Quite an unusual starting problem

Asked by May 09, 2014 at 08:31 AM about the 2002 Ford Focus SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

So our ford taurus has had a weird problem that only got worse once we replaced the starter and gave it a fresh battery. Whenever you turn the key in the ignition, the anti-theft light will flash once, and nothing happens. Instrument cluster wont come on, nothing. Occasionally the car will start right up like it should, but its happening less often.

The way we get around it is by turning the key back to acc power, and then turning it all the way forward to starting position. Sometimes it starts up after doing it once that way, but i've also sat there doing it for five minutes or so with no luck. (Frustratingly one time i tried for a good five minutes, only to try and start it normally without thinking, and it fired right up).

The car has good power, and lock/unlocks fine from the remote. ACC power works just fine, and when started it runs and drives no problem. Even the fuses are all good.

Again, the only way it starts now is by turning the key all the way back to ACC power, and then turning it 'just right' into the starting position, repeatedly, till it starts. Try a few times, stop, try again, etc.

From what i've read, it sounds like i have a bad wire somewhere in the harness, but to be honest i have no clue why it does this.

4 Answers

Also! I forgot to mention that even when it does start, theres a delay between turning into the ignition position and the car actually starting. Maybe about 3/4 of a second long. The theft light still flashes once, but when the car starts the instrument cluster will light up like normal and you're ready to go.


IMHO It almost sounds like you need to have the anti theft settings reset in the computer.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Try disconnecting the battery for about 5 to 10 min then reconnect it. It should restore the computers settings.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Disconnecting the batter doesnt do anything for it.

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Focus in your area?

CarGurus has 71,381 nationwide Focus listings starting at $999.


Ford Focus Experts

  • #1
    Tom Demyan
  • #2
  • #3
    Su'ad Barakat
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Honda Civic
347 Great Deals out of 52,617 listings starting at $1,200
Used Ford Fiesta
79 Great Deals out of 16,202 listings starting at $2,700
Used Ford Mustang
291 Great Deals out of 38,369 listings starting at $1,995
Used Toyota Corolla
643 Great Deals out of 66,330 listings starting at $1,449
Used Ford Escape
929 Great Deals out of 105,848 listings starting at $550
Used Honda Accord
540 Great Deals out of 94,361 listings starting at $1,300
Used Toyota Camry
807 Great Deals out of 71,840 listings starting at $175
Used Hyundai Elantra
397 Great Deals out of 45,626 listings starting at $495
Used Chevrolet Malibu
608 Great Deals out of 48,695 listings starting at $1,800
Used Nissan Altima
751 Great Deals out of 67,419 listings starting at $750
Used Volkswagen GTI
80 Great Deals out of 6,749 listings starting at $900

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Ford Focus SE For Sale
17,884 listings starting at $11,343
2017 Ford Focus SE For Sale
9 Great Deals out of 1,719 listings starting at $9,720
2016 Ford Focus SE For Sale
51 Great Deals out of 2,441 listings starting at $7,495
2015 Ford Focus SE For Sale
20 Great Deals out of 1,524 listings starting at $6,990
2014 Ford Focus SE For Sale
54 Great Deals out of 2,779 listings starting at $3,985

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.