Starts, I guess when it feels like it!!!

Asked by Mar 08, 2012 at 10:53 AM about the Ford F-150

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I got a 1994 F !50, bought it used just 8 months ago, never had an issue, run it like a truck should
be run. Never had any problems until now, it's acting like its got a mind of it's own. Went to buy a
new car for the wife, temp outside, 65, finshed there, went to bank, came out, turned ignition, and
got nothing but the sound of the starter solenoid. Checked all connections, and nothing. Left the
truck there for about half an hour, came back, didnt do nothing but turn the key, and sure enough, it
started.
I drive it home. The next day, went out to go to work, no problems, 4 or 5 starts, no issues. The next
day, early morning, 35 outside, again, nothing but the sound of the solenoid clickin. Thinkin it was
just an issue with the solenoid, I bought one, was told by parts counter guy, it's probably the starter,
but throw in the solenoid too! Okay, I'll just start with solenoid. Well, I get home, and just for hell of
it turn the key, and you guessed it, it started right up, no hesitation.
Before I do anything, and waste my time, is it possible that there is something else goin on. None of it
makes any sense. Like I said, it seems like it starts when it feels like it?!?!?

4 Answers

275

MOST LIKELY ITS YOUR STARTER SOLENOID SWITCH BUT BEFORE THAT VERIFY ALSO THE STARTER CONNECTIONS BUT I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM ON MINE AND IT WAS THE SOLENOID SWITCH AND THE STARTER LOOKED KIND OF BAD AND I CHANGED IT A COUPLE OF DAYS AFTER BUT WITH THE SOLENOID IT WAS ENOUGH

1,030

I would vote for a bad connection too. Remove and clean the battery cables - both on the battery and starter (and frame for the ground cable). The best way to check it is to measure the voltage at the starter when someone has the key in the start position. Safety first there - stay away from anything that turns. Check at both the large terminal (battery cable) and the small terminal (from the relay). Be sure your voltmeter has a good ground. If it's less than 9-10 V when trying to start, trace it back until you find the high resistance. (It will be over 10 V on the battery side of the high resistance.

18,320

Sounds like your problem is with the solenoid or a bad ground. Check for corrosion. Even if you do not see any, remove the contacts clean with sandpaper and reconnect. I assume you checked the battery.

Thanks for the replies and info! Changed solenoid, no change! Hit starter with a hammer, it answered back with starting right up, so I installed a new one but had also found, previous work, had involved a spliced wire, a 14 gage, down to a 10 gage, shabby splice too, did the neccesarry repairs and install, all is good!!! Thanks again!

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