Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2003 Escape Cranks, Won't Start

Car not started for 5 months. 50k actual miles. Battery dead and replaced. Engine cranks but will not start. One squirt of starter fluid into air intake and it started immediately. Stopped and started several times (without starter fluid). Drove around block. Stopped and restarted with no problems. Let set for 1 hr. Started but ran only a couple of seconds and died. Will not restart but sounds like it is trying. Did not try more starter fluid again. Checked computer codes and none found. Can hear fuel pump run a few seconds when key turned on. Gas tank almost full but no gas added since last time it ran.

Sounds like it is not getting gas?

Do a dose of sea foam, let it sit for a few hours, goose it with starting fluid and it may just go.

And if the Sea Foam doesn’t work, throw in a dose of Techron. You also might want to charge the battery. Several starts and just a trip around the block is not good for it.

maybe the gas is going bad?

Added a can of Sea Foam to gas in tank. It would not start with starting fluid, so now think it unlikely the gas is the problem. If no new things to try will have to take to mechanic on Monday. Any other ideas?

If it will not start with starting fluid, it’s probably ignition. This could mean bad coil(s) or a bad crank sensor.

Thanks for you help. If it were bad coils or crank sensor, should there be a stored code? I checked and did not find any codes before or after the failed start.

It could take several no-start cycles before a code is set. Most of these codes are set if there are sensor anomalies as the engine is running. Has the battery been fully charged, or are you constantly having to jump it? A dead battery makes it near impossible to get a code to set, since the computer keeps reseting.

After sitting for 5 mo, the battery was dead and was replaced. At first we got it started using starting fluid and drove it a mile or two. It was stopped and restarted at least 4 times but after sitting for an hour, it would not start. There was no stored code at this point.

If it will not start with starting fluid and there are no codes thrown, I would consider the crankshaft position sensor as being suspect–if there is no input from this sensor, the PCM will not fire the ignition system, as from its point of view, the engine is not turning. It may not throw a code either if the sensor is bad, if the computer still sees a continuous circuit as existing.

If it will fire with starting fluid, I’d check the fuel pressure first.