Ford Won’t Start? Here’s Quick Solutions to the Most Common Causes

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Let's face it, we've all been there, you've got places to go, you get in your Ford, turn the key, and … drum roll please … absolutely nothing! Your Ford won't start! This an incredibly annoying scenario, however, don't stress, we've got the answers. There are lots and lots of factors as to why your Ford will not start, and with this article, to save you time we'll go over the most common explanations along with provide you with useful options to get your vehicle back on the road ASAP!


Understanding the Problem

Car Won't Start?

Before we get stuck into the causes and solutions it's crucial to initially understand the problem. When you realize to yourself “my Ford wont start“, this could be due to various things being wrong with your car. Possibly the engine is not firing up at all, possibly it is turning over partially but then not starting, or perhaps you can hear a clicking noise when you attempt to start the engine, however ultimately nothing happens. Each of these annoying situations can be indicative of different problems with your car.

Common Reasons Why Your Ford Won't Start

There are many factors why a Ford will not start. These problems usually include a weak or dead vehicle battery, a broken alternator, starter motor failures, fuel system complications, as well as electrical or circuitry issues. Every one of these problems can show up as various symptoms and require different solutions to identify and repair, so we can get your car back on the road as soon as possible.

Symptoms of a Ford That Won't Start

Being able to recognize and diagnose these symptoms, will assist you in discovering the underlying cause of the problem. For instance, when you turn the key in the ignition, and you hear a clicking noise but your Ford still wont start, it is often a sign that there is an issue with the fuel or ignition system of your car.

Analysis of The Reasons Why Your Ford Won't Start

The initial step to finding a practical solution to the problem is having a grasp of the underlying cause of that issue, so let's delve into the most common reasons your Ford wont start.

Ford Battery Issues

Auto mechanic replacing car battery In the majority of cases, the most common reason why your Ford wont start is, in many cases because of the battery, it's either weak or dead, and you need to recharge your car’s battery or change it. The vehicle's battery supplies the power that’s needed to start the engine, and power all the electrical parts in your Ford. Signs of a weak or dead battery issue in a Ford, are things like the car being slow to crank the engine, weak or dim headlights, or a lit-up battery warning light on your cars dash

Ford Alternator Problems

is my alternator stopping my car from starting?

The alternator is for charging the battery from the engine while the car is running. A damaged alternator can certainly prevent your Ford from starting as it will not be able to charge up the battery, from the engine, so it will be drained fairly quickly until it's completely drained and you only realize it when you get into your beloved Ford and it refuses to start. Symptoms that your Ford's alternator is faulty can be 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 sound from the engine while its running.

Ford Starter Motor Failures

my car wont start is the starter motor?

The starter motor deals with turning the engine over (cranking) when you start up your Ford|When you start your Ford, the starter motor deals with turning the engine over (cranking it). If the starter motor is faulty in some manner then the engine won’t crank, and your Ford wont start. You can find out if your starter motor has a problem or not usually by listening, if you hear a clicking noise when you turn the key in the ignition or a grinding noise throughout the startup, or your car starts up but only intermittently, then the starter motor may very well be the problem.

Ford Fuel System Complications

my car wont start but clicks

Now we're not talking about when you merely run out of gas here, but your car’s fuel system itself having complications. Your Ford uses a combustion engine, and because of this to start and run, it needs a combination of both fuel and air. If your Ford issues are the result of a faulty fuel system, this can sometimes be a clogged fuel filter or a damaged fuel pump relay, which could suggest the engine may not be receiving the fuel it requires to get the vehicle going.

Ford Electrical System or Wiring Problems

can electrics be a reason a car wont start

Modern Ford's rely greatly on electronic components, which can mean there are lots of things that can potentially fail. Even in an older vehicle, you can have regular problems such as blown fuses, spark plug issues, a broken ignition switch, or a damaged sensor and more. These can be a few of the many electrical reasons that your car can't start up. Indications of a circuitry or electrical issue can vary greatly but can typically include the engine not cranking, or your Ford can start however only intermittently or numerous alert lights come on the dashboard. To correctly diagnose and fix these kinds of problems, you will require the abilities of an experienced car mechanic locally or online.

