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I have a 2001 Ford Explorer XLT when I go to start it sometimes it starts fine sometimes when I go to start it it does not want to start it wants to act like the battery is dead and then if I try again it starts fine. I had the battery, alternator and starter checked at Advance Auto and they said the battery and starter were fine but the alternator was putting out at 13 can someone please tell me what could possibly be wrong. I am a woman and I just don't want to go to a mechanic and potentially g et screwed over. lol if anyone has any ideas please reply to this message. Please help a girl out. one more thing once the vehicle was started it runs fine.


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contributions: 1903
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Location: Oregon
there are things that will need to get checked. Starter amp draw when it has the hard start condition. Voltage drop test when it is hard to start. you're checking to see if the starter is dragging or the connection to the battery could be better. As far as the alternator, 13.8 volts to 14.2 volts with a good battery is ok. however that being said if the battery is good the starting system should start up normally. The alternator is to charge the battery back up after it has been discharged from starting.

I am sorry you feel that mechanics are (potentially) out to screw people. They are people just like in any other profession.


   
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Sorry didn't mean that the way it sounded. Just had a bad experience with a mechanic that in the end over charged me for things. I know a little about cars and he acted like women know nothing. My apologizes to the good mechanics out there.

So your saying this could be my started potential going bad?? When it starts it runs fabulous. Just sometimes wants to like drag to start then fires right up.. I know the battery is good was just replaced and my gauge shows battery amp good, so seems like alternator doing it's job. DO you think, maybe it's the starter starting to go bad. Sounds like it drags then starts. goes urm, urm, then fires up... Even though they checked it could it still be starting to go bad???


   
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contributions: 1903
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Location: Oregon
ford has had this problem with starters for years. and your starter may last for years doing what it is doing. But many ford owners have gone to bigger battery cables and cleaned their connection to make sure they have every bit of power to go to the starter.

Measuring the amp draw on the starter will tell you how much the starter is drawing out of the battery to turn over. As electric motors get old and worn they might use more amps (power) to turn over. Having a slow crank in the beginning then spinning up fast like normal is one sign that the starter is getting worn but as it gets moving it centers up and spins the motor. If the amp draw goes over 300-400 amps (and I have seen them peg my 600 amp gauge before) it usually means the starter ids going out. But on the other hand I have seen brand new (new as in rebuilt/remanufactured) still have the same slow drag in the beginning. Some recommend a heat shield around the starter because heat from the exhaust manifold can cause problems. Clean connections to the battery to the starter and bigger gauge wire are common fixes.

Amp draw will test the battery and the starter capacity. A voltage drop test in the wires for the ground and positive battery cables will show connectivity issues.


   
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I appreciate your help so much. Thank you...
Advance auto gave me a paper and it says theses numbers for my starter amps 260.0A, voltage 10.03, time 609ms.. Cranking normal... Battery says voltage 12.79, measured 602CCA, rated 650CCA, temp 124 degress Battery results Good.... charging system test No Load 13.86V, 3.2A Loaded 13.72V, 1.8A No Problems... Drain Test results 0.10A Pass. Does this mean anything to you?? How else can I check the amp draw?? I also just wanna thru in there it has great mileage only 107,000 and I don't run this vehicle hard at all, I take good care of her.. Lol I am very grateful for your input. Thank you again so much...


   
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contributions: 1903
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Location: Oregon
ok, when they did their test was the truck cranking over slowly or was it cranking over normally? you need the test results from when it is having the dragging condition. If it is working normal when they check it you will get normal results.

the first test you gave the results for is for starter amp draw. the 260 amps. You have to see how high that number goes when it drags.

To do a voltage drop test you have to measure from the negative post on the battery to the ground at the starter. When you go to start the truck the voltage should stay close to zero. Then you measure from the positive terminal on the battery to the positive cable at the starter. Same test. Voltage drop while cranking should be close to zero. Max should be less than .5v


   
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That day it was running fine at Advance and they had me shut it off and started back up no issues. Go figure... But prior to getting to Advance I had to shut it off to get gas and when I started it up it drug.. They tested it with me idling at 3 RPM and then with it normal and then with it turned off. They said everything Passed. Clean terminals today and there was a little corrosion. So gonna take it to work tomorrow and see what happens then. This just started like a week ago and sometimes she starts fine and then sometimes it starts with like the drag. But I have noticed that when I use key pad to lock truck the keypad tone is quiet at times and then sometimes it sounds like the normal alarm keypad should. So confused..


   
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contributions: 1903
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yea, that's the thing with an intermittent problem. You have to have it happen so you can test what is going on


   
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