Ford Transit Not Starting – What Could Be Wrong?

Is your Ford Transit not starting? Do you try to turn the key in the ignition, and nothing happens? We know the sinking feeling in your gut you are experiencing now.

You are probably racking your brain trying to figure out what has gone wrong. Take a deep breath and know you have clicked on the right article. We looked into this very topic to understand what could be wrong and what you can do about it. 

There are many reasons your Ford Transit is not starting. Here are some of the most common problems that prevent the Transit engine from functioning:

  • Weak/dead battery
  • Weak/dead key FOB battery
  • Battery corrosion 
  • Broken alternator 
  • Damaged starter relay
  • Immobilizer problems 

We know it is incredibly frustrating when your vehicle doesn't start. Keep reading as we discuss potential Ford Transit starting problems and answer some typical engine starting questions too. 

A huge gray colored Ford transit parked for display at a motorshow, Ford Transit Not Starting - What Could Be Wrong?

How Do You Diagnose A No Crank No Start Issue?

An engine needs a few things to start: cranking speed, compression, voltage, and fuel. When an engine doesn't start, it lacks in one of these areas. If there is no crank and no start, then it is a voltage problem.

This means there is something wrong with the battery or the circuit system that charges the battery.

If the engine cranks, but it doesn't start, there is a problem in the other three areas. Further investigation is needed. But now you can narrow it down, so you know where to continue looking.  

Why Will My Ford Transit Not Start?

Several problems result in a Ford Transit's engine not working. Any of the following issues may be the reason your van isn't working. Let's take a look at these problems, so you can troubleshoot the issue and know what to do next. 

Weak Or Dead Battery 

Mechanic checking car battery

A dead battery is the most common reason a vehicle doesn't start. If your Ford Transit doesn't crank when you turn the key in the ignition, then there is a high chance the battery is dead.

Test the battery charge to confirm this is the problem. You can use a voltmeter or multimeter to test the voltage. If you don't already have one of these devices, we highly recommend you buy one. 

Kaiweets Digital Multimeter 

Here is a durable multimeter you can use to measure your Ford Transit battery. You can also use this device for other automotive, industrial, and household electrical needs. It's great to have a multimeter like this on hand.

Click here to view it on Amazon. 

If the charge is low or nonexistent, then you now know why your engine won't start. The next step is to jumpstart your battery. Use jumper cables and another vehicle or jump starter to get your Ford Transit battery charged. 

If you want to buy a jump starter, read this article: 8 Best Lithium Jump Starters That Will Get Your Car Running Again.

If your battery dies regularly, then there is probably an underlying problem in your Ford Transit. But, if this was the first time your battery has died and it doesn't happen regularly, then you probably don't need to worry.

However, if your battery frequently dies, then there is a bigger problem going on. You should look for the underlying issue or take your Transit to a mechanic. 

Weak Or Dead Key FOB Battery 

Damaged car key fob on wooden background

Newer Ford Transits have a push start/stop button. If you own one of these models, you already know you need a key FOB for this button to work. If the FOB isn't unlocking the doors either, then there is a possibility that the FOB battery is dead.

Luckily, you can usually start your Transit even if the key FOB battery is dead. 

Normally, the push start button turns on your van as long as the key is on your person or inside the vehicle. However, if the FOB battery is dead, then the FOB must be closer to the button.

First, put your key FOB as close to the button as possible. Next, try to start your Transit. If this doesn't work, look inside your manual to determine the specific FOB placement. Put your key in that spot. Then try starting the engine again.

If your van still doesn't start, you can replace the key FOB battery and try starting the motor one more time. But, if the engine still doesn't run, then there is a mechanical issue. 

Battery Corrosion 

Another reason your Transit may not start is battery corrosion. The older your battery is, the more likely it is to corrode. To determine if your Ford Transit battery is corroded, you must first investigate the battery.

To start, find the battery terminals. There may be a protective rubber cap on them. If so, pop up the cap and look at the terminals. If you see a build-up of white, green, or blue deposits, then your battery is corroded.

