1991 Ford F-150 click but no start

Asked by Mar 01, 2017 at 05:01 PM about the 1991 Ford F-150 XLT Lariat 4WD LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Every time I turn the key to start my truck, all I get is a click. I have looked at
other forums and stuff, but I've only been able to figure out that it's either my
battery, wiring, solenoid, or starter. I took my battery to Walmart to get it
tested and they said it was good. Is there any way to isolate the problem so
that I know it's either the solenoid, starter, or wiring.

15 Answers

73,865

Try jumping the solenoid up on the fender, that is if it is not on the starter. Jump the battery cable stud to the small wire stud. If It don't kick in then possibly the solenoid. Then jump between the 2 big studs. If the starter is good it will kick in.

19,840

You can also try tapping on starter with a hammer and have someone starting vehicle at the same time if vehicle starts replace starter.

I tried attaching the positive wire directly to the other end of the solenoid, but that only shot sparks. I also got my dad to start the truck while I used a hammer to hit the starter. I checked all the wire connections and they seemed fine. Any Ideas?

19,840

Try tapping on the starter not the solenoid.

I did, still nothing. Was using a rubber mallet.

19,840

No use a metal hammer like a ball pean or regular carpenters hammer.

73,865

There looks to be a starter relay that two wires run to from the solenoid on the fender. That doesn't look to healthy. Try cleaning up those two wires, relay and wire connectors look all rusty.

73,865

And yea, you were hooking a positive to a negative with that wire. Can't do that. So Its jumping between the small terminal to the big terminal with the protective cap on it. That should energize the starter. Thats what we want to see if it is a starter problem or that relay or solenoid.

73,865

And that is a fuse-able link on that red smaller wire, that black casing. It looks like it comes apart, there would be a fuse in there. Check that out also.

I understand what you mean by "big terminal with cap on it," but what do you mean by small terminal? Do you mean the one marked in blue? Also, I cleaned up the two smaller red wires connecting to the fender. When I used multimeter to measure from the black wire on the solenoid to the red wire on the battery, it gave us an output. Does this mean anything? Thanks a lot!

73,865

The small wire you now have plugged back in, not the one circled in blue, the wire on top. And yes you would get a reading across the red wire circled in red and the black wire circled in blue, you should read battery voltage across those two. That does not mean anything.

Ok, so when I connect the top to the one that was capped, all I get is the same click I get when I turn the key to start the truck.

73,865

Ok here, do this. Since that is the old style starter, the cable running to the starter is a positive cable. That runs up to that solenoid. There is no power there at the moment. It is not a live wire, so hook up a jumper cable to the post of the starter first. Make sure the clamp does not touch any metal part, only the post the cable is attached too. Take the other end of the jumper cable and touch it to the positive on the battery. Either the starter will work or it will not, indicating if the starter works or not. If this is a standard transmission, make sure it is in neutral.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

Thank you so much! It started. So I need to replace the solenoid. Going to head down to the auto parts store and pick it up!

73,865

Super! Good to hear it!

Your Answer

F-150

Looking for a Used F-150 in your area?

CarGurus has 10,137 nationwide F-150 listings starting at $3,450.

Postal Code:

Ford F-150 Experts

  • #1
    OJ
    Reputation
    8,960
  • #2
    dandyoun
    Reputation
    4,550
  • #3
    tennisshoes
    Reputation
    3,070
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used GMC Sierra 1500
257 Great Deals out of 10,772 listings starting at $2,995
Used Ford Mustang
6 Great Deals out of 1,122 listings starting at $1,250
Used Ford F-250
7 listings
Used Ford Explorer
53 Great Deals out of 1,444 listings starting at $2,800

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Ford F-150 For Sale
2,360 listings starting at $35,504
2017 Ford F-150 For Sale
17 Great Deals out of 3,837 listings starting at $27,096
2016 Ford F-150 For Sale
59 Great Deals out of 794 listings starting at $19,995
2015 Ford F-150 For Sale
99 Great Deals out of 652 listings starting at $21,490
2014 Ford F-150 For Sale
94 Great Deals out of 515 listings starting at $13,800

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.