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purecomedy
05-01-07, 09:59 AM
A friend of mine has a '95 Ford Windstar minivan. He says when he turns the key 1 click forward the lights come up on the dash. When he tries to go the 2nd click forward to start it he gets no sound at all. I'm used to hearing dead batteries or a bad starter where you hear a sound but the engine just doesn't get going. He's trying to figure out if the problem is simple just to save an unnecessary tow to the repair shop.

The battery is 4 years old. Any ideas?

1. Bad battery connection (although why does his dash icons light up)
2. Bad alternator, battery is dead (enough to power up dash lights). Again, usually a dead battery makes a clicking sound right?
3. Computer in car is dead
4. I saw something in the internet saying that the "ignition module" is known to die on these vans, is that it?

Thanks to anyone that can help.

RoundEye
05-01-07, 10:06 AM
I would check the battery and the starter relay.

RoundEye
05-01-07, 10:08 AM
.....I saw something in the internet saying that the "ignition module" is known to die on these vans, is that it?



Most of the time when the ignition module goes bad, the motor will crank over but you won't get any spark.

SeedOfChaos
05-01-07, 10:26 AM
Have him try if the headlights come on at more or less normal strenght. If so, the starter should at least be turning over, and you can rule out the battery or the alternator. To be even more sure on this, try to jumpstart it.

This leaves you with either the starter motor or the responsible control unit.

Does he normaly drive this vehicle? If not... people who are not used to drive automatics tend to forget to have the gear selector on P or the brakes engaged... try not to forget the obvious when trying to help him, it may be something as simple as that.

Comtrad
05-01-07, 10:56 AM
I had that same problem on my car.

It was battery erosion buildup on the connection, and cutting off the circuit. Try cleaning the positive and negative terminals and try again.

purecomedy
05-01-07, 11:38 AM
Good suggestions. Thanks I will pass them on.

mountainman
05-01-07, 11:39 AM
4 years - get a new battery.

Comtrad
05-01-07, 11:42 AM
8 years and battery still good on mine after cleaning it. :thumb:

fastchevy
05-01-07, 11:53 AM
8 years and battery still good on mine after cleaning it. :thumb:

damn! Never had one last long...


I'd say battery connections (corrosion) or bad cell which would give it enough to turn on lights but that's it.

Comtrad
05-01-07, 11:58 AM
damn! Never had one last long...


I'd say battery connections (corrosion) or bad cell which would give it enough to turn on lights but that's it.

Yeah, what happened with mine (got the car 1 year ago, but the battery had never been changed), was that the corrosion had locked up the nut. It is a side mount battery. I actually had to turn the battery to get it off, because it was just turning the cables when I tried loosening the nut. I then had to hacksaw it off. But after that I replaced the nut, and all was good again. My headlights and dashlights also worked, but were very dim.

Spammy
05-01-07, 12:44 PM
Call me crazy, but I would ask a mechanic.

Comtrad
05-01-07, 01:01 PM
You have to pay for those...

Spammy
05-01-07, 01:06 PM
You have to pay for those...

:rotfl: :rotfl:
Good Point

A_old
05-01-07, 01:08 PM
Ask him to sound the horn -- does it sound strong? If not, it's likely to be the battery or corrosion on the battery terminals preventing contact with the cables from the car.

Randy
05-01-07, 04:10 PM
1) check fuses and grounds
2) clean contacts try and jump start it
3) smack starter with a hammer
4) sell it
5) buy beer

fastchevy
05-01-07, 04:22 PM
1) check fuses and grounds
2) clean contacts try and jump start it
3) smack starter with a hammer
4) sell it
5) buy beer

:rotfl:

AAF Striker
05-01-07, 04:52 PM
I know this may sound strange, but have him put the car in neutral and try to start it. I have done this before on a '89 Mercury Marquis and on a '93 Ford Tempo and it has worked. Same scenario where you turn the key all the way and it is dead silent. It is worth a shot and could possibly work, but wouldn't cure the problem... more like a band aid for it...

purecomedy
05-01-07, 05:08 PM
He bought a new battery and it solved the problem. I tend to replace my battery after 4 years just to avoid the inconvenience of having a dead car on a cold day. Usually I hear batteries last 5 or 6 years easily though.

Anyway, I would bet his alternator is crap so I told him to get it tested the next time he goes for an oil change or something. If the alternator is really screwed his battery may run out before that!

Far-N-Wide
05-01-07, 05:47 PM
I had a 95 Windstar for a few years. That particular model had 7 factory recalls in the 1st 3 years for faulty this or that. The work was paid for by Ford and cost me nothing but time and headache to take the car in for the work.

If you know of someone who as access to something called M-series sheets or know of a mechanic who will tell you if your problem exists on one of those sheets. It will be paid for by Ford.

I don't recall the exact problem I had but one of my recalls was a problem associated with 2 cable harnesses that ran along the steering column. Theses had caused a problem with my ignition switch or an intermittent starting problem. Not sure if it's like yours but in any case it was a safety issue that was listed on on of the sheets. Ford fixed it.

A dealer will not tell you about theses sheets, but if you describe a problem that is listed on any of these sheets, and they know it's listed on the sheets they have. They will fix it and bill the factory at no cost to you.

Pass this along to your friend, and good luck.

Then again it could all just be the battery as mentioned above :D .