Solutions & Repair Tips

When you have diagnosed what the reason for your Ford failing to start is. The next logical step is naturally to attempt to repair it. Here are some tips for the typical problems we've covered up until now.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix Battery Issues in a Ford

my car wont start i think its the battery

If it’s a battery issue you suspect is the problem, then the first thing you should do is inspect the battery terminals. You want them to be clean, not corroded and tightly connected. If you discover that the terminals are corroded you can try to clean them up with a mix of baking soda and water. You will need to replace the battery if it's old or weak, otherwise even if you charge it up enough to start the vehicle, it will probably run out of life once again in the near future. You can use a multimeter as a battery tester to see if it’s worth saving or if it needs replacing. You can ask a professional car mechanic online or in your area to best advise you on this.

How to Diagnose Alternator Problems in a Ford

car wont start, jumped and started alternator

If you’re thinking that the alternator is the why your car won't start, you can test it. If you can get the vehicle to start up temporarily (you may need to jump start the car for that), but once it’s going, let the car run, and while the engine is running disconnect the positive terminal of the battery. If you find your Ford dies right away, then it's most likely because of an issue with your car's alternator. However, be warned this test can be risky if you don't know what you're doing, and might harm the delicate electronic components in your vehicle, so in this case best to speak with a professional mechanic locally or online, before ever trying this.

How to Identify Starter Motor Failures in a Ford

starter motor issues in a ford

Listen for a clicking noise when you turn the ignition key if you think the starter motor is the root cause of your Ford not starting. In this case, the solution is to have the starter motor replaced by a professional mechanic.

How to Deal With Fuel System Problems in a Ford

clogged fuel filter car wont start

If you suspect the issue to be due to a fuel system problem, listen for the fuel pump when you turn the key to the “on” position, before starting up the vehicle. You should hear a humming noise for a few seconds. It might be there is a problem with the fuel pump if you are unable to hear this sound. If you notice your Ford is tough to start, it stalls, or it has bad acceleration, it could possibly be because of a clogged fuel filter. Both of these will likely require a reliable car mechanic in order to properly fix them.

How to Fix Electrical or Wiring Problems in a Ford

fuses to check when car wont start

If you suspect it's an electrical wiring or electrical system issue, first examine the fuses associated with the ignition system, and replace any that have blown. If your Ford starts after this, then it was a successful, cheap, and easy repair! If the car does not start, even intermittently, it might be because there is an issue with the ignition switch itself. It could be a faulty sensing unit if numerous warning lights are lit up on your dashboard. These problems can be very intricate and a professional car mechanic is most likely needed to diagnose and repair it.

Preventive Steps

As my dad always stated “Prevention is better than cure”, so here are some preventative measures to ensure you prevent any Ford starting problems again!

Regular Upkeep of Your Ford:

Regular maintenance on car to prevent starting issues

Regular upkeep of your Ford is crucial to avoid future problems. This consists of things like routine oil changes, inspecting your car battery, cleaning the terminals, replacing the fuel filter as suggested/needed, and having your vehicle examined by a professional car mechanic regularly. If you are unsure about regular upkeep tasks needed for your particular car, you can seek advice from a mechanic in your area or online.

Drive Your Ford Regularly:

drive regular to avoid car troubles

If you happen to leave your Ford in your garage for extended periods of time without driving it, the battery will deplete as it's not receiving any electrical charge from the engine running regularly. Try to drive your vehicle frequently to keep the battery charged. Take it for a fast spin to make sure there is still a charge in the battery if you remember you haven't driven your Ford for a while. Worth noting: letting the battery completely drain, is also damaging to the longevity of the battery, try not to do this.

Take Notice Of Warning Signs:

Check Engine Control Light on a Vehicle Dashboard

If you notice anything weird like uncommon sounds, changes in how it drives and the performance, or alert lights are now visible on the dash, do not ignore them and get on with your day. These are usually early signs of an issue and are best being resolved ASAP so that they don’t end up being much bigger problems later. Talk to a car mechanic locally or online about these problems and get advice on if they need to be attended to.

When to Ask a Ford Mechanic Online

If you want to save time, want a professional Ford mechanic on hand to guide and advise you, or you've tried to resolve it by yourself, however regardless of your best efforts your Ford won't start, then talking with a Ford mechanic online can be a terrific option.

