1989 Ford Festiva

Erin Smith-Cross

Asked by Dec 10, 2014 at 08:38 AM about the 1989 Ford Festiva L

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1989 Ford Festiva carburated
engine. It won't start.  We replaced the
starter and it still wouldn't start. Put a
jumper on to bypass safety switch on
clutch  pedal & it still wouldn't start.
Looking for andwers, please help.
I can roll it off & it runs perfect.

9 Answers

Erin Smith-Cross

I put a jumper from battery to celinoid on starter & it cranked

Tom Harmon

Sounds like ignition key is defective .... A real long-shot temp fix is to dip the part of the key that goes into the tumbler in light oil and keep working it back and forth ...


Sounds like the ignition switch because you had it in the On position and probably used a remote starter hooking solenoid and ground to activate starter. It's the part of the ignition switch you turn all the way. There is information on the web how you can test the resistance or continuity of the ignition switch to tell if it's good. If it's column mounted, it's not going to be fun. Good luck


Can you better define "won't start"? When you turn the key from "on" to "start" does the engine crank (yes/no) and if (yes) - how fast compared to "normal" and if (no) - does it "click" / "pop" / anything else? If you take a set of jumper cables and just use one side, attach one to the negative battery terminal and the other end to a bolt or mount on the engine. Then try starting it. Let me know what happens.

Erin Smith-Cross

Switch turn from on to start just makes click/pop noise a couple of times.


Okay, so I've had this issue before. It turned out to be the ground wire on the passenger strut tower. It was connected but kind of rusty. The pop noise is the starter pushing the drive out but not having enough ground to spin the starter, so it just does "nothing". My festy also ran okay, not great, but it didn't make sense. But my festy is EFI so it has the injectors which takes more power/ground. And I'm pretty sure if you are getting the pop from the engine bay that your clutch switch is fine. But they are extremely simple / easy to take apart and realign if it ever "goes bad". There are a few other ground wires in the bay, one near the thermostat / exhaust mani and maybe one behind the battery/coil area. It's been a while. I would do one at a time, checking to see if it starts in between.


So, if you remove the bolt, wire brush the body and the connector on the wire and then I like to add a dab of grease to the threads.

Erin Smith-Cross

Thanks will try tomorrow & give feedback.


Awesome. I look forward to it and I hope it turns out to be a simple fix. Best regards,

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