Why Won’t My Ford Mustang Start?

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Currently in its 6th generation, the Ford Mustang dates back to 1964 and has grown to be one of the most popular muscle car names ever, leading to it being Ford’s longest-running nameplate.

Muscle cars are known more for their looks and feel than they are for their technical prowess and mileage, which is why there is no surprise that the Ford Mustang has enough issues that make you raise the question, “Why won’t my Ford Mustang start?”.

And the answer could be a problem in any system of the vehicle; electrical, ignition, fuel, all of these systems could have a fault which prevents the Ford Mustang from starting.

The most common of these issues are:

  1. Dead Battery
  2. Failed Starter
  3. Faulty Alternator
  4. Electrical Issues
  5. Ignition Switch Errors

While all of these issues may sound hard to fix and even harder to diagnose, in this article, I will explain all of them in great detail to help you figure out which one you are dealing with and how to fix them.

What Would Cause A Ford Mustang To Not Start?

Let's diagnose why your Ford Mustang cannot turn over

It can easily get overwhelming with so many reasons. Fuel and battery issues are annoying to fix, while electrical issues are hard to diagnose.

The reasons are endless, and I will highlight the most common ones here for your convenience.

1: Dead Battery

A dead battery is extremely common in cars and even more so is a low-charged battery.

The battery is usually the cause of why any car will not start, and the fix for it is also relatively easy.

A car battery only has an average life of about 4 to 5 years, so it makes sense that you can have this issue a few times during the lifetime of your Ford Mustang.

If you have noticed your interior lights getting dim along with difficulties in starting your car before losing the ability outright, you may be dealing with a dead battery or one that is low charged.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Conduct a voltage test to confirm if the battery is the main culprit. If the battery is outputting less than 12 volts, then you should be certain that the battery is the cause of the problem.
  • The easiest thing to do would be to get a replacement battery and swap it out for your old battery.
  • On the other hand, you can try to jumpstart your car battery in the hopes that it just has a low charge.
  • Connect the battery terminals of your Ford Mustang to a cable, hook the opposite terminals to the healthy battery of another car, and start the other car’s engine.

2: Failed Starter

Your engine needs to be able to turn over if you want your Ford Mustang to run, and the main component to make this all possible is the starter motor.

If there is even the slightest fault in this component, then good luck trying to start your car. You don’t need a bad starter to prevent your car from starting.

Even a bad starter connection can be enough to show how fragile the entire system is and how you must take care of it for it to work properly.

This can easily happen by corrosion. The starter itself could also just be dead or failing, and if that is the case, you should start planning on going to the mechanic.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Go down to your local mechanic to get a better grasp of the situation with your starter.
  • If the starter has a fault or is dead, you need to get a replacement.
  • Fixing the starter may no longer be an option, and getting a new one is much better.
  • Regular maintenance on your new starter can easily help prevent any issues in the future.
  • Cleaning the solenoid of the starter motor and preventing corrosion between the connections is another thing you need to take care of.

3: Faulty Alternator

If your alternator is faulty, you will often find the battery of your Ford Mustang running out of juice.

This is because the alternator’s job is to ensure that the battery is charged while the car is running.

If the alternator cannot function properly, the battery will lose its charge over time and eventually not be able to start the car.

A faulty alternator can be hard to diagnose since many people just assume the problem is with the battery and get a jumpstart or replace it entirely.

If you find your battery running out of juice constantly, then perhaps the alternator is to blame, so don’t go throwing away your battery just yet.

Instead, keep it until you have the main issue perfectly diagnosed.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Replace your battery and see if the new one shows a regular lack of charge. If it does, the problem is no doubt in your alternator.
  • Now that you know the alternator is to blame book an appointment with a mechanic and have him/ her check out the Ford Mustang’s alternator.
  • If the alternator is damaged or defective, then you should take it out and get your hands on a new one, as fixing your old alternator can still carry risks of issues.

4: Electrical Issues

One of the most complex systems in any car is the electrical system.

This system has grown more complex as cars have gotten more advanced and computerized, and with these complexities, the issues have also increased, and the problems have become harder to detect.

Corroded battery terminals, poor ground connections, bad wiring connections, and dirty battery cables are just a few of the many electrical issues your Ford Mustang can face.

More complex issues also exist but are usually model specific.

