When I went to start my van today I was unable to get power. Initially I engaged the glow plugs four times. The glow plugs heat, then the relay chatters. When I turned the key to start there was a pop and the power dropped (eg. Dome lights off, no 12V accessory, battery meter shows no V). Returning the key to accessory did not restore power.

I checked the battery (approx. 1yr old) and found 12V across the connectors to the terminals. The connectors were confirmed firmly secured. I then checked fuses, finding only 1 blown fuse for the trailer power which is not connected. All lines from the battery had continuity. I did not detect any parasitic draw. During this time the power came back on.

Now when I engage accessory I receive power. When attempting to engage the glow plugs I lose power. In accessory the battery voltage no longer reads on the battery meter.

A 2nd car was used for a jump after warming the glow plugs. This caused no change in the symptoms.

The glow plugs are new. Any educated guesses on where I should look for problems? Any ideas are much appreciated.

Vehicle is a 1993 e350. The engine is a 7.3 idi

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Jan 24, 2018 at 1:42
  • Welcome to the site. Can you tell us a little about what the make/model and year of the vehicle? Also, which engine is in it can help us try to get you a good answer. Sounds like a circuit breaker or relay issue.
    – CharlieRB
    Jan 24, 2018 at 1:43
  • This sounds like the battery has a weak connection. Jan 24, 2018 at 18:24
  • I did ensure good connection on the battery terminals. I checked continuity from the battery posts to their respective terminus though I did not ensure their connection. Vehicle is a 1993 e350. The engine is a 7.3 idi. The original post has been updated.
    – Revots
    Jan 25, 2018 at 5:15
  • 12 volts is not a good battery voltage. Is is 12.0, or 12.6 ? That's a world of difference. Measure the battery voltage with the glow plugs heating. THAT measurement is far more important. My guess is you may have bad batter(ies). My '02 F350 7.3 does the exact same thing if I don't maintain the batteries. Glow plugs are a huge electrical load.
    – SteveRacer
    Jan 26, 2018 at 5:07

1 Answer 1


After confirming battery and cabling found loose control signal on starter, corrosion on several grounds, and finally a damaged ignition starter solenoid. The IGS is not the solenoid attached to the starter.

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