why will my truck not start


Asked by Mar 23, 2013 at 04:02 AM about the 1995 Ford F-150 XLT SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a good battery, i have a solid connection with my starter solenoid (click, click) when i turn the key. i just changed my ignition switch, and my ignition key cylinder ( they needed to be changed anyway). my fuses are good. my battery terminals are clean and cables have a good, tight connection...... when i turn the key, all i hear is the click from the solenoid connection. the engine does not turn over.... nothing but a click.

38 Answers

yes it clicks, but isn't able to pull 20 amps. Your 1/0 battery cables must have enough surface area to pull 20 amps or more. One overlooked necessity is to examine the connection from the battery to the chassis ground. pull the bolt out scrub with a wirebrush and do the connection 1/0 battery cable to frame to block....these all have to be comfortable with 20 amps...otherwise you'll only get a click and nothing. Also batteries lose their ability to keep a charge ten percent per year, so check the date on the battery, if it's ten years old, replace it with a reputable one, like interstate batteries! batteries will corrode three weeks after installation will have acid fumes and start to deteriorate everything nearby within a couple of weeks~ easy to overlook this fact, tho may seem okay is a weak sister when comes time to pull amps thru there-

22 people found this helpful.

Sadly, your motor could be locked up. put a wrench on the main bolt and see if it will turn for you. Running it out of oil, or overheating it could have precipitated this condition...had a buddy, bought a nifty clean mistubishi truck, only it woudn't start. after chasin across town for a new starter found the motor to be completely locked up....oh well take the loss, live and learn.

8 people found this helpful.

"all i hear is the click from the solenoid connection. the engine does not turn over." --- sounds like a bad starter motor to me. I don't know where the Judge thinks it takes 20 amps to power a starter. It's closer to 900 amps when it's spinning under load. Clean those battery connections and coat the fresh shiny surfaces with dielectric grease.

17 people found this helpful.

900 amps tenspeed, you've got welding on your mind CCA? wires, what get a little melted...a bit? not sure the cold cranking amps are set in stone these days anymore...maybe with a big ole diesel that has two batteries? what the hell do I know squat in an Indian position cross my legs, meditate......heal...heal...television seyet~

3 people found this helpful.

Could just be that your starter solenoid has jammed. Put it in 2nd rock it back/forward couple of times, ignition off, see if it freezes it off or you could try tapping starter motor with a hammer then try and see if it starts.

27 people found this helpful.

That high amperage does not last long. When that solenoid hits home and closes the contacts, electrically it sees a direct short circuit to ground. Maximum current flows, electromagnetic lines of flux form and the rotor spins due to opposites opposing. When the motor spins, counter electromotive force (CEMF) forms and limits the amperage through the windings. CEMF drops the current down to 96% of the starting current. That why motor fuses are slo-blow and motor starters have heaters that take time to trip for overload protection. - That's all basic DC motor information.

6 people found this helpful.

correction mr tenspeed, I was talkin 'bout the wires, the need for good ground that could handle 20 amps....suggesting that they ought to handle 300 amps? I'll change course cap'n~


my battery is from may of 2012. it is fairly new. it has a full charge. and everything is clean. terminals and cables. just made a new set of cables. it is a wet battery and the water lever is okay.

12 people found this helpful.

yay. let's roll!


1st, double check the connections since you just made the wires. If you used the bolt on battery terminal ends, you are just waiting for a problem, since the copper will corrode as it is exposed to air. I always use pre-made 1 gauge cables. All 3 come to about $50, and that includes the solenoid to starter cable. Double check your ground, too. On these Fords, there is a ground strap that connects the body to the engine, and then the engine is grounded to the battery. If that ground strap is weak, and it is tucked in between the block and fire wall, you will have some things that work just fine, but others that do not. Don't forget, too, that the solenoid MUST have a good ground in order to close the circuit. If the cables and battery are good, then the next step is likely your starter motor. The motors are not expensive. A rebuilt with a 5 year warranty is about $100. Brand new with a lifetime warranty, about $150. They take all of about 20 minutes to change, too. The single bolt that holds the cable from the solenoid, and the 2 retaining bolts that hold it to the engine flange. When you reinstall the starter, be sure to use Lock Tite on the bolts. They have a nasty habit of working loose and then you can destroy the flywheel ring gear, which is not fun in the least.

