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

Ford Cougar wont start

Intro

As a licensed auto mechanic with over twenty years of experience, I’ve seen my fair share of Cougars that refuse to start. And I can assure 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 … nothing!

But no need for concern, you’ve come to the right place. My name’s Robby and in this article, I’m going to guide you through the most frequent reasons why your Ford Cougar won’t start. I’ll explain all the most common causes and you’ll learn how to diagnose each potential cause, as well as what to do in each case. I’ll provide practical troubleshooting tips and repair solutions based on my 20 years’ of first-hand experience, so you can get your Ford Cougar starting and moving as swiftly as possible.

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Quick Solution Alert! 🚗💡

To save you time, this might be the quick solution you need.

An online mechanic can help you solve the issue much faster, and save money doing it.

They help 1000s of people every day in your position, save a lot of time, money and risk getting their vehicle repaired. Having a friendly expert mechanic guiding and advising you every step of the way, is the best thing you can do. You will have your issue fixed faster, and likely cost much less.

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Understanding Why a Ford Cougar Won’t Start

Before we get stuck into the causes and repair options it’s essential to first understand the issue. When you hop into your car and realize “My Ford Cougar won’t start”, this could be due to a multitude of issues being wrong with your vehicle. Maybe the engine is not firing up at all, perhaps it is cranking partially but then not starting, or maybe you can hear a clicking sound when you attempt to start the engine, but in the end absolutely nothing happens. Each of these circumstances can point to various problems with your car.

Common Reasons Why Your Ford Cougar Won’t Start

There are numerous reasons that a Cougar can’t start up. These issues usually include a weak or dead car battery, a faulty alternator, starter motor problems, fuel system issues, along with electrical or circuitry failures. Every one of these issues can show up as a multitude of symptoms and require separate solutions to detect and fix, so we can get your car back on the road ASAP.

Symptoms of Ford Cougar That Won’t Start

Being able to identify and diagnose these symptoms, will help you in finding the underlying cause of the issue. For example, when you turn the key in the ignition, and you hear a clicking sound however your car still won’t start, it can mean that there is an issue with the fuel or ignition system.

Analysis of The Reasons Why Your Ford Cougar Won’t Start

The initial step to figuring out a solution to the issue is getting to grips with the underlying cause of that issue, so let’s dive into the most typical reasons your Cougar can’t start.

Ford Cougar Battery Issues

car wont start but battery is good
Image Credit: MechanicAnswer.com

In the majority of instances, the most common reason why your Ford Cougar won’t start is, in many cases because of the battery, it’s either dead or weak, and you need to charge up the battery or change it. The car’s battery supplies the electricity needed to start the engine, and power all the electrical components in your Ford Cougar. Signs of a weak or dead battery problem in a Cougar, can be things like the car being sluggish to crank the engine, weak or dim headlights, or a lit-up battery warning light on your car’s dashboard. 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

Ford wont start due to alternator issues

The alternator is responsible for charging the battery from the engine while the car is running. A faulty alternator can certainly stop your Ford Cougar from starting as it won’t have the ability to charge up the battery, from the engine, so it will be drained all the way down until it’s totally dead and you only realize it when you can’t get your Ford started. Signs that the alternator may be faulty include a lit-up battery or alternator caution light on the dashboard, weak or dim 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

Ford wont start due to starter motor issues

The starter motor is responsible for turning the engine over (cranking) when you start your Ford. If the starter motor is faulty in some way then the engine may not crank, and your Cougar will not start. You can tell if your starter motor has a problem or not typically by listening for a clicking noise when you turn your key or a grinding noise throughout the startup, or your car only starts intermittently then the starter motor may very well be the problem.

Ford Cougar Fuel System Complications

my car wont start but clicks

We’re not talking about when you merely run out of gas here, but the fuel system itself having complications. Your Ford Cougar uses a combustion engine, and because of this to start and run, it requires a combination of both fuel and air. If your Cougar issues are because of a faulty fuel system, this might be a clogged fuel filter or a faulty fuel pump relay, which could mean the engine might not be receiving the fuel it needs to get the vehicle started. 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

car wont start electrical issue

Ok, so that image is a joke, but all the same, today’s modern Ford Cougars rely heavily on electronics, which can mean there are lots of things that can potentially have an issue. Even in an older car, you can still have typical problems such as blown fuses, spark plug problems, a broken ignition switch, or a broken sensor, and more. These can be some of the numerous electrical reasons that your car can’t start up. Indications of a circuitry or electrical issue can vary vastly but can often include the engine not cranking, or your Cougar can start but just intermittently or numerous warning lights come on the car’s dash. To effectively diagnose and fix 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 diagnosed what the cause of your car  troubles are. The next step is naturally to attempt to fix it. Here are some pointers for the common issues we’ve covered up until this point.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix Battery Issues in a Ford Cougar

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 need to do is check the battery terminals. You want them to be clean, not corroded, and firmly connected. If you find that the terminals are in fact corroded you can attempt 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:

If the battery charges up and works fine, great, problem solved! However, you will need to replace the battery if it’s old or weak. 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 replacing. 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.

