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2000 Mercury Grand Marquis random no start no crank

I hve a year 2000 Grand Marquis. It rides fine with 200,000 miles. In the course of about a month it wouldnt crank or start. It did that twice. otherwise it runs fine. No sound. I got it towed both times. Also, both times after i got it towed home, i went out minutes later to try and crank it and it cranked both times after being towed. I cant get anyone in town to diagnose it cause they say it has to be not cranking for them to try. Of course i cant make it not crank. Any suggestions? I see all sorts of youtube mechanics who mention all types of different testing that can be done. But my local dealership and mechanics wont give it a shot.

The next time the engine won’t start/crank, with the ignition switch on so the dash lights are on, step on the brake pedal and shift the transmission into neutral and then try starting the engine.

If the engine starts, there’s a problem with the transmission range switch.

Tester

thx. i did try that the first time. it did not work

Disconnect the connection of the small wire on the starter, check for corrosion, clean, and reconnect using dielectric grease.

If it works ok most of the time but sometimes you get no “click” sound at all with the key in “start”, I’d suspect the neutral safety or clutch safety switch first. After that the ignition switch. Shops would measure the volatages at the starter motor. If the voltages are ok but it doesn’t crank they’d replace the starter. If the voltages are low, below 10.5 volts with the key in “start”, they’d work backwards from the starter towards the battery to find out why.

There’s other possibilities of course. But that’s a good place to start.