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Weird Starter Button Sound

The3Kway

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September 11, 2023
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City, State
Hackettstown, NJ
Year, Model & Trim Level
2012 Explorer Limited


2012 Ford Explorer

The vehicle sat for a few weeks and I came back to a dead battery. The battery charged up and tested as 'good'. Reinstalling the battery and attempting to start the vehicle, I am met with the sound and reaction shown in the video. Is the battery actually poor, or perhaps the starter is seized?

Any knowledge is greatly appreciated.
 



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Is there a reset procedure in the owners manual for the BMS Battery Management System? I know there is a procedure for the 20+ Explorers.


If you have a voltmeter check the voltage at rest and then when you attempt to start to see if there is a heavy load from a stuck starter.
 






Tested the battery how, at a parts store where they load tested it? Try to jump it, I bet it will start.
 






The vehicle sat for a few weeks and I came back to a dead battery. The battery charged up and tested as 'good'. Reinstalling the battery and attempting to start the vehicle, I am met with the sound and reaction shown in the video. Is the battery actually poor, or perhaps the starter is seized?

Any knowledge is greatly appreciated.

Welcome to the Forum. :wave:
A good battery shouldn't be 'dead' after a few weeks of non-use. If possible, try to get the vehicle boosted/jump started and see what happens. Then we can go from there.

Peter
 






How old is the battery? AFAIK, if the charging system is confused about the health of the battery, it may display a message and shut down some non-essential things but not fail to attempt to start the vehicle.

If it has incandescent headlights, another test is turn them on, and see if they are dimming a lot when you try to start the vehicle, which is a sign the battery is drooping too much voltage.

As others suggested, I'd first try to jump start it... weak battery is most likely, IMO.
 






If you have a voltmeter check the voltage at rest and then when you attempt to start to see if there is a heavy load from a stuck starter.

When hitting the start button, the voltage drops from about 12.6v to 7.5v or so.

Welcome to the Forum. :wave:
A good battery shouldn't be 'dead' after a few weeks of non-use. If possible, try to get the vehicle boosted/jump started and see what happens. Then we can go from there.

Peter

Thank you, Peter. Tried to jump, same behavior. However, when attempting to start/press the button multiple times in quick succession there is a visible plume of smoke that comes from the starter to the left of/underneath the battery tray. I'm unfamiliar with the layout of these fords but it sure does look like a starter down there.

How old is the battery?

The battery is approximately 10 months old.
 






I wonder if it could be the starter or solenoid. :dunno: I think the battery has been eliminated.

Peter
 






Oof, yeah. Try to bang the starter with a hammer, perhaps the solenoid is stuck. Or start researching how to replace it.
 






It is good to list which engine you have. If smoke is coming from the starter, I'd consider it toast. Autozone (and a few other auto parts stores) can test starters.

There are illustrations and brief instructions for starter removal for the various engine options in the '14 workshop manual linked in my sig... if they didn't change much between '12 and '14 which I doubt they did. There might be youtube videos too. Here's one but they don't state which engine:



3.5L:
 






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