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Old 09-11-2017, 04:30 PM   #1
LarsMac
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Odd problem with starting

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.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:32 PM   #2
aleekat
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Re: Odd problem with starting

Did you check the battery voltage when you turned the key to start?
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:29 AM   #3
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Re: Odd problem with starting

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Originally Posted by aleekat View Post
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.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:00 PM   #4
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Re: Odd problem with starting

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.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:53 PM   #5
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Re: Odd problem with starting

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.
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:03 PM   #6
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Re: Odd problem with starting

The shop replaced the Transmission Position Sensor, and, so far, no repeat of the symptoms.

We'll see.
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:45 PM   #7
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Re: Odd problem with starting

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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.
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:23 PM   #8
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Re: Odd problem with starting

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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.
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