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Help! Couldn't drive my truck home, won't start! Sputters

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Wyoguy222, August 9, 2013.

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  1. Wyoguy222

    Wyoguy222 Member

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    Hello everyone. Tonight when I started my truck to leave work, it started fine, but then the RPMs went really low, and started to sputter. I hit the gas and everything was fine. Drove with co workers to Perkins for dinner.

    After dinner went back to my truck. Tried to start it again, and it started, but again really low RPMs and sputtering. This time when I hit the gas, it died. I tried to start again, and same thing, ran for a few seconds, sputtered and died. Then it just wouldn't start anymore. It turns over just fine, but won't actually run. Sooo, I had to leave my truck at perkins and get a ride home from a co-worker!

    Any suggestions on how to fix this would be great appreciated! Could a clogged fuel filter be causing this? That is the first thing I am replacing after work tomorrow night! Hasn't been changed in...I don't know how long! YEARS!! I would have checked tonight, but thunderstorm moved in, and heavy rains blah blah blah. Please help!!!

    My truck is a 2 door, 1995 Ford Explorer.
     
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  3. Wyoguy222

    Wyoguy222 Member

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    OH YEAH, and when I do attempt the fuel filter change, how do I relieve the pressure when the truck won't start. I read to pull the fuel pump relay, and run the car until it dies to relieve pressure. But if it won't even run, how do I do that?
     
  4. nitrodude

    nitrodude Active Member

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    Pop the hood and look on the fuel rail, there's a blue cap covering a shrader valve. Push that with rags over it to relieve pressure and some say to take the gas cap off for a few seconds too.

    You'll need a fuel filter tool to remove the lines from either end of the filter too.
    Cycle the key from off to acc a couple times after replacing the filter to prime the lines again.


    If it still won't start, turn the key to acc you should hear the fuel pump hum for a couple seconds then turn off. If you don't, check fuses and fuel pump relay.

    If it does hum and still wont start cycle the key again off and on two-three times listening for the pump each time, then try to start.
     
  5. Wyoguy222

    Wyoguy222 Member

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    Thank you very much!! Trying this after work tonight!
     
  6. Wyoguy222

    Wyoguy222 Member

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    Okay, got to Perkins after work and my truck started right up! Was followed home just in case I didn't make it, but I made it, 10 miles!! Why would it not start last night, then all of a sudden run fine today? I was parked on an incline at Perkins, and rolled it down to the flat part last night. Could that have something to do with it? I got a new filter and will change it out tomorrow, it really needs it anyway, but I am just confused as to why it wouldn't start then boom a day later it runs like a champ!
     
  7. nitrodude

    nitrodude Active Member

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    Were you low on gas and parked on an incline?
     
  8. Turdle

    Turdle Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    OK, before anything else!!!

    Pop the hood and pull out the fuel pump relay.
    Now, look down into where it plugs in, and check for discolored wires--heat damage. This will be from a bad connection.

    Tighten the female plugs ( in the relay box) with a pair of pliers. You will have to disassemble the power distrubution box to get in there so disconnect the battery. Also take good camera ( not phone) pictures before, so you can put everything back together correctly.

    Then, after you have done this, twist the tabs on the relay,very slightly, maybe just 1 degree. This will make them "bite" into the female lugs better.

    If the problem comes back, put in a new relay. In fact, sometimes if you will just swap the fuel pump relay with another one in the power box it will help also, but first, fix the bad connection in the power distribution box.

    I bet you can fix it with only time, no money. :D

    P.S. Change the fuel filter also.
     
  9. lobo411

    lobo411 Active Member

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    I never bother relieving the fuel pressure for a filter change. Worst case scenario you lose about a cup of gasoline. No biggie.
     
  10. nitrodude

    nitrodude Active Member

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    You relieve the pressure so you don't get high pressures gasoline squirting into your eyes when you disconnect the fiter line lol.

    You'll still lose some gas even with pressure relieved
     
  11. lobo411

    lobo411 Active Member

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    IME, the pressure is either reduced or eliminated naturally as the car sits around. Usually I change the filter on some weekend day when the car has been sitting around for a day or two, and I've never had gas squirting anywhere. I lose the gas in the filter itself, as well as the gas in the line, but that usually adds up to about a cup, and I don't think relieving the pressure changes that.
     
  12. Wyoguy222

    Wyoguy222 Member

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    Thanks for all the replies guys! I finally made it back online after a few days! Turns out, it is a bad fuel pump! Truck was running fine until Saturday night when I tried to leave work. This time I just turned the key on, and did not hear the fuel pump. So I did that little trick and hit the gas tank with the end of my Maglite, tried again and fuel pump came on. Been driving the truck ever since. I did the check engine paperclip method thing last night, and got the 2 codes for the fuel pump. Will be getting a new one next week. Hope the pump lasts that long...Yikes! Just driving straight home and straight to work for now.

    One question though, all the fuel pumps at AutoZone are $150 or less. All the fuel pumps at Oreilly's are also $150 or less, EXCEPT for one, and it is $650!!! $500 difference! Is it worth spending the extra $500 for the Motorcraft one? Or is the $150 one just fine? Truck has 250k on it!
     

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