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2002 Ford Expedition. Rapid clicking, won't start. Noise from starter relay/solenoid on firewall.

nazarathnazarath Posts: 2
edited October 2014 in Ford
Hey guys, i've been having some problems with my Ford Expedition XLT 5.4 v8 triton 4wd recently.

About a week ago I drove it to see the family a few miles away and when I parked, I decided I was going to move it to a different location since I was sort of in the way, but all I was getting was a rapid clicking noise when trying to crank it back up. We brought the battery to Autozone for them to test it and it was working fine, and then we took off the altenator and brought it end which turned out to be bad, so after replacing it, it started up and I drove it back home.

I then went back a few days later after not driving it and it cranked right up perfectly and I drove it to visit them again, and again I tried to crank it because I found out more people were coming and I decided to move the vehicle again, again I got the exact same thing, where it was making a rapid clicking noise. This time we pinpointed where it was coming from and it was coming from a little thing bolted to the firewall which autozone called it a Starter Relay/Selenoid, below is a link of what it is.

From what I've read, if the starter is bad it'll do one click and not rapid clicking noise like this little device is making. If anyone could give me a heads up on what it is and what I should purchase I would greatly appreciate it, I don't know anything about vehicles and my uncle that is helping me currently doesn't know alot about this specific thing either.

The man we talked to at autozone said he didn't believe this little relay was bad, and thought it was the starter itself and that I should take it off and bring it in for them to test, which wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't a 4WD and had all the extra stuff, my uncle is going out of town for a week and will only have a few hours tomorrow to help me get it off. If it's just that little relay that needs to be replaced then i'll gladly go get one tomorrow. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

We also checked both relays inside of autozone with one of the testers and they were both "Open" I think they said, I wasn't quite aware what they're talking about but if that helps, I figure it wouldnt hurt to add that as well.

If any additional information is needed, i'll gladly try to help by adding whatever is needed as well.


  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,655
    Usually when I hear about the rapid clicking thing I am thinking lack of power to the starter/relay either due to battery (either bad or weak from alternater troubles) or bad cable connection. In this case I would lean towards cable/connection problem.
  • Alright thanks, i'm not close to the vehicle and will be going later today, if it's not the cables, are there any other simple fixes that it might be we can try before we take off the starter to see if it has gone bad?

    The battery itself was running at about 12v I think last night and the autozone people fully charged it and checked it saying it was in good working condition so i'll definitly check the cables when I head over there.
  • I second the vote for the battery. It isn't charging properly. How old is it?
  • Had all these issues on my 2002 exp and I check voltage everywhere and tested good. I even pulled the starter and took it for testing and it passed. Removed all fuses and relays to check for burnt fuses or corroded relays. Checked for corrosion under cable insulation and checked grounds and found nothing. Turns out the battery had an internal short and every time a load was needed when the ignition was turned on no power was leaving the battery. In the future I will test battery with a load tester even if it shows 12.6 volts.
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