Truck will only start by crossing starter solenoid

Asked by Dec 14, 2015 at 01:29 PM about the 1995 Ford F-150 XLT 4WD Extended Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

1995 ford f150 xlt automatic with 5.8 liter and 4x4. Recently put a new monster stage 2 transmission in it. Everytime i was ready to start the truck something else would go wrong. After i put the new tranny in it, the truck wouldnt start, so i narrowed it down to the starter solenoid on the side of the fender not working. Replaced that and still wouldnt start with the key, but i was able to start it by crossing the solenoid. So i took out the lock and tumbler and it had actually fell apart after i took it out to see if the lock itself was working properly. I replaced the lock and tumbler and still wont start with key. So i went to the next option with the ignition switch being bad. I replaced the ignition switch and the truck still wont start with the damn key, only by crossing the solenoid. Truck runs great while its running. also when i turn the blinkers or hazards on, i can hear them blinking and the lights on the outside of the truck blink, but no lights on the dash come on indicating a blinker working. Also since the new transmission was put in, the truck will not shift out of first gear, but if i use the 1 and 2 gears it works. Am i looking at a ECU problem? Im tired of dumping money into a 20 year old truck and getting no where.

13 Answers

BTW i have checked all fuses and relays and everything checks out.


Sometimes the wires that lead to the solenoid are corroded or damaged. The corrosion can be inside the insulation and hard to see. I would check the smaller wire that goes to the solenoid at both ends and maybe just replace it.

all the wires seem to be in good shape. but ill double check. im just curious as to why ive replaced damn near everything you can when it comes to starting the truck, but can only be started by crossing the solenoid??


You are not getting power to the solenoid. Why I don't know but I would trace and test all the wiring back to the battery.

ive put a test light and a multimeter to the solenoid and the starter and both are getting power.

and the battery is brand new


check the mlp or neutral safety switch on the side of the trans. if it's not aligned properly it can cause a no start concern and the computer to see a false gear signal. The factory ford one has arrows to indicate where neutral is for guidance when installing it. Hopefully its just a minor adjustment.

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that was actually my next go to...pulled off the mlps this morning and it is in alignment with the marks. I did pull transmission codes and they are all in conjunction with my problems...452, 542, 634, 94, 56, and 66. Keep in mind this is a brand new transmission, havent even put a mile on it yet. all new fluid and it is at the correct level when is park on the dipstick. Is there a way to check to see if the mlps is bad before i pay $55 for a new one?


Yes it can be checked on the vehicle, was the trans in neutral when you took off the mlp? if its in park and the mlp arrows are lined up then it isn't in the right spot. You can also make small adjustments by loosening the bolts and twisting it a bit while in park and having someone else trying to start the truck.


There are two wires to the starter. One is the big wire that goes to the battery and it will have power all the time. The smaller wire takes power to the solenoid which switches on the starter. That wire will not have power normally unless you are starting the car. If that wire does not get power at the proper time your car won't start. Trace that wire out and test all the connections and also test for continuity. A corroded wire will test for continuity but won't carry enough power to activate the solenoid (personal experience).

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As a test you can bypass the neutral safety switch. Don't run the truck that way as it will be unsafe.

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guy-the trans was in park to break the nut loose from the mlps, and then i put it in neutral before removing it from the transmission. but going strictly off of the transmission codes alone, and the truck not starting with the key, and the transmission not shifting out of first gear, would you say the mlps is bad? full of regrets- i have checked power at both solenoid and starter and both have correct amount of voltage to work properly.

how do i check if the mlps is bad or how do i bypass the nss to see if the mlps is bad?

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