Taurus won't start, won't crank, repeatitive click

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Aug 5, 2002
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2001 Taurus Vulcan Engine. Waste spark ignition system. The car has been sitting around for about a month when I was doing the valve cover gasket repair. My back injury and spontaneous things (aka work) in life prevent me from working on it all the time. Finally today I "think" I finished the gasket repair and put everything back together. While doing that I accidentally crushed the cylinder number 2 ignition wire. The rubber insulation exterior is crushed by 1/3 of the diameter, but the core of the wire does not seems to be exposed (but does show different color. On this engine the plugs and wires are accessible without removing the intake manifold. Since I wanted to test if everything is working, I decided to just put some gasket dressing (The Permatex blue stuff that said high temperature and won't cure or dry) on the crushed area and install it anyways. After I put everything back together, I try to start the engine and I can hear a click-click (rapid double click) every 1/2 second or so, coming from the front of the engine (suspect starter). The engine does not crank at all, and I do not see any spark or arcing. The head light seems dim and I notice when the clicking occur, the engine light (CEL) would dim as well, hence I suspect it is the battery not having enough voltage to start. I also notice that when I try to start for too long, the clicks disappear. If I wait for 10 mins, and try again, the click comes back. The only time I've seen these clicking in the past is when my other car's starter plunger solenoid contacts worn out, but I only heard one click then. Would a crushed ignition wire on a waste spark ignition car cause no crank? Would the amount of water caused by wiping a wet towel across the engine/transmission mating surface produce sufficient moisture that can short the starter? (The mating surface of the engine/transmission is on the gear side of the starter, not the electrical contact side of the starter). I'll borrow a volt meter from work tomorrow and ask around for a jumper cable. The battery is about 4-5 years old, the car has been sit around for 1-1.5 months, but there is a small alarm light that stays on 247 near the dash (so there may be a slow leak in the system).
 
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Probably the battery. My Polaris ATV does the same thing when the battery is low. As soon as I charge it, the clicking goes away! You may have a passive battery drain. Charge the battery and go from there.
 
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Either the battery is dead or one of the battery cables has become loose or corroded. Check the voltage on the battery and then check the battery cables both at the battery posts and at the other end. Also check the positive and negative cables that are attached to the starter. If any one of those connections becomes corroded or loose, the starter can't get enough juice to do it's job.
 
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The spark plug cable is on the end of the equation, and has no effect on starting or battery drain. So simply charge her up [cleaning the cable ends on both sides of each is always a plus!].
 
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I have to say its the battery. My car, 2005 cts, did the same thing 3 months ago. I left the car in the garage, key's in the door lock. What I didn't know is that when my keys are in a lock, all systems is activated so the battery voltage dropped. I started the car but it only makes some clicking sounds. charge the battery and it started just fine.
 

PandaBear

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Thanks guys. I just borrowed a jumper cable and a volt meter from work, will try it out tonight. The gas is probably stale too. It has 1/2 a tank that I added a bottle of Gumout Regane when full, so I probably got a whole bunch of junk dissolved in it now. Probably should fill it up with fresh gas later to dilute the junk and drive the car more the next couple of days. Just ordered a set of new wires (NGK, $28-29 shipped from rockauto), and I was surprised that it is actually cheaper than other domestic brands.
 
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Upstate, NY
Most likely its the battery is low on charge, I had the same thing on the 89 Cougar when it was sitting.. Just quick Click's. once jumped, I had no problems after that. The gas should be ok, i would just fill it up, and call it a day. When i bought the SL2, It was sitting for 2 1/2 years, and the car still started, No probelms, and with it running, i did go to the gas station 3 miles away and filled it up with 93....
 
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Dec 18, 2006
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CA
Check the connectors on the battery, even if you think you have them tight pretty good. That happened to me once on the MDX. Battery is fully charged yet it won't crank. The connector was not 'tight enough' - as in it wasn't making good enough contact with the battery terminal. At a few tens or a hundered cranking amps even the slightest resistance can create just a large enough voltage drop to bring the effective voltage at the starter below the minimum. Simple ohms law in action!
 

mez

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Nov 14, 2006
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MA
I had the same issue with my wife Toyota Sienna,repeative clicking, I tried to jump it but no go. It turned out to be worn out contacts in the starter that only cost me $22 bucks instead of $300 for new starter.
 

PandaBear

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Yup, it is the battery low on charge. Calibrated volt meter reading of the Taurus battery: 9.25V, try to jump it with another car that is sitting for a week with a 12.6V battery, no go. Then I start that car that has been sitting for a week and try to start the Taurus, I start hearing some stuttering crank. Then I step on the gas pedal (to lower the intake air resistance) and try starting again, and it start. Let it idle for 12 minutes till the coolant is warm, turn the car off and wait for 1 minutes, and it start right up. Let it idle for another 2 minutes and turn it off. It now gets 12.35V and is very smooth.
 
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Gas can get stale in about 6 months [enough to notice]. Technically, it starts to degrade earlier, but with many 'garage queen' experiences, 6 months or more will start show a difference in real life. Often it can be seemingly OK longer than 6 mo., but this is my experience.
 
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