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Old 11-14-2013, 03:01 PM   #1
joeeezy69
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2002 Ford Focus won't start. Desperately in need for help :(

Hello everyone, I'm new to these forums and I have joined because I am having problems with my 2002 Ford Focus and im hoping this is the place I can get help.

I have desperately searched the internet for help with my car and came to the conclusion that when your car doesn't start there are so many different troubleshooting steps to take that can be so confusing at times because I don't know where to even START? It is VERY frustrating because I have 4 kids that I need to take to school in the morning and they have been missing this past week for my lack of trying HARDER to see what the problem is. I got a low paying job and can barely afford any parts to the car and am about to start pawning all my valuables to be able to buy parts for my car. I am not here to ask for your sympathy because people are in worse situations then I am. But asking simply for your help. PLEASE.! So what im doing here today is asking for the STEPS i should take before doing the wrong one and wasting money I dont have. I understand there are steps to seeing how to fix this problem but I think im jumping levels instead of starting from step 1. So here goes:

My car for the past couple of months has been acting up by not always turning on when I go to turn it on. It started months back at random times. I would turn the key and it wouldn't turn on, then a couple seconds later try again and it would turn on. This would happen at least 3 times out 20 times i would drive the car, then it became more frequent, then it started (recently) to happen at least once every 3 times i drive it. Till finally about 3 weeks ago, It wouldn't turn on at all. The car's lights turn on, radio would work , headlights etc, and the key would turn all the way just not start. I didn't think it was a dead battery obviously because everything turned on, nor did it make a click noise. So I googled it and someone said it could be a "starter" problem. I had my dad go over to my house the next day and hit it with a hammer as the "internet" suggested and it turned on. It sounded as it kind of "Dragged" when it turned on but it did. From that point on it turned on up until a couple days ago it wouldn't turn on again. Well my dad came over and got underneath the car, hit the starter again and it did NOT turn on. He continued to hit it and tap it with the hammer and it did NOT turn on. Well the next day, we decided we were going to put it in neutral and PULL it to his house since he has RAMPS. So he got into the car and turned the ignition and the car once again TURNED ON. He drove it to my house and said he still wanted to buy the starter and replace it. At first I think he bought to big of a size because he said it didn't fit. Then he bought the exact size brand NEW from Autozone and it placed it on the car and the car STILL didn't turn on. My wife said she was with him and that the car displayed a "battery light" on the dash. We never had a battery problem for the light to go on like that. We have not tried a new battery neither just the one we have.

So my question to you awesome people is the steps for troubleshooting.

Can someone give me the troubleshooting steps such as voltage check, replace starter, check solenoid , check starter relay , check this or that? I barely have money and now I'm going to have to buy a new battery and see if that's the problem. I'm trying to avoid having to pawn anything to fix the car when it can be something so simple such as replacing something so cheap. What are the steps in order I should take to fix this problem? So many websites are listing this and that could be the problem but i dont know wher to start. I already knocked out the starter and got a new one. So thats out of the way. Heck, my dad even took it off and put it BACK on thinking he may have installed it incorrectly. Now im screwed without a vehicle.

Also, I heard that the starter solenoid is already mounted with the starter so I do not need to replace that? I have no idea what a solenoid even is or if mine has it. Here is a picture of the starter we replaced though.

Also my motor is 2.0 with 4 cylinders.

Please, Im begging someone to help me.


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Old 11-14-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
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Here is an old thread that might help you.
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=320213

I was involved in that old thread (above) and my first suggestion of help is on page 3.
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/s...3&postcount=26

Yes. There are many things that can cause a NO START condition. Checking the health of your battery cables & connections is a good (and free) place to begin. A bad connection can allow your car radio & accessories to work fine and simultaneously cause a NO START condition.
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:32 PM   #3
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I wish I knew electrical but i basically see that her problem was her neutral switch thinking her car was in park the whole time when it wasnt? And faulty connections and dirty wires that needed cleaning? I read ALL of it but don't understand any of it. Do you just by chance happen to know like an ESTIMATED guess how much ford would probably charge me?

Thank you for your reply and info marde. I will probably hire some mechanic when i DO get money and show him this thread.
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
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Does the vehicle crank at all?

