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After turning the ignition the car will not make a sound. The radio works, and all the lights work except the headlights. What could be the problem?

  • If this is a manual transmission vehicle, are you certain you are depressing the clutch pedal fully? There is a switch that prevents starting with the clutch engaged, which may be out of adjustment, broken, or mounted on a bent bracket. – SteveRacer Jun 25 '16 at 22:24
  • On a 2000 Focus? This must be a different car to the Euro 2000 Focus, no such clutch interlock exists on ours. I'd guess the battery is flat. – Sam Jun 27 '16 at 15:16
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Brenda,

You could have one of fifty troubles giving you a no start condition.

To run, a car needs a control system, and functional electricity. The engine needs spark, fuel, and air in the proper mix. Any defect could cause troubles. But the good news is your car is equipped with a computer system that manages a good portion of these things. It also keeps record of problems. It uses an OnBoard Diagnostic (OBD2) system.. with that system you can plug in a code reader and that will tell you any stored fault codes. Generally the fault code system is pretty decent and tells the mechanic what could possibly be wrong with your car.

With your description, I'm guessing there will be codes set. You can purchase a code reader ($80 and up), or if you live in the USA, many autoparts stores and mechanics will read the codes for you for free. Unfortunately you have to get the car to the store first, sigh. Some manufacturers have designed a method without tools to read the codes using blinking cluster lights, but from what I can tell, not for your car. (Instrument Cluster yes, but not for the engine computer.) I'm pretty sure you will need to borrow or purchase the OBD2 reader tool. The tool plugs into a connector underneath the steering wheel on your car. Oh, and apparently you can't buy these readers if you live in California. They are normally available at your autoparts store (or online).

  • Your first action is to get the OBD codes from your car. (Buy a tool, borrow a tool or tow car to shop?) When you get the codes, report back here!
  • Recommended second action is for you to purchase a Chilton or Haynes Service manual. $30 well spent. This will teach you how the different systems of your car works, and how to maintain the car so it performs reliably for you.
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Your car probably has a PATS key (a security feature), which prevents the ignition from starting if an unprogrammed key is used. Sometimes, a good key will go bad, and that's trouble, especially if you don't have a backup key. If you have a backup key, try it. Hopefully, that will start the car. If it doesn't then the starter may be going bad or the security transponder in the car itself has gotten unprogrammed/zapped. I've seen that happen before, too. That's definitely a dealer ($$) item.

If your backup key does start it, go immediately to a locksmith or Lowes or Home Depot or Wal-Mart and get them to make a programmed duplicate. It'll cost about $75-85, but the dealer will charge you double that.

If you don't have a backup key, then you'll either have to pay the dealer, or scour the internet for a trick. I don't know if any of them work because I got 4 keys for my Ranger, and my best friend is a locksmith :).

Good luck!

  • 2000 Model Year Ford with a Perimeter Anti Theft System (PATS) will set a blinking light in the instrument panel cluster. You will know if that is the issue. It also sets codes. If indeed this is the no start issue, it's pretty obvious. – zipzit Jun 26 '16 at 1:41

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