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2003 Ford Taurus Possible Starter Issue

2003 Ford Taurus, 49k miles, 3.0 OHV V6 (Vulcan).

It’s my daughter’s car, she’s away at college, so it only gets driven once a week at the most. For the last year or so when I turn the key to start, the starter starts to turn, hesitates for a second, and then turns over and starts the car. I’ve been assuming the battery was a little run down from sitting so much. There are no noises, clicking or grinding, just this slight hesitation. The battery terminals are clean.

Last night it wouldn’t start on the first try, I had to turn the key 2 to 3 times before the starter would turn the engine over. I took the battery to Advance Auto and it tested fine but needs a charge (~12.2V). I’m slow charging the battery with a Battery Tender so it’s going to take a while.

This hesitation, is it a sign of a failing starter?



What was the Cold Cranking Amps when the battery was tested?

And what is the rated CCA 's listed on the battery?


Well I’ve been a little battery conscious lately. If it was at 12.2 what they were saying I think is that they can’t really tell until its charged. So you really need to know if its going to hold a charge over 12.2 and as Tester says, you need to know what the current CCA reading is in comparison to what it is rated for.

As an example, I replaced my lawn mower battery this week. The voltage was fine but the CCA reading was at 160 out of 275. I got a replacement and before installing the new one, after the acid fill and initial charging, the voltage was fine but the CCA reading wouldn’t go higher than 160. I took it back. They said it was fine because the voltage was up but reluctantly exchanged it. The new battery reads the same voltage but the CCA is over 300 out of a 275 capacity.

So you really need the CCA reading and whether or not it will do better voltage wise. If its more than 3-4 years old though, I’d suspect its bad just from sitting so much with a lower charge level so I’d just replace it.

Sorry, I should have included the battery test results

Voltage = 12.3V
CCA = 602 measured, 650 rated


I take that to mean the starter didn’t turn at all the first few times, then turned normally the next try. To me, that is not a bad battery, but something else, like the starter solenoid or the ignition switch. However, if the starter turned slowly then it’s back to the battery (or a bad connection)

Did you hear anything those first few times? a click?


Normally, I would turn the key, the starter would start to turn, hesitate, then turn over normally. Now for the first couple of attempts the starter would start to turn, then stop with no clicking. The counter guy at Advance Auto suggested the starter might be bad after the battery passed the test.


AA may be correct, the starter may be the problem. Shops would measure the voltages at the two terminals on the starter during attempted cranking. Measure from terminal to starter case. If both are above 10.5 volts and it doesn’t crank, almost certainly some problem with the starter.