Not sure if this is the right sub to ask this, if not could you please direct me to where I can ask.
Bought a old Ford Tempo GL 88 a few weeks back and it has consistently gotten worse over time leading up to yesterday when it refused to start. I’m not a car person and in an effort to save money I’m hoping with the details I can give if one of you can help narrow down what the issues could possibly be. Right now I believe it to be a problem with either the alternator, battery, or starter. The problem is when looking online I’m getting conflicting opinions on what the problem is. For example one sight says a clicking noise when trying to start is most likely a starter issue while another suggests it would be a bad battery. So I’m going to describe as best I can and hopefully some more knowledgeable than me can help me out.
To begin all of these issues don’t always occur but they have all happened more than once except for last night is the first time I’ve ever gone to start my car and all I would get was a clicking noise, no engine starting or anything. Before last night the reasons I had to suspect my battery was I’m not used to the headlight pull that my tempo has thus within the first week of me owning it I had to jump my car twice due to accidentally leaving the headlights on all night and killing the battery. Often times the car does not start on the first crank and sometimes requires me to press on the gas when starting to get it going. It has been very cold and that may have something to do with it. I have had problems with my car turning off at red lights but if I keep gas on it, it won’t do that. Once again that could be more of an issue with the car as I read online about tempos being notorious for stalling. A few times I’ve caught a whiff of burning rubber while driving which would suggest the alternator, I believe. Not sure if this helps but the car has recently been having a bigger and bigger “bucking” problem when accelerating. My lights don’t seem to dim or brighten at least not enough for me to have noticed.
Fast forward to last night that caused me to question the starter. Went to go start car, lights worked, if I turned the key so I can have the car running off electricity I guess? The heat lights all that works as it should but when I crank like I would to fully start the car I get this clicking noise and no engine noises or anything, this was out of the blue and I’ve never had that issue before.
I can’t take it to a mechanic as the car doesn’t start that’s why I’m trying to troubleshoot this as much as possible, since if it is a battery that is something I could likely take care of myself.
Thank you all so much I really hope someone is able to help me out on this. If there’s anything I can answer that will help please ask away!
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