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Turn the key, sounds like a woodpecker...


Dabblingman

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*Sigh* This truck just keeps breaking down.

99 Ford Ranger. New battery last week. Went to start it just now. Instead of starting I hear a very quick drumroll/woodpecker noise. Taptaptaptaptaptap.

No other sounds. Anyone have any ideas?
 


Blmpkn

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Sounds like the starter solenoid is having a siezure...

Battery cables nice and tight?

Wouldn't hurt to check the battery voltage either.
 

superj

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check the battery again
 

Ranger850

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Agree with "re-check battery" and/or all connections from Battery to starter. That "woodpeccker" sound it the tell tale sound of a bad/weak battery
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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Check battery. But most likely bad connection on the big cables. Check both -ve and +ve ends and under the insulation
 

Dabblingman

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My good friend came over with a battery charger, and had me hammer the starter and starter solenoid a couple times. And voila, it started up!

His belief is I have a short in the system somewhere. We will see. We are new owners, the other 222,000 miles are a mystery to me :)
 

Ranger850

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forgive us ALL for not mentioning the BFH method
 

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My good friend came over with a battery charger, and had me hammer the starter and starter solenoid a couple times. And voila, it started up!

His belief is I have a short in the system somewhere. We will see. We are new owners, the other 222,000 miles are a mystery to me :)
A "short in the system" would blow a fuse. You have a loose or dirty connection or a bad component. If beating on the starter made it start and all the wiring connections are clean and tight, then you need a starter. If tapping on the starter relay (mounted on the inner fender in the engine bay) made it start and all your connections are clean and tight, then you need a starter relay. Otherwise, check all connections, both positive and negative and make sure they are clean and tight and no corrosion (white/yellow/greenish colored powdery stuff) in the battery cables. Also, check battery voltage with a meter. A new battery, at rest, with engine not running should be about 12.6volts. If it gets much lower than 12volts, it won't work properly. If you check the battery voltage while someone is trying to crank the engine, it should not drop lower than 10volts while cranking. Immediately after starting the engine, voltage should be around 14volts. After running for 5-10 minutes, it should drop down to about 13.5 volts. If it stays at 14 or higher, it will "cook" the battery and ruin it - bad regulator. Replace regulator or whole alternator. If it doesn't maintain over 13 volts while running, the alternator is bad.
 

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^Info doesn't get any better than that.

To people who don't understand electricity everything is "a short". It drive me nut too. Had a shift supervisor tell me that one night last week. They had broken the plug in. Cut it off and replace and it worked great.
 

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