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2012 Escape XLS intermittent delayed start

2012 Escape XLS will occasionally start after a moment of delay. Experiencing silence after turning key to start then seconds later it will start. Other times, it will not start so will turn it off and try again and it will start properly. Only other similar complaint read so far is for a 2001 Escape. Trying to find some leads on what could be the culprit. Problem starting to be a habit.

Sounds to me the starter solenoid is going down hill. Possible burned holding coils.

Easy way to diagnose. If it is consistent, have someone under the car ready with a hammer while another person turns the key just one time and keeps it in the “start” position. If nothing happens have that “someone” (maybe your wife) tap the solenoid. If it starts it is definitely the solenoid. Just make sure to keep your clothes and hair away from turning belts.

You can also use a multimeter to diagnose. Lots of videos on youtube, but I prefer the hammer method.


Thanks for your reply. Was my first suspect to problem. Looks like I’ll eliminate it first. Was fishing for a quicker fix like symptoms unique to the problem. Apparently, not in this case.

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Another symptom to problem was after first start, it was good for day. During intermittent status, battery was eliminated by auto shops. Finally when down hard, it was a click with no start. Test light lit for solenoid, eliminating it. Verified starter culprit when shorting solenoid to starter produced no start. FYI, Ford Motor Co starter lasted about 20K miles. After starter transplant, good to go without the worry.

Glad you got your Escape back on the road w/a reliable starter OP. Fails to crank is one of the most common problems we get here. Starters are wearing items and almost always fail eventually. Since it is such a common problem, and can leave the driver in a fix or even a dangerous situation when the car won’t crank, manufacturers could design in diagnostic hardware and software to monitor the starter motor system & forewarn the driver it is beginning to fail. But as you’ve discovered, they don’t.

If you listen to the Car Talk NPR radio program, this is one of their most common calls too. Usually it is from someone owning a Corolla. As I recall Ray says to the caller who owns the Corolla, that the kind of starter motor design used on the Corolla – a gear reduction version – is more prone to this kind of failure. Why? Not sure.

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