These deposits prevent your battery from receiving a proper electrical flow. The lack of flow means the battery will be too weak to start the engine. 

To fix a battery corrosion problem, clean the battery terminals. Luckily, it is easy to remove corrosion. Once the terminals are clean, your Transit should start. If it doesn't, there must be another issue. 

For more information about battery corrosion, read this article: Car Battery Corrosion: What Owners Need To Know.

Broken Alternator 

Worker checking the alternator of the car

The alternator is an important piece of all auto mechanical systems. This part is responsible for charging your car battery while the engine is running. If it is malfunctioning, then your battery will eventually die, and the engine will not start.

If you recently replaced your battery, yet it continues to die after being jumpstarted, then a bad alternator may be the reason your Ford Transit is not starting. 

The only solution for a broken alternator is to replace it. Unless you have mechanical experience, this can be a difficult task. We recommend taking your Transit to a professional for alternator issues. 

As mentioned above, an alternator charges the battery while you drive the vehicle. If you are curious about this process, check out this article: How Much Driving To Charge A Car Battery?

Damaged Starter Relay

One more reason your Ford Transit may not start is a broken starter relay. This piece of equipment redirects power from the battery to activate the starter to turn over the engine.

It can break due to many reasons. Corrosion, dirt build-up, age, heat, and more all contribute to starter relay damage.

If you previously noticed clicking sounds when you started your Transit or it has been taking you multiple attempts to start your engine, then the starter relay could be the problem. 

You can diagnose a starter relay issue yourself by testing its electrical charge.

You need a multimeter to do this. First, locate the starter relay fuse. Then use the multimeter to test its charge. If you see an abnormal reading, then this is probably the reason your Transit isn't starting.

You must now replace the starter relay or take your van to the shop. 

Where Is The Starter Relay On A Ford Transit?

The starter relay is located in the Ford Transit fuse box. It is a small black rectangle. You can also find the starter relay fuse there too. 

Here is a video to help you locate the starter relay:

Immobilizer Problems 

An immobilizer is an electronic device on the engine. It prevents the motor from running unless it receives a special code from a specific key. It is designed to prevent hot-wiring and theft. 

However, sometimes you may have the correct key for your vehicle, and the immobilizer still prevents the engine from starting.

If your key suddenly stops starting your Ford Transit, and there seem to be no other problems with the battery or circuit system, then there may be an immobilizer issue. 

How Do I Bypass Immobiliser On Ford Transit Connect?

If your key stops working, and your spare key also stops working, you can bypass the immobilizer. Do this by reprogramming it. First, locate your key code. This code should be inside your key FOB or somewhere in your vehicle documents.

Next, turn on the ignition and use the centralized button to enter the code. Make sure to pause for a few seconds in between each digit. Now, try to start your engine again. 

You can also bypass the immobilizer by removing it from your engine. However, we do not recommend this because it leaves your car vulnerable to theft. If reprogramming doesn't work, then you should have a professional look at your Transit. 

Get Your Engine Running Again

Now that you know the potential reasons your Ford Transit is not starting, you can diagnose the problem. Checking the battery is the best first step. Then, you can focus on the underlying issues.

Remember, always take your Transit to a mechanic if you can not figure out the problem. 

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  1. Ford transit Connect 2002 died while driving left 20 minutes started up died again checked injectors fuel ok cranks over but won’t fire suggestions please

  2. Hi,
    My transit 2018 doesn’t want to start, I have tested the voltage next to the starter motor and it gives me 3 to 6v whilst trying to start the engine, so it looks like starter motor doesn’t get enough volts to push the flywheel. I have cleaned the connections of the positive ports and checked the ground, all the fuses are in working order and it still doesn’t want to start.the battery is fully charged.
    Can you tell me what else I can do about it? I do have water leak on the engine issue which I’m planning to fix after I’ll manage to start the engine.

    Kind regards

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