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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I recently bought a used '02 Focus Wagon. Fun car, but it has decided not to start. When you unlock it and turn the ignition all you get is lots of clicking. The battery is strong, everything seems on the up and up. My guess is that it has something to do with the Securilock key or the security system. We have had this happen before and all we did was lock and unlock the car again and it would start right up. But not this time! We've have locked and unlocked the car several times, still it does not cooperate. I did follow a similar thread in the forum, but did not have the same problem. Any help would be greatly appeciated! Thank You!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea, that was what I thought at first also. But the batery is strong and the terminals secure, though I do have a bit of corrosion on the negitive terminal. I thought this might be the problem but then the whole electrical system be effected wouldn't it? The electrical system seems fine.
 

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"the whole electrical system be effected wouldn't it?"

No, because it is the starter which takes a very large current, i.e., it is only when a large current load is put on that the battery voltage drops. When the battery vvoltagwe drops, the relay/starter stops, this causes the battery voltage to rise again, so the relay/starter clicks in again, which causes the voltage to drop and the relay/stater to stop... and on, and on, and on. This is what is causing the clicks.

95% the problem is (1) a bad battery or (2) a bad cable which is corroded inside so that it will not pass enough current for the starter.


You say the battery is "strong." How do you know this?
 

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penguin said:
"the whole electrical system be effected wouldn't it?"

No, because it is the starter which takes a very large current, i.e., it is only when a large current load is put on that the battery voltage drops. When the battery vvoltagwe drops, the relay/starter stops, this causes the battery voltage to rise again, so the relay/starter clicks in again, which causes the voltage to drop and the relay/stater to stop... and on, and on, and on. This is what is causing the clicks.

95% the problem is (1) a bad battery or (2) a bad cable which is corroded inside so that it will not pass enough current for the starter.


You say the battery is "strong." How do you know this?
I like your description here. I haven't been on the list all that long but this "clicking" problem seems to be a recurring question. Your description should be turned into a "post-it" note!
 

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My battery died out on me about 7 months ago, and it was doing the same thing(the clicking noise you're experiencing). Check and see if your radio or any of other electronics that can work without the car being on are working. Thats ususally another bad sign of a low/dead battery.

Penguin: I heard that the clicking noise you hear when your battery is low/dead comes from the alternater not getting enough power from the battery to start the car. Or maybe I heard it was the starter........[???:)].
 

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Stephs2.0Focus said:
My battery died out on me about 7 months ago, and it was doing the same thing(the clicking noise you're experiencing). Check and see if your radio or any of other electronics that can work without the car being on are working. Thats ususally another bad sign of a low/dead battery.

Penguin: I heard that the clicking noise you hear when your battery is low/dead comes from the alternater not getting enough power from the battery to start the car. Or maybe I heard it was the starter........[???:)].
The clicking noise comes from the starter solenoid kicking in, the solenoid engages the starter gear with the flywheel. When there's not enough juice the solenoid kicks in and out making the clicking noise.
 

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If you turn on the headlights and have somebody look at them while you try to start the car you can tell if it's your battery or cables. The lights will dim or even go out when you try to start the car.
 

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clean the corrosion off the terminals, happens to me alot, if you have a couple bucks,after you clean the corrosion off spray some protectant on there and it wont happen again
 

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I agree it's 95% the battery. Even if you have lights, radio, clicking, etc, does not mean the battery is strong. Put a voltmeter on the battery and make sure it is as close to 12 volts as possible. If it reads around 10 volts it will not be enough to start the car and you need to change the battery because maybe one of the cells are bad and is not holding charge. This happened to me last month.
 

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The battery the battery the battery THE BATTERY ... I've gone almost insane searching for actual USEFUL information. ... MOST of these people that say they checked or tried their batteries get told they did it wrong get a multi meter and check the voltage of your battery... if its 11.99999999999999999r ... Its garbage it has to say 12!.... well mine says 12.01 or something like that.. ... SAME thing is happening. Starter will *click,click,click,click,click*... ALL DAY LONG... Not that I have like sat there and turned the key all day long but ya know.... Traced the power cables to the starter, still has a solid connection all around, WAY hard to see or get hands on the physical starter connection so I can't really confirm or deny that connection at this point, HOWEVER, people are stating here and there that "if you can jump the vehicle, than the starter is OK, its the battery", I don't honestly know if that's true. Dead in the water right now I can go hook a Multi Meter up to the batter and it will read back a solid 12 volts. but will only click when the key is turned. I experimented with this a bit... ya know completely P.O.'d , calling the car vulgar names and bashing the steering wheel out of frustration... after turning the key several times... It would turn key click click click... turn key click click click... turn key, click click click, than It caught slightly on the next turn of the key... sounding as if THE BATTERY WAS DEAD... So... You give it a second turn of the key after it sounded like it caught finally. it would sound like ya know that dead battery sound... for one or two turns. than on the 2nd key turn it would just vroom fire up... all is well would drive around no problems... get home shut it off try to start it again. It starts. right away. If you wait 5 or 10 minutes. It will refuse to start again. If it is connected to another vehicle and jump started. The car will immediately start. No problems at all. Everytime. NOW ,,,, everyone's expert intuition is going to point towards the battery for sure... But I'm reassuring you that it is NOT the battery, NOT the terminals, 95% sure that it is not the starter CONNECTIONS, the starter itself is somewhat alien to me, Kinda sorta trusting the internets general opinion on this and if it will jump start, than its probably not the starter, So what could possibly going on?.... After letting the car set for a few days, Something terrible has gone wrong internally somewhere, The car prior to this not starting issue drove and would ride along fine, I had the car jumped to be able to town about 5 miles out. as said before the car will start and run just fine if you jump it. But this time no, Not at all. Once we got the car out on the road and up to a bit of speed, It HAS NO POWER, NONE, and it will KILL ITSELF if you let it hit low idle... it makes me really really wonder, IS the alternator frozen on mine like it was in someone elses post? Is the locked pully dragging the engine down messing with my power and preventing the car from starting???

Complicated p.o.s.
 

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WOW - PLEASE use some spaces between thoughts next time so it can be READ easily.

FWIW - 12 volts is NOT a good voltage for a charged battery, fully charged is 12.63 and down near 12 can be DEAD.

BUT even a charged battery can NOT take a load (when bad), you'd see voltage drop LOW as soon as you turned the key to TRY a start.

Two comments at this point:

1. What voltage do you get when running?

2. HOW do you KNOW the terminal connections at the battery are clean/tight? Were they apart for a check?
 

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Hey, he has a lot to say after 12 years between posts..............LOL.

A battery at 12 volts even is DEAD, that's all there is to it. They give trouble at 12.2 volts. Need 12.3 or higher.

The engine drags down because the battery is dead enough not to support the sensors and PCM. Probably a bad alt there.

A 'locked pulley' would fry your drive belt in seconds and the car would then lose water pump and overheat to burn motor down. Think about what you are posting. And for God's sake learn to post to make some sense.......
 
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I have a similar problem......(lots of clicking when trying to start), also my lights come on and the wipers operate even though they are both turned off.....I am buying a new battery tomorrow but is there any way to check definitively if the battery is dead or maybe the starter or alternator.....
 

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If you even think about looking through the threads you will see easily 50 different posts saying to LOADTEST the battery, how they tell if it is good or not. The parts people tend to do it now trying to stop people from making wrong decisions on batteries as they are not supposed to take batteries wrongly sold back.

You got all the people thinking because the radio works the battery is good and then on the flipside all those that think a battery fixes everything. Between the two sets of incompetents they smother you.
 
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