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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2002 Focus Zetec SE - no start, no crank

About two months ago my 2002 Zetec Focus SE developed a brake leak so I had to sideline it until weather improved and I could work on it. I would run it for a few minutes every week the first month but eventually it wouldn't start. No problem I thought and hooked it up to a charger. Left it charging until the charger lit the green done light. The battery read 12.96v so I figured it was ready to go.

Nope. Still no start - no crank. Tried a jump start to no avail. Grumble-grumble-grumble...

Went on Youtube and there are videos warning about bad grounds causing antitheft glitches. I found one questionable ground coming from the negative lead going to the frame but cleaning that didn't change anything. Battery terminals are clean and the positive battery lead will spark when I connect it. When I turn the key it does the usual diagnostics with the instrument cluster and the radio will come on but when I try to start nothing happens.

Is there a good troubleshooting post on no-starts?
 

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Unless the anit-theft light is flashing when you try to crank it there isn't a problem with that system.

Why don't you take the battery for a test, multiple short runs followed by sitting discharged could have been the last straw for it (charges up doesn't prove it can handle a load).
 

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X2, loadtest the battery. Bad batteries can charge up all day, appear to be fine and power lower load items fine and then puke when starter is called on to do work.

Loadtesting FIRST can save a lot of money and grief yet so many here keep flogging the poor dead horse when they are sure the battery has power by only working low power things like dash and radio. Sparking means nothing, 1.5 volt batteries will spark when you short them out. Think they'd power a car???

Make dead SURE the newly cleaned terminals are TIGHT, they will appear tight as you tighten bolt yet can easily twist right off the post. Nice little Ford tidbit, the OEM terminal design used there is garbage. Twist the terminal by hand after you tighten it, the true test there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll drag the battery to a local store and have them do a proper load test. Hopefully you folks are correct about it being the battery. Thanks for the help!
 

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Whether right or wrong, starting with basic/simple items can avoid chasing a non-existent problem.

It's like checking for fuel before assuming you need a fuel pump when it isn't getting gas.

No crank issue diagnostic starts with checking for a good power source.

( My favorite "go stupid early" quote to avoid kicking yourself later for skipping a check of something simple)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Load tested OK at the local auto store. Re-cleaned connector & terminal of battery just to be sure everything was right. Still doesn't crank.

More info - the exclamation mark idiot light stays on when I turn the key. The odometer display - both trip and total mileage both display dashes. I saw this in one of the youtube videos but I'm not sure where to look next. Should I take apart the battery terminals and check for corrosion?
 

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Dashes show a lack of power/ground to the PCM, usually a missed ground connection (small wire) to the battery negative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Haven't found the culprit yet. Cleaned off *everything* on both battery terminals and it still has the dashes of death. I'm going to dig into my Ford manual and check the wiring to the PCM.
 

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If you found & confirmed good connection of the small ground wire from harness to Batt. negative, you might next look at the diodes in the underhood fuse box. (2 should be present)

Shaped like plug in fuses, but black, they need continuity in one direction only & are directional when installed (don't twist backwards/forget orientation when reinstalling). One of those is a power supply to the PCM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
There were three diodes in the fusebox and all tested normal on my Fluke 73 DMM diode test function. No corrosion on the blade contacts in the box either. Haven't printed out the PCM module wiring yet but that's next on the checklist.

One other piece of info I didn't mention previously - the red flashing light above the hazard button doesn't have the usual "heartbeat". Its completely dead.
 

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I found that, that small wire on negative terminal (yellow/black) is ground for pcm. It was messed up way into the harness. I run a new wire now the dashes and everything is gone. Car runs and drives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Found the culprit! When I was checking the brake master cylinder for leaks I disconnected the connector to the engine compartment fusebox. When I reconnected it I didn't notice some dirt from my grubby hands had gotten into the connector. Cleaned it off and now the ECU is happy - no dashes of death!

Of course now that means I need to get back to the original issue of my brake fluid leak. At least that should be a bit easier - look for a leak and replace the thing that's leaking.
 

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Wonderful!

Back to a "simpler" project from the hair tearing one.
 
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