Yes, I have the "engine won't turn over, clicking sound" problem... - Focus Fanatics
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:11 AM   #1
omamder5
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Unhappy Yes, I have the "engine won't turn over, clicking sound" problem...

Now, I know every forum gets this all the time, but I'm obviously new here and I was just hoping to get some knowledgeable advice. I did do a search and read a few things that appeared to be similar to my problem, but I feel the need to make a new thread to ensure that I get as accurate information as I can, if that's fine with you guys.

I have an '04 sedan with the Zetec engine, and about a few months ago, something started to produce a strange noise. It wasn't the engine, because you could start it up and hear the engine operate normally; then, a few seconds later, you'd hear a second, higher pitched whirring or high-pitched groaning noise. Keeping my mechanical naivety in mind...is this the alternator?

Now, more pressing is the fact that the engine just died and refused to start up - again.

Now, this had happened once before, to this extent, where I drove around for a bit, killed the engine, came back in about an hour, and it refused to start, clicking over and over. This clicking, as I understand, is the solenoid not having enough voltage to crank the engine? Anyways, I got my dad to jump me with his van, and the car was on its way, but driving to the dealership, it began to lose electrical power again, and I had to keep the engine revved above idle to prevent it from dying. As I was driving, the instrumentation went dead and the wipers started wiping really slowly: battery giving out again after losing the jump juice?

So, we replaced the battery, opting not to buy a new alternator and being suspicious of buying a refurbished unit. The new battery got the car working relatively normally, although that whirring sound persisted, but we could use the car, so we mostly forgot about it and moved on.

That was roughly a month or month-and-a-half ago. Now, my mum's driving the car, and the engine dies at a stoplight. Same problem: solenoid (?) clicking and engine won't turn on. Same temporary solution: got a friend to jump-boost it, rode it to the dealership, and left it parked by the street until I go and speak with them tomorrow morning.

So, the question is, any immediately identifiable problems? Should I do some testing myself? Buy a new alternator? Get the dealer to check it again and go from there?

Is it bad wiring or a corroded connection somewhere along the line? Or is a faulty part (starter, alternator) to blame? Excuse my inexperience, but I only know so much... Thanks ahead, guys.


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Old 11-24-2012, 05:35 AM   #2
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Have the alt checked and the wiring going to it sounds like a alt problem
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:40 AM   #3
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You need to replace the Alternator, I had the same issue in my 05 ST.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:41 AM   #4
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Sounds like a bad alternator..
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:09 PM   #5
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Certainly sounds like the Alternator, good luck with that!

If the worrisome sound reappears, you'll want to check that out... (may be alternator related & all will be fixed at once)

General notes on common recommendations:

1. being leery of "rebuilts" is reasonable, many posters here have gone through more than one - warranty aside, doing it again is a pain!

2. Local rebuilder is generally recommended when needed & avail., both better & cheaper! (might tell you it's OK, might tell you it's not saveable - but can often supply a good replacement if yours isn't worth fixing)

3. On the Focus, the "alternator pigtail connector" can be a trouble source. Something to check & replacements are avail..

4. Std. advice is to remove, clean & inspect connections at alternator & battery - especially including grounds since many issues start there.

Cheers!
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