93 Ford Escort Won't Start

Hiya guys, sorry to bother you, but I'm a girl on my own and worried I am going to get ripped off by the garage. Car (93 Ford Escort Lx 1.4) just wouldn't start when i put my key in, had been fine the day before.
It doesn't make a noise at all, I've had cars with battery troubles and know that noise you get when it tries and tries and the battery gets weaker... none of that, complete silence which is really weird. It has been a bit 'sluggish' feeling, and occasionally seems like it will struggle to start (often cold and or rainy here at the moment) but never let me down before. I noticed something about an inertia switch and it tells me to look in the user guide to locate it, unfortunately I dont have one.... looking on the internet I have seen various references to looking in the boot etc and haven't been able to locate it yet so any more concrete and step by step for dummies info about where it is would be greatfully received.
I have phoned a garage locally and they wouldnt or couldnt give me any indication over the phone, trouble is the car was only a few hundred quid, I could do with knowing in advance if this is going to be uber pricey to fix, cos if so id probably be better off getting rid... im a bit desperate though as I am currently without transport and have a small child!
Thanks in advance for any help or pointers anyone may be able to give.
Ariel xxx
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Assume you mean 'no clicking, nothing' when you turn to crank the engine.
State of cabin light brightness while you do this? dim or none to start with = bad or discharged battery. Bright then dim while key in crank position = low battery charge or bad connection. Stays bright = bad connection to starter relay
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Backyard Mechanic wrote:

If the engine is cranking (but not starting) and getting weaker in cranking as the battery discharges, it MAY be a fuel problem. Check by having a charged battery, then (radio, blower, etc., all OFF) turn the key to Run - NOT Start - and LISTEN for the sound of the fuel pump, kind of a whining noise. If you hear the fuel pump, it's probably something else. If you don't hear the fuel pump, the inertia switch for the fuel pump may have tripped. The switch is located behind a panel in the trunk (boot) liner on the left hand side of the car as viewed from the rear of the car, near the tail light. The button should be pushed in (it's a manual reset circuit breaker). If the button is sticking out, push it back in until it 'clicks' into place. If the button is already flush and the pump won't run, the problem's something else; it may be the inertia switch itself, the fuel pump (in the tank) a fuse or fusible link that protects power to the pump circuit wiring. If the pump does run, but not start, it's probably time to take it to a garage.
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Clarify what you mean when you say,

You don't hear any clicking under the hood (solenoid) or humming from the rear of the car (fuel pump priming)? Do you get any dash/warning lights, power to the radio, etc. when you turn the key to the run position? If no, then I would suspect the ignition module in the steering column. Or, it could be that the battery is completely dead. Verify this by opening the door. If the interior light comes on, I would say the ignition module is bad (I don't think the interior light is controlled by the ignition switch, someone correct me if I'm wrong). If the light doesn't come on, I would pull the battery and have it load tested.
I'm not sure if the ignition module troubles apply to UK Ford vehicles, but it has sure been a problem on older Fords here in North America. If it were bad, it wouldn't send any current to the starter relay, (or anything that is wired off the ignition switch as described above) thus you wouldn't get any noise, not even a click from the starter relay.
Call your closest Ford dealer and find out if the ignition switch has been recalled on your Escort, as it has here in North America. BTW, the inertia switch should only shut off if the vehicle is in a collision or has a hard impact. I don't think it applies in your situation.
Good luck Sharky
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Guys thank you so much for quick and really helpful responses..... ok went to have a look for the switch in the boot, think im being really thick but I still can't find it at all, so I don't know if that's the problem or not, I looked everywhere and lifted carpet etc cant see any red switches labelled or not, i paid particular attention to the left hand side by the lights and still nothing
.... but having said that I tried putting the key in again and noticed that there are no lights or anything, and also when i held the key in the starting position i could hear a very faint sort of ticking noise... then tried again and even that had gone..... so I guess battery may be an issue then, even though I'm sure I didn't leave any lights on or anything..... think maybe the garage is the best idea after all as I am an absolute beginner when it comes to anything to do with cars :(
if you have any more guidance as to where the switch is/what it looks like then that would be great, or any other general advice/knowledge for a complete car idiot like I am..... but a big thanks again though for your answers!
Ariel xxx
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Remove the battery connections then refasten, tightly. On the off chance that is the problem... otherwise seems like dead battery.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Heh.. dont worry about that cut-off switch, given conditions you describe, only affects fuel pump.. may not even be on UK models.
I always heard Manxsters were supportive of their own, being island-bound and all... have any friends that can offer help or friends of friends?
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you got a dead battery replace it and it will be fine
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jimmyh wrote:

It might be fine for a while after the battery is replaced but it will go dead again if the charging system isn't working right. Did you see a warning light on the instrument panel indicating a failed battery charging system, before the starting problem occurred? You could charge the battery with an external charger or get a jump start from another car to get yours going. Then take the car immediately to a service place to have the charging system checked out. Don't try to drive it around too long after getting it going or you'll get stuck again.
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You're very welcome for the help, its nice to know that our knowledge might be useful to someone else.
If you have no dash lights, but can hear a very faint ticking (which sounds to me like your starter solenoid clicking, OR fuel pump relay) I would pull the battery and have it load tested. You can try to boost the battery with another car, but it doesn't sound like another vehicle is available to you. Sounds like it may be battery replacement time. You don't happen to know when it was last replaced? Maybe check the owners manual in the Maintenance table in the back, some people actually do fill these out. Even the battery itself might have a date stamped on it somewhere, newer ones have the punch-out holes so that you can keep track of the month and year it was purchased. Doubtful it is the original Motorcraft battery, although the Silver Series battery in my truck lasted 12 years.
BTW, if your battery turns out OK and you are able to have it recharged, there may be another problem with the car, such as a bad alternator or slow current drain. Find out the condition of the battery first, then let us know.
Good luck Sharky
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Sounds like the battery to me also. If you have AAA they will come and try to start it. Batteries can fail completly all at once. The plates in the battery will touch together and give a completly dead battery. With AAA you will be able to verify all the other problems as good battery or bad if it starts you will know to go after the battery. That whine you are hearing sounds like a warning chime trying to operate. Not enough voltage and that is what it will sound like. Need help with battery replacment? Just ask we will get you through it possibly with a friend you may know that is handy with tools.
Gerald
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The only other suggestion would be that if you did have good voltage (which I don'tt think you do from what you have said) but lets say you did the starter has an inline fuse. If blown you will see all the normal things but the start will not even try as the starter cannot get any voltage.
Gerald
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

There should be a little door on the interior boot LH side panel; the switch is behind the door. Anyway, it now sounds (won't even crank) as if you have a dead battery. Your best bet at this point would be to contact a garage.
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are you from the UK? if so then the inertia swith is in the footwell but this only goes off after an inpact- so im guessing yours is ok you need to get a multimeter and measure the voltage of the battery, then the voltage going to the starter(the thin wire during cranking)if all these check out ok and its still not cranking over then its looking likly to be the starter motor im sure PATS(the red chip in the key) came out in 94 so i carnt think of anything else that would make it not turn over
good luck
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