Help! Truck will not start!

Hello everyone,
My spouse has a 2002 Ford F150 that is not starting. The lights and everything come on as normal when we turn the key, it sounds as if the starter is still trying to kick on but the engine will not turn over. I have posted a video so you can hear the noise it is making when we are turning the key. Any advice would be great, neither of us are too great with vehicles!

Got AAA or similar? Battery issue my guess. How old is the battery? It takes more amps to start the car than to run the headlights etc.

Checked the battery and it came back normal, it is actually fairly new. Do not have AAA unfortunately.

If it’s like older fords, the bolt hole where the negative cable is grounded to the wheel well could be rusty and cleaning it up will help. I would look at the cable and change it if the insulation is cracked or change it without checking it. It could be poorly grounded between battery and engine.

To test for that, clamp jumper cable to the engine somewhere and Then to a fender bolt or the shock tower. Then turn the key. On other cars there might be a ground cable from engine to firewall. I had a chevy that had one near the master cylinder. If it’s broken or has rusted ends, the car might never start.

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It sounds like your starter is kaput.Things break on older vehicule like yours.

After listening to the sound it seems the starter is running but the bendix which pushes the gear on the starter shaft into the ring gear of the engine isn’t working. It is just spinning. You might be able to fix the problem without getting another starter but it may be best just to replace it if it is the original starter due to the age of it. The problem also could be due to some tabs on the ring gear are broken off and the starter gear has nothing to engage against.

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The solonoid contacts could be worned…happens a lot on old starters. He might be able to replace the contacts for a few $$ intead of replacing the whole starter.

If the contacts were worn, the starter wouldn’t spin.


I forgot to mention the switch solenoid which you may have on your model. Those are always going bad. It should be close to the battery on the short positive cable.