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Ford Explorer Starting and Stalling Problems



  • 1998lincoln1998lincoln Member Posts: 108
    Could be Mas Air Flow Sensor ! Also, the O2 Sensor will cause this same problem you are having !
  • barb2010barb2010 Member Posts: 4
    edited August 2010
    Dealership has placed a `little black box' in the truck. I'm supposed to press a button when it stalls ( while throwing it into neutral to restart it and avoid being in a collision!) Fortunately the extended warranty ended today and they are keeping the ticket open. Unfortunately they are no closer to figuring this out and I'm driving in a very scary vehicle. It just reached 50,000 miles. You would think that a $30,000+ vehicle would last longer than 5 years!
  • dixietwisterdixietwister Member Posts: 1
    i have tried everything yiu can think of it set no code the check eng lite does not come on it just spins over and over until outside temp gets above 60 degrees and then it fires up and runs like new.
  • ratmfan70ratmfan70 Member Posts: 1
    i recently got a 98 explorer sport and i ran into a starting problem. the engine would turnover but it would start. starter fluid seemed to fix the problem but when i used it today to get it to start not only wouldn't it start but i got back pressure that caught my air filter on fire. im trying to figure out if there is a problem with the exhaust system or if the engine itself may be the problem any input would be welcome
  • bigstu67bigstu67 Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2010
    I have a 2003 Ford Explorer that will not crank each time. It won't turn but the lights and radio work. Usually this happens after we have driven the truck somewhere and got out only to return to the truck and it won't crank. I took it to a mechanic a couple of months back - had it towed because it wouldn't crank but when they got it, it worked after charging the battery. They couldn't find anything wrong with it but I continue to have the problem at least once a week or so. I purchased a new battery so it's not the battery. Usually it will start again if we wait 10 or 15 minutes.
  • robert93456robert93456 Member Posts: 2
    hi we have a 1998 ford exploer it ran fine the other day but we tried starting it today but it wont start, we changed the spark plugs on it recently, we are just wondering what can it be?
  • bob406bob406 Member Posts: 1
    I have given up on my 99 explorer 15 service calls with no perminent fixes. Bought a Chevy Tahoe, Explorer going to scrap for $75.00 a ton. Sad but I will never own another ford in my life.
  • barb2010barb2010 Member Posts: 4
    I started to wonder if the after market car starter had anything to do with this. My Windstar also started having electronic issues shortly after I had the car starter installed. The door locks locked and would not unlock unless I used the remote or rolled down my window and punched in the code on the keyless entry. I have gotten rid of my Explorer. I really liked it except for the fact that it was a death trap! Stalling whenever, for no particular reason. It was in the shop a dozen times or more. The little black box the dealership installed never registered it stalling the five times it did BUT it did record the ignition being manually turned off ( I wanted to see if the thing actually did record anything!) If the computers don't recognize there is a problem, it won't register a problem and if there is no recorded problem, FORD will not cover it under warranty. I too will NEVER BUY ANOTHER FORD again!
  • regg72regg72 Member Posts: 1
  • francoricarfrancoricar Member Posts: 1
    I also own 2003 and found out what the problem was, remove the cover under the passenger side there u will find the fuel pump switch press down on it and ur truck should start.
  • cekmommy09cekmommy09 Member Posts: 1
    hi, im having the same exact problem, and we hit the button down but it doesnt start most of the time, we have to play with the fuses, the switch button and sometimes itll start after a while. any advice?
  • gonfrygonfry Member Posts: 2
    Did you try to replace ECC relay?
  • gonfrygonfry Member Posts: 2
    I'm having the same problem but I'll change the EEC relay. According to message # 81 it works.....I'm keeping very positive with this option.
  • gitfidelgitfidel Member Posts: 1
    My 94 explorer wont start at times and sometimes stalls also emits an odor like the mixture is too rich,and runs rough under exelleration.
  • peh53peh53 Member Posts: 1
    I had this problem with my 2002 Explorer. After driving it awhile, I would shut it off and it wouldn't start. When trying to restart it would turn over but wouldn't start. It also would start after sitting awhile. Took it to Ford and at first they couldn't find the problem. What I realized, it had to be over 90 degrees out. Took it back to ford when it was hot out and they found that the fuel pump didn't have full pressure when it was over 90 degrees. They replaced the pump and haven't had any problems since.
