Dead Ford Van Question (wont turn over but electric is good?)
June 24, 2014 3:26 PM   Subscribe

We have a low mileage 2000 Ford Econoline van which has been running well but now will not turn over. It was just running, turned it off, now it wont turn back on. We had to towed to a mechanic and they said it stated right up and could find nothing wrong, drove it home and same thing. All the electric is fine. Nothing happens when we turn the key, lights don't dim, nothing, but again, all the electric works great. A looses fuse or loose cable is what I would expect but where do we start with something like this? Thanks so much for any ideas.
posted by 1inabillionmistake to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
Is there any corrosion on either battery terminal connector or cable? If so, that can be enough to cause the exact problem you are describing. This is one of those issues that sometimes shows up when the car is hot and goes away when the car is cool and the battery has regained some juice.

If it is corrosion, that's usually something you can solve yourself with some baking soda, water, a wrench (to remove/reinstall the batter terminal clamp), some eye protection, and a stiff brush. Lots of info for this on Google. Of course, it could be something else completely, but that's where I'd look first.
posted by mosk at 3:33 PM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

The terminals are perfect, not a spot of rust or anything, but the other electric works fine, head lights turn on bright, radio is on, but wont turn over, no sound whatsoever. Everything under the hood looks just about good as new, its in a garage its whole life, and only has 58000 miles. I will try cleaning but they really do look good.

Thank you for the response, any other ideas though?
posted by 1inabillionmistake at 3:38 PM on June 24, 2014

the ignition switches in ford trucks of that area are hilarious bad. everyone in my dads old company had them as fleet cars, and every single one of them had a janky ass ignition switch.

My car, which is much older and not a ford has exhibited this exact issue and it was the switch. I didn't replace it because i was cheap, but blasted it out with deoxit and stuff and it never acted up again. If i cared though, i'd replace that.

Look at the wiring diagram and find where the ignition switch connects to the relay on the firewall. Turn the key to "on", and go short that. If it instantly starts cranking then you've pretty well narrowed it to the ignition switch.
posted by emptythought at 3:47 PM on June 24, 2014

Ok, ignition switch it is! thanks so much, should I go ahead and order a replacement now? It looks like a can of deoxit is is $15 and a new switch is only $30.
Thanks so much Empty thought, your a life saver!
posted by 1inabillionmistake at 3:57 PM on June 24, 2014

It could be the ignition switch, the starter main feed or the starter solenoid. You can take the switch out and jiggle it and see if it makes a difference, but a dodgy connection is always hard to find.

I mean, it's likely the switch if they have a problem, but it could also be the connection to the starter solenoid itself.
posted by Brockles at 5:03 PM on June 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

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