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service van wont start

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  • service van wont start

    i have a 04 ford e250 service van. starter will just click. starter was covered in about 4" of ice, we had a major snow/slush storm last week. i knocked that off, and sprayed some wd40, and in about 10minutes that van started. due to the ladder rack on the van if wont fit in my shop. anybody got any secrets? i dont really wanna take the starter off, as calls will be coming in. thanks
    Last edited by jjscleaning; 12-29-2009, 07:29 PM.

  • #2
    Re: service van wont start

    Could be starter Solenoid, Relay, and/or connections.

    Don't know if water displacement from WD cured it or not.



    • #3
      Re: service van wont start

      My experience is that most of the time when you just get the clicks, it is most likely a low battery, battery terminal connection, or cable connection, on the starter circuit,
      (in this situation you describe it may have been froze up starter), but I have found the starter only at fault in a very small percentage of what you have described).

      Clean the battery terminals connections, make sure the nuts are tight and clean on the block (ground) and at the starter,
      Have the battery load tested and see if it is capable of providing power in the cold,
      (2004 to 2009/10, 5 to 6 years if it is an original battery, nearing the end of its normal service life),
      clean the top of the battery (wash it off) if dirt or gunk is on it it can short across the top of the battery,

      check the charging voltage as well and see that the alternator is charging as it should.

      If you could get the starter AMP tested when starting, you may get a better indication of the starter and its condition.

      (as far as keeping the starter free of water or ice I really do not have any suggestions, I would think the heat off the engine would keep it ice free).
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.


      • #4
        Re: service van wont start

        Originally posted by jjscleaning View Post
        anybody got any secrets? thanks

        buy a CHEVY
        the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!


        • #5
          Re: service van wont start

          Originally posted by Jerad View Post
          buy a CHEVY

          Buy a Toyota Tundra


          • #6
            Re: service van wont start

            Unfortunately, there are no quick fix "secrets". The only things easy to eliminate, are the battery and cables. Hook up jumper cables and see if that helps, if you can get it running put a meter on to check charging voltage 13.5 to 14.5. Cables fray, rot or go bad at the factory terminals. Was there a splash guard underneath the van that was removed? Maybe the slush and water got in and caused damage? How old is the starter, how old is the battery? Most batteries don't last more than four or five years. Try a battery swap? Good luck.


            • #7
              Re: service van wont start

              Being a 2004 van, it might have the original battery. As mentioned above, you may just need to get a new one.

              I recently replaced the battery to my car, and now that little guy can start in sub-zero temperatures.


              • #8
                Re: service van wont start

                According to consumer reports, the top rated batteries are the heavy duty wal mart brands.
                Buy cheap, buy twice.


                • #9
                  Re: service van wont start

                  I was under the impression there were only a couple manufactures sticking buyers labels.
                  Sears"Gold" recently changed who they were buying from again.

                  Sound familiar...Water heaters ring a bell?


                  • #10
                    Re: service van wont start

                    If it started after the WD-40 It was probably ice/water inside the starter or bendix. May want to spray some undercoat or waterproofing stuff, etc around the bendix/starter to keep the water out.

                    In my experience, most of the time the problem is:

                    1. Bad battery connection (i.e. salt will cause a thin black film inside the cable-to-battery connection that will inhibit the charging current from recharging the battery as well as add resistance to the battery voltage when trying to start. Solution, clean connections and waterproof with silicone grease.

                    2. Corroded battery cables (by this I mean inside the insulation). Solution: replace bad cable)

                    3. Water/ice in the bendix (for vehicles with a separate bendix mounted on the starter). Ford used to have this set-up but don't know if they still do. The bendix is the mechanism that throws the gear into the flywheel to spin it when the starter is engaged. Fords used to have one that operated by an electromagnetic coil mounted on the starter that levered the gear into the flywheel. GM used a centrifical set-up contained in the starter. If the starter spins but doesn't engage the flywheel, this is the problem.

                    From what you described, if you sprayed the WD-40 on the starter, it may have displaced enough moisture to let the current flow, which indicates ice in the starter/bendix. However, it wouldn't hurt to get the battery checked. Gut feeling is its the cables if there is any evidence of corrosion in the battery end (i,e green or black residue where the insulation stops causing swelling of the insulation. If either cable is rigid and stiff anywhere along its length after it is warm (not a sub-freezing temp), odds are there is corrosion inside the insulation at that point., especially at the lowest point in the cable.

                    Bottom line, I don't think the starter is bad. Water may be getting into it, tho.

                    Last edited by Gofor; 12-30-2009, 12:16 AM.
                    Practicing at practical wood working


                    • #11
                      Re: service van wont start

                      Buy more WD 40.


                      • #12
                        Re: service van wont start

                        Bang on the housing of the starting with a wrench. It will start right up.