Reader Question I have a Ford Excort Silhouette Cabriolet L reg and have intermittent problems starting the car.
Sometimes it can be fine for days or weeks then suddenly not start again.
When this problem first starting happening about a year and a half ago I got a brand new battery and this seemed ok for a fews days then died again. My mecanic tested the battery which was found to be fine along with the altenator (also fine) and in short could not find the source of the problem so suggested it maybe electical.
Took to autoelectrician who said my stereo maybe draining too much power so completely removed stereo as so fed up with intermittent problem especially being a young women driver who often has to travel at night.
Car continued to be ok for a while and not ok whenever it felt like it so no change despite repairs/advice followed.
A friend then said he thought it maybe my starter motor so got a reconditioned one from local yard and put that on. Again ok for a while (longer than any other time to be fair) but again the last few months it all the same with not knowing from one trip to the next if car will start.
I park on hills wherever I can as is easily bump started in 2nd gear or reverse but there are times when this is just not possible.
Someone else has since suggested it maybe my fuel pump getting jammed?
My own mecanic says that as everything is automatic transmission/electrical nowadays that there are 1 or 4 boxes that could be replaced and tried by they range in price from £60-150 and I cant afford that sort of experiments.
Any help you can give me I would be eternally grateful.
How are things across the pond? Love your name….very cool, I am trying to picture what you look like! When you say your motor does not start, you mean you turn the key and nothing happens….nothing, no engine cranking noise, no headlights nothing until you either jump start the engine or you get the battery charged up. Correct????
I want you to read this and see if you can narrow things down a little bit for all of us. My Car won’t start
Next time the engine won’t start try this.
Turn on your headlights, if the headlights are very dim, or out all together you either have a bad battery OR You have a voltage drain. A drain is some electrical device that is sucking power from the battery. This can be a radio, electric antenna, dome light – interior light, glove box light, hood or boot – trunk light that is ON, sucking power from the battery.
If the headlights are good and bright, what happens when you turn the ignition key and try to start the engine…if the lights go dim, you probably have a bad starter motor. IF the lights go out completely, you could have a loose battery cable or dirty battery cable that is not letting the electricity from the battery get to the starter motor. You should not be able to move the battery cable ends on the battery with your bare hands.
Last thing, the alternator which is responsible for recharging the battery of electricity. I have seen alternators that were charging correctly, but that had a voltage drain inside them so they would suck battery power with the engine off. If the car sat a few days without starting to recharge the battery the battery would go flat.
A simple battery load test, alternator voltage test and voltage drain test could really help you determine what is going on. This is a simple and easy test any good mechanic should be able to do. You might want to leave the car with them over night so they can check it after it sits all night.
Austin C. Davis