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Old 07-18-2012, 11:05 PM   #1
Jonwright
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Car won't start: engine mgmt relay buzzes

So we've been having funny things go on with the car. Get the typical gauges going crazy. Figures out that while running if you turned on anything electric, including honking the horn, the gauges would go to zero. LCD display for mileage would go blank for a few seconds. The car would stumble then after roughly two seconds the gauges would come to life and the door buzzer would chime like you were opening the door again to start the car.

Battery ok. Checked battery cables and power leads as well

Now we've graduated to car not starting at all. The engine managemt relay buzzes and clicks. Replaced with another relay same results.

Tried different battery with same results.

After letting the car sit for a few hours it started again. I turned it off and tried to roll down the windows and now I'm back to same thing. Car won't turn over, no gauges, engine mgmt relay buzzing, and the theft light looks like its "vibrating". Not on, not really off.


2002 focus svt.

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Old 07-19-2012, 11:34 AM   #2
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Huh.

100 views and no one has any ideas? I feel like I've checked the basics, the ground cables from batter go to the engine, and most of the cables appear to be OK.

A buddy of mine suggests checking the ignition switch (key) since you can put the key in and jiggle it and the buzzers don't quite catch. However, when the ignition is ON I can not jiggle the key nor does jiggling the key get it to start.

Any specifics? I don't have a service manual, and I'm getting to where perhaps I need one to trace all of the ground wires to make sure they are all there and checked for. Both neg wires from battery go to engine - shouldn't one go to the body somewhere?
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:30 PM   #3
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Odd behaviour such as you describe may be from an unintentional short. Check the rear hatch wiring; it can cause very odd running behaviour and is a relatively common problem on older cars. It's the wiring between the two rear hatch hinges. Remove the black rubber grommet and inspect. Problems (chafes, breaks, exposed wires) will be obvious.
The Focus has several engine compartment grounds and most systems are grounded to the chassis throughout the car.
In the engine compartment, at the left rear of the head, check the ground from the oblong engine lifting hook is secure. The battery ground wire goes directly to the chassis right behind the headlight. There is also a wiring harness ground in the same headlight area (ground comes out of wiring loom.)
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:48 PM   #4
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There is two ground wires one is org and black the other is yellow and black. There located on the driver side of engine bay behind the battery there bolt down. When mine done that the org and black didnt look broke but it was broke inside of the insulation

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Old 07-21-2012, 01:01 PM   #5
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There was no ground off the battery to the chassis. Both grounds were to the engine. So I took one and put to chassis. That seems to be the deal!!!

The hint that there are supposed to be grounds by the headlight was the hint I needed.

I think I have it.

Btw the hatch wires look good. I know to watch out for that now.

Thanks guys!!
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:48 PM   #6
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The reason why this worked was that the jumper wire from the engine to the chassis was corroded. So when I ran the new wire it worked.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:10 PM   #7
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There should also be a ground off the battery terminal to the chassis. I'd be looking around for the factory wires. IINM, Ford makes 3 connections to the negative battery terminal: the big one to the engine, a small one to the chassis nearby, and a small one for the chassis wiring circuit that goes into the harness. A loss of one of the 2 small ones causes low voltage issues, and yes, loss of both will cause all the chassis current to flow through the engine to chassis grounding that looks like a copper shoelace. I call it the ground strap.
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