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Stalling when in Gear along with Flickering Lights

Discussion in 'Stock 2006 -2010 Explorers' started by Thafisher, March 9, 2019.

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  1. Thafisher

    Thafisher Active Member

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    I have a 2006 Mercury Mountaineer 4.6 V8. It starts but stalls within a few seconds.
    I recently did a bunch of work to it (intake gaskets, valve cover gaskets, valve cover, vct sensor, crank sensor, etc) and now when I start it I hear a squealing/whining noise coming from the belt. I'm thinking it's possible that I may have stretched the belt and now it's not running the alternator correctly, which ends up stalling the engine everytime. I've also noticed that the tensioner pulley wobbles while the vehicle is running.
    I can also keep it running for as long as I push the gas pedal. But as soon as I switch it to Reverse or Drive or let off the gas it stalls. (Gets really rough, lights start flickering, shaking, stalling)
    I was thinking it was a stretched belt up until I saw the tensioner pulley moving around down there.
    I guess what I'm asking is, are these the correct symptoms for a stretched belt/tensioner?
    Thanks!
     
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  3. 07EddyB

    07EddyB Active Member

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    I have no problems starting mine and running it for a minute or two without the belt on. Take the belt off and start it. If it behaves then there is a belt routing diagram in the owners manual.
     
  4. Thafisher

    Thafisher Active Member

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    My battery is pretty much shot though. If you ran it without the belt on does it drain the battery all the way down before it stalls? Leaving you unable to crank again unless you get a jump?
     
  5. 07EddyB

    07EddyB Active Member

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    If it started before it will start again. Put a charger on the battery if you have one for a bit before you start it. I'm suggesting that you remove the belt to troubleshoot. If you have an accessory or a belt problem it will go away. If your battery was bad enough to cause the problems that you are seeing then it wouldn't start to begin with.
    You are going down the wrong road with the alternator/battery. Reset your brain and start troubleshooting.
     
  6. Thafisher

    Thafisher Active Member

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    I don't think the battery is the issue, I just know that I've had to get several jumps recently on a consistent basis.
    I hear a brand new squealing/whirring noise coming from the belt. Under any slight electronic load the vehicle's electronics start flickering and dying down. I don't think there's anything wrong with the alternator either.
    I think my belt is stretched, or my tensioner is bad. (It wobbles) What I get out of it is that my alternator isn't turning fast enough and producing enough power.
    I will take off the belt tomorrow during the day and give it a go. Although I would expect it to die pretty quickly without the alternator. Being the condition of the battery.
     
  7. Rcflyer330

    Rcflyer330 Active Member

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    From what you are describing it sounds exactly like an alternator problem. It is normal for the tensioner to move a little while the car is running but not excessively. When an alternator fails it can't produce the amperage needed to charge the battery and run the car. side note is alternators have a specific rpm that they produce their max amps.
    With a bad alternator it will try to put out max amps to charge the battery and run the car. At idle the amps may not be enough to charge and run the car but when you press the gas it produces the amps needed to keep the car running and and slightly charge the battery. The alternator will put a load on the engine you will be able to hear a wining/ whirring from the alternator trying to keep up. Here is where it gets tricky if your battery is bad or dead that can cause the same symptoms. Start with 07EddieB's suggestions. then narrow it down from there.

    Check your belt it may be worn causing some of your symptoms (squeeking) it's probably time to replace it anyway. Same thing with the tensioner. Also check the other pulleys for bearing noise and wear while the belt is off againg they may need replacing too.

    I don't think a wobbling belt tensioner and/or a warn belt is a the cause of your staling problems. always start with the simplest possible cause then move to the next and so on. In your case start with the battery you can't diagnose anything without a known good fully charged battery.
     
  8. Thafisher

    Thafisher Active Member

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    Do you think that the belt being stretched/loose would cause it to turn the alternator at a lower rpm? Which isn't high enough to keep the engine running, especially under any load. I think the tensioner could be fine, but it does move quite a bit I think I also think the alternator is fine, but I think it's just not getting the right rpms.
    I have pulled off the serpentine belt at least 4-5 times in the past few weeks while working on the vehicle. That's why It would make sense to be stretched if it were old.
    Tomorrow I will try it without the belt. If it stays running for a few minutes is it safe to say it's the belt being worn?
    Also, the battery is holding a charge. I can go start it at anytime. I'm not thinking the battery is contributing to this.
    What do you think?
    Edit: I also managed to get it to run the other day and take it on a 5 minute drive. The power steering would go in and out mid-turn. So i'd be taking a turn and the steering would get stiff for a second then back soft. Also pointing to a stretched belt.
     
  9. Rcflyer330

    Rcflyer330 Active Member

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    I would think the belt would have to be really loose for that to happen. The belt would have to be slipping which would cause squeeling and possibly smoke if it ran long enough. From reading and reasearch belts don't stretch or at least not that much. What happens is they wear take a standard v belt for example the side of the belts wear and that makes the belt sit further down in the pully and get loose making it look like it stretched. Hold an old belt up to a new one and they should be very close in length if not the same.

