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Discussion Starter #1
So I just bought a 2002 F250 and it was working great but with this winter storm it was struggling a bit to stay on after the first start. I had to crank and start 4-5 times the day earlier before it stayed on. Yesterday I was trying to start it and it kept going down and I kept trying to crank and start.... finally it stopped cranking at all. I figured that I drained the batteries and got them charged. But it’s not cranking at all now.

I checked the fuse and it’s still good. I tried bypassing the starter to the battery and it cranks.

Is there a way to check if the starter relay is bad? I am at a loss and thought I’d ask to see what else I should look at?
 

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See if you are getting power to the relay when the key is turned to start. If you are jump the starter terminals, if that works it is the relay. You might want to clean all connections first and see if that works. Check glow plug relay while you are at it. Did you add anti-gel to the fuel with the cold snap. What is your location? Post more information on the truck in your sig block.
DENNY
 

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The '02 won't have a starter relay on the passenger side fender. It's in the fuse block under the dash and is a standard Bosch style relay, so is probably fine (they're pretty robust). But you could swap it out to be sure. It could be the solenoid on the starter that's intermittent. If you've been cranking a lot, you may have toasted that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
See if you are getting power to the relay when the key is turned to start. If you are jump the starter terminals, if that works it is the relay. You might want to clean all connections first and see if that works. Check glow plug relay while you are at it. Did you add anti-gel to the fuel with the cold snap. What is your location? Post more information on the truck in your sig block.
DENNY
I am in Austin,Texas. I’ll get the truck info on there but it’s 2002 F-250 RWD Regular Cab. I just bought it and it seems to be well take care of.. it has 320k miles on it.

I bought a new relay and I will switch that out tomorrow. I didn’t put anti-gel to the fuel so that probably isn’t helping but it’s supposed to get up in the 50’s tomorrow. I really pushed it a little too far in the cold.

I will post an update tomorrow.. if the new relay doesn't help then I’ll probably look at the starter/starter solenoid like klhansen mentioned and come back for some more advice if I can’t diagnose because I will definitely have to do it myself.
 

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After you fix that part, check your glowplugs. Your initial "with this winter storm it was struggling a bit to stay on after the first start " sounds like they are done.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
/Update/

So I changed out the starter relay and it was not it, so got under tried to tap on the starter and starter seemed to not engage!? There was definitely a noise coming from starter but engine wasn’t cranking. I went ahead and changed out the starter and it tried to CRANK twice and ...now it cuts off the power and then It beeps once. Now there is not even the noise that was coming out of the old starter.
 

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Clean and check all the battery wiring including the chassis ground.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Clean and check all the battery wiring including the chassis ground.
I checked the battery wiring and the ground. Its not cutting off all the power; the lights on the guage cluster stay on. The mileage numbers is the only thing that goes off and if I hold the key in on position its beeps once and the numbers come back on. When I try to bypass the starter to the battery I just hear a click and the engine doesn't crank.

I am thinking about pulling and replacing the wires to the starter.
 

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After all of this, are your batteries low? They will not crank at all below a certain point. While you're doing all the wiring checking, put them on a charger.
 
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
/Update/

I had the truck dropped off at a mechanic who had remarkable reviews... He says he drained a little oil and found a metal chunk. According to him, the engine is locking up. If one person taps the starter, another bypasses the starter to the battery while someone wiggles the engine with a breaker bar.. then it starts for 10 seconds and shuts off.
He didn't save the metal chunk.. so I don't know if I want to believe him or not. But I am seeing some shaving on the dipstick. My dipstick is pretty messed up and has to be shoved in. I am planning to drain the oil and to see what's in there

My question....can you get a locked-up engine loose like that?

He says the aftermarket alarm system is what's causing the truck to not start.
 

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If there's metal chunks in the oil pan, that engine needs to come out and get rebuilt at a minimum. Don't try to save it even if you can get it to roll over. It'll just leave you stranded somewhere bad when it blows up completely.

There's no good outcome. :(
 
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