Female needs car help!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by painterswife, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    Okay, I don't like to admit I can't do it all but I need some help.

    My old Ford Winstar Van is not starting. I can jump it and get it going. The battery is a few years old and it says it is charged but it will not start the car.

    What is my problem? Will a new battery do it? Is it something more than that?

    Jill
     
  2. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Did you have any problems leading up to this? Also what year and engine.
     

  3. dagwood

    dagwood Well-Known Member

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    Start simple and cheap: Dis-connect the battery cables and give all connections and the battery posts a good cleaning with a wire brush.
     
  4. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    1996 3.6 something I think.

    It would have trouble starting after sitting for a couple of days
     
  5. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    I did disconnect and clean all connections.
     
  6. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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  7. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    That is VERY old for a battery. I agree with cleaning terminals and connections, but you most likely need a new battery.
     
  8. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    The Van is 1996 the batery is not. It is only 2-3 years old.
     
  9. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    Take it to a shop and have a load test done on the battery. It COULD be a problem with the ground at the frame, but if the problem gets progressively worse as it sits, I suspect the battery.
     
  10. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If it makes a tic-tic-tic-/or close sound when you hit the key and you turn on your inside light or head lights and they get dim when you try to crank it and you have cleaned all connections and it cranks when you hook jumper cables to it------------get a new battery. Good Luck!! Randy
     
  11. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    Depending on how many deep cycle events you've had (how many times you've fully recharged it from dead), you may want to replace the alternator while you're at it. You may be able to get away with it, but if your new battery does the same thing, you really should replace the alternator.

    Don't know where it is on a Winstar, but alternators are usually a pretty quick swap. I can do one on a Jeep in my sleep... well, almost. ;)

    Pony!
     
  12. jross

    jross swamper

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    Since jump starting works, it is either a bad battery or a poor ground. I would bet on the battery. It could also be a weak starter solenoid that will not pull in off a low battery. Not all batteries are created equal, and as one other poster said, the more deep cycles, the shorter the battery life, especially if it was an inexpensive one. Car batteries are not meant to be repeatedly discharged and recharged, but to maintained at peak voltage.
     
  13. Jeff54321

    Jeff54321 Well-Known Member

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    It COULD be your battery.
    It COULD be your starter.
    It COULD be your alternator and/or regulator.
    It COULD be as simple as dirty connections.
    It COULD be many things and there are two ways to find out.
    Guess and replace. If you get it right the first time, lucky you. Get it wrong and you could spend a whole lot of money needlessly (it happens all the time).

    The best way is to have it properly tested. Then you know. Anything else and you are guessing and that can be costly.
     
  14. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    It's a Ford it likely needs a seperate ground from the starter to the farme or better yet the battery. Run a jumper cable from the battery negative only to a starter mounting bolt and try starting it to test. Mind you cleaning terminals is a good idea too. Otherwise I agree with Jeff you can guess until it's all replaced.
     
  15. OzarkHmsteaders

    OzarkHmsteaders HomesteadHopefuls

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    For $ 25.00 or $30.00 bucks you can get a diagnostic code reader ,,,,it plugs in ,it reads whats wrong with it,,it will flash a code,you look up the code,(book and instructions included) you replace what it says is bad...alot cheaper than replacing everything,none of which may be the problem,,,
    good luck,and don't let your self think you can't figure it out,,you can,,Christine
    also,,I'll bet your battery is fine. :)
     
  16. Thoughthound

    Thoughthound Well-Known Member

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    Battery probably needs replacing.

    Although your cable ends may need a good squeezing! Seriously.

    My wife's vehicle recently had an interesting problem with the battery.

    The problem began last winter when it would not start. Then in summer, the problem went away. This winter it began again.

    I hypothesized that the poles were small to begin with and the cold made the lead post contract more than the copper fitting causing a poor connection.

    I wrapped some copper wire around the cable (through the post hole) to decrease the diameter and create a tighter fit. Voila . . . no more problem.
     
  17. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    Okay!

    New battery first! Then we will sse what happens.

    Jill
     
  18. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    First, get the battery tested, most places will test them for free ( I think even Walmart will do this ).

    Most likely the battery has gotten weak and won't hold a charge well enough to start after sitting for a couple days.
     
  19. poorboy

    poorboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Whut Hammer said!!! :)
     
  20. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've had batteries go bad in as little as a year (K-mart was notorious for that). If it is the battery you might want to get one with a higher cold cranking amp rating. We had a low powered battery in one of our cars and it just wasn't enough power to start the car when the temps dropped below freezing.