After driving our 2002 Ford Focus on a long trip (2 or more hours), it will not re-start until it has sat for several hours. When we attempt to re-start it after a long trip, there are no sounds or smells – the car just does nothing. After sitting for several hours, it starts as if nothing had been wrong. We have had the battery checked, the battery posts tightened, and the positive cable replaced. In addition, the electrical system was checked and indicated no problems. Any suggestions, other than getting a different car?
Automatic transmission? If it is just shift to neutral and try starting the engine. If it starts…replace the neutral safety switch.
You need to find out why power isn’t getting from the accessory power wire, that is located either at the battery post or the starter solenoid, to past the ignition switch. There is a bad connection somewhere. It would be a lot easier to locate the problem if the trouble was occuring while it was in the shop for service.
Have a mechanic look at the starting system. It seems that something is getting too hot to operate. The starter may be absorbing too much heat from the engine exhaust. A heat shield may be missing from the starter, or exhaust. If the catalytic converter is overheating, and is close enough to the starter, that heat may be affecting the starter.
Thanks for your help! I will try this.