  • akasoul1akasoul1 Member Posts: 1
    I'm having the same problem with my 2000 Ford Explorer, except it happened just that day. Took it to the mechanic and they don't know what it is. I see that this happened a while back...any insight you could share would be greatly appreciated.
  • eduffy80911eduffy80911 Member Posts: 1
    After some trial and error, I began to remove the fuel pressure sensor and discovered one of the lines had a break in it. I believe when it got hot, the gap got larger and the fuel mixture got too rich, as the sensor was calling for more pressure from the pump. Replaced the sensor and the line, Problem solved. I got the car cheap because the previous owner couldn't figure it out. Glad I stumbled on it.
    If nothing else is working, check those lines!
  • jeremyk80jeremyk80 Member Posts: 1
    As of today- the day of the posting. I have the same problem , I bought a brand-new Starter and a new battery(the good one)No luck! just a click each turn of the key :( !! I have straced the wire for any short in them. I'm stuck!! I think the starter gets stuck by the flywheel.. but not sure :mad:
  • olaldeolalde Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 mercury mountaineer and about a month ago I went to go somewhere and it would not start. Then later on in the day it started. It never did that again until last week then everyday it seemed to be a hit or miss thing so we had the fuel filter changed and a new battery put in and it ran fine for a few days but then the next day it wouldnt start. Yesterday It wouldnt start and it ran fine the day before then we tried it lastnight ,started right up and we drove it with no problems then this morning wont start...we tried jumping it but it still wouldnt start. Does anyone have any idea what this could be????
  • rywalkerrywalker Member Posts: 1
    Check your crank shaft position sensor. If you get under the car and locate the crank shaft you should see a plastic piece with 3 bolts that brushes up against the crankshaft. You will see a plug going into that piece. Give it a jiggle next time it wont start then try to start it again. I had the same problem with my 97 explorer and it always works. However, If you go to the auto stores to get a new one they will give you something that looks nothing like the existing sensor. Still trying to figure that one out.
  • luckycaliluckycali Member Posts: 17
    I recently notice that my 02 explorer is hesitating to start. I have change the battery out I even went way over the cc amps I would figured that would resolved the problem due to it had a under rated battery in it but the problem is still there. It sounds like the fuel pump life is near for it but don't want to replace fuel pump if its not that.

    Would appreciated if any one has had this same problem would let me knw wat they did to fix it.
  • orcaloverorcalover Member Posts: 1
    Replaced my fuel pump, battery, and several other parts it is not any of them it is still not starting every once in a while. I plan on checking the fuel pumpl lines like that other post said he did. Good luck.
  • luckycaliluckycali Member Posts: 17
    I'm thinking it might be the starter relay. I have a 01 Lincoln ls V8 and I also had the same problem with it. It would start fine sum times then it would hesitate to start till it really wouldn't start at all I thought it was maybe my starter so I took that out and took it to get check and it came back ok. So wat I did was I took my car to the Ford dealer since I had warranty on the car and they told me it was the starter relay that was screw up. And it sure was they replaced it and the car starts with no hesitation.
  • tchapstchaps Member Posts: 1
    after replacing starter, ingnition switch and neutral safety switch, battery good
    the truck will not start if I jump the starter with screw driver it starts and stays running, it sounds like the problem is between ignition and starter,
    anybody has any ideas
    thank you
  • melodysmelodys Member Posts: 6
    RE: Truck was DEAD! After a lengthy going over, my mechanic brother--who was determined it was the fuel pump causing my truck to not start--found that a little bitty part was dirty! He cleaned it up, blew out the dirt, just wiped it off with his hands, you know. It hasn't had a problem like this since! Everybody I talked to, including Ford, said it was the fuel pump; but I had a gut feeling about it, so I didn't give up looking for answers. I can't tell you what it was, and my brother can't recall what it was--2 years ago, you know. He just put his hand on everything, cleaned up every little gadget he touched; that's how he found it, as he was stumped for an answer. I've had one problem that's chronic: it burns up blend (air) door actuators about as fast as I can get one put on it. I searched for a recall, as I noticed in other forums, that many people had the same problem. Now, I'm no mechanic, and my brother won't even touch this one! But I have torn that truck up--I found it--got a little advice from a forum--I'll have it on there tomorrow! The shop wanted it for 2 days, $55/hour!!! (And to think, I've been teaching school...!)
