Re: Starting problem; dealer stumped.
woof <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Since new, my 2002 has a starting problem every couple of weeks. It can
> happen in freezing cold, or hot weather, or first thing in the morning or
> after driving for a while and stopping for gas or groceries. One turns the
> key and nothing happens - just silence. However, the lights, radio, etc, are
> still working. After 5 to 20 minutes of attempts, it starts like nothing had
> ever happened. The dealer "cleaned the ignition switch contacts" to no
> avail. Of course, it starts fine at their shop. After several visits, they
> said they do not know what is wrong and I will have to wait until it will
> not start permanently so they can diagnose it and, perhaps, replace the
> starter. (Meanwile the warantee is over - sound familiar?). Love the car but
> my wife now refuses to drive it for fear of being stranded if she ever stops
> on the way home.
> I would be grateful for any ideas or tales of similar problems!
Sounds like what happens when you try to start the car with an
unprogrammed PATS key. As an experiment, I tried to start my 2000
Focus with a new key after it had been duplicated on the key cutter,
but before it had been programmed. I expected the starter motor to
turn but the computer to withold sparks, but what happened was
exactly nothing, the starter motor would not even crank.
I suspect either the chip in your PATS key may be interrmittently failing,
or there may be a loose connection to the telemetry coil surrounding the
ignition switch cylinder. You might try using the 2nd key for a while
and see if the problem goes away, if so, you could be pretty sure it
was the key itself.