Lets address all of this:
Hey guys. I am having a similar problem as the guy who couldn't start his 2000 Taurus a few threads down. Engine's not turning over at all. I have a 99 Taurus and assumed it was the battery, so I replaced the battery. Started right up on Sunday and Monday. Two days later, I can't start it again, even with the cables on trying to jump it.
I called up AutoZone and they said to tap on the starter while someone else cranks the ignition. Only thing is, I'm not sure I even know where the starter is. Anybody have a diagram or anything?
I've got the '99 V6, dual overhead camshaft.
Dual overhead cam is the 3.0L Duratec engine. Does it make a single click when attempting to start or is there no click at all??? A single click is usually a solenoid issue. If this is the case start by checking the large lead on the solenoid for power all the time. No power check the positive battery cable connection at the battery. If there is power at the large lead make sure the negative cable connections are tight. If these are OK then you have a solenoid issue or an internal starter motor issue. Tapping the starter usually will confirm this. Starts working when tapping it, bad starter. Solenoids are available for replacement, but it's more economical to replace the entire starter motor. The starter would have to come out to replace the solenoid.
You could also have a single click and everything goes dead. Check the battery connections for this. Loose or severely corroded cable clamps cause this. No click at all, nothing goes dead, a common issue on Ford Solenoid starters is the the solenoid small lead connector. The terminal gets corroded or spreads open, causing intermitent operation. Next time it does it have someone crawl underneath the front of the car and wiggle the small lead on the starter while you hold it in the start position. If it now starts the small lead connector is the culprit. if wiggling the lead makes no difference check for power at the lead while holding the key in the start position. you should have power there. After this check the negative cable connections. If these are ok the starter is the culprit.
Hi brudman. The starter will be located underneath, between the engine block and the radiator, close to the engine block. You can probably follow the positive battery cable down to it.
Will look like this
On a Duratec like the poster's, it is mounted on the trans. bell housing, the solenoid and motor portion towards the left side of the engine compartment. Removing the aeroshield (bolts between the front bumper cover and subframe) gains better access to the starter.
No offence but with your admitted lack of automotive knowledge I'd not be bashing on a $400.00 starter if you don't even know where it is. That starter, if you can find it has a permanent magnet. If you hit it too hard, and you might, you will break the magnet. Then you replace the starter even if it wasn't the problem. Remember the people at auto parts stores are there to sell you parts. If you smash something I'll bet they have the part you just smashed in stock. Send it out.
$400?!? Where are you buying starters from??? They list from $107-$200 with the core charge on Rock Auto. True, if you hit it too hard the magnets may break. However, a few swift taps may facilitate starting the car to be able to move it and drive it to get it fixed rather than tow it to a repair facility. Not everybody has AAA, AAA isn't always reliable, and not everybody can afford an expensive tow charge over a starter diagnosis and replacement.