16 people found this helpful.

Also check the ten buck relay bolted on the firewall next to the battery. You can jump it for a quick second. It the engine cranks properly, then the relay is shot.

18 people found this helpful.

....after half a year we still do not know. cwalla---was the motor locked up?....was it too embarrassing to report?....or problem went away....so it's NO problem anymore?

3 people found this helpful.

Thanks Andrew..i used your advice and rocked my truck and it started...is it because its so cold? i had replaced the starter 2 years ago and i have to do it every morning..so what do you think?

6 people found this helpful.

....yes get a NEW battery now and refresh the ground connection from battery cable to chassis....with a wirebrush~ starter problems WILL go away~

3 people found this helpful.

Is this a common problem problem with ford f150. It always started. Now it was 0 out today and it won't start . Gonna try the reverse/ forward method tonight.

3 people found this helpful.

Starter motors do tend to fail worse in cold weather. sounds like its on its way out so would recommend getting it replaced again.

4 people found this helpful.




58 people found this helpful.

1995 Ford F150 4.9 inline 6 with manual trans I have installed new starter, new starter solenoid, new battery cables, new ignition switch, and I checked the battery ground. The truck just clicks at start up.

51 people found this helpful.

Oh, and the battery 2 years old, was checked at NAPA and Sears Automotive. Both places confirmed that the batter had no bad cells and performed as advertised.

6 people found this helpful.

If someone ever has replace factory radio on this F150 be careful, specially if you guys added steering wheel controls, the data wire was grounded on the installation, so truck was not able to start, so careful with the sharply edges around back part of the radio, can gives you headaches!! so check you installation and wire up professionally.

2 people found this helpful.

I have a 2008 F-150 and when its cold it clicks then give a slow crank and fires up. When its warmer out it tends to start ok. Battery? Starter? My battery is only 2 years old. The starter is im sure the orig,

11 people found this helpful.

Batteries possess various cold cranking amps. It's just what it means. More amperage in severe cold conditions. Down south our winters are extremely mild. Thirty-two degrees is considered an arctic blast. Just replaced a battery in my daughter's vehicle that was nine years old. It failed when the temp fell to freezing or slightly lower.


Turn on ignition into on position, use screwdriver to jump voltage regulator, if it still clicks start yanking on negative battery cable while jumping voltage reg, should start. Cause is bad engine block ground on negative cable. Clean ground at engine and problem goes away plus you'll notice brighter lights.

1 people found this helpful.

Don't know if this applies to you, but I have a 1995 F150 5.0 and the starter motor had a solenoid with a flat spade lug to energize it. That original flat spade connection is STEEL, not copper and it corrodes. When that happens, the fender battery solenoid clicks and works, but the starter never engages. Cleaning the spade lug and terminal it connects to provided good operation for a while, but it was unreliable longer term. I ended up replacing the starter with one that has a solenoid using a nut terminal and pigtail lug. I then coated everything with rubber cement.

3 people found this helpful.

I have a F150 it let me sitting at the doctor office. Called my mechanic to come get it and he thought it was the fuel pump on April Fool's Day I went down to ask him how the truck was doing he said he had it out it was running and he was going to call me to come pick it up so when I was standing there you went in started up to back it up it won't start and when do nothing he is stumped he has tried everything he has he thought maybe it was the keys Mikey my husband ski nothing so if I could pick your brain maybe you could help us out here because my mechanic and his brother that works for a garage and he's very mechanically inclined he stomped so if you have any ideas could you please pass on our way thank you

9 people found this helpful.

I'm having all the same problems as the original post, how can I tell if my engine is seized?

3 people found this helpful.

