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Ford Explorer Starting and Stalling Problems



  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 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!
  • 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....
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 difference . Truck will also drop to low rpms and make a whining noise. any suggestions or question??? please help
  • 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.
  • 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
  • My car is doing the same thing ... did you ever find out if that helped or not??
  • gafarmergafarmer Posts: 2
    @003 sport trac doesn't want to start sometimes when its hot. It sound like it isn't getting fuel and when i spray starting fluid it cranks and runs. I smell fuel around the drivers side door and can't find any leaks.
  • My girlfriend ran my explorer out of gas and after putting gas in it, it wouldn't start. I've kind settled on the fact that the fuel pump needs to be replaced but, could it be that I just need to reset the inertia switch? I don't know if my explorer has one or not, I just got it not too long ago.
  • jmac95jmac95 Posts: 1
    Hi, my wife has a For Explorer 1995 sport in Mexico. BACKGROUND ISSUES: It has the engine check light on and has for some time. Intermittent fault - OCD I reading (Beeper) indicates EGR valve and sensor. Sensor replaced and EGR valve cleaned. Suspect the latter hasnt worked and looking at replacing the EGR valve. MAIN PROBLEM: Vehicle fails to start, especially when hot / in sunshine. Vapour lock? Fuel filter? Fuel pump? Ignition? Please help with any advise as throwing my wallet at this pain!

    Background: New sensor on air intake. New battery (Good one). Cleaned EGR valve and AIC (Carb cleaner). Intermittant cutouts during driving fixed through replacing vehicle speed sensor on the exhaust system. Intermittant fault led to difficult detection but OCD I highlights air intake sesor and EGR valve. Sensor replced with new. EGR cleaned with carb cleaner. Computer been reset a few times. 3 months no computer reset, hard to start now if at all. Engine check light still on and gas consumption high. Again vehicle REALLY struggles to start if left parked in the sunshine downtown.
  • How u doing . . I'm having the same exact problem than u .. im going crazy ...every thing looks fine . fuel pump etc... I'm wondering if u ever fixed it and if u did can u tell me how ...thanks ......this is annoying
  • It was my fuel pump . It finally quit on me . I just never had one that would stop and then start back up but this one did. I think the ethanol in our gas did it.
    Hope you find your problem you might have to dealer do a scan on the computer maybe that will show it.
  • I recently had my 2002 Explorer XLT 4.0 v6 stop running the day after I went back to putting a tan of E85 in it.
    Irronically the last time I put in E-85 (about 9 months ago) I had the same thing happen but the shop juggled some fuses and it started running again. This time it cranks and wont start. I dont hear the fuel pump come on or smell fumes when it starts so I guess it could be the fuel pump out but wonder if the E85 could cause it to go out? After I put it in I drove around and turned the vehicle on and off several times and it ran fine. Was only after sitting over night it did this. Any ideas?
  • Your Explorer (2002) was never designed to run on E85. Normally, most gas stations are limited to about 10% ethanol, as that is the maximum amount that a non E 85 designed car can handle without damage. The ethanol is highly corrosive, and will eat away the rubber gaskets and other components of older engines. Cars / trucks that can run on E85 are normally clearly marked on the car (many on the rear truck or on the fuel filler door). I would not use E85, and I believe that is what is causing your problems.
  • My 2001 Sport Trak is doing the same thing. It stalls when you are driving. When you accelerate from a dead stop the harmonic balance sensor located behind the harmonic balance flywheel picks up the pulses from driving hard. The sensor gets old after time. The sensor should read about 500Hz when working correctly or so I think, and mine was picking up pulses of 5kHz when running rough. It will cost you about $450 to replace, parts and labor (Austin, TX prices). You will have to replace both the sensor and the flywheel as they are a set. My mechanic found it on mine when it started doing this and he said it is a common problem on Explorers. He fixed it on his Mother's Explorer.

  • I have an 04 Explorer XLT with 164000 miles just last week after making a right turn my truck shut down and my service engine light came on and I waited a few minutes and she started right up, I then had a computer diagnosis done and my mechanics said the computer said nothing was wrong that was last friday now on Sunday coming home from work on the freeway the truck started slowing down then shut off but this time the check engine gage light came on but again she started right up but within 15min. it did it again 2 more time before I reached home. What could possibly be wrong and can it be fixed?
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