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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello EC,

My Escape has been having electrical issues the past week, and now it will not even crank. The battery has 12.4 volts, and when engaging the key I can hear the fuel pump kick on and hear the click, but no crank at all. I multimeter tested the starter solenoid terminal to the starter housing and I was able to get a successful continuity, but I'm still not sure the solenoid isn't the issue.

A quick rundown of everything that led to a no crank situation...(I always try to run the exact symptoms through this EC community because often other Escape owners experience the same exact symptoms)...

First thing that started getting wacky was my SYNC connection to my phone, it kept dropping the connection, and at times the Escape SYNC wasn't even available.

Later that night my Escape started itself twice during the night (there is an old remote starter installed that I THOUGHT didn't work anymore, hasn't been used in years).
I disconnected the negative battery cable that night to stop this from happening, and reconnected it in the morning, and the remote start did not happen again.

The past few days the battery light on the dash was coming on/going off randomly, and a few times very briefly I felt the power steering stiffen... then I would hear a 'click'... and then the power steering would return normally... same sequence each time. I'm assuming the 'click' was a relay? I checked all the fuses that made sense to the starting system, but I could be missing something.

Today I pulled the battery cables, and even thought there was no corrosion, I wire brushed the terminals and the cable connections and cleaned them up. I checked all the wires I could reach, and I saw nor felt any wire damage. This time when I reconnected the battery, and turned the key, nothing. Again I can hear the fuel pump, hear the click when turning the key. It's almost as if the electrical surge to the system when I reconnected the battery finally blew out whatever has been getting faulty.

If anyone has any advice on what to test or where to look, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you EC community!!
 

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Sounds like a weak/low battery, quite possibly due to a failing alternator, perhaps aggravated by a faulty starter cable or other connection. Have to work through the possibilities in order of how critical it is.

1. First thing to do is to fully charge the battery with an external charger.
2. Check battery voltage with minimal load.
3. Check battery voltage with every load possible (headlights on high, blower on high, etc) and see if it drops excessively.
4. If it starts, repeat both of the above measurements with the engine running at idle speed.
5. Report results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Charged battery to 12.5 volts.... turning on radio and dome light dropped battery to 12.05.... adding high blower motor, high beam headlights and fog lights dropped to 11.6.
Turning key produced same result... no crank, but I can hear the click and the fuel pump kick on. I leaned in to listen to the solenoid while another person turned the key, and I can hear it engaging, but that's it.
Thank you for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update, this morning I looked around all wires again for damage, found none. I switched out the starter relay and the rear defrost relay and it started, but still not sure if it's truly that relay.
I let it get warm, made sure no accessories were on and checked the battery voltage. At times it was steady at 14.6, but other moments the voltage was bouncing all over from high 13's all the way to mid 16's. When the voltage leveled out again to 14.6, I turned on high blower, high beams, fog lights, radio, and the voltage went UP to 16.6.
Also, when using various blower motor buttons, they weren't responding immediately.
Something is screwed electrically, is it time for a mechanic with a computer, or does this sound like a specific issue? Again, BIG THANKS for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Battery was replaced because it was 3 years old and only tested at 12V lately, but I'm obviously still having all the same electrical issues, all of them intermittent and random...
• power steering freezes up, then relay clicks and power steering returns to normal
• blower motor turning on without buttons being pressed
• battery light coming on and off
• headlights dimming and brightening as it drives
• SYNC not staying connected
• low battery alarm going off

From all the research I've done, common cause seems to be the alternator wiring harness, which requires a new pigtail kit. I've also read that the short could be ANYwhere in the wiring.
If anyone has been through this and has any tips that would be awesome, otherwise I'll have to find time to go through all the wiring and hopefully find some obvious problem. I will follow up with results to hopefully help someone else down the road.
 

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2020 Ttanium Hybrid/2009 Limited Hybrid/1978 F-250 Custom
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Battery was replaced because it was 3 years old and only tested at 12V lately, but I'm obviously still having all the same electrical issues, all of them intermittent and random...
• power steering freezes up, then relay clicks and power steering returns to normal
• blower motor turning on without buttons being pressed
• battery light coming on and off
• headlights dimming and brightening as it drives
• SYNC not staying connected
• low battery alarm going off

From all the research I've done, common cause seems to be the alternator wiring harness, which requires a new pigtail kit. I've also read that the short could be ANYwhere in the wiring.
If anyone has been through this and has any tips that would be awesome, otherwise I'll have to find time to go through all the wiring and hopefully find some obvious problem. I will follow up with results to hopefully help someone else down the road.
Even a new battery can be faulty. 'Load test' it at your local auto parts store, it is free.

otherwise you got a short, and it sounds like it is to ground.
 
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