As a professional auto mechanic with over twenty years of experience, I’ve seen my good share of Cougars that refuse to start. And let me tell you, I understand how irritating it can be when you’ve got places to go, you hop in, turn the key, and … drum roll please … absolutely nothing!
But don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. My name’s Robby and in this article, I’m going to explain the most frequent explanations why your Ford Cougar won’t start. I’ll explain all the most common causes and you’ll understand how to diagnose each potential cause, as well as what to do in each case. I’ll offer useful troubleshooting pointers and repair solutions based on my two decades of practical experience, so you can get your Ford Cougar starting and driving again as rapidly as possible.
Understanding Why a Ford Cougar Won’t Start
Before we get stuck into the causes and repair options it’s crucial to initially comprehend the problem. When you realize to yourself “My Ford Cougar won’t start”, this could be due to a multitude of things being wrong with your vehicle. Maybe the engine is not cranking at all, potentially it is turning over partially but then not starting, or possibly you can hear a clicking sound when you try to start the engine, however in the end absolutely nothing happens. Each of these annoying situations can point to various problems with your car.
Common Reasons Why Your Ford Cougar Won’t Start
There are many reasons why a Cougar fails to start. These issues usually consist of a dead or weak car battery, a faulty alternator, starter motor issues, fuel system complications, along with electrical or wiring issues. Every one of these issues can show up as different symptoms and require separate solutions to detect and repair, so we can get your car back on the road as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Ford Cougar That Won’t Start
Having the ability to identify and diagnose these signs, will help you in discovering the underlying cause of the problem. For example, when you turn the key in the ignition, and you hear a clicking noise but your car still will not start, it can be an indication that there is an issue with the fuel or ignition system.
Analysis of The Reasons Why Your Ford Cougar Won’t Start
The very first step to figuring out a solution to the issue is knowing the underlying cause of that issue, so let’s look into the most common factors why your Cougar will not start.
Ford Cougar Battery Issues
In the vast majority of instances, the most common reason why your Ford Cougar will not start is, in many cases because of the battery, it’s either weak or dead, and you need to either charge up your car’s battery or change it. The vehicle’s battery provides the electricity required to start the engine, and power all the electrical parts in your Ford Cougar. Signs of a bad battery problem in a Cougar, can be things like the vehicle being slow to crank the engine, poorly lit headlights, or a lit-up battery warning light on your car’s dash. A portable jump starter allows you to jump start your car if the battery is dead without needing another vehicle. And a battery charger can help recharge a dead battery and diagnose battery issues.
Ford Cougar Alternator Problems
The alternator is for charging the battery from the engine while the car is running. A damaged alternator can certainly prevent your Ford Cougar from starting as it wont have the ability to charge up the battery, from the engine, so it will be depleted fairly quickly until it’s dead and you don’t realize it until you can’t get your Ford to start. Symptoms that your Cougars alternator is faulty include a lit-up battery or alternator caution light on the dashboard, poorly lit headlights when the engine is idling, and also a whining or grinding noise from the engine while it’s running.
Ford Cougar Starter Motor Failures
When you start your Ford Cougar, the starter motor is responsible for turning the engine over (cranking it). If the starter motor is faulty in some manner then the engine is not going to crank, and your Cougar will not start. You can tell if your starter motor has an issue or not often by listening for a clicking noise when you turn your key or a grinding sound during the start-up, or your car starts up but only intermittently, then the starter motor may very well be the problem.
Ford Cougar Fuel System Complications
Now we’re not talking about when you just run out of gas here, but your car’s fuel system itself having problems. Your Ford Cougar uses a combustion engine, andfor that reason to start and run, it needs a mix of enough fuel and air. If your Cougar problems are part of a faulty fuel system, this can be a clogged fuel filter or a faulty fuel pump relay, which could suggest the engine might not be receiving the fuel it requires to get the car up and running. Over time fuel injectors can also get clogged, so using a fuel injector cleaner like Red Line can help clean them and improve starting.
Ford Cougar Electrical System or Wiring Problems
Today’s modern Ford Cougars rely greatly on electronic components, which can mean there are lots of things that can potentially go wrong. Even in an older model, you can still have fairly normal problems such as blown fuses, spark plug problems, a broken ignition switch, or a broken sensor, and more. These can be a few of the many electrical reasons why your Ford Cougar will not start. Signs of a circuitry or electrical problem can differ greatly but can often include the engine not cranking, or your Cougar can start but only intermittently or numerous alert lights show on the car’s dash. To appropriately identify and repair these kinds of issues, you will require the skills of an experienced car mechanic in your area or online.
