Starting problem; dealer stumped.

Since new, my 2002 has a starting problem every couple of weeks. It can happen in freezing cold, or hot weather, or first thing in the morning or after driving for a while and stopping for gas or groceries. One turns the
key and nothing happens - just silence. However, the lights, radio, etc, are still working. After 5 to 20 minutes of attempts, it starts like nothing had ever happened. The dealer "cleaned the ignition switch contacts" to no avail. Of course, it starts fine at their shop. After several visits, they said they do not know what is wrong and I will have to wait until it will not start permanently so they can diagnose it and, perhaps, replace the starter. (Meanwile the warantee is over - sound familiar?). Love the car but my wife now refuses to drive it for fear of being stranded if she ever stops on the way home. I would be grateful for any ideas or tales of similar problems!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sounds like what happens when you try to start the car with an unprogrammed PATS key. As an experiment, I tried to start my 2000 Focus with a new key after it had been duplicated on the key cutter, but before it had been programmed. I expected the starter motor to turn but the computer to withold sparks, but what happened was exactly nothing, the starter motor would not even crank.
I suspect either the chip in your PATS key may be interrmittently failing, or there may be a loose connection to the telemetry coil surrounding the ignition switch cylinder. You might try using the 2nd key for a while and see if the problem goes away, if so, you could be pretty sure it was the key itself.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mark Olson wrote:

can
morning or

turns the

etc, are

I agree. Once in a while, mine does that too. But only very briefly. I've always attributed it to interference caused by my Mobil Speed Pass on my keyring. I think I read somewhere (how's that for a reliable source? <grin>) that Ford said not to keep the Speed Pass on the keyring due to potential problems.
Do you have anything on your keyring that might possibly interfere?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Needed to check what "Speed Pass" is about, never heard.;)

This happens to me perhaps once/twice a year, but as it starts as usual on the second try, didn't really cared about it. The only thing curious about it, rethinking it always happened at the same place. A few meters next to a large river.
--
Michael Heiming (X-PGP-Sig > GPG-Key ID: EDD27B94)
mail: echo snipped-for-privacy@urvzvat.qr | perl -pe 'y/a-z/n-za-m/'
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Michael Heiming wrote:

Pass
http://www.speedpass.com /
An RFID chip in a little wand that lets me buy gas by waving the wand by a Speedpass reader in the gas pump. The purcahse is charged to my Mobil credit card.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

[..]
Yep, found it asking google about the thing. Quite nice, but found out, I'm much more comfortable paying directly, don't see this way how often you need to fill it up unlike credit cards/etc show you later exactly.;(
--
Michael Heiming (X-PGP-Sig > GPG-Key ID: EDD27B94)
mail: echo snipped-for-privacy@urvzvat.qr | perl -pe 'y/a-z/n-za-m/'
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Michael Heiming" wrote:
> > > Michael Heiming wrote: > &nbsp;>> In alt.autos.ford.focus Tony Wesley > &lt; snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com&gt;: > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > I've always attributed it to interference > caused by my Mobil Speed > [..] > > &nbsp;>> Needed to check what "Speed Pass" is about, never > heard.;) > > > http://www.speedpass.com / > > > An RFID chip in a little wand that lets me buy gas by waving > the wand > > by a Speedpass reader in the gas pump. The purcahse is > charged to my > > Mobil credit card. > > Yep, found it asking google about the thing. Quite nice, but > found out, I'm much more comfortable paying directly, don't > see > this way how often you need to fill it up unlike credit > cards/etc > show you later exactly.;( > > -- > Michael Heiming (X-PGP-Sig > GPG-Key ID: EDD27B94) > mail: echo snipped-for-privacy@urvzvat.qr | perl -pe 'y/a-z/n-za-m/' > #bofh excuse 245: The Borg tried to assimilate your > system. Resistance is futile.
The dealer replaced the starter, yet the problem continues. I replaced the starter relay. No luck either. I am now about to replace the neutral safety switch. Does anyone know where I can find this thing?
Thanks for your help!
--
Posted using the http://www.autoforumz.com interface, at author's request
Articles individually checked for conformance to usenet standards
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.