  • hexenvalorhexenvalor Member Posts: 1
    I just picked this up yesterday and was under the impression it was only the mass airflow sensor gone bad. The problem I am having it when I start the car, it will right away rev itself to about 3000 rpms and stay there for 5-10 seconds then will calm down. But when I switch to reverse or drive, it wants to die on me, I always have to make sure Im ready to rev the engine up when I switch to it(and when i come to stops as well, I put it in Neutral before I stop to prevent it from dieing). Also it does not want to accelerate fast at all, and if I were to try and "floor" it, it will try to die on me and I have to let off. I have been reading this whole discussion thread and would you think it could be the EEC relay? or would it be my throttle positioning sensor? EGV issues? im at a loss. im not a very knowledgeable person when it come to cars. PLEASE HELP!
  • melodysmelodys Member Posts: 6
    I am experiencing the same thing! --one foot on the gas, one on the brake.... But I still don't have heat...first things first, you know! If you figure this out, speak up, as I have a feeling that's the next thing I have to fix. Thanks, and best wishes for continued success with your Explorer--now I know why they named it that--I've never EXPLORED a vehicle as much as I have this one!
  • franchescafranchesca Member Posts: 2
    I recently had the AC compressor replaced, along with a new serpentine belt and they replaced the fuel filter. Now my Explorer only starts sometimes...cranks fine...but takes like ten tries before it catches and starts. Could this have something to do with replacing the fuel filter? Doesn't show up any codes at all when tested but of course it starts at the mechanics shop. It's not due for spark plug replacement for another 5 thous miles...it only has 55K on it.
  • franchescafranchesca Member Posts: 2
    After reading other people's suggestions I located the fuel pump relay in the engine compartment and gave it a jiggle, took it out and back in again and now it started today.....fingers crossed , maybe that was it, sure don't want to take it back to the shop where, of course, it always starts up and they can't find anything wrong with it.
  • melodysmelodys Member Posts: 6
    Go through and clean everything under the hood you can put your hand on; there is a small sensor setting in there that can get dirty/clog up that can give you grief like that. I found it BEFORE I put in a new fuel pump, as EVERYBODY said I should...even the dealer! It was a dirty sensor. I HOPE that's your problem, instead of a fuel pump! I would certainly consider a new fuel filter, though. My brother's friend wasn't so fortunate; replaced the fuel pump and it wouldn't even start--dirty sensor. (I cannot remember the name of one sensor in particular, I just know he cleaned everything he could touch.) I speak from experience only, Lord knows I'm not an expert! LOL
  • anthonytx1anthonytx1 Member Posts: 2
    I had this exact same problem, it turned out to be a leak in the intake manifold gasket. It was a relatively easy and cheap fix if you can get in there yourself. My symptoms were the exact same and replacing the gaskets solved everything.
  • smayne14smayne14 Member Posts: 2
    I have a '96 Ford Explorer, had a brand new battery put in two weeks ago, but when the temperature is below 30 degrees in the morning the truck won't start. I put the key in, try to turn over, but nothing happens. All the lights/radio turn on, but no engine. Looking for any suggestions...thanks.
  • phil820phil820 Member Posts: 1
    Background- just had my second transmission installed at 135,000 miles on 2002 XLT. Was stopped at a light and had the rpms rev from an idle then fall to almost stalling. This happened a couple of times. Didnt happen again for a couple of weeks. Then started again. Noticed that the defogger was on. Stopped at a light and turned it off and the revving/stalling didnt happen. Put the defogger on and it started again. Needless to say I am not driving with the defogger on. Any clues or ideas?Thanks
  • melodysmelodys Member Posts: 6
    Obvious questions are, Does it start if it's below 30 degrees and it's nighttime? (Sorry...couldn't resist!)--and, Does it start when the temp warms up, as if nothing's wrong? I had a new bat installed in my '05; it worked for a little while--acted just like that, radio, lights, etc., but dead. A church member came to my rescue, disconnected the cables and cleaned them, reinstalled...kicked right off...nitwit employee replaced waranteed bat/didn't clean cables! BUT, that's the best thing it could have been! That may or may not be an issue, since they're dirty whether hot or cold. I would start with the obvious, myself...check the cables.-->Solenoid OK?-->Starter?-->Take it to O'Reilly/AutoZone for a computer check, whether the light's on or not.