These simpler issues are pretty common among cars and are very hard to detect as there are a lot of wires inside the car, and even if one of them is causing an issue, it might be enough that the whole car may not start because of it.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Inspect all the wires in your car to look for frays and corrosion. If you find either of these two, then you should have these wires replaced.
  • Trace all the wires from one end to the other and ensure they are properly connected.
  • Cleaning your dirty cables can help reduce these types of issues.
  • Cleaning the battery terminals is also recommended as you can apply agents that prevent the corrosion from happening again.

5: Ignition Switch Errors

A component with many different purposes is the ignition switch. This component controls many car accessories, preventing them from consuming all of the battery’s power.

It connects the starter to the battery, making it possible to send electricity to the starter, allowing the car to start.

It can be inferred that if the ignition switch has any sort of problem, you should not be able to start your Ford Mustang.

This is possible if you have a worn-out ignition switch or if the springs are broken. High temperatures can also cause this issue to occur.

Check to see if your dashboard lights up or not. If it does not, then you are likely dealing with an error with an ignition switch.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Take your Ford Mustang to the mechanic and have the ignition switch checked out.
  • If the issue is a broken spring, then simply have it replaced with a new one.
  • If your ignition switch has been worn out or damaged due to high temperatures, then your best bet is to have it replaced entirely and get a new one.
  • Once you get a new switch, you have to make sure that you use it with caution so as to not break the spring inside and make sure to not let it overheat either.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Ford Mustang Start With New Battery?

With your new battery, you should find yourself jumpstarting your Ford Mustang less often, but if you can no longer start the car at all, you may have another problem on your hands.

First, make sure that the new battery has been perfectly installed or not.

If it is properly installed, then it is possible that you may have other electric issues.

Q2. Why Won’t My Ford Mustang Start Even With A Jump?

While a low-charged and even dead battery will be revived if you jumpstart your Ford Mustang, it is still possible that, even if you jumpstart the battery, your car may not start.

In this case, it should be clear to you that the problem does not lie in the battery.

The fuel system, other parts of the electrical system, and even the starting system could all have issues that need to be resolved.

Q3. Why Won’t My Ford Mustang Start But Lights Work?

The interior lights of the Ford Mustang do not consume a lot of power from the battery, so it should be no surprise if the lights turn on, but the car does not.

You are most likely dealing with a bad battery. A jumpstart should be able to resolve the issue, and if this is not the case, then I will recommend you try getting a new battery entirely.

Q4. Why Won’t My Ford Mustang Start But Cranks?

If your Ford Mustang is cranking, then most of the electrical systems of the car should be fine.

You should not focus on that area of the car and instead check other critical systems such as the starting system and the fuel system.

Blockage may be preventing adequate fuel from reaching the engine. On the other hand, the starter motor has a defect that may prevent it from turning on the car.

Q5. Why Won’t My Ford Mustang Start Just Clicks?

Unlike the previous question, here you can easily infer that the problem is most likely in the electrical system and should be given immediate attention as defects in the electrical system can go from bad to worse very quickly.

The battery could be low on a charge which is an easy fix, but the starter motor could also be the root cause. The alternator may also be the source of the problem.

Q6. Why Won’t My Ford Mustang Start In The Cold Weather?

It is widely considered a bad idea to leave your car in the cold weather, which only makes it more difficult if you try and start your Ford Mustang in the cold.

The cold weather and cars don’t usually mix, with the lower temperatures reducing the effectiveness of the battery and reducing power output.

Additionally, the spark plugs are also negatively affected, being unable to generate a strong spark.

Q7. Why Won’t My Ford Mustang Start After I Get Gas?

If you recently topped up your gas tank with fuel but still found that your car is not starting, then you need to make sure that the Ford Mustang’s engine is even getting the fuel or not.

Low quality and cheap fuel is not only bad for the car but also causes a lot of blockage in the fuel filters. This can prevent the engine from starting.

Q8. Why Won’t My Ford Mustang Start But Radio Works?

This issue is quite similar to the same issue with the lights. Just as the lights do not take a lot of power to turn on, the radio does not either.

Hence it should be possible to run the Ford Mustang’s radio without turning on the car.

Once again, you should attempt to jumpstart the vehicle to see if the battery is the issue or get a replacement battery.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Ford Mustang?


The Ford Mustang is an iconic American Muscle Car Series and probably one of the most recognized cars of all time, which makes it more painful for proud owners to question the integrity of their car and ask, why won’t my Ford Mustang start?

But now you should be able to determine the exact cause of the reason why your Ford Mustang isn’t starting and be able to employ the correct solution to neutralize the problem and make sure that does not happen again.

This should help you keep the car relatively problem free and allow you to enjoy driving your Ford Mustang.