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Crisis - car wont start after a pit stop.....

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Guns314, July 3, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^
  1. Guns314

    Guns314 New Member

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    City, State:
    Mesa, AZ
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    98 XLT AWD 5.0
    Walked out of the house, got in the car, started it up, and I’m on my way to work.

    Stopped by the local convenience store a half a mile from the house to get a cup of coffee and when I hopped back in the car and turned the key, it did not turn over.

    The dash lights come on, the radio, windows work, and there is no clicking sound as if the battery is dead. Didn’t know what else to do so the transmission was cycled from park to drive to neutral, another attempt to start, unsuccessful, back to park, another unsuccessful attempt.
    When the key is turned, there is no engagement sound, just silence.

    Bought it new as a 98 XLT, 5.0 V8. There is now 174k on it. The engine was replaced at 152k with a 60k motor.

    This may sound extreme but I am nervous that this could lead to unemployment, loss of income and all the stress that comes with it.
     
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  3. Tbars4

    Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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    ..Check, (wiggle, tighten) your battery connections and get a voltage reading on your battery..;)

    ..This may just be a minor issue..
     
  4. Racingtheburg

    Racingtheburg New Member

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    I'm going to say stuck solenoid.
     
  5. M1911A1

    M1911A1 Member

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    Turn the headlights on, try to start and observe if they dim if not, your first suspect would be your starter/solenoid.
     
  6. Guns314

    Guns314 New Member

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    My son went over to the store and while he was there "it just started right up like it always does". Well at least its in the garage now and not the Circle K parking lot.

    So I am somewhat perplexed as to what it could be. After surfing around the forum I came across a "starter no crank test procedure" http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2356171 Thanks to Dale for his posting.
    Perhaps it will point me in the correct direction. But, then again it may check good and the issue is intermittent. Argh....

    This stinks cause I would much like to solve the issue than have it intermittent, and the next time have me stranded more than a half a mile from the house.

    Any suggestions?
     
  7. nitro71

    nitro71 Well-Known Member

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    I'd start with a NAPA or O'reilly and ask them to test the charging system. Might find a problem. I'd thoroughly clean the battery terminals and cables till shiny and put some Permatex anti-corrosive on them. I'd check battery water level. You could pull the battery in the parking lot at Napa and ask them to test it on their machine. You could replace the alternator. You could replace the starter/solenoid. I'm figuring they are one unit.
     
  8. bobflood

    bobflood Elite Explorer

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    Intermittent failures are always a hassle to diagnose. Personnaly, I lean toward your starter solenoid. I suggest that you physically locate your starter in the engine compartment, and that you put a hammer in your car. Then, the next time this happens, reach in with the hammer and whack the starter a couple of times. If it is indeed the solenoid hanging up, this will free it, the truck will now start, and you have confirmed the problem. Then get a new starter/solenoid - I also think the are sold as a set.
     
  9. 1AJeremyD

    1AJeremyD Well-Known Member

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    Appears to be a lot of no starting problems recently.
     
  10. BubbaFL

    BubbaFL Active Member

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    It's funny how stuff comes in waves. A few years ago this forum was ball joints and tie rod ends 24/7. More recently, it's timing chain central.

    It'd be interesting to map the failures reported over time for a few different makes / models based on keywords from forums!
     
  11. muhl5443

    muhl5443 Active Member

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    sounds like you got a starter starting to go bad.
     
  12. Guns314

    Guns314 New Member

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    Well the crank test was performed pointing to step"16. Remove starter solenoid/motor and test. Repair/replace as required".

    Never got a chance to do that, for the next day, on the 4th, the car spontaneously ignited, burned, and took the garage with it. Yeah, you just read that right....

    So guys, if youre having identical issues as I had, don't eff around. Perform that test and replace that starter ASAP.

    This is a great forum. It has been a fine source for information and allowed me diagnose and/or repair my 98 for every issue I had, minor or major. I hope that my next cars forum is as informative as this one has been...
     
