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Discussion Starter #1
So recently my 2012 Focus SEL decided that it wasn't going to start up reliably. I would turn the key and it would either make no sounds or make a very slow crank sound for a second or two. At first I assumed it had something to do with the colder weather especially since I could usually just turn the key a second time and get it to start. However with time the problem became more frequent and the last time I tried to start it, the engine wouldn't start no matter how many times I tried turning the key. The lights and radio would come on but just to be safe I tried jump starting and nothing happened. I also checked the fuse and it wouldn't crank. Tomorrow my new starter motor should be coming in through the mail. Just wondering in case it doesn't work if there are any other possible solutions or if anyone had any tips for replacing the the starter motor. I don't have a jack so I'm gonna try to get access by removing the intake manifold.

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If you are young spring for a jack, it's not like you'll never use it again. Silly to pull more parts that for sure can create more issues for you. You like many may find yanking the intake to be like that.

Most starters are bought for nothing, I used to sell them. CHECK THE BATTERY FIRST, odds are that is bad in 70% of the cases and a load test is the only way to tell.
 

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So recently my 2012 Focus SEL decided that it wasn't going to start up reliably. I would turn the key and it would either make no sounds or make a very slow crank sound for a second or two. At first I assumed it had something to do with the colder weather especially since I could usually just turn the key a second time and get it to start. However with time the problem became more frequent and the last time I tried to start it, the engine wouldn't start no matter how many times I tried turning the key. The lights and radio would come on but just to be safe I tried jump starting and nothing happened. I also checked the fuse and it wouldn't crank. Tomorrow my new starter motor should be coming in through the mail. Just wondering in case it doesn't work if there are any other possible solutions or if anyone had any tips for replacing the the starter motor. I don't have a jack so I'm gonna try to get access by removing the intake manifold.

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The concern I would have is introducing another 'no start' bug into the mix if something is disturbed during the manifold removal. I've not worked on the starter motors in these vehicles but surely the starter motor can be pulled without that drastic a measure?
I would invest in a jack and JACK STANDS (AXLE STANDS)....don't crawl under a vehicle that is only supported by a jack. Make sure you are in park or a gear if a manual and the handbrake is set on. Look over you tube vids if new to working under a vehicle. For me I will if possible leave the jack in place just with the pressure off the jack and on the jack stands and also use the vehicle jack and run that just up enough to act as a failsafe. Over cautious but I'm down to my last brain cell and would like to hold on to it.
Let us know what the fix is/was and good luck.

Just realized these cars are FWD so the manual gear / park comment is invalid if jacking up the front. Make sure handbrake is set on
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I gave in and bought the axel stands, I found them for cheap so I guess I'll be using those. Would it be okay to lift it initially with the scissor jack from the tire changing kit?

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Not without jack stands. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^
uhh i think he ment can he use the emergency jack to jack the car up to be able to use the jackstands xD

you should be able to yes but if you do 1 make sure you block BOTH rear wheels #2 ebrake is on #3 if you DO use the emergency jack only place your arms under the car to position the stands do not put your head shoulders or body under it.. until its supported by the stands
 

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Thanks to all who brought up the jackstands. I thought to mention that but didn't and thinking OP smart enough to know to use them, of course that was a whopping mistake on my part.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to all who brought up the jackstands. I thought to mention that but didn't and thinking OP smart enough to know to use them, of course that was a whopping mistake on my part.
I wouldn't consider propping up the car with only a jack, my only concern was whether I could lift the car high enough with the emergency scissor jack to place the stands and have enough room to work with. Now that I have the stands I'll just see how high the jack can go when I replace the part on Friday. I thought the stands were gonna be a lot more expensive although I hadn't looked at prices. I saw some affordable hydraulic jacks too but idk if it would be worth it to part ways with ~$40 for a jack that wasn't too durable.

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Have checked your battery as AMC49 mentioned 1st? How are your connections(grounds) & battery terminals?
 

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Have checked your battery as AMC49 mentioned 1st? How are your connections(grounds) & battery terminals?
Agreed, make sure you are happy that the battery is good and the connections from the battery to the starter motor are good also. Don't just go by the voltage when the battery is at rest. It may look ok but "break down" internally as soon as you turn the key to start. Also remove and clean all the connections to the starter motor, make sure the battery is disconnected first before you start pulling the starter motor cables off the motor in case something gets shorted. Many moons ago a buddy and I spent longer than we should on his 56 DeSoto running down an intermittent no start issue that eventually turned out to a bad battery to starter motor connection at the starter motor end. So visual assessments of cable connections don't always hold true. Pull the cables and thoroughly clean the cable and cable connection. Take photos or make a sketch before pulling anything apart.

I don't know the best spot to place the axle stands on these vehicles but someone will chime in as to that. As already mentioned, place the stands using an arms length and your grip on the base of the stand. If you can't reach with an arms length, then get a broom handle and position the stand using that. Make absolutely sure the vehicle sits squarely on the stand pads and the stand bases are level on the ground. Look from different angles to make sure all is good.
 

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I'm assuming the auto parts stores don't do a loaner jack?
The other option is Harbor Freight. I know their products sometimes get flamed on quality but I would think anything related to safety should be up to the job if they want to stay in business.
 

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Parts store prefer to sell the jacks.

If Ford still unitizes the positive battery cable to go down to the starter then that if like the earlier ones can melt that interface inside to be really bad as far as resistance. Even more so if the alternator leg is included in that, the junction will melt. Hidden under all that plastic it can be hard to see.

'I wouldn't consider propping up the car with only a jack...'

That's a good lad...............you have no idea of how........lacking.......is the word that comes to mind, others can be about their own personal well being sometimes. We of course have to play the odds and no insult intended there at all.
 

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im having starting problems in cold only... cranks for up to 6 seconds continuously.... battery is good, load and reserve good...only have 79k km
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So the problem appears to have been solved. However it wasn't the battery or the starter. Before replacing the starter I checked the battery, terminals were pretty corroded and the positive cable seemed to be on its last legs (the battery also showed signs that it might be leaking and the voltage was a bit low so I decided to spring for a new one). I replaced the battery and the new cable and still the car would not crank. I then checked the relay but it seemed to be operating normally. I got under the car and replaced the starter (I can explain the process in detail later if anyone needs it) but even after all that the car just wouldnt crank. Anyway, I gave in and took it to the dealer where they're telling me the issue appears to be related to the TCM (which is covered under the extended warranty for the transmission) so now I just have to wait until they finish replacing it and hopefully that should solve it. If it doesn't I'll be sure to let you know.

TLDR Just another case of the auto transmission crapping out on a third gen focus

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