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Old 06-06-2014, 09:25 PM   #1
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'02 Focus LX often won't start when warm

I first started having a problem on long trips when I stopped for a break. The car would not start -- not even crank -- until I waited 30-60 minutes. This now happens rather "reliably."

Today it happened locally after I drove about 10 miles. I had to wait an hour.

Everything lights on the dash as usual, but no cranking.

Playing with the steering wheel position or shifting to neutral or neutral-and-back don't help.

Candidates?


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Old 06-06-2014, 09:53 PM   #2
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Most obvious is the cable connections on the starter, so you'll want to check that for corrosion issues. Could even be something as simple as corrosion/loose battery terminal cables
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:38 PM   #3
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check voltage from battery when running and shut off
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:02 PM   #4
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I borrowed the Workshop Manual and Wiring Diagrams Manual from the library and dug in:

Symptom Chart:
Engine does not crank and starter relay does not click - Go to Pinpoint Test B

Pinpoint Test B:
B1 - PATS warning indicator does not flash when attempting to start; it is solid red

B2 - Starter relay test: OK on all counts

B3 - Battery test: no reason to suspect; new in 2011 and no signs of weakness

B4 - Check switched power to the starter relay: relay receives voltage > 10V

B5 - I skipped this for some reason

B6 - DNA, for manual transaxle only

B7 - DNA, for manual transaxle only

B8 - Check voltage to ignition switch: receives voltage > 10V

I then ran my own test: when in failure mode, the ignition switch also outputs > 10V on pin 1 to the ignition relay and pin 7 and to the circuit with the starter relay –> transmission range sender –> starter.

B9 - Check circuits (from ignition switch to starter relay) for open

This test is wrong as written. The second circuit referenced, 15-DAZ, does not exist. And the wire colors given for that circuit (GN/BY) don’t exist (BY is meaningless). And the first circuit referenced, 15-DA1, does not lead to the starter relay: it starts at C456 and goes to C16 on the CJB, powering fuses (incl. the headlamp switch, which works - so that run is OK); C16 forks to 15-DA2 and C70, which goes to the BJB and splices at S119 to 15-BB7, which goes to the ignition relay.

The test as written will ALWAYS yield an open-circuit result.

What is the actual path from ignition switch to starter relay?

Ignition switch pin 7 to starter relay pin 86 (aka pin 1 in the wiring diagram) over circuit 50-BB16 (GY/BK wire) is the only path between those components.

And that path does not suffer from an open on my car.

Devising my own tests from here:

Starter relay pin 87 (aka pin 5 in the wiring diagram) to transmission range sensor pin 6 on C438 tested at 0 ohms.

Bypassing the starter relay did not crank the starter.

Bypassing the starter relay and the transmission range sender did not crank the starter, but the starter solenoid relay did click, so the starter itself is implicated.

Advance Auto tested the starter and found that the gear drive did not extend. Replacing the starter motor solved the problem.

While I'm pointing out flaws in the manual, I'll note that only Pinpoint Test C has a test step that specifies a starter motor replacement. But Test C is for "Engine cranks slowly" in the Symptom Chart. The Symptom Chart also specifies a starter replacement under Actions for "Unusual starter motor noise," but neither of those applied in my case, where the correct starting point was "Engine does not crank and starter relay does not click."

Perhaps Ford issues manual Errata, but you have to subscribe to some service to get them.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:03 AM   #5
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Ah yes, the manual vs. the real world...

Starters can be a bear to access, but starting there can save a lot of steps sometimes in diagnosis.

No Click? Test for power at the solenoid connection & work back from there if not present when attempting to crank.

Click - check voltage/connection condition, try energizing solenoid directly to give it more current if needed.

Still won't work? Time to check the starter.
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:57 AM   #6
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That would not be nearly the first time I've seen errors in the factory manuals. To be fair though that is a LOT of technical writing there. To slice it six ways from sundown to have it all then smoothly work perfect, well that's asking a lot from those who often could not make McDonalds' hamburger right when they were younger, and the problem persists as they get older. One of the most serious problems this country faces now in my opinion. People just do not care about the value of perfect high quality work now like they used to, and with what the higher ups pay in many ways I see why. 'Trickle down' economics that work in reverse, as the effect gets worse the very people who set it in motion lament how no one buys anything any longer. They have set the seeds of their own destruction there.

Kudos for going to the library to get info that they would have you pay through the nose for and what I've done for 30 years............

I self learned VCT in relation to cam drives long ago when they put procedures in Contour manuals that did not address the VCT position at all, or utter confusion there, that no one questioned it showed how little all the factory mechs think, since the VCT must be in a known position before it can be reliably timed correctly. Finally found the info tucked in a corner of the other end of the manual and no note at all connecting it to cam timing, where it could all fall into place as useful. It should have been right in the cam timing section to have it be relevant. When I texted about it on different car sites, all I got from Ford mechs was an emphatic 'follow the OEM cam timing setting instructions!!!' which again had no mention of it in them. Ergo, they are dumb enough they did not understand what to do if/when the instructions did not work correctly at the dealer level. All they could say was do it over again and again but not why at all. Best of the best mechanics there as well. Pretty d-mn funny and more evidence of the lemming outlook on this planet............don't overthink it, in fact don't think about it at ALL.
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:35 AM   #7
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Don't get me started now..

First job out of school I started asking "Why" things were done a certain way. Got told to leave people alone as they knew what to do & asking why would just mess them up.
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