Odd problem with starting


LarsMac
09-11-2017, 04:30 PM
I have encountered a rather odd problem with my 2002 Town Car.
Get in car, insert key, and turn to start. Nothing. dash lights all go out, Headlights are on (wife keeps the auto on setting on the headlights)
no other reaction. release key all dash lights come back on.
Car was in garage overnight, and nothing has changed. I tested battery. It is good. connectors are clean. Just to be sure, I attached battery charger and set to boost, and tried again. Same symptoms.
headlights remain fully lit, Dash lights go out. (Which they do any time you turn the key to start position. ) No sound of solenoid clicking or anything.
removed charger, and tried again. Same thing.

Walked away for a while.
When I came back, tried again, car started right up. This is the second time this has happened. Last time was over a year ago.

The garage says that unless they actually see it happening, they can't even begin to troubleshoot.

Sound familiar to anyone? Any suggestions? I am baffled.

aleekat
09-11-2017, 09:32 PM
Did you check the battery voltage when you turned the key to start?

LarsMac
09-12-2017, 10:29 AM
Did you check the battery voltage when you turned the key to start?

I did not.
Seeing that the headlights remained fully lit suggests that voltage was unaffected. When the problem re-occurs, that is on my list of items to test.

LarsMac
09-12-2017, 05:00 PM
After it started I took the car to shop where they tested the electrical system, tested cranking, system, tested charging system, load-tested the battery. Nothing showed a problem.

LarsMac
09-19-2017, 02:53 PM
so, a follow up.
I am now able to reproduce this fairly reliably.
If I make sure that the steering wheel locks after turning the key off, It will start, every time. If I do not, there is a good chance that the next day, it will experience the problem. And when it does, I can turn the key back off, lock the steering wheel, remove the key, then insert the key and try again, and it will start.
So, obviously it is something going on in the connectors in the steering column.

Very weird.
:headshake

LarsMac
10-15-2017, 08:03 PM
The shop replaced the Transmission Position Sensor, and, so far, no repeat of the symptoms.

We'll see.

aleekat
10-15-2017, 08:45 PM
The shop replaced the Transmission Position Sensor, and, so far, no repeat of the symptoms.

We'll see.
Sounds more like the car thought it was in gear and therefore no crank at all. Getting the steering wheel to lock, tranny in park so it would start.

LarsMac
10-16-2017, 10:23 PM
Sounds more like the car thought it was in gear and therefore no crank at all. Getting the steering wheel to lock, tranny in park so it would start.

That seems to be what was going on. Was a bit frustrating.

LarsMac
11-18-2019, 12:50 PM
Sounds more like the car thought it was in gear and therefore no crank at all. Getting the steering wheel to lock, tranny in park so it would start.

Clarification: The Shift was in park and steering wheel locked. All lights on dash were looking normal when activating Key switch to on. Just, when key was turned to start, while dash lights looked normal, the starter was not activated.

There is an indicator at the starter that detects whether Tranny is in park, which was not giving proper signal.
That was replaced, resolving the issue.

Add your comment to this topic!