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My mechanic is stumped! please advise!

I drive a standard 98 Ford ZX2 with 132K miles. fortunately, I’ve never had to invest a lot of money for any major repairs. it’s been reliable and extremely good on gas.

Something bizarre has happened with it twice in the last few weeks that has stumped my mechanic AND myself. The first time when leaving work one afternoon, I put the clutch petal in to back out of my parking space. When the clutch petal was pushed completely to the floor there was this loud grinding sound and the brake light comeson. I could drive yet it would grind loudly if the clutch petal was completely pushed down. Once I move the car it goes away. Oh?.and the strangest part of it all is if the car stalls, it starts up at a dead stop without turning the key or using the gas petal. Have you ever heard of anything so strange? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks from Maine.

PS…I had a tow truck come to my job to pick up my car along with my mechanic. once they arrived and he test drove my car it didn’t happen. go figure!

Check to see if the clutch pedal is pinching and shorting some wires under the dash when it is pressed to the floor. It sounds like the starter circuit is being activated.

I like it!

one question I have is ,has an aftermarket radio been installed?

I have seen this on a 90ish Ford product. The starter contact in the ignition switch does not open when the key returns to the run position. When you push the clutch pedal all the way to the floor, starter motor will try to crank the running engine causing the grinding sound that goes away when the clutch pedal comes up again. The same thing would happen if the engine stalls and you push down the clutch pedal. The starter will energize, start the engine, but stay engaged until the clutch pedal was allowed to come back up.

The cure is to replace the electrical side of the ignition switch. It can be removed from the left side of the ignition lock and key assembly. Hope that is what it is.

Amazing example of the value of this board. I can just imagine trying to figure this one out.

to add a thought to ‘researchers’ post, do you have a huge wad of heavy keys and stuff which hang off the keys?

this is often a contributing factor in the switch wearing out. i haven’t heard of your particular problem, but others have.

I agree with Reasearcher. That has to be what is happening here if the key is just in the RUN position. Very good job Researcher.