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Old 06-18-2004, 19:24   #1 (permalink)
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AU Starting Problem

I've got a AU1 auto, and recently, sometimes (happened twice in 2 weeks) when starting it, the engine will not turn over at all. It's as if I had the tranny in Drive, but it was in park. To get the car started, I needed to switch the ignition off, and try again, and then it starts flawlessly.
There is power there - all the warning lights appear. I even tried moving the gear stick up and down, thinking it might be the netural park switch, but that didnt work. I had to power off, and try starting her again.
The battery is fine (had it checked).
Im thinking either the fuel pump, or starter motor is on the go? Am I on the right track? Or is it the computer playing up? Oh and also I've had the low coolant level light flashing on two occasions (but at different times to the starting problem). Thing is, the coolant level is fine, and even if it was low, shouldn't the light just stay on, and not 'flash'?? Is this flashing some sort of code? Could it be related to the starting problem?
What do you guys think? Thanks in advance for any comments :)
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Old 06-18-2004, 20:50   #2 (permalink)
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Re: AU Starting Problem

I've had this happen to my AU1. I find sometimes it'll take 2-3 goes before it starts. Except with me its a matter of it kicks over but won't catch. There's plenty of power in the battery and I'm sure the alternator is ok.

My g/f thinks it has probs starting when I have the stereo/air con on. She normally turns that off and it starts sooner. I'm not so convinced that it has a bearing on the problem. I don't have the coolant lights or any other warning light come on tho.

Its an intermittent problem but annoying none the less.

If anyone can shed light on this it'd be appreciated.
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Old 06-18-2004, 21:09   #3 (permalink)
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Re: AU Starting Problem

Thanks for your reply.
When my AU starts normally (which it usually does), it starts perfectly. But only on these 2 occasions it just was 'dead' - didnt want to turn over at all. And I always start the car with nothing on - no radio, a/c, or headlights. My problem sounds electrictal, but your looks like machinical. Has your AU had a service recently? Checked spark plugs, leads ect? What does it idle/run like normally?
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Old 06-18-2004, 21:15   #4 (permalink)
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Re: AU Starting Problem

Dave. next time it doesn't fire, wiggle the key .. do not turn it off and start over just wiggle it in the 'crank' position.. it is possible the barrel is wearing, if not there is a starter relay that might be on the way out..But i'd be starting with the barrel and canceling that out as a cause before i went around chasing my tail..
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Old 06-18-2004, 21:27   #5 (permalink)
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Re: AU Starting Problem

The barrel could be it. Ill keep that in mind. But when I do put it in the starting position, the battery light and the ((!)) light goes on, so i think it knows it has to start, but it doesnt.
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Old 06-19-2004, 02:45   #6 (permalink)
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Re: AU Starting Problem

guys, its not the barrel and its not the starter. its not the battery and its not the fuel pump! I have a AU11 xr6 and EXACTLY the same problem. I've had it at the mechanic numerous times and the fuel pump shows the correct pressures. The car is way too new and I've been told by ford themself that the barrel is fine. I'm yet to take it to a Auto elec and plug it in to his machines to find the problem. that way the machines can tell me what the car is thinking..... hopefull. Coz its such a pain in the ass!!!

Anyone finds the problem post it cost i'd love to know and I'll do the same
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Old 06-19-2004, 03:04   #7 (permalink)
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Re: AU Starting Problem

Try starting the car in neutral when it won't start in park, if it starts in neutral then you will need a new inhibitor switch.
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Old 06-19-2004, 23:26   #8 (permalink)
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Re: AU Starting Problem

SPALDING GREEN, I will keep that in mind.
xr6rocket, yes, please keep us updated with anything you find out. I did quickly take it to the Auto Electrictian, but he thinks its the starter playing up. But I dont think he really knows. So I guess I'll have to make a booking at Ford soon. I think its going to be another expensive booking :-( Unless its bringing up codes. And that reminds me. On the way home last night the Oil Warning Light came on, but it wasnt illuminated as bright as it should have been (only half the brightness), and there was no alarm that I heard (should have heard 5 beeps??). It was on like this for about 1min, then 'faded' away (didnt just switch off). The oil is filled to the top, and the car doesnt use any anyway. This morning I had no warning lights.
So I've got a Oil Warning Light with no oil problem, and a collant warning light with no coolant problem. Whats the go? Is this because its giving off codes, or is it just the sensors playing up?
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Old 06-23-2004, 04:36   #9 (permalink)
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Re: AU Starting Problem

now thats a weird one that i dunno. my mechanic is really really cluey with things like that but he's in europe now so i cant ask him. (i live with him and am dating his daughter... helps) . I will go out and try the neutral thing. how much is a new inhibitor switch ??
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Old 06-25-2004, 02:06   #10 (permalink)
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Re: AU Starting Problem

have you checked all the earth leads? might have one loose or corroded this will give an itermittant problem
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