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2003 Ford Taurus Start Issues

Tom and Ray,
This has been driving me crazy for the past 3 years. My car has 276,000 miles and runs great with no hesitation. I drive this car 1/2 the year and my 2012 Nissan Altima the rest of the year. I alternate every other month so neither car sits for too long.
My problem is most of the time the 2003 FORD TAURUS starts right up. However, sometimes, about 1 out of 5 times or so of starting, when I turn the key, I get nothing. The dash board lights come on, but the car does not start. So I found that after turning the key back and forth from ON to ACC (with nothing) and then turning the key back and forth (left to right and back) after doing that 6 or 7 times, the car finally starts .
Then it runs fine, starts the next 5 or 6 times with no problem. Then I turn the key to start it again, then nothing. So I turn the key back and forth 6 or 7 times and it starts. I took it to the Ford dealer and they said I need a starter. I went out and bought a starter and had Pep Boys install the starter (total price was around 1/3 the price quoted from FORD dealer). By the way, Pep Boys also said a new starter will fix this.
Then 3 months later, same problem. I took it back to Pep Boys and they said most likely the starter is defective. So I got the starter replaced, and all was great for another 3 months. Then the same problem. So I took it to NTB and NTB said it was also the starter. So I had them install a brand new starter.
All was Ok. My battery is brand new and my alternator is ok, used but OK.
Then 6 months later, the same problem. So a friend of mine tried to fix it. He unplugged the battery over nite, and had my re plug the battery cables to the battery terminals the next morning. And all was fine for 4 months. Then the same problem again. This time it took about 14 or 15 key turns before the car finally started. (Note: after 8 turns of the key back and forth, it resets the key FOB for programming on the Ford Taurus). This guy checked my electrical and cable from the starter to the battery, and he said all was Ok. He then tried to start the car, turned the key, and it started right up.
I don’t mind turning the key back and forth, but if someone is in the car with me with the summer Atlanta heat and humidity, it can be a little uncomfortable, until the car finally starts. Keep in mind, the car always starts eventually. The car has never let me Down. I got the car in 2007 and the car still runs great and the A.C. blows super cold, no funny smells inside the car and the transmission is good. I like this car.
What do you think is the problem? I plan on keeping this car forever. I think it is built Much better than the 2012 Nissan Altima.

The next time it won’t start, try putting it in neutral. If it starts right up, you need a new neutral safety switch.

Tom of the Click and Clack brothers passed away Nov 2014.
A 2003 Ford Taurus better built than a 2012 Nissan Altima ( you have to be kidding )

no one ever pointed at the ignition switch as the problem?


Actually I tried that over a year ago, and it still would not start in Neutral. So I put it back in Park, and after 4 or 5 tries, it started.

Sorry to hear about Tom passing away. I hear the weekly Cartalk radio show on Saturday mornings in Atlanta GA on FM station NPR 90.1 and there are always 2 guys talking. I just assumed it was Tom and Ray. Or someone else filling in, or older replays of the show.

And yes, the 2003 Ford side by side with the 2012 Altima with both running and the hood up, the 2003 Ford sounds almost as quiet and almost as smooth as the 2012 Altima. The reason I believe the Ford is built better is because I doubt when the 2012 Altima ( with 46,000 miles ) gets to 274,000 miles as the 2003 Ford now has, I seriously doubt the 2012 Altima will be in as good a shape as the Ford.

And the guys at NTB have taken a photo and a video of the 2003 Ford since it runs soo good. The guys at NTB have asked me numerous times if I have put in a newer engine in the 2003 Ford Taurus, because the engine has absolutely no hesitation nor shakes.
And right now today, the AC is much colder on the 2003 Ford than it is on the 2012 Altima.


NRB -as in National Tire and Battery?

If so then find another mechanic. They’ve been indicted numerous time in multiple states over the years.

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