View Full Version : Does not start, just a loud click....

07-01-2002, 03:21 PM
My SC hasnt been reliable in starting lately. It almost seems like it does this after its been driven and is hot, or during a hot day sitting in the sun. If I wait 10-15 minutes after driving it or try to start it at night when its cooler outside, it will start.

What it does is I turn the key and it does not turn over, but i will only hear a loud click coming from what seems like behind the battery closer to the driver.

Is it the starter or what? Any help is appreciated! Thank you.

07-01-2002, 03:30 PM
Whats up Hoagie,

Sounds to me like your starter has gone bad. I had the same problem a few months ago. I would go to start it in the morning, and everything was fine, I would drive about 15-20 mins. Shut it off, and go to start it again a few minutes later, and it wouldnt start. I replaced the starter, and everything is good now! Good luck Man,

07-01-2002, 03:40 PM
sounds like the solinoid on the starter is bad, that happened to me on my mustang whent he solinoid needed replacing, this was on an older 90 mustang, whent he solinoid wwas not on the actual starter. Do the SC's have the solinoid on the starter, I forget, forgive me I am a mustang guy with a SC motor :)

07-01-2002, 03:54 PM
I'm not technically advanced enough to be doing this kind of thing myself, so when I take it in, how much should I expect this to cost for the part(s) and the labor??


07-01-2002, 06:35 PM

its the solenoid behind the battery. this happened to me and i went and bought a starter, but before i went to put it in, i decided to test the solenoid the ghetto way ( i jumped current through it with the ignition turned on with two screwdrivers, you touch one on the front side where thebattery cable goes and another on the back side where the starter cable goesthen touch the screwdrivers together) and the car turned on. so i got my $ back for the starter and bought the 15 dollar part. when installing it, just pay close attention to where the wires were hooked up. disconnect the battery alltogether and remove each wire one by one and place them exactly on the same place on the new part and connect the battery. this should work.


ps 120 dollar starter, or 15 dollar solenoid, you pick!

johnny o
07-02-2002, 07:52 AM
I believe it to be the starter. If it is the starter or the solenoid I am SURE you can do it yourself. Either one is easy to do.

07-02-2002, 08:07 AM
The soleniod is very easy. You can do it with very basic tools.

The starter is also not hard. The problem is you really need a good set of ramps or jack stands to do it. Don't get under a 4000 lbs car on a jack, unless you are only 6 inches thick or want to be.

Do the soleniod yourself and if that doesn't work, have the starter changed by some one you trust.

Post your location, you may be able to get someone to help you out.


07-02-2002, 08:59 AM
i was surprised no one said to check the battery/battery connections? to check the starter before you spend any money. find the starter cylanoid. it's behind the battery it's about 3inches around with wires going to it. there are two posta sticking out of it with wires on both, with a red slide on plug inbetween them. take a screw driver and jump those two connections,(they should have brass nuts) it won't shock you so don't be paranoid it will spark a little bit. what this does is bypass the cylanoid and puts power directly to the starter, if turns over you know the starter is good. if the cylanoid is clicking it's a good chance it's still good i would start with taking off the battery connections and cleaning them and making sure that is good first. let us know how you make out. Bill

07-02-2002, 09:15 AM
Yah, I had the same problem and it was my positive battery terminal. The thing was nasty, looked like it was the original one had been glued onto the post with rust. I replaced it with a new one and it works fine again, except for the odd click every 20 or so starts. I might replace the spolenoid sometime soon also

07-02-2002, 10:18 AM
As people have mentioned there are multiple steps to checking for a "click" but no turn over.

The "Click" is the solenoid being energized by the ignition switch.

Thus, you know the solenoid is flipping over. But that just tells you the low power side is working to engauge the high power side. It's hard to test if it's intermittant though. I tend to blame an intermittant no start on the solenoid, as its the cheaper part if I'm wrong. But below is how I follow through on testing.

If the starter doesn't turn over, the first step is usually, with a friend, jumper from the battery directly to the cable on the solenoid that goes down to the starter and see if that turns the starter over.

If it does, 85% of the time it's the solenoid has degraded internally and there isn't suffcient current passing through it to drive the starter. 15% of the time it could be the cable from the battery to the solenoid is degraded and it can't carry the current. Check to make sure the cable is tight on both ends and that it isn't frayed or the plastic covering isn't cracked.

