Thursday, June 23, 2011

ford expedition wont turn over or crank?

There are a lot of issues that could cause this:
1. Dead battery -- if you hear a clicking noise, but the engine will not turn at all then you most likely have a dead (or mostly dead) battery. Try giving it a jump and see if that helps (but make sure you jump it from an engine of similar size as the power draw is large for a 4.6 L engine and can cause issues in a car with a small 4 cylinder engine. If you don't have access to another car with a similar size engine, try a jumper pack (available at most auto-parts stores).
2. Bad starter -- if your starter is not working properly, it will not spin the engine to get it to start. There are a few pieces to the starter that could have gone bad, so you should probably bring it in to a mechanic to have it looked at as someone with a lot of experience can help you get the right diagnosis quickly. Your starter might just be stuck in a dead spot, in which case, hitting it with a wrench MIGHT help free it up and get you on your way ... but you have to know which part to hit and how hard, so if you are not very mechanically inclined, it is probably better to skip trying this to avoid damaging your engine.
3. Dead ignition switch -- if you turn the key and the car can't send a signal to the starter to crank the engine over, then nothing will happen. A mechanic would be able to tell you if this is the problem ...
4. Dead distributor cap or spark plug wiring -- if there is an issue with your wiring in your engine, it could prevent electricity from getting to the spark plugs, keeping the pistons from firing. This is not likely to be your problem, since the car would TRY to turn over, but would not fire.
5. Fused Block -- if your engine has recently overheated BADLY, it might have fused the pistons to the block. This is an unlikely scenario, as modern cars have a lot of protections against this, but it is possible nonetheless. This would require a full replacement of your engine block and pistons (you'd probably be better off replacing the entire engine at this point, as overheating this badly can cause damage to other parts as well).
6. There are still a lot of other possibilities (short circuit in wiring, bad computer, transmission locked in place and locking the engine, etc) but without having the car in front of me I can't really give you a proper diagnosis.
If your vehicle has not been having a lot of problems lately, it is probably your battery or your starter -- these are common issues in a car over 10 years old, and are relatively easy to repair. Try jumping the car first ... If that does not work, I recommend bringing it in to a mechanic to get a proper diagnosis. A professional with access to the car should be able to tell you what is wrong (or at least present the most likely options) in a short amount of time.
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