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Gatores

1997 mercury tracer help

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Gatores

My son hit a big snowdrift and he says it died right away. Now it hasnt started since and just wondering if anyone has any guess on what would cause that or what I could do to get it started. His car is a 97 tracer with a 4 cyl auto. Thanks in advance for any insight you can give

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CadCruzer

I would check to see if the inertia switch needs to be reset. This switch shuts off the fuel pump if the vehicle gets hit hard. Check your owners or shop manual they should show you where its at.

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Gatores

Would that switch be up or down. I looked in the trunk and it was in the down position and there was a little slot to pop it up.

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Scott K

It should be in the down position!

I would check a few basic things

When you turn the key in the on position, does the check engine light come on?

If the check engine light comes on, crank the engine over, watch the check engine light, does it go out after the engine is turning over? If the light doesnt go out, check the crank sensor on the pass side of the car on the front bottom side of the engine by the crank pulley.

Is there alot of snow under the hood, or ice, if so bring it in the garage and thaw it out and then retry it!

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Gatores

By check the crank engine sensor what do you mean by check it. Like did it break off or what im not sure what to do. I just had it in the garage all day with the knipco going and its all thawed out. The inertia switch was in the down position so that should be ok. thanks again

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Scott K

By checking what the "check engine light" on the dash is doing can tell me what is going on. Does the check engine light come on when you turn the key on? Does it go out when turning the engine over?

The crank shaft sensor is the sensor that tells the computer that the engine is turning over, without that reading, it wont fire the injectors, the spark plugs, or the fuel pump. Let me know what the check engine light is doing, then I can let you know what is most likely wrong.

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Gatores

The check engine light does not come on with the key or when turning it over. It smells a little like gas when turning it over for awhile. Any ideas?

Thanks

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Scott K

Ok, since the check engine light doesnt come on, this means one of two things, either the bulb is burnt out, or the computer isnt powerd up. If the bulb is burnt out, this wouldnt cause a no start, so we will go with the pcm not powering up.

First thing to do is, check all the fuses in the car, under the hood, and inside the car.

Second thing is, checking the computer relay, and the problem you will have here is it is an assembely. It is a box about 6"x4"x2" left front of the car, under the airfilter box. It will have 24 wires going to it. This box has all the cars relays built in to it. You can try tapping it with a rubber hammer and see if it will start then.

These are some basic things you can check for at first, without getting into checking powers and grounds into the relays, or the computer. Good luck, hopefully its only a fuse!

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Shack

4wanderingeyes,

Happy B-day! cool.gif

If it is a fuse, why did it blow and will it blow again? grin.gif

I had a car with this same thing occuring after and can not remember how it was fixed.

I think the PCM might be in the fender next to battery. Did wiring or connection get damages or come loose?

For the heck of it, clean posts on battery terms.

This could be a simple diag. or a long drawn out one.

Good luck!

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Scott K

Thanks Shack,

The pcm is located inside the car, in the center counsel area, by the heater box. The problem all started after hitting a drift, snow could have just got into a sensor, and shorted out a fuse, such as an o2 sensor heater.

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Gatores

Sorry it took so long to get back to this, but I am at a loss. Can anyone recommend where to get it looked at in the St Peter, MN area. Dont know any "good" shops in the area so any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Capt. Don*

If you don't have any known qualified shop in your area, I would suggest your local Ford dealer. This is going to take specific electrical diagnosis and the Ford dealer will be more familiar and have access to the needed information to get this thing going.

Good luck

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