  • heyjulesheyjules Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Ford Explorer that won't idle on its own after starting, especially when the temperature is below 50 degrees. It will start with no problem, but I have to continually fluctuate the gas pedal in order to keep it running. Even then, it is very challenging to keep it idling. While I am messing with the accelerator the car will suddenly rev up past 2000 rpms (on its own) and then suddenly nose dive to below 1000 rpms (on its own) and want to die. It takes over 5 minutes to get it to stay idling on its own. It is an every morning fight. I had it in the shop yesterday. They blew/cleaned out the carburetor, fixed 3 vacuum leaks, and it still does it!! HELP!! I don't want to spend more than necessary at a garage for something that may be an easy fix.

  • smayne14smayne14 Member Posts: 2
    Usually it does start at night and once it warms up. yesterday in the morning it was 11 degrees and it would not start right away i opened hood for a few minutes looking around, didn't end up touching anything, close the hood, and the car started on the second try. drove it 40 mins to work, get out of work 9 hours later, and it won't start again. opened hood again (again thinking that there will be a beam of light flashing on whats wrong haha) shut it and it starts first try. brought it to my mechanic asking about solenoid, so we'll see what he says.
  • hdt71562hdt71562 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 95 Explorer that starts fine first thing. I can drive it all day as long as I do not turn it off. Once I turn it off I have to wait an hour before I can restart it. I've changed the coil pack and ignition control switch, 02 sensors, and all kinds of things I've been told what the problem is and none of these have fixed it. I am about to go crazy. Any ideas? It does spit and sputter sometimes like when I stop for gas and not turn it off. The gas tank will not register the new gas until a few minutes later. Then will spit until I get going.
  • twayne38twayne38 Member Posts: 2
    Regarding your idle problem, I have a 2002 Sport Trac Explorer and had the exact same problem. It's the IAC sensor located under the air duct and on top of the motor, simple fix for me, just removed the air duct, unplugged the sensor , and as I recall removed to bolts and it slides right out. Now there is a pental inside that you can clean with "Gum Out" or any carburetor cleaner and small soft wire brush. After cleaning hold it upside down and flush it with the cleaner to get rid of all the loose junk. Let it dry out and reinstall. When starting it might not idle at first, but this is OK because the pental has to readjust itself. This worked for me and saved me $100.00+ for a new one.
  • sandiw469sandiw469 Member Posts: 2
    I've got a 98 ford explorer, 4.0 SOHC with 190,000 miles. It started and ran about 20 feet the other day, and then wouldn't start. I checked the fuel pressure, it was low, so I put in a new fuel pump, in the tank. (I've got a bad back and took me 1 1/2 days). still wouldn't start, checked the spark at the plug, it was very weak and intermittent, so I put a coil on. Now it's got good spark, and when I turn the key, I hear the pump come on and off, turn it to start and it ALMOST starts, then just cranks!!! I get no codes when I run diagnostics, so I need help to figure out what to do next. Thanks
  • steveinmo1steveinmo1 Member Posts: 1
    Daughter has a 1999 with a 5.0 engine 4 wheel full time and all the bells and whistles. Went into Quick Trip came out and truck would do nothing. After four days of checking found voltage everywhere but still nothing. Took it to the dealer and of course it started right up. Worked every time for a week for them. They say the fuel pump may be bad and possibly the crank sensor. Thiis is a $990 repair and I don't understand how those two things could have this effect. They did do a wire recal but the next day it did the same thing. Is this possibly the problem or should I try another dealer?

    Thanks for any help you can be.
  • jennmccjennmcc Member Posts: 1
    Did you figure out what the problem was? My exploder is doing the same thing! I have changed the following: 2 fuel filters, 1 fuel pump, 3 fuel relay switches, 1 throttle position sensor, 1 ignition coil pack. Still having problems! Please help!
  • iknowafewthingiknowafewthing Member Posts: 2
    more than likely it is the DPFE sensor its located on the driver side of the engine directly across from the battery. it will cost anywhere from 50 to 85 dollars and takes only mins. to install. literally two bolts and a plugin. also this does not always come up on a system check, but if it does it will come up as DTC-335 under the standard Keyos check. i hope this helps....
  • iknowafewthingiknowafewthing Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone on here tried the DPFE Sensor. I have been a ford technition for about three years and i back this diagnosis up 100 and 10 percent. give it a shot. the sensor is located on the engine directly across from the back of the battery. its rectangular with two hose housings coming from the bottom of it. it can cost anywhere from 45-85 dollars and takes litteraly two mins to replace. if u have trouble locating it google dpfe sensor on a ford explorer in images. i was going to post one for everyone but it didnt work out. anyways i certainly hope this helps.