Solutions & Repair Tips
When you have figured out what the cause of your car being unable to start is. The next logical step is naturally to attempt to repair it. Here are some suggestions for the common issues we’ve covered so far.
How to Troubleshoot and Fix Battery Issues in a Ford Cougar
If it’s a battery issue you suspect is the cause of your troubles, then the first thing you should do is check the battery terminals. You want them to be clean, not corroded, and securely connected. If you discover that the terminals are in fact corroded you can try cleaning them with a mix of baking soda and water.
Once you have checked the battery terminals, you can check to see if the battery is just out of charge, or worse, it’s old and weak, or dead and needs to be replaced. For this, you can charge the battery in a few different ways:
- With the help of another vehicle and jumper cables to jump-start your Cougar’s battery.
- Use a car battery charger that you can plug into a socket to charge it up.
- Use a portable car battery charger you can take with you on the go, so you are never left stranded when on the move.
If the battery charges up and works fine, great, problem solved! However, you will need to replace the battery if it’s weak or old. Otherwise, even if you charge it up enough to start the Ford Cougar, it will probably die again in the near future. You can make use of a multimeter or OB2 scanner as a way to test the life of the battery to see if it’s worth saving or if it needs to be replaced. You can get a replacement car battery for your exact Ford model by visiting Amazon here, and selecting “enter a new vehicle” to filter the results for your Ford Cougar, and choose a suitable one, from a seller with great reviews.
If charging your Cougar’s battery does not resolve your issues, and problems like frequent draining and needing frequent charges persist even after replacing the battery, there is likely a more complex underlying issue causing excessive battery drain. In that case, you will need a professional mechanic to inspect and diagnose the root cause. You can also ask the advice of a mechanic online through us, or get an instant free quote on a Mobile mechanics near me.
How to Diagnose Alternator Problems in a Ford Cougar
If the alternator is what you suspect is the reason, you can test it to see for yourself. If you can get the car to start up temporarily (you may need to jump-start the car for that), but when it’s going, let the car run, and while the engine is running, disconnect the positive terminal of the battery. If you discover your Ford Cougar dies pretty quickly, then it’s probably due to a problem with your car’s alternator. However, be warned this test can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing, and may damage the sensitive electronic components in your Ford Cougar, so its best to discuss this with an experienced mechanic locally or online, prior to ever attempting this.
How to Identify Starter Motor Failures in a Ford Cougar
If you hear the clicking sound when you try and start the car by turning the key, however the engine doesn’t crank, then its likely an issue with your starter motor. In this case, the solution is to have the starter motor changed for a new one by a professional mechanic.
How to Resolve Fuel System Problems in a Ford Cougar
If you think the issue to be because of a fuel system problem, listen for the fuel pump when you turn the key to the “on” position, before starting the car. You should be able to hear a humming sound for a few seconds. If you are unable to hear this sound, then it may be there is a problem with the fuel pump. If you discover your Ford is difficult to start, it stalls, or it has bad acceleration, it could possibly be down to a clogged fuel filter. Both of these will likely need a professional car mechanic in order to properly repair. This is because may require a fuel pressure test kit and mechanic’s tool set to fully diagnose and repair fuel system problems.
How to Fix Electrical or Wiring Problems in a Ford Cougar
If you think it’s a circuitry or electrical system problem, first check the fuses related to the ignition system, and replace any that have blown. If your Ford starts after this, then it was an effective, simple and cheap fix! If the vehicle does not start, even intermittently, it could be an issue with the ignition switch itself. It may be a faulty sensing unit if various warning lights are lit up on the dash. These issues can be very intricate and a professional car mechanic is likely needed to diagnose and fix it. They will probably need tools like a multimeter and OBD2 scanner to test wiring and pinpoint electrical gremlins.
As my dad always said “Prevention is better than cure”, so here are the best ways to ensure you can avoid any Ford Cougar starting difficulties ever again!
Regular Maintenance of Your Ford Cougar:
Regular maintenance of your Ford Cougar is key to prevent future troubles. This includes things like routine oil changes, inspecting the battery, cleaning the terminals, changing the fuel filter as recommended/needed, and of course having your car inspected by a reliable car mechanic regularly. You can consult a mechanic locally or online if you find yourself unsure or not sure about the routine maintenance tasks required for your particular car.
