There used to be a grounding strap on the large stud closest to the wire.

Not that it makes a difference anymore, you bought a new starter.

that style starter grounds through the housing. The power flows into the solenoid through the large terminal. When the small terminal is powered up the electromagnet pulls the contacts in to send power out of the other large terminal. (also pushed the bendix out.) The power flows (through the wire that broke) into the actual motor part of the starter and thats when it will spin. With that wire broken, it will never spin.

The black rubber piece is to insulate the wire from the case.
 






Back
Top