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2000 Mustang GT
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Car will not start, electrical cuts off when key is turned

:confused:

The car:

1988 Mustang GT 5.0. 5 speed, 4.10's, flowmaster catback, K&N intake setup. No other known mods.

The problem:

The car isn't starting. It doesn't even turn it over. I've owned the car for 4 days. I cleaned the car out, changed the oil, and have been driving it, it's been running great.

Yesterday I came home about 7:00. I cleaned the windshield off, went in and ate, came back outside, and tried to start the car. When I turned the key, it made a rapid clicking noise. I turned the key again, same noise. Headlights worked, radio worked. Tried it one more time, nothing.

This morning I tried to start the car again. It made one click and then the radio shut off. I took the cables off the battery, cleaned them up (I've had this problem with 2 other cars) and tried to start the car again. Same problem. Put the battery in my Camaro, same problem. The Mustang battery starts the Camaro up with no problem.

Replaced the starter solenoid (new from Autozone). Same problem. I got under the car, and only ONE bolt was holding my starter on. :mad: Wasn't even very tight! So, I replaced the starter (new from AutoZone). No help.

If I hook a multimeter up to the battery terminals or the cables, I get 12.5 volts or so. If I hook the positive up to the starter solenoid, I also get 12.5 volts. I've also tried the ground on the block where the negative cable goes. Also 12.5 volts.

Here's what's goofy. If I try to start the car, it clicks once, then the car has NO power until I unhook the positive cable from the battery, and reconnect it. So obviously a fuse or something is tripping, maybe I have a short? When the car has 'no power', I only get 4 volts at the starter solenoid. But, if I disconnect the battery, and re-connect it, I get 12 volts at the solenoid again. I can roll the windows up and down, the fuel pump turns on, radio works....Until I try to start it again. Jumpstarting doesn't change it. I've tried to jump the terminals on the solenoid with a screwdriver. It does the same thing as if I try to start it with the key.

I unhooked the starter wire from the starter solenoid. Then I turned the key to start the car, and it still cuts the power to the car, just like if the wire was hooked up. Is there something I can check in the ignition switch? When I first got the car, the steering wheel was wobbly because there were two loose bolts in the steering colum. Fixed that. Didn't see any pinched wires or anything.

I removed a mercury switch of some sort I found hanging under the hood on a wire. There's also a inline fuse that doesn't go anywhere. Is this from an old alarm? Is there a kill switch somewhere that's on?

This is frustrating me. First time I've ever really worked on a Mustang. Since now I can hotwire one, maybe I'll just go steal one :D

Ideas?
 

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Did you try to boost the car? You said the battery shows 12.5 volts, but what does it show as you crank it over?

Ian
 

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get the battery checked, it might have a little pwer to show you that u have 12 volts....

or maybe u can get the alternator checked also......

good luck man, i know that can be frustrating
 

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2000 Mustang GT
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Discussion Starter #5
The ground cable is tight

The battery starts my Camaro fine, and my Camaro battery does the exact same thing in the Mustang

When I crank the car, it just clicks ONCE, then the radio/headlights everything just shut off. The whole car loses power, and the only way to get power back is to unhook the battery, and re connect it.
 

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I SWEAR THAT I"M GOING TO START ASKING FOR TEMP *BANS* ON PEOPLE THAT PUT "I'll pay you with paypal if you figure this out".

Note, I'll ASK for a BAN ON BOTH people if it's ever carried out!

REALLY! I'm GETTING SICK OF THIS S***!

BTW: People know that I do NOT screw around!
 

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damn...why the tissy fit?


Do you have an alarm? Does it have an ignition cutoff?
 

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Yeah, no doubt. Chill out! Don't you have something better to do than try to have people banned for nothing? I fail to see how it effects you one way or the other.

It sounds to me like maybe a relay sticking. This is going to sound dumb, but I've been into 'stangs for all of 1.5 weeks now, but isn't the starter solenoid on the fenderwell where the main battery cable goes? Maybe that solenoid is acting up?
 

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Just maybe you have corrosion between the battery posts and the cables that attach to them. Clean off the terminals and the terminal lugs that attach to them, and that MIGHT be your problem.
 

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j/k

edited

i dont see how the distributor or any spark/timing related would affect the engine from turning. from what he described it sounds like a starter or ignition switch issue. he says it doesn't turn the second time with the key switch?

obviously the problems is between the key switch and the starter.
let me try to describe whats going on in between these two. first check for the following:
key switch
starter relay
starter clutch pedal position switch
starter solenoid
and check all circuit wiring (all ignition wiring)

and to give you an idea of how things work after turning the key on. the fender apron relay contacts get closed (key on), then it send the signal to the starter solenoid, the solenoids get energized and the started engages.

i honestly dont know which one of those is the problem. my advice is start pulling one at a time and take a close look. there's many ways to test these and you can find that info in a chiltons or other books.
 

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Sounds like what happened to my buddies 86. He had some problem with the distributor. Once he replaced it, no more problems. We tought is was a ground bcuz it acted just like that problem. It would have a hard time starting, like the timing was way off. It would have problems idling sometimes too. The only way we could get it to start was to push start it.
 

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you need to check voltage drop from battery + to the starter while the key is in the start position. put the + lead on the batt + and - lead on the starter and see what the v drop is. should not drop more than 1v. If it is ok check the ground side in the same manner.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The car push started fine, and drove perfectly. I got it back home, shut it off. Then I turned the key forward to start it....BAM...dash lights and everything shut right off. Then I had to unhook the battery, then re-connect it, so I could roll the windows up. I replaced the ignition key cylinder, no change.

I haven't replaced the ignition switch yet and all the parts stores are closed. Is that a dealer part, or will Carquest/Autozone have that?
 

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The ignition switch (electrical part) can be purchased at a local parts store.

I'd also be willing to bet that a positive wire (either the battery cable or ignition wiring) is hitting the chassis or engine someplace causing a short. This would cause the symptons you are discribing.

It could also be a fusible link, but not likely. There are a few of them coming off of the starter relay. You will have to use a multi-meter to see if they have blown or not by performing a continuity test.
 

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Re: Car will not start, electrical cuts off when key is turned

robvas said:
If I hook a multimeter up to the battery terminals or the cables, I get 12.5 volts or so. If I hook the positive up to the starter solenoid, I also get 12.5 volts. I've also tried the ground on the block where the negative cable goes. Also 12.5 volts.

The part about getting 12.5 volts on the block where the ground goes...You're taking this voltage with the ground wire hooked up, or removed? Shouldn't get any voltage if the ground connection is good, if you had the ground cable disconnected from the block, then it makes sense.
 

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Since you already changed the strarter relay, I would change the cables from the battery to the relay and the relay to the starter. You can do the test fordracing19 suggested first if you want to make sure which is bad. They may look ok but have a partisl open beneath the insulation you aren't seeing or be touching ground somewhere you can't see.
 

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i agree with timh replace them cables and you should be scott free
 
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