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Old 02-16-2020, 01:15 AM   #1
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Starter issue- headlights bright, no clickclickclick of starter(HELP)

02 Mercury sable. 80k miles. From Florida, now in Maryland.

So my battery seems fine, Iím stuck 60 miles away from home and after a nice Valentineís date with the old lady the car wonít try to turn over. Headlights work fine and donít dim when I try to start, radio and dashboard lights are good too. Turn the key, no clickclickclick noise, with my head under the hood I can maybe hear one click, but I think itís coming from the ignition when itís being turned. Doesnít sound like anything coming from the starter. Battery terminals are grounded. I have basic tools in the trunk but my multimeter is at home.

I drove all around town today with no issues. But it seems to act up in cold weather. Check engine light came on as I drove up here last week. Code turned out to be evap leak. Got new gas cap and all seemed well. We parked, had dinner, and maybe an hour later came back to find it wouldnít start. I donít have jumper cables and did not get a jump. (I know I know). But since the lights worked and didnít dim as I started it I figured it wasnít the battery. Ended up with a local hotel room and am going to try again in the sun when it warms up.

I got this car from my aunt, it sat in her parking lot for two years before she gave it to me. She paid a shop in FL to get it running so they changed fluids, new battery, new starter, New oil filters. Since having it Iíve changed the thermostat. And the heat doesnít work but that wasnt an issue until come up north. But thatís probably not relevant to the starting issue.

Iím hoping I can get a jump tomorrow and that or the warm temp will fix it. Could the starter be bad even though it was replaced a month ago? Is the solonoid part of the starter? Should I clean the connections to the battery terminal? Really donít want to have to pay to tow it so far.

Thanks for the help, yall
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:26 AM   #2
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Re: Starter issue- headlights bright, no clickclickclick of starter(HELP)

Make sure you are fully in park, or drop the shifter to neutral (make sure you hold the brake pedal) and try to start in neutral.

The fact that you aren't even getting any sort of reaction when you turn the key says something else is up. There is another thing you could try if the first two suggestions fail but it is more dangerous. It involves jumping the starter relay, and it would take two people one to stand there and jump the relay, and one to hold the brake pedal.
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