2010 Expedition, starting issues. Starter replaced twice, need next culprit...

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99WhiteC5Coupe

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Update: This gremlin still eludes me. 2 shops, 4 starters, starter relay, new battery and an ignition switch later and no fix. This latest incident was on vacation where I towed the camper down to the Keys. Used the car for several days no issue. Then randomly was getting some bait and nothing. No crank, no alerts, nothing. Tried 20 times, nothing. Was kind of relieved that the issue was really showing and maybe I could get to a shop with issue displaying. Was about to call AAA and figured one more turn and of course it starts right up. Back to the campsite it does it again. Leave it a while, try later and it cranks up.

Was able to make it home and took it to the last shop that replaced the last starter under Napa warranty. They had the truck 3 days and of course it declined to show itself. They say they've checked the wires so I'm at a loss. These guys have been great though and not charging me for these diagnostics.

This really stinks. If I can't trust the truck I can't tow anywhere of distance for fear it'll rear it's head at an inopportune time like the gas station with trailer in tow. Guess I could take it to a Ford dealer and see if they have any knowledge of something like this, but I'm afraid the issue will not happen and I'll just pay for their time.


When the no-start condition occurs, have you tried shifting into neutral and starting the engine? While trying to start the engine, try wiggling the shifter back-and-forth slightly.

Is it possible the neutral safety switch (or transmission range selector switch) is bad or out-of-adjustment?
 

Frank Wilson

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When the no-start condition occurs, have you tried shifting into neutral and starting the engine? While trying to start the engine, try wiggling the shifter back-and-forth slightly.

Is it possible the neutral safety switch (or transmission range selector switch) is bad or out-of-adjustment?
This
 

Johnathan M

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I agree that the neutral safety switch could be an issue. Fortunately, if that's the issue, it's a pretty easy fix. I changed it on my 05 expedition and it was mounted to the side of the transmission and was pretty easy to get to.

But I believe I also mentioned previously in this thread that it could be an issue with the PATS (antitheft) system. Have you noticed if the red light in the dash flashes quickly when you're trying to start it and nothing happens? If it does, that's a sign it's not recognizing your key, which could be a key issue, or it could be a problem with the immobilizer system. In my Lincoln MKZ, the PATS system was built into the instrument cluster and I had to change the instrument cluster to fix the same type of problem that you are having.
 
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Fasttimes

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When the no-start condition occurs, have you tried shifting into neutral and starting the engine? While trying to start the engine, try wiggling the shifter back-and-forth slightly.

Is it possible the neutral safety switch (or transmission range selector switch) is bad or out-of-adjustment?

I did think of this, and when issue is happening I did move to neutral and tried the start but no change. Also wiggled the key back and forth, back turn/forward turn, wiggle butno change.

I agree that the neutral safety switch could be an issue. Fortunately, if that's the issue, it's a pretty easy fix. I changed it on my 05 expedition and it was mounted to the side of the transmission and was pretty easy to get to.

But I believe I also mentioned previously in this thread that it could be an issue with the PATS (antitheft) system. Have you noticed if the red light in the dash flashes quickly when you're trying to start it and nothing happens? If it does, that's a sign it's not recognizing your key, which could be a key issue, or it could be a problem with the immobilizer system. In my Lincoln MKZ, the PATS system was built into the instrument cluster and I had to change the instrument cluster to fix the same type of problem that you are having.

I haven't noticed the PATS light blinking when the issue is happening, but it has crossed my mind.


I really feel this is an electrical signal delivery issue, that perhaps the wires from the batter to starter or starter relay to starter are bad internally. Perhaps as I drive the bounces in the road change the position of the wires and eventually it shows the issue. Although the last shop says they tested the wire, I feel they should be just replaced out of trouble-shooting caution. At least then that could be removed from the possibilities list.
 
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Fasttimes

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Took the Expy to my local dealer and it was a waste of time. And I quote, not once but twice "We generally don't work on vehicles this old". WTF? They said leave it there and they'll look at it. 3 days later I hear nothing, they did nothing, so I picked it up. Talk about frustrating. SMH
 

71Rcode

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While trying to start the engine, try wiggling the shifter back-and-forth slightly.
this is the advice four or so posts up. I don't think you followed up about wiggling the key.
 
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Fasttimes

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While trying to start the engine, try wiggling the shifter back-and-forth slightly.
this is the advice four or so posts up. I don't think you followed up about wiggling the key.
Yeah, I've done both. Moved shifter back and forth, wiggled key, but seems to be no effect.

The issue just happened again twice after nothing for a week or more.

There just seems to be no pattern yet that I can see to cause the issue to show itself.

I was thinking maybe start with replacing the neutral safety switch. But after getting under the truck I don't see one, so I believe it's inside the transmission as I've read before that was possible. If that is the case, I'm not messing with this.

Might be time to sell the truck unfortunately.
 
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