2005 Ford Focus Starter Issues

Joined
Feb 12, 2015
Messages
21
Location
Huntsville, Alabama
I own a 2005 Ford Focus w/158,000 miles. It has been a great car and would like to get another couple years if possible out of it. Many times when I go to start the car it sounds like really weak and sometimes almost like a grinding sound. I know my battery is fine and other times it has no issues and cranks right up. I have been having the issue for over a year. The car starts consistently every time, but feel that I am on borrowed time and the car is going to leave me stranded. Could the starter be going out? I have the skills to change it out myself, but could it be something else besides the starter? Should I get it diagnosed by a professional or would you just change out the starter? What are your thoughts? Would you pay $100 more for a Motorcraft part?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Messages
9,241
Location
Marshfield , MA
A starting relay, AKA "solenoid" will make a loud staccato noise if it can't latch due to a loose connection. That is the cheap noise . then its a worn out starter, thats middling expensive. Then there is the expensive one which is a bad ring gear. on the "fly wheel" grin2
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
2,360
Location
Cincinnati, USA
First of all, how do you know your battery is fine? If you have had it tested, and by weak you meant it is cranking slow, you may just need corrosion cleaned off your battery terminals and cables. Grinding sound, we would need to hear that. Record and upload to a media sharing site and link it here. If there's video along with the audio, so much the better. If you start to give up and have to choose between a pro diagnosis and a new DIY installed starter, I'd get the starter. They don't last forever so even if that isn't the problem, "IF" you go with a quality brand, you shouldn't have to worry about that again for more than the few years more life you want out of the vehicle. How old is your battery? Is there any correlation between how long since it has last had the engine running? Could be it is no longer holding a charge well and starts slower after sitting and discharging? More details might help. Some auto parts places can test starters. You might call ahead and ask them. It will need removed.
 
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