    Now our belts are multi grooved belts they wear basicly the same way. Don't run the car for more than a minute you don't want to over heat the engine. Without the belt on, the water pump is not turning to cool the engine.

    If the car stays running it tells you that something that the belt drives is causing the stalling problem. It does not necessarily mean the is belt bad. If it still stalls then it's power problem (go get the battery tested or test it yourself) or its something you may have done.

    Do your headlights come on when you put it into gear?

    Also if you have a scanner scan for codes. Might turn up something
     
  10. Thafisher

    Thafisher Active Member

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    I was under the impression that once they stretched it wouldn't get the proper rotations that it usually would. You may be right though. But I know I'm hearing a new squealing that sounds like the belt and is associated with a stretched belt commonly. No I don't turn the headlights on, but when I put it in gear all the interior lights and accessories start flickering in sync with the stalling/sputtering and it stalls within a couple seconds.
    I do have a scanner and have scanned the codes. I was getting P0016 and P0012. The codes went away after fixing a bare wire on the cam sensor. I'll check tomorrow again.
    The only other code I'm getting is an ignition coil G code.
     
  11. Thafisher

    Thafisher Active Member

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    Here's something I found, check it out.

    One of the most overlooked maintenance items on vehicles are serpentine belts. Roughly 20 percent of all vehicles on the road in North America have a worn belt that needs to be replaced, and about 80 percent of belt failures happen on vehicles that have more than 85,000.

    But there is misconception within the industry about checking for worn belts on today’s vehicles.

    Until the late 90s and early 2000s, neoprene, the original rubber compound used in the manufacturing of serpentine belts, was the primary material in all belts. While neoprene was, and still is, a good material for misalignment chirp noise, its flex fatigue characteristics are marginal, especially in hot and cold conditions. To achieve better performance under extreme temperature conditions, and to get more mileage out of the belt, EPDM in 2000 became the material of choice for all major belt suppliers because EPDM compounds provide excellent life in all temperature conditions.

    These new EPDM belts resist cracking unlike the older OE belts, but they do wear. They lose rubber like a tire. Today’s belts start out with a V profile and as they wear, the V turns into a U. Once the belt is worn, it will have less surface area contact with the pulley and begin to fail or make noise.

    Also, a worn belt will not properly seat into an alternator drive pulley, so it may not carry the full output of an alternator. This would translate into slip at the alternator, which creates heat that is transferred through the shaft to the bearing and other components. The lack of full output from the alternator may even trigger the vehicle’s ‘Check Engine’ light, leading the technician to misdiagnose a faulty alternator when the problem is actually a worn belt or tensioner. As you may know, heat is always the enemy, so a new belt should be considered at the time of replacement of an alternator. The same would be true of a belt that does not have enough tension, leading to slip. And the replacements rates for belts and alternators are very similar, according to the Auto Care Association.

    All Vehicles

    • Belts – 2.10%
    • Alternators – 2.49%
    Vehicles 8-11 Years Old

    • Belts – 2.73%
    • Alternators – 2.73%
    Having a properly operating tensioner (supplying the proper tension, not sticking, not misaligned due to wear) is also key to having proper function of the alternator. The same can be said about idler pulleys and their impact on alignment in the drive. When replacing an alternator, it is a good time to take the time to review all of the related drive components to assure customer satisfaction.
     
  12. domct203

    domct203 Pilots The Beast Elite Explorer

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    If you are so convinced it’s just the belt, then change the belt.
     
  13. Thafisher

    Thafisher Active Member

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    Wow, thanks! I didn't think about that!
     
  14. Gorb

    Gorb Member

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    Had a 99 that did that. The battery was shot
     
  15. Thafisher

    Thafisher Active Member

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    So it would start over and over without being jumped, but everytime it started it would stall? And it would stall immediately when switched into gear?
     
  16. Rcflyer330

    Rcflyer330 Active Member

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    If that's with the belt off then your problem is not with anything that the belt drives. Put the belt back on and start looking for vacuum leaks and double check the work you did.
     
  17. Thafisher

    Thafisher Active Member

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    No that was a question for him. I was asking what his vehicle did. I'm actually about to pull the belt off now. I'll get back to you in a few.
     
  18. Rcflyer330

    Rcflyer330 Active Member

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    Oops I was wondering why when I read that post it didnt make sense.
     
  19. Thafisher

    Thafisher Active Member

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    Ok, I've taken the belt off and the vehicle stays running. So are we leaning towards a belt now? Or is there any other diagnostics I can perform?
     
  20. Rcflyer330

    Rcflyer330 Active Member

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    Try a new belt see what happens.
     
  21. Thafisher

    Thafisher Active Member

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    Ok I'm going to get a new belt within the next few hours and I'll let you know what happens. If it's not the belt I'm thinking it has to be the tensioner . I'm basing that off of the amount of movement I saw.
     






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