  • musicfeind2001musicfeind2001 Member Posts: 2
    Sounds like your alternator died. Your batter will still check out ok, but the car runs off the alternator once it is running. If the alternator goes out, the car will not run and you'll gradually drain your battery.
  • musicfeind2001musicfeind2001 Member Posts: 2
    When I left work today, my 1994 Ford Explorer would not start. I have full battery (all accessories, even tried a jump), and half a tank of gas.
    When I turn the ignition, all i receive is a click inside the engine compartment. It sounds to be comming from the fuse/relay box, but I didn't have a second person turn the engine for me to check, since it was 11:30 at night.
    By the messages I've read, it may well be an ignition relay, or simply a contact inside the fuse box? I hope to take a look at it tomorrow before work, but not sure I will have time. I very much appreciate any suggestions.
  • stk_centerstk_center Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Ranger which during the summer/heat it seems to have some issues. Some days it will run fine, then suddenly it starts bogging down and stalling when accelerating from a stop. If I give it the clutch and rev up the RPM's I'm able to ease into it and get the truck moving. I took it into a mechanic shop here in town. They first cleaned the EGR valve which was apparently sticking; after it stalled again after getting it back I took it back in for it to get looked at again. They recently told me that the DPFE Sensor was faulty, so they changed it. So far so good. I haven't really had a chance to drive it around much. But it got me home at least.
  • sbanassbanas Member Posts: 1
    i have some starting issues that have been going on for over a year. My explorer has been in the shop and they can't find out what is wrong with it. the obvious have been replaced. have not replaced the fuel pump. i can drive for weeks without issues and out of the blue it won't start. it turns over you can smell fuel and it won't start. leave it where it decides to camp out go back hours later and it starts like nothing was ever wrong. it can happen weekly or a couple times a month doesn't seem to do it in winter. i want to keep driving it only 78 thousand on it. anyone any ideas????? it still looks great i hate to give it up. thanks
  • jmcflyjmcfly Member Posts: 1
    95 Ford Explorer battery starter and alternator all passed at Autozone. Truck sometimes slow to start or slow then just clicks. Other times slow turnover then speeds up and starts. Cleaned all connections and replaced starter.no difference . Truck will also drop to low rpms and make a whining noise. any suggestions or question??? please help
  • fordprobfordprob Member Posts: 1
    I don't know if you're still participating in this list. My 2006 Ford (purchased used in 2010 with under 50K on it) has been exhibiting all the same signs listed here within 6 months of purchase. It stops, stalls with no apparent pattern at 65 mph or at a stop sign. Does not start right back up - and is clearly a safety problem. My husband refuses to drive it after it stalled 8 times in one trip. Took it back to original dealership. They duplicated the problem once, but could not do it twice and so returned it to me with a shrug. Took it to another Ford dealership. Took it to my mechanic who duplicated the problem but could not fix it as he believes it is a Ford software problem in combination with something else. The idea of using a VDR sounds great. Yes, I have called Ford customer service. But if you could give me the name of the Ford Dealership that actually fixed your Ford I would be most grateful as apparently not all Ford Dealerships are created equal. Many thx.
  • twayne38twayne38 Member Posts: 2
    Regarding your explorer, I had a 2001 explorer sport trac with same symptoms, the problems I had, happened more on rainy, humid days, or on mornings with a high dew point. When it happened I had to compensate by keeping my right foot on the accelerator, and use my left to brake. The fix was simple, once I knew what the culprit was. The IAC (idle air control valve) for a new one it was going to be about $130, but I opted to try cleaning mine and save some money. It worked like a charm, so no need to buy something when your not sure if its going to solve your problem. You'll need some carburetor cleaner (spray), I used gum-out brand. Just remove the wiring harness to the IAC, then remove the 2 screws securing it in place. Then look at all the grime inside it, just spray it with cleaner (I also used a floss brush to help loosen some of the grime), then let it dry thoroughly and reinstall. Now when I did this when I first started my truck the symptoms reappeared, and I thought it was a waste, but with in a few minutes it took off running fine. 5 years and still no symptoms!

    Hope this works for you and good luck, Terry
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