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Old 02-22-2009, 14:08   #1 (permalink)
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Starter trouble

I have a 99 Mustang GT.

When I leave the car out overnight and the engine gets stone cold or over the 8 hours or so for work it will no longer start. All you hear is the solenid click in with a single click. But the strange part is if you plug the block heater in for 2 hours then it will start normal. It will then continue to start normal as long as the engine is warm.

The battery is fine, had it tested. I have cleaned the terminals on the battery. Cables don't look frayed or anything. And once warm the start is as quick and powerful as before. Never a non start either once warm, so it isn't intermittant in any way. Starter sounds fine also and if it was going would fail to start when the brushes are in the bad spot.

I checked the coolant. Good for -45 though it was down a little so I filled it back up with more about 3/4 of a liter.

Still, why would warm coolant affect the solenoid or starter?

It's got me baffled. Anyone got any ideas what it could be?
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Old 02-23-2009, 05:11   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Starter trouble

i think it is your battery
did you check your battery after 8 hour after shutting off the motor ?
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Old 02-23-2009, 07:44   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Starter trouble

That's the thing that puzzles me. When it will not crank, just the single click from the solenoid all you need to do is plug in the block heater and let the engine get warm and it will crank like new. Unless things have changed I don't believe that the battery is connected to the block heater. Yet I haven't charged the battery.

I think I will let it die again tonight and then see if a battery starter will get it going when cold. Then I know if it is the battery or not. The battery checks out. 12.7 open 10.83 under load and 12.53 recovery.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:12   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Starter trouble

When it won't crank, jump across the solenoid, if it starts, replace the solenoid.
Connections need to be good at more than just the battery.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:52   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Starter trouble

Will a cold engine affect the solenoid in such a way. Remember it is only when the engine is stone cold. Once warm it works normally. That is what gets me.

Also how do you change just the solenoid. The starter appears to be a single unit.
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Old 02-23-2009, 14:49   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Starter trouble

Just looked online and is all one unit, (some of the older Fords had the solenoid mounted to the wheel well) but still if you jump the solenoid and it starts, you will know the solenoid is bad, but you will have to replace the starter.
Let us know what you find out.
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Old 02-23-2009, 20:03   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Starter trouble

Ok I just came back from somewhere and checked both the alternator when the car was running and got 13.8V to 14V. and for an open circuit I got 12.8V. I will leave the block heater unplugged. I had left it plugged in last night and after 8 hours it started just fine. I will check the battery before I crank it in the morning and if it doesn't go I will jump the motor with an electric starter. That will tell me if the battery is the culprit. If it won't start then I will try to jump the starter by bypassing the solenoid.

2 questions first.

1. I've never jumpd a car with a computer in it before. Any precautions so i don't fry the boards? or do I just do the usual positive to positive, negitive to block.
2. To bypass the solenoid I assume it is the same negitive to block, positive to positive connection on starter. and I will use the car battery this time to prove the battery is strong enough.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:32   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Starter trouble

The battery was dead this morning 12.1V. I didn't jump the system cause I uncertain if I can fry the computer boards in the car.

I haven't been driving much and it's been cold as hell lately so I imagine the battery could have gotten damaged by that. But could anything else drain the battery so fast. Loose ground? or perhaps the fusebox. Though nothing i can think of is acting up on the car.

Will probably get a new battery tonight with more CCA's. Just don't want it to drain like the last one if the problem is with the car and not the battery.
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Old 02-27-2009, 21:10   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Starter trouble

i doubt that you'll fry the boards, jumping today is the same as it was 50 years ago
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