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Problems starting Ford F-250

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by drivewaydoctor, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Hey guys,

    Its a 1996 Ford F-250 Heavy Duty 5.9

    Every now and then when I turn the key nothing happens. I jumped the starter solenoid and it starts right up. So I went out and bought a new solenoid and same problem. Every so often I need to jump the solenoid.

    Any ideas?
  2. scooled101

    scooled101 Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 112

    sounds like the ignition switch on the column to me
  3. djagusch

    djagusch 2000 Club Member
    from mn
    Messages: 2,107

    Check the voltage that turns the solenoid on. If you have no voltage or low voltage you know its something from the solenoid to the switch. See if the voltage from the switch is correct. If it is then the wire is bad in between the two points. If there is not voltage try replacing the switch.
  4. Milwaukee

    Milwaukee 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,180

    could be ignition switch where you put key in are broke inside.

    or check wire under starter? I think it red wire around 14 gauge. you should see.

    same problem with 94 F250 5.0L so we use hammer to 2 post on solenoid to start engine.
  5. ahoron

    ahoron Senior Member
    from here
    Messages: 422

    Girlfriend had same problem with 98 explorer turned out to be the battery. Don't ask me why made no sense to me either
  6. Battery is brand new ahoron.

    Thanks for the advice guys. I'm thinking wire from ignition to solenoid too. Maybe I'll just keep using the old hammer trick until I can get time to pull the ignition out.
  7. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    Its a bad ground

    MAR4CARS Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    Automatic or standard trans? check ignition switch and also neutral safety switch if its a/t or switch at clutch pedal if its m/t. ive seen things as simple as a floor mat not allowing the clutch to go all the way down to let the safety switch close.
  9. tawilson

    tawilson Senior Member
    Messages: 225

    My '06 did the same thing last Friday and Saturday morning when it was below 0F. I could hear the solenoid clicking. A little heat from a salamander and it started up. I took it to the dealer and it worked fine for them, even with the --20F this morning. I'm thinking some moisture in the starter which finally dried out. Just wild guessing. I'm sure it won't start tomorrow morning now that I have the truck back in my yard.

    Oops, just reread the OP and see he had nothing, no solenoid click, can't be same thing.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  10. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I had the same problem with my 89. I replaced the fender mounted solenoid and thought it was fixed. Two weeks later it did it again. Checked all the connections then looked at the starter. Humm it's missing something. The little sheet metal cover over the lever that engages the stater pinion was gone. It rusted away, the space was full of dirt and gravel. How it still worked I don't know. The part store guy was amazed.
  11. More great advice, thanks guys! It's an automatic transmission. I don't think it could be the starter because when jumping the solenoid it starts right up no problem. I'm going to try and get a chance tomorrow to check some of the wires out if I get time before we have to go out and plow.
  12. Mebes

    Mebes Senior Member
    Messages: 451

    It is not the starter if jumping the solenoid works.

    Next time this happens shift into neutral and try again.
    Or just jiggle the shifter around in the park position while holding the key in the crank position.
    I'm thinking neutral/park safety switch as MAR4CARS suggested.

  13. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    When it does it again shift in to neutrel and try it. If it works the park switch may be bad. Or need adjusted. If it is the old shifter with rods and levers you need to spray all the stuff with fluid film or PB blaster and work it thru its positions. Then adjust it.
  14. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    This is the exact reason why I hate fords. This problem dates back to their cars from the early 70's.
    Had the same trouble on a 71 Rustang I had. This one also melted the wiring harness all the way from the alternator to the ignition switch.
    Same problem on a 74 Rustang fastback. Freaking was the year they had both metric and SAE nuts and bolts and ya never knew what was where.
    Same problem on a 83 Bronco. Good plow truck but full of problems engine wise.
    I have also seen numerous people over the years with the same problem.

    Does that year still have the brain box on em? Thats what use to go bad often back then. Double tighten the battery posts. Clean all the grounds you can. Check the NSS at the trans. Replace the ignition switch. But above all carry a nice wood handle old screw driver to jump that solenoid because that is what ya gonna do till ya sell it now.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  15. dellwas

    dellwas Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    Check the ford truck forums:



    It's a common problem if memory serves me right. There are a couple of wires that run along the steering column that can chafe through. In any case search the two above forums and I'm sure you'll get lots of hits.

  16. strube

    strube Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    had the same problem with the solenoid on my plow a couple days ago ended up being a bad connection
  17. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,143

    sounds like a NSS is going bad or out of adjustment. Have you tried wiggling the shifter when starting the truck?
  18. davespark

    davespark Junior Member
    from MN-WI
    Messages: 25

    Another option...

    ...Same thing happened on my old Chevy Astro, so I added a momentary switch below the steering colum...it provides a parallel 12 volts to the solenoid...just bypass the ignition switch path. The ignition switch still needs to be in run obviously...

  19. tc21

    tc21 Member
    Messages: 47

    Those older fords are notoious for the ignition switch wearing out.
  20. Randy26933

    Randy26933 Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    The genius that I bought my 86 250 Diesel (automatic) from ripped the wires from the Neutral Start Switch, so he ran a cob job to start the truck. He ran one wire from the hot side of the solenoid into the cab where he put a push button switch. Then he ran a wire from that switch to the other side of the solenoid.

    Turn the key to set the glow plugs and then push the cob job switch.

    Great idea. Except for the fact that if the truck happened to have slipped into gear, you were off to the races.

    When rebuilding this truck I took out a few other cob jobs. I find that its usually cheaper and less aggravation to just fix things correctly the first time.