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Car will not start now!!!

  #1  
Old 10-21-2009, 07:00 PM
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Default Car will not start now!!!

Hi guys, we have a car that has been acting up lately and I'm trying to figure out what the problem is and try to do some brainstorming with you guys on what it could be. And I hope you guys can contribute with some ideas and some help.

It's a 1999 Mountaineer, V6, with about 55,000-60,000 miles on it. The problem is that we have to keep recharging the battery for it to run, but after about a week or half a week it dies out again and won't start. We have recharged the old battery about 3 times now and still goes out after a week or so, we also just got a new battery and it wont start. With the old battery it ran just fine after the charge for the week, then goes out.
The old battery was reading 12.5 volts so it was good, so I thought maybe it had a bad cell or was not getting high enough on the cranking amps. With the new battery it cranks over just find but won't start.

Here is some of the things I have tried to check out.
1.) My first thought was that it was a bad alternator, I took it off to get it tested, but everywhere I take it in they say they can't. They said that because the machine they use has a defective wire harness for the ford cars, and I have tried about 3-4 other places and they have all said the same thing.
So I tried taking it in when It's on the car, they hook it up and it says that It's getting out enough to the battery.

2.) When I had the alternator out I went ahead and cleaned the throttle body, MAS with electrical cleaner, and all of the connectors I sprayed with electrical cleaner. And then hooked up everything.

3.) When we had it running I ran some sea foam through it just for some good measure, I also think it could be time to change out the fuel filter but I don't think this is the main problem.

4.) I have checked all of the intake hoses, made sure everything is clamped up and checked for any loose connectors.

5.) The spark plugs could be bad or the wires but it doesn't explain why it ran just fine for a week, the fuel is not old and should be fine.

So after putting this new battery in, now I just don't know what it could be. Is there a bad fuse maybe? Has anyone had this problem before with these mountaineers?
There isn't any kind of lights on the dash to indicate anything wrong. It cranks over just fine but just won't start now with this new battery.

So if any of you guys have any ideas please let me know, and if you have any questions I'll be glad to answer them. Thanks guys.
 
  #2  
Old 10-21-2009, 09:00 PM
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it seems you have access to a voltmeter. hook it up to the battery. have someone try to start the truck. watch the meter. If it drops below 11V, you have a dud battery (weak cell). if it stays around 12 to 12.6V then it's not the battery. double check that all electrical connections are indeed plugged back in. if something got left off or didn't connect good and popped off (like to the ignition module/PCM) that may be the problem.

if you can get it started again, check that the battery voltage jumps up to at least 13 volts. 14.4 volts is best. If the voltage at the battery doesn't change from what it was before it started, then the charging circuit in the alternator is bad (or the alternator itself).
 
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:46 PM
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OK thanks slymer, I'll double check stuff and hook up the volt meter when we try to start it and see what it reads.
 
  #4  
Old 10-22-2009, 09:47 PM
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Default Fuel Pump?

Alright here's an update, we came up with an idea that it could be the fuel pump or a clogged fuel filter, which could damage the fuel pump maybe.

We checked the battery with the voltmeter and it seems fine, and it goes down to about 11.0 volts when we are trying to start it. So that seems fine.

We purchased some starting fluid spray and it started just fine and then cut off after it burned off the starting fluid. So we think this is a fuel pump issue, we put a new filter but still dose not start. So we don't know if we will try to take the tank off and install the new pump, or take it in and pay up. I think it will be a pane in the @ss to do the job without a car lift.

So this is the situation and just wanted to see what everyone else had to say. Thanks guys.
 
  #5  
Old 10-25-2009, 10:45 AM
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the mountaineer is already high enough to drop the tank, but the fun part is dropping it without spilling fuel. also, check the wires going back to the fuel tank and make sure nothing is broken or disconnected. I've known more than a couple of folks that have just had to splice a wire back together to fix things. This usually comes about from road debris or gravel roads with larger than normal rocks and one hits just the right spot to cause a problem.
 
  #6  
Old 10-27-2009, 01:44 PM
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Default Wires

Originally Posted by slymer View Post
the mountaineer is already high enough to drop the tank, but the fun part is dropping it without spilling fuel. also, check the wires going back to the fuel tank and make sure nothing is broken or disconnected. I've known more than a couple of folks that have just had to splice a wire back together to fix things. This usually comes about from road debris or gravel roads with larger than normal rocks and one hits just the right spot to cause a problem.
Good idea, yeah I also tried checking the fuses and I reset the emergency fuel cutoff just for heck of it. I'll get under the truck with a flashlight and try to follow those wires back to the fuel tank, and see if I can see anything else that doesn't look right. Thanks again, I'll post again when something else comes up or when we fix it.
 
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:32 PM
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Good luck. Let us know.
 
  #8  
Old 11-04-2009, 10:55 PM
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Default Update on fix

OK everyone, we decided to bite the bullet and "pay up", we took it in to get it looked at by a professional.
It turns out that it was the fuel pump that was causing all of these issues, so they replaced it, and we are finally glad that it is on the road again.

But the bill was very High! It was about $700 after all of the parts and labor. My dad asked why it was so high and they said it is because Ford sells the fuel pump as one big unit, instead of just the fuel pump itself. I'm not sure what they mean by "one big unit", I assumed that it was just the fuel pump and a pickup, that drooped into the tank. Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know.

I researched fuel pumps and it looks like there are other companies that sell the pump separately and they sell for about $230, $190 on sale. So I'm not sure if you could just get this, or this pump also requires some other parts to complete the "one big unit". I think this shop may have ripped us off.

But what is done, is done. I would like to thank you Slymer for your help, and this website.

Thanks guys, and if anything else comes up I'll post again.
 
  #9  
Old 11-05-2009, 06:51 PM
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one big unit means that it's the pump and the gauge (float) and the sending unit. It makes it much less time consuming to change out than just a pump usually. Of course with labor rated at $100 per hour (at least most shops I've seen lately), a 3 to 4 hour job like this one racks up price quick. If you went to a dealer, they will only use factory parts. If you went to a corner shop that did that, you might have gotten the short end of the stick. But with adding an extra hour or two of labor from disassembling the whole unit that has the pump and installing a new pump, you might have even saved some money with them just using the big unit.
 
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