Benefits of Online Mechanic Solutions

Happy mechanic repairing car looking at camera

Online mechanic services, like ours in the bottom right of this page, offer several benefits. You can get skilled Ford mechanic guidance 24×7 and without leaving your home, which is particularly beneficial if your vehicle won't start and is stuck in the driveway. It can also help you save money as online mechanic consultations are much more affordable than a physical visit to a local mechanic near you. Plus, you can get responses quickly, which is great if you're in a rush, require a 2nd opinion, or you simply like having an expert Ford mechanic on hand.

How Services Like Can Assist You

Ask a mechanic online about my car not starting connects you with accredited professional mechanics who can offer instant aid, guidance and recommendations. You're able to explain the problems you are having with your car, ask a Ford mechanic unlimited questions, and even upload photos and videos so you are able to show the mechanic what you mean. You can talk to them by means of online chat or by call, whichever you prefer. The Ford mechanic online will help you detect the problem, advise you on what are the best options for your specific scenario and even assist you through easy maintenance and repair work every step of the way.


To summarize when your Ford won't start, it will likely be a complete downer and an enormous inconvenience. However, having a firm grasp of what may be triggering the issues, being able to troubleshoot them, and knowing what actions are required in each case, and where to get help if needed, will be a substantial help. Keep in mind that regular maintenance is key to avoiding the majority of vehicle problems.

If your vehicle's issues persist despite this article and its advice, our live mechanics are always here to help if you need it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I do if my Ford will not start? 

First off, do not panic. Try to identify any signs that could suggest an issue, such as unusual sounds, warning lights on the dash, or changes in performance. The reason for the issue is likely one of the main causes discussed in this guide. If you can't find the issue yourself, you will require the help of a Ford mechanic locally or online.

How to tell if my Ford wont start because of the battery?

Indications of a battery issue in a Ford consist of the engine being slow to crank, dim headlights, and lit battery warning lights on dash. You can also check the battery terminals to see if they are clean, not corroded, and securely connected. It may be best to simply replace it if the battery is weak or old.

How can I prevent my Ford not starting issues?

In order to make certain this annoyance never takes place again, routine maintenance is crucial. This consists of things like oil changes, examining the battery and cleaning it's terminals, replacing the fuel filter as recommended / needed, and having your Ford checked by a mechanic regularly. It's also a great idea to drive the car routinely so the battery remains charged.

Can I ask a mechanic online if my Ford will not start? 

Yes, you can. An online mechanic service like ours can provide instant professional Ford mechanic assistance and advice, without you needing to leave your home. If your Ford won't start and is stuck in the driveway, this is particularly beneficial.

How can services like help if my Ford will not start?

We link you with licensed specialist Ford mechanics who can provide advice on your particular scenario. You can tell them about your vehicle problems, ask unlimited questions, and even submit images and videos so you can correctly explain and show the problem. The mechanic will have the ability to assist, troubleshoot, identify the problem, suggest the very best course of action and guide you along the way.

Why is my Ford clicking but not starting?

If your Ford is clicking but not starting, it could indicate a weak or dead battery, loose or corroded battery connections, a faulty starter motor, or a malfunctioning starter solenoid. Checking the battery and its connections, as well as the starter system, is recommended to identify and address the specific issue.

Why won't my F-150 turn over or click?

If your F-150 won't turn over or click, potential causes may include a drained or faulty battery, corroded or loose battery connections, a defective starter motor, a faulty ignition switch, or a problematic starter relay. It is advisable to inspect these components or seek professional assistance to diagnose and resolve the problem.

Why won't my Ford truck start?

A Ford truck may fail to start due to various reasons, including a weak or dead battery, faulty ignition switch, fuel delivery problems, a malfunctioning starter motor, or issues with the ignition system. Checking these components and seeking professional advice can help identify the specific cause and facilitate the necessary repairs.

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Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant and unlimited help and advice for 1 week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from an Mobile Mechanic Near You. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant and unlimited help and advice for 1 week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic Near You. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant and unlimited help and advice for 1 week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic Near You.  We recommend Fixter.  They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant and unlimited help and advice for 1 week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic Near You. We recommend YourMechanic. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below.

Where Can I Find My VIN?

Your vehicle’s unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can be found on the title document, the vehicle registration, and the insurance policy. It is a series letters and numbers like this as example: WAUGC0896JA235262. The VIN can also be located on the following locations on the vehicle itself:

how to find VIN on vehicle