Robby Recommends:

Portable Car Battery Jump Starter Charger - NOCO Boost Plus GB40

At Home Battery Charger - YONHAN - Fully Automatic

Jumper Cables by Energizer for Car Battery - Heavy Duty

NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000A UltraSafe Car Battery Jump Starter

YONHAN Battery Charger Fully-Automatic

Energizer Jumper Cables for Car Battery, Heavy Duty

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

car wont start, jumped and started alternator

If the alternator is what you suspect is the reason, you can test it to see for yourself. 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 vehicle run, and while it’s running, disconnect the positive terminal of the battery. It’s most likely the result of a fault with the alternator if you discover your Ford Cougar dies immediately when you disconnect the positive terminal. However, be warned this test can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing, and may harm the sensitive electronic parts in your car, so in this case best to discuss this with a reliable mechanic locally or online, prior to ever trying this.

How to Identify Starter Motor Failures in a Ford Cougar

starter motor issues in a ford

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 these cases, the solution is to have the starter motor replaced by a professional mechanic.

How to Resolve Fuel System Complications in a Ford Cougar

clogged fuel filter car wont start

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

fuses to check when car wont start

If you think it’s a wiring or electrical system issue, initially examine the fuses related to the ignition system, and change any that have actually blown. If your Ford Cougar starts after this, then it was an effective, low-cost and simple fix! If the car does not start, even intermittently, it might be cause for concern with the ignition switch itself. It could be a faulty sensing unit if various warning lights are lit up on the dash. These issues can be really complex and a reliable car mechanic is likely required to diagnose and have it properly repaired. They will probably need tools like a multimeter and OBD2 scanner to test wiring and pinpoint electrical gremlins.

Preventive Steps

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

Routine Upkeep of Your Ford Cougar:

Regular maintenance on car to prevent starting issues

Routine upkeep of your Ford Cougar is of the utmost importance to preventing future problems. This includes things like regular oil changes, inspecting the battery, cleaning up the terminals, changing the fuel filter as recommended/required, and having your car checked by a professional car mechanic regularly. If you are unsure about routine maintenance tasks required for your particular automobile, you can consult a mechanic locally or online.

Drive Your Ford Cougar Frequently:

drive regular to avoid car troubles

If you happen to leave your Ford Cougar off for long periods of time without taking it for a spin now and again, the battery may drain as it’s not getting any charge from the engine being in use. Try to drive your Cougar regularly to keep the battery from draining. Take it for a fast spin to make sure there is still charge in the battery if you remember you have not driven your Ford in a while. Worth noting: letting the battery completely drain, is also damaging for 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 out of the ordinary like unusual sounds, a difference in how it drives and the performance, or warning lights showing on your Ford Cougars dashboard, don’t ignore them. These can be early indications of an issue and are best being dealt with ASAP so that they don’t become much bigger problems down the line. Talk to a car mechanic locally or online about these warning lights 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 an expert Ford mechanic on hand guiding and advising you, or you’ve attempted to solve it by yourself, but despite your best efforts your Cougar will not start, then talking with a Ford mechanic online can be a fantastic choice. It certainly beats googling things like “Ford wont start after overheating” all day and still getting nowhere.

Advantages of an Online Ford Mechanic

Happy mechanic repairing car looking at camera

Online mechanic services, like ours in the bottom right of this page, provide several benefits. You can get skilled Ford mechanic advice 24×7 and without leaving your house, which is especially helpful 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 the answer quickly, which is terrific if you’re in a rush, require a second opinion, or you just like having an expert Ford mechanic on hand.

How Services Like MechanicAnswer.com Can Assist You

Ask a mechanic online about my car not starting

MechanicAnswer.com connects you with licensed professional mechanics who can provide instant help, guidance and suggestions 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 describe the issues you are having with your car, ask Ford mechanics unlimited questions, and even upload pictures and videos so you can actually show the mechanic what you mean. You can speak with them via online chat or by phone call, whichever you choose. The Ford mechanic will help you identify the problem, guide you on what are the best options for your individual circumstance and even guide you through simple maintenance and repairs every step of the way.