Just because you got a new started, does not mean that it is any good. A lot of the "new" parts from auto parts stores are just refurbished units that sometimes are just no good. It honestly sounds like a bad starter and the first thing I would check it to make sure that the starter is getting good power, while cranking, and make sure the ignition switch is ok.
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:04 AM   #5
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Hi joeeezy69,

I understand that you are in financial bind and its unfortunate that replacing the starter motor did not fully pay-off to fix the problem. Now, I have solution that you might consider before you buy a battery. I am not ruling out the possibility that your battery is bad, I am however adding the charging system (alternator) as a possible problem area as well since the battery light was seen lit on the dashboard and I am also assuming that there is no problem with the starter system (since you just replaced the starter motor though other components could be at play and producing the problem in the starter system)

For this diagnosis your going need a DVOM or a Battery Tester and to have to start and run the vehicle. So, jump start the vehicle and run it. If your vehicle does not crank therefore no start, the problem is still probably in the starter system. If you jump start and the vehicle runs but dies later on I'm suspecting its a charging system problem and/or your battery.

So let's do this:

-Now if you have access to a scan tool, I would check for DTCs that relates to the problem the vehicle is experiencing so you can zone in possible problem area(s). But if you don't have access to one then you can do the the steps below.

-First I will be testing the battery voltage only. I will take it out of the vehicle and test the voltage across the terminals using the leads or clamps of the tester and it should be in the ball park of 12.6V (A battery Load test would be ideal however). If it's below 12.6V do not rule out that its bad yet, charge the battery then check the voltage. If it way below 12.6V again then you can rule that its bad but the initial voltage reading is close or at 12.6V you can deem the battery is good).

-Assuming the battery is good, attach the battery to the vehicle.

-Start and run your vehicle. Put the tester leads or clamps of the DVOM or tester on the battery terminals. The voltage should read of around 14.5V [This is so because your battery alone will generate 12.6 V which will not be enough to feed the various components of your vehicle therefore more power is needed and that's where the alternator comes in (major component of the charging system) and it adds more voltage to supply the demand and charge the battery as the vehicle runs].

-Now the battery light came on probably because it detected that the alternator is not producing enough voltage to help the battery to supply your vehicle)

-If the voltage is below 14.5 now we can rule that the alternator is not working at its optimal range which means a replacement. If it the reading is 14.5V. Then you can rule out the need for replacing your battery and alternator therefore something else is at fault.

*I really hope this fixes your problem or atleast take out some components out of the equation that you might otherwise spend money on replacing and in the end will still not fix the problem.
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:02 AM   #6
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Is the red wire off the battery melted? if so get that fixed and possibly the alternator...
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricbeach View Post
Does the vehicle crank at all?

Just because you got a new started, does not mean that it is any good. A lot of the "new" parts from auto parts stores are just refurbished units that sometimes are just no good. It honestly sounds like a bad starter and the first thing I would check it to make sure that the starter is getting good power, while cranking, and make sure the ignition switch is ok.
I had that problem with a starter for a ford taurus it went out within weeks after the one was replaced so this is very true. YOu could take out the one take it back have it tested to be sure it is DEAD so speak that it dont work. A solenoid or starter could have failed regardless of it being NEW.
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:41 PM   #8
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'The car's lights turn on, radio would work , headlights etc, and the key would turn all the way just not start. I didn't think it was a dead battery obviously because everything turned on...............'

I wouldn't be too sure about that, a dead battery often does that. The starting system loads the battery far more than the other things do, it will spit its' guts out and the other things keep working since they have much less power requirement.

Save yourself some work, get the free alt and battery checks most parts store give. You've already made one mistake by buying the starter outright without looking battery over first.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:44 PM   #9
joeeezy69
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So guys a mechanic found out what it was. It was a fuse in that emergency fuse box compartment located in the engine but near the back of the motor. The fuse kept popping so he wired it directly to the box idk that's what he said. I spent so much money on a new neutral safety switch , a new starter relay, a new starter + labor . Thank all you guys for your help! I appreciate it.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:46 PM   #10
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What fuse was it? Did the guy actually fix the problem or just make a work around to make it work for you?
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