Drive Your Ford Cougar Frequently:
If you happen to leave your Ford Cougar in the driveway for long periods of time without taking it for a spin now and again, the battery can drain as it’s not being charged up by the engine being used. Try to drive your vehicle regularly to keep the battery charged. Take it for a fast spin to make sure there is still charge in the battery if you remember you haven’t driven your Ford in a while. Worth noting: letting the battery completely drain, is also damaging to the long-term life of the battery, try not to do this.
Pay Attention to Warning Signs:
If you observe anything odd like uncommon noises, changes in how it drives and the performance, or alert lights showing on your Ford Cougars dashboard, do not ignore them. These can be early warnings of an issue and it’s best to be attended to ASAP so that they don’t become much bigger issues down the line. Speak to a car mechanic locally or online about these problems and find out if they need to be attended to.
When to Ask a Ford Mechanic Online
If you’re either limited on time, would like an expert Ford mechanic on hand to guide and to advise you, or you’ve actually tried to resolve it for yourself, however in spite of your best efforts your Cougar can’t start, then talking with a Ford mechanic online can be an excellent choice. It certainly beats googling things like “Ford wont start after overheating” all day and still getting nowhere.
Benefits of an Online Ford Mechanic
Online mechanic services, like ours in the bottom right of this page, offer several benefits. You can get skilled Ford mechanic recommendations 24×7 and without leaving your home, which is particularly beneficial if your vehicle will not start and is stuck in the driveway. It can also help you save money as online mechanic consultations are more affordable than a physical visit to a local mechanic near you. Plus, you can get responses rapidly, which is terrific if you’re in a rush, require a second opinion, or you just like having a professional Ford mechanic on hand.
How Solutions Like MechanicAnswer.com Can Help You
MechanicAnswer.com connects you with certified expert mechanics who can supply instantaneous aid, guidance and advice with all issues and all Ford models. So it doesn’t matter if your Ford Contour won’t start or it’s your Cougar that you’re having issues with, we’ve got the mechanics online that with a little bit of information over a chat box, can solve anything for you.
You’re able to have the ability to describe the problems you are having with your car, ask Ford mechanics limitless questions, and even submit pictures and videos so you are able to show the mechanic what you mean. You can speak to them through online chat or by call, whichever you choose. The Ford mechanic will help you identify the issue, advise you on the best course of action for your individual scenario and even guide you through basic maintenance and repairs step by step.
So feel free to try out our online Ford mechanic service and see for yourself!
In a nut shell, when your Ford Cougar will not start, it can be a major downer and a massive inconvenience. However, knowing what might be triggering the problems, having the ability to troubleshoot them, and knowing what steps are needed in each case, and where to get help if needed, will be a huge help. Keep in mind that regular upkeep is crucial for preventing the vast majority of vehicle issues.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should I do if my Ford Cougar doesn’t start?
Firstly, do not panic. Attempt to identify any signs that could suggest a problem, such as unusual noises, warning lights on the dash, or changes in performance. The reason for the problem is likely among the typical causes gone over in this guide. You will need the help of a mechanic locally or online if you can’t find the cause of the problem yourself.
How to tell if my Ford Cougar won’t start because of the battery?
Signs of a battery problem in a Cougar include the engine being slow to crank, dim headlights, and lit battery warning lights on the dash. You can also check the battery terminals to see if they are clean, not corroded, and securely connected. It might be best to just swap it out for a new one if the battery is weak or old.
How can I prevent my Ford Cougar not starting issues?
In order to make certain this inconvenience never takes place again, regular maintenance is key. This consists of things like oil changes, examining the battery and cleaning its terminals, changing the fuel filter as recommended/required, and getting your Ford Cougar inspected by a mechanic regularly. It’s also a terrific idea to drive the vehicle frequently so the battery stays charged.
Can I ask a mechanic online if my Ford Cougar will not start?
Yes, you can. An online mechanic service like ours can supply instantaneous professional Ford mechanic help and recommendations, without you having to leave your home. If your Ford Cougar won’t start and is stuck in the driveway, this is particularly helpful.
How can services like MechanicAnswer.com help if my Ford Cougar can’t start?
We link you with accredited professional Ford mechanics who can provide recommendations on your particular circumstance. You can tell them about your vehicle problems, ask unlimited questions, and even submit images and videos so you can effectively demonstrate the problem and describe it fully. The mechanic will have the ability to help, troubleshoot, identify the problem, suggest the best course of action and guide you along the way.