93 Ford Escort GT, intermittent starting

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Hi all, from another newbie.

I bought this 93 GT for my daughter about a year ago and she now has it at college. Trouble started last weekend and of course Dad gets the call. Here are the symptoms:

Turn the key and nothing happens....maybe a bit of chatter from the solenoid.
The ignithion chime is chiming, but the radio is dead and the lights won't turn on. When I try the lights the chime stops, so it seems like a battery/power connection somewhere.

I got it going by jiggling the ground connection at the firewall, and later I cleaned and tightened this connection. However it is still doing the same thing for her on campus. She got it going last time a few days ago by jiggling the positive cable. Seems a bit random...so I am wondering what really is going on. I think that the jiggling possibly has nothing to do with getting it started again and possibly just trying to make several attempts to start the car would have eventually worked as well.

So it leads me to ask, are there other components like an ignition relay for example that could give the same symptoms? I am baffeled at this point and in a couple of weeks I hope to get the car home and go to work on it.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

posted by  kwaskow

You say your jiggling the connections? Id suggest to make sure all the connections are clean and the ground mating surfaces are clean and TIGHT. You shouldnt be able to move the connections with ur hands. Either that or your battery is going, have any idea how old it is?

posted by  speedy266

Can't be the batt - works great once the "connection" is made. I am planning to workover all the connections as soon as I get it home.

posted by  kwaskow

Well dont assume it cant be the battery, it could be it in fact. I had a similar problem, one day i go to start my car i turn the key and totally nothing no cranking or anything the battery voltage is showing really low, i try again, nothing, i try AGAIN and press the gas and the starter trys turning over and it fires up. Once it was fired up it ran perfect, once its running the alternator can keep charging the battery so it wouldnt be noticeable if the battery was bad when driving. The problem would be if the battery cant hold its charge when the alternator isnt charging it. So yah it seemed to be fine for a couple days and again one day it wouldnt turn over, got it boosted and it ran fine, that weekend i changed the battery, and never had problems since. How old is ur battery? I also noticed alotta blue and green build up on the positve terminal but i cleaned it now. Also yesterday i went to throw the battery out at the recycling center and i noticed alot of blueish green stuff coming out of the positive terminal so i dunno, there are some places u can get ur battery tested to see if it can hold its charge.

posted by  speedy266

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