Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2004 Ford Excursion - New battery, what next?

Battery new, wires right, engine won’t start

Too short, need info in order to help.

Tell us WAY more about your vehicle and problem and we’ll try and help.

Please explain what “won’t start” means. Is the car cranking but not starting? Or is it not even cranking in the first place?

Battery is new, I have checked with volt meter to verify that it has full charge. All connections are tight, battery terminals, ground wires to frame connections are tight, verified that all connections on starter are tight. When battery was recently replaced, I changed all major cables that ran to battery because positive terminal actually cracked as we tightened it and it has some significant cables feeding into it. Vehicle has reliably started since then. It has the gas V10. So it requires a fairly large battery. My wife drove it to work, came out at end of workday and Excursion would not crank when she turned key. Security guard with Jumpstart box hooked it up and jumpstart box had a gauge that said the battery was fully charged.

If battery and its connections are OK, the other suspects would be the park/neutral safety switch, the ignition switch, the starter solenoid, and the starter motor itself. Try putting it in N and then turning the key to Start - or see owners manual for what to do if it doesn’t start. There are usually ways to bypass the P/N switch so you can start the engine even with a malfunction there.

Excursion has a new battery, all wires and terminals are tight, at the battery, starter, neutral safety switch, and grounds to the frame. Engine does not turn over, all lights on instrument cluster come on, ac fan will blow, interior lights come on, radio will play. When I turn the key to start position nothing happens other than the ac fan stops. Have verified that battery has a full charge. Engine does not try to crank over and there are no clicks that you would expect if battery was low.

Next I’d try whacking the starter solenoid while someone else tries to start it.

Fails to crank – if the battery is known to be good, fully charged, and connections clean and tight – is best diagnosed by measuring the voltages at the starter motor. Both should measure 10.5 volts or above during attempted cranking. If either is below that, work toward the battery to find out why. If both are above 10.5 volts and it doesn’t crank, replace the starter.

Common causes for fails to crank besides the battery and connections

  • Neutral safety switch
  • Ignition switch
  • Starter solenoid (Fords tend to have a separate part for this, bolted to the firewall or fender)
  • Sometimes there’s a passenger compartment relay involved w/cranking, but that’s not a common failure item.

Some Fords have a gadget that disables stuff for safety reasons (like the fuel pump) in event of an accident, and sometimes that gadget thinks there’s an accident when there hasn’t been. Usually that’s in the trunk or rear of the vehicle somewhere, has a button on it for resetting it. Check your owner’s manual, maybe it will say there. If you can find it, press the button and see that has any effect.