Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Starting Motor?

I have a 1993 Ford Econovan Motor Home.

When I try to engage the ignition there are times when nothing happens. All the lights on the dash light up and I know the battery is fully charged. I turn the key several times and eventually the motor starts up. There is no clicking or sound of any kind. Does this rule out solenoid problems? Might it be the starting motor itself or a loose connection. I’m trying to narrow this problem down before I see a mechanic so any and all help is appreciated.

Does this rule out solenoid problems? Actually it sounds like it could be a solenoid problem. They don’t need to click to be bad. It could be as easy as a battery cable with either a problem with in internal flaw or dirty contact surfaces. Try removing both ends of the battery cables (both of them) and cleaning both the cable and where it goes very well and reattaching making sure they are secure. It also could be a ignition lock problem.

Most of the problems are easy to rule out or in. Your mechanic should be able to eliminate most of them quickly. After all that is part of his job.

One word of caution, don’t tell the mechanic that you want him to replace part X. If it turns out it was not part X, you have only yourself to blame for the extra cost.

Ford products use a high current starter relay sometimes called the solenoid. But like other solenoids it does not pull the starter pinion into the flywheel. It’s sole purpose is to connect the positive battery cable to the starter armature and field windings. If you are not hearing a click on the no starts, it is most likely a problem with the igntion switch or park/neutral interlock switch.

Hope that helps.