I FOUND THE PROBLEM ! ! ! My f150 had the same problem. It is a manufactures defect. The ground wire that connects to the starter is exposed and gets corroded. The connection it self on the stater. Clean off the connection and reattach it, or replace the starter or wire. I replaced the starter. It was easy two bolts and $130 later. The starter is located under the truck below the passenger floor board.

6 people found this helpful.

I have a 97 f150 woman I got it from said she had to slam it from Park to neutral and then back up to park to get it turned over now it doesn't do anything doesn't even have a click could it be the ignition parking center starter but there's not even a quick she said and I haven't had a chance to fool with it I work too much

10 people found this helpful.

On a 1998 I have had two reman starters that get moisture inside and then won't engage when it freezes. Crawl under, hold a hair dryer on it for five minutes, and it frees up. Temporarily.


Hi, my F-150XL 2000 (recent purchase and lots of rot underneath). Starter was giving me the click response. I popped the hood and shorted the starter relay . Click I looked at Battery and both connections were strong, I went into the cab and turned on headlights, good and bright, turned off lights. found a way to see the solenoid (starter topper) by turning the wheels to the left... With my head in the wheel-well ad a good flashlight, I was able to see that the main power wire had broken off at the connector , the connector itself was on good and strong (broke the copper bolt while trying to remove) *use heat in cold weather, nut shrinks onto the copper bolt*. Anyways, the main power cable is attached to the frame (tight), and any heavy motor tossing or frame twist (so easy on old rotting truck), pulls and tears away at the weakest point, >where the wire goes into the connector< . So even if connector seems good, the power might be cut off due to internal breakage of the wire at this point... Installing new connector, looser wire tied down and new Starter on Monday... Check the integrity of the main power to starter... break at the connector clamping area

3 people found this helpful.

Same problem as original post. Daughter's 92 with a 5.8L clicks hard at relay and starter but won't turn over. Replaced battery, negative cable, relay and starter. No dice. Removed serpentine to eliminate any drag hanging up the crank and rotated it a bit with a 1" socket on a breaker bar. No dice: hard click, same as before, but won't turn over. Any ideas other than those already expressed?

15 people found this helpful.

my 2004 f150 would not start or turn over. everything else worked. I checked to see if I had power to the starter. I did not. Then I jumped the starter off at the solenoid and the starter engaged and turned but did not start. I then took the towing relay out that is right next to the PCM relay and replaced it into the PCM relay. I started the engine and everything was fine. I started 5 or 6 times to be sure that was the problem. Have had no other issues starts everytime. Now I will just buy the relay for the towing relay.

2 people found this helpful.

I also cleaned all cables to the battery and the ground to the block.

1 people found this helpful.

I have a 2002 F150 sometimes it will crank sometimes it want done had it at Ford dealership they can't find couldn't find the problem finally I think I found it .changed the power train control module diode

1 people found this helpful.

I can tell you either that ford has a bad sensor that gos to the starter witch is the starter sensor ,or the clutch safety sensor is bad if it is manuel ,or the the fuse box one is out or bad connection with it all if you can starter jump start it witha test cable then its your electric fuel pump or if not end it up grab a base ball batt~ :-)

2 people found this helpful.

1999 Ford F250 302 motor manual transmission. The key does not start the motor. It clicks like it has a bad or low battery. When you kick start it or roll it off, it ran intermittently. The dash was going crazy, all instruments were jumping up and down. Then it finally died. Help.

4 people found this helpful.

Old thread but still immensely helpful. I just came out from work and ready to go home on a Friday and my truck was dead to the world. Didn’t crank at all. No bad starter. No dead battery. No flashing theft light. Lights worked. Windows worked. Just got NOTHING when I turned the key but the ding of the ignition key reminder. Saw a suggestion in here. Pope’s it in drive, popped it in reverse, popped it back into park, turned the key and boom... homeward bound. Thanks everyone. Saved me time and trouble since I am parked in the basement of a packed parking garage.

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