So feel free to try out our online Ford mechanic service and see for yourself!

Conclusion

In conclusion, when your Ford Cougar fails to start, it can be a major disappointment and a massive inconvenience. However, understanding what may be causing the problems, having the ability to troubleshoot them, and knowing what steps are required in each case, and where to get help if required, will be a substantial help. Keep in mind that routine upkeep is key to avoiding the vast majority of vehicle problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) For When a Ford CougarWon’t Start

Ford Cougar won’t start but lights come on?

If your Ford Cougar’s lights turn on but it still won’t start, the issue is likely not related to the battery. More than likely there is a problem with the starter motor. Check to see if you hear any clicking noises when trying to turn the key. If so, the starter motor is attempting to activate but failing. Have a mechanic check over the starter motor – it may need to be repaired or replaced.

Ford Cougar won’t start but has power?

When your Ford Cougar has power (lights, radio etc work) but does not start up, there may be a fuel delivery problem. Issues like a faulty fuel pump relay could stop fuel getting to the engine. Without enough fuel, combustion can’t happen and the engine won’t start. Check around the back seat when cranking the key – you should hear the fuel pump prime for a few seconds. If not, get a mechanic check the fuel system.

Ford Cougar won’t start but battery is good?

If your Ford Cougar’s battery tests fine and is fully charged, but the car still refuses to start, the underlying cause is likely electrical. Possible issues include a bad ignition switch, broken sensor, or wiring problems. As electrical issues can be tricky, diagnosis by a professional mechanic is best. They can accurately identify the specific electrical fault and have it repaired.

Ford Cougar won’t start just clicking?

When you turn the key and there’s only a clicking noise but the engine fails to turn over, the most common cause is a faulty starter motor. The click comes from the starter solenoid trying to engage the starter motor, but the motor itself fails to crank the engine. As the starter motor needs mechanical repair or replacing, seek help from a reliable mechanic to get your Ford Cougar running again.

What should I do if my Ford Cougar can’t start?

First off, don’t panic. Try to identify any symptoms that might suggest a problem, such as unusual sounds, warning lights on the dash, or changes in performance. The cause of the problem is likely among the most common causes talked about in this guide. You will need the aid of a mechanic locally or online if you can’t find the cause of the problem yourself.

What should I do if my Ford Cougar won’t start?

First off, don’t panic. Attempt to identify any signs that could show an issue, such as unusual noises, warning lights on the dash, or changes in performance. The reason for the problem is most likely among the typical causes discussed in this guide. If you can’t find the problem yourself, you will require the aid of a Ford mechanic locally or online.

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 firmly connected. It may be best to simply swap it out for a new one if the battery is old or weak.

How can I prevent my Ford Cougar not starting issues?

In order to ensure this annoyance never happens once again, routine upkeep is essential. This includes things like oil changes, examining the battery and cleaning its terminals, changing the fuel filter as recommended/required, and having your Ford Cougar checked by a mechanic frequently. It’s also a fantastic idea to drive the car frequently so the battery remains charged.

Can I ask a mechanic online if my Ford Cougar can’t start?

Yes, you can. An online mechanic service like ours can supply immediate specialist Ford mechanic help and advice, without you needing to leave your home. If your Ford Cougar fails to start and is stuck in the driveway, this is especially helpful.

How can services like MechanicAnswer.com help if my Ford Cougar fails to start?

We link you with certified professional Ford mechanics who can offer recommendations on your specific circumstance. You can tell them about your vehicle problems, ask unlimited questions, and even submit images and videos so you can appropriately show the problem and describe it fully. The mechanic will be able to help, troubleshoot, identify the problem, recommend the best course of action and guide you along the way.

Random Interesting Facts About the Ford Cougar

Did you know that the Ford Cougar was actually known as the Mercury Cougar in the United States? It’s like it had an alter ego or something! And get this – the first generation of the Ford Cougar was actually based on the Ford Mondeo platform, but it had a sportier and more aggressive look. It’s like the Cougar was trying to be a Mondeo, but with a cooler attitude! And if you’re into numbers, how about this – the second generation of the Cougar had a top speed of 140 mph. That’s faster than a cheetah, which is pretty fitting for a car called the Cougar, don’t you think? So next time you’re behind the wheel of your Cougar, just remember – you’re driving a car with a cool alter ego and a need for speed!

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Which Mechanic Suits You?

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  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. If there are none near you, you will be redirected to the online mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just £5.
  2. Get help from a Mobile Mechanic. We  recommend Fixter. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper for you, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic. We recommend YourMechanic. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

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