If jumping the solenoid doesn't work, then either the cable from the solenoid to the starter is bad, loose, or the starter had failed.

07-02-2002, 10:42 AM
Hoagie 00:

I hope this helps, because I just had the same problem with my 90 SC.
It sounds like it is your starter relay switch. They almost always go bad on fords. And its a cheap part too- 8 dollars. 15 minutes to replace.
It's located on the drivers side next to the washer bottle. It has a wire from the ignition, wire to the starter, a wire to the battery hot side. just disconnect the wires (don't forget to draw a pic of how it looks), unscrew it, and put in the new one.

07-02-2002, 05:45 PM
Ford just called me back and told me that I need a new starter and they think I should get a new battery because it doesnt hold much of a charge. He said they wanted like $460. I had him break it down... he told me $180 for the starter, $370 installed!

Where should I go from here? It they tell me I need to replace the starter. is that probably it, or should i still be suspecting the solenoid? Is this really something I can do on my own, even though I have only basic tools, and no jack (im a college student living in an apartment, no garage). I told the guy that im pretty sure i could get a starter for cheaper, but then he was trying to tell me about their 1yr, 12,000 mile warranty on a motorcraft one. I then told him about how I paid about $2,000 a couple years ago for a FORD dealer to put in their one year warranty tranny and although its never broken down, it shifts hard and makes a wierd noise all the time. So i am not exactly keen on Fords warrantys on mechanical work.

Does $370 for installing a starter sound reasonable?? I'll need to call them back tomarrow to let them know what im going to do. Thanks for everyones help so far!!!

Oh by the way, i'm in St. Cloud, MN

07-02-2002, 06:06 PM
I am looking through the Haynes repair manual and it is telling me that in my case, (if the starter does nothing but the starter relay clicks when the ignition is turned), then it is either the battery, the relay contacts, the starter motor connections, or the starter itself. I also called the auto parts store which told me they have a $123 starter for exchange with a 3 yr. warranty, and a $140 starter with a lifetime warranty..... so were talkin $60-$40 cheaper than my buddy ford dealership.

If they are asking $190 just to install the thing, that means that at lets say $60/hr, they think it will take them 3 hours to install the starter!! Does this sound about right???? Thanks.

07-02-2002, 06:14 PM
Hey Dude:
It all depends on your mechanical expertise. I would replace an 8 dollar part first, and then see what happens. There is an easy way to jump the switch, but I don't think I could explain it to you. My way of thinking is, if you spend 8 dollars and 15 minutes and it's not it, what have you really lost? The relays go bad eventually anyway.
You could probably get a starter cheaper from someone on this site. Post what you need in the classifieds here. I'll see if I can find my shop manual and I'll fax you instructions. E-mail me back with your fax #. my email is [email protected]
good luck.

07-02-2002, 06:41 PM
Hoagie my friend,

Do you really want to pay Ford $190 to install a starter that only take less than 10 minutes to do, even without jaking up the car? My starter on 90 SC was doing exactly what you are describing. I didn't even jack up the car and them swapped in under 10 minutes, and I'm not very mechanically inclined, above average, but not much.

Turn your wheels all the way to the left. Get yourself a ratchet set and climb under the passenger side of the car. You can't miss it. There shoud only be 2 wires going into it. I big thick one (your positive power), and a small skinny one (your ground). Disconnect battery. Undo those wires on the starter. Undo the 2 bolts that hold the starter in place. Pull old starter out. Install is revers of removal.

07-02-2002, 06:57 PM
Thanks for all the advise Mike! If you really think I can do this without a jack, then i should be able to. I think ill just somehow get my car towed back home, order the part for $120, and do this thing. I wonder if AAA would be cool with me having the car towed back to my place for free again? If this is really like a 10 minute or even a half hour to an hour job (for someone like me), then I dont think i would be able to sleep at night knowing i paid Ford $190 to do it!

Mitch90blacksc~ thanks for the offer, but i dont have a fax machine, and if im gonna get this thing done soon, i think im comfortable paying $120 for the starter... its alot better than $370!

Thanks again everyone!