  13. budwich

    budwich Well-Known Member

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    :-( sounds like the truck lived up to its "exploder branding"... :)
     
  14. M1911A1

    M1911A1 Member

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    I am so sorry to read about your misfortune!


    Hope everybody is safe, and that you will be able to get ahead of this misfortune both economically and peacefully.
    As time goes by if you're able to determine what went wrong with the ignition/fire, please let us know since it would of the greatest importance.
    In the meantime I wish the best for you and your family. Regards M1911A1
     
  15. 1AJeremyD

    1AJeremyD Well-Known Member

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    Wow I was not expecting that to happen at all. I am very sorry to hear about your loss. I hope everyone is ok at your house. Good luck with your next purchase and hopefully everyone can be of assistance on your next vehicle.
     
  16. slaughterrt

    slaughterrt Active Member

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    Wasn't there a recall on the cruise control module or something of that sorts? I know that wouldn't account for your ex's problem starting...but the garage fire reminds me of a story or stories that came out following these defective modules spontaneously catching fire. This may be a very very far stretch that you had both these things go wrong with your truck, but give me some credit for thinking outside the box.

    P.S. - Sorry about the garage and truck.

    -Rob
     
  17. BubbaFL

    BubbaFL Active Member

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    I believe the recall was for a brake fluid leak around the cruise control deactivation switch in the master cylinder - if it leaks, the fluid could drip onto wiring below causing a short and possibly a fire.
     
  18. gc67

    gc67 New Member

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    Wow! I hope your insurance covers your loss. For anyone else who is having similar issues I would look at your starter. It could be heat soak(if you have recently added headers this is common) or just your starter/solenoid going bad. As stated above, whack the solenoid with a hammer when it gives you trouble and it will probably start right up
     
  19. Impact9

    Impact9 New Member

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    I recently bought my truck and this has happened twice. First time it was at a gas station a good ways from home when I tried to start I was just getting CLICK CLICK CLICK. Lucky the gas station was on a slight grade so I just pushed the truck forward and coasted it to a less packed spot. It was a bit bumpy and when I got out I noticed that stupid me forgot to put on the gas cap and I put it on and it started right up. Now I know that's not it but the starter wasn't engaging.

    Today it happened again out at Lowes. This time it clicked once and seemed stuck after that. Anytime I turned the key the lights just got dim. This made me thing the starter was jammed and I didn't want to risk blowing a fuse so I popped the hood and disconnected the negative terminal. I reconnected the battery a few minutes later then the truck started clicking with out a key in the ignition. I quickly disconnect the battery cable and got under the truck and started whacking the starter with the only tool I had, a leatherman multitool. About that time another ford owner pulled up and said he's been having the same issue with his expedition and he said it sounded like the starter was jammed. We turned the engine over by hand and also cleaned the battery terminals up which were somewhat corroded. Then it started right up.

    Even if the battery terminals was the initial cause I can't take that chance after reading Guns314's fire and I ordered a new starter from Autozone.
     
  20. Snuke

    Snuke New Member

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    Yeah, I had the EXACT same problem. I would get under the truck and tap the starter with anything hard and it would fire right up for a week. Then eventually it wouldn't start at all. Stranded my wife and I while we were out and about. Fortunately I have a 5-spd 'sploder and we were able to push it and drop the clutch to start it. I had to make her push since she didn't know how to drop the clutch. HA! Anyway, no fires for me please. I can't imagine the emotional strain i would have losing my Ex. I'm rebuilding the entire top of the engine just so I don't have to get a new daily driver. I will post pics when I'm done. I can't believe that I actually stripped my first engine down to the pistons. Getting the heads off the 4.0 OHVs is time consuming.

    Edit: Also, changing the starter is easier than changing the oil in my opinion, no excuses for you guys to not replace the thing immediately. Super easy I promise.
     
    Last edited: July 12, 2011
  21. Vacdaddyt

    Vacdaddyt New Member

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    My truck sometimes does not go all the way into park and the switch keeps it from starting , take it out of park and put it back and try again.
     






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