CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

'94 SHO charging question

My son’s 94 Ford Taurus SHO will not start…he stated prior to it NOT starting that he was having difficulty the night before gettint it to start. The car showed the following: When opening the car door, the buzzer sounded, the dome light was nice and bright, the radio worked fine, all the dash gauges were displaying correctly, etc. No components were left on, and the fuel cut-off switch in the trunk was fine. Trying to crank it over…NOTHING. One simple “click” that was it. To try and it get it going, I tryed to jumping it but got the same response from the motor. Left it one for 5 min and got same result; switched out batteries to a known good battery…same results. I’m stuck between thinking its a starter or an alternator…any suggestions? Thanks!!

If you put in a good battery, that eliminates the battery and alternator, so it’s either the starter or a loose wire somewhere. Or it could be the ignition switch or the starter solenoid.

I guess there is no way of testing the alt unless I can get the car running…right?

No, you can take it off the car and take it to one of many parts places that can test it. However, why would you want to? The problem you are facing has to do with the starter, solenoid, relay, ignition switch, neutral switch, or wiring. PACS would also be a suspect, but I don’t think the 94’s had it.

If you have a voltmeter, and if you can get to the starter, you can test the wiring, switches, and relay by seeing if you measure 12v at the starter when you turn the key.

I suggest you have the battery AND the alternator tested.

The fact that a new battery won’t work indicates a problem with the starter or starter circuit, but the only way to tell the true condition of the original battery and the alternator is to have them tested.

This won’t get the car started, however. You need to figure out why the starter isn’t working even with a good battery. First things first.

Since you heard a ‘click’ when you tried to start the car the trouble may just be the starter solenoid. I think the solenoid may be seperate from the starter but I’m not sure. If it is seperate it may be mounted near the battery. If you find it you could try using a jumper cable to bypass the solenoid by placing one end of the jumper to the positive side of the battery and the other end of the jumper connected to the lead that ties to the starter motor. If you do this test MAKE SURE THE CAR IS NOT IN GEAR before you do it.

I think you meant PATS security system,just for those who dont know.

good bye.

Also, it could be a bad battery cable or clamp, should be apparent by looking at them…

Yep, sorry about the typo.