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2005 won't start, only 16K miles, what do I do next

Discussion in '2002 - 2005 Ford Thunderbird' started by Bruce in CA, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. Hi, I have a 2005 ford t-bird that has only 16K miles on it, always garaged in CA and it won't start. No problem prior. Battery is strong, fuel interuptor switch not deployed, fuse to fuel pump is ok. What are possible problems and the way to proceed? If I have towed to the dealer, how do I get it into neutral so it can be backed out of the garage down a steep hill? THANKS! Bruce
    John Hayman likes this.
  2. Red Tail

    Red Tail Active Member Lifetime Donor

    Hi Bruce, I had the same issue. Mine was a defective ECM, pretty common in these birds. Mone only had 12K miles. I replaced it and all is well. Look to spend around 800-1000
  3. Red Tail

    Red Tail Active Member Lifetime Donor

    Also Bruce you do not need to go to the dealer, there are companies that offer lifetime warranties on computer exchanges
    tbird likes this.
  4. Thank you for the information!! Is there a way to verify that the ECM is the problem before going any further with companies or dealers? How do we know its not a fuel pump or alternator issue or even something other than a fuse in the fuse box? If it is the ECM, is it an easy fix for someone with very limited mechanical skills or does it require a mechanic? I do some of my own plumbing and basic electrical at home so I am not afraid of it, I just don't have the skill or special tools. Any help is much appreciated. I am in Southern California in case there are any local resources you know of (Orange County). THANKS
  5. Red Tail

    Red Tail Active Member Lifetime Donor

    When you turn the key on, does the anti theft light stay on or does it flicker? Ford has had issues with what is called their PATS system for years (Passive Anti Theft System) I believe there in lies your issue.
  6. Red Tail

    Red Tail Active Member Lifetime Donor

    This will require a mechanic that is adept in this area. The new unit could require a reflash as well
  7. Not flickering that I know of. I have an appointment at the dealer today and hope this is an easy fix with little disassembly. An ECM would be highly preferable to a fuel pump. I just don't have any idea yet what it is.
  8. JW in Dixie

    JW in Dixie Well-Known Member Lifetime Donor

    If you have to move it with the tranny in park, buy a couple of wheel dollies for the rear wheels. Maybe Harbor Freight?
  9. Well the car did go into neutral and was towed to the dealer. Diagnosed as bad fuel pump and $2,150 including taxes. With only 16K miles, I am wondering if fuel pumps can go more because of age than use. Any thoughts, is this common for low mile t-birds?
  10. tbird

    tbird Forum Moderator Staff Member

    There is good reason why car warranties are years or miles whichever comes first. The car may have low miles but it is still at least 12 years old. Sit a chair outside for 12 years and see what happens to it. :)
    Gus Gutz and John Hayman like this.
  11. JW in Dixie

    JW in Dixie Well-Known Member Lifetime Donor

    Ye Gads!!! That's highway robbery. Can't you replace it yourself? I think it is accessible in the trunk under the mat. JW
    John Hayman likes this.
  12. requires dropping the gas tank or going in via the speaker locations and creating a special tool.
    tbird and John Hayman like this.
  13. couture

    couture Active Member Gold Donor

    I use ethanol free fuel only for that reason and then I even put in marine Sta-Bil ( the blue stuff) if it will sit more than a month. Ethanol is terrible for your fuel system in older cars.
    John Hayman likes this.
  14. Well the dealer called and told me that in addition to the fuel pump, my AC compressor is leaking peg oil and would be $1,500 to replace. I have been having some oil drops on the floor at start up for a while now but was unaware it was AC related. I think I would like to go to an independent and save some money but am worried about finding a reputable place. Does anyone know of a place in Orange County, CA that is trustworthy and reasonable? Also, would there be any harm in just refilling the oil level and cleaning up the 3-5 drops at start up?
  15. tbird

    tbird Forum Moderator Staff Member

    I use Google reviews and Facebook reviews to find somewhere. The dealer is always going to be the most expensive, and there are even some franchise shops that are just as expensive! Had one place that was going to charge me 1823.00 to replace my AC/Compressor. Found the same compressor kit they were charging me 1084.00 for 528.00 on Autozone. Parts should have a 20 percent markup. Found a local mechanic with a small business that charged 850.00!
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
    bsedwebt and JW in Dixie like this.
  16. Howdy! We are looking at a 2005 as well. The previous owner mentioned about the possible ECM issue.
  17. HI,

    I lived in OC for 14 years and just moved to arizona thank god but there is an independent a/c guy up off the 405 just before the 22 split in westminster its in a commercial area right against the 405, trying to find the name on google maps for you right now. Nope cannot find them but they were around that area, the name was initials like KB or something, they were very good. The refrigerant in your a/c system has an oil mixed with it to lubricate all the moving parts. That price for the a/c replace seems a lot, probably because they have to birng someone in to do it for them.

    Also if the battery is good it would never have been the alternator as that has nothing to do with starting the vehicle just keeping the battery charged.
    randler and JW in Dixie like this.
  18. Just read your post. I also had same prob with my 2002 tbird. It was the fuel pump. Ford dealer quoted me $2100. I did it myself with a lifetime fuel pump warranty for $105 from Oreillys auto parts. You dont have to pull fuel tank. Main fuel pump is on the right side behind passenger seat. I rented the special tool from autozone. Not much room to work in. Took me 4 hours. Go to youtube and they have a video that takes you step by step through the process. Lastly, if you store your car do not store it with 1/4 tank of gas or less. This tends to allow fuel pump seizure. Store your car with at least 1/2 tank of gas and add stabil to your gas. Phil
    bsedwebt, JW in Dixie and tbird like this.
  19. That is a really good bit of information to have, thanks, mine hasn't had any of these problems yet but there will be the day I'm sure. Is there a special name for the tool? Sometimes they do like to give things odd sounding names I know. Also doesn't the car have two fuel pumps, I thought I ahd read that somewhere at an earlier time on here, how did you actually find out which one, just by turning on the ignition to listen to each one? Always good to have this knowledge ready for when the event happens.

    Jimma and JW in Dixie like this.
  20. JW in Dixie

    JW in Dixie Well-Known Member Lifetime Donor

    Have read that the tank is a saddle shape and thus has a transfer pump on the port side. I guess if this one goes bad you can just keep the tank > half full and avoid the hassle.

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