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05 Sport Trac Misbehaving in the cold

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November 14, 2012
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City, State
Chandler, AZ
Year, Model & Trim Level
05 Sport Trac
Sorry, no snow/mud slinging to be found here.

Lately, the weather has been colder than normal, and my truck doesn't seem to be enjoying it.

I noticed some problems a while back when I took it up north to Flagstaff for the first time. As I hit higher elevations, I noticed my gas mileage getting worse and worse, which I figured is normal because of all the hill climbing and thinner/colder air. Once I got back home.. the bad mileage stayed until I reset my ECU.

Now that the air is colder here at home [about 40 in the morning when I leave for work. 50-60 during the day] I'm noticing my gas mileage getting increasingly worse again. Put a half tank in yesterday and I got 35 miles out of the top half of it. I average about 110 on that first bit normally.

Its also had issues starting up. I wonder if it's a cold start thing? In the morning I turn it over and it cranks and dies the first time. Second time its fine. It also idles really rough now when I come to a stop.

Any ideas what it could be that's turning my truck into a holiday money pit?
 


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Chandler, AZ
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05 Sport Trac
I'm thinking it could be fuel/ignition. Might be time for new plugs anyways since I don't know the last time they were done since I bought the truck [4 months ago ish]. The local dealership owes me service since they messed up the truck not too long ago. I'm going to have them check things for me since I'm too dainty for this cold weather.
 




swshawaii

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Kailua-Oahu, Hawaii
Year, Model & Trim Level
'05 Sport Trac XLS (RWD)
Check engine light or trouble codes?
 




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No CEL or trouble codes whatsoever.
 




roamer37

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City, State
London Township
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Sport Trac
Winter blend fuels have more alcohol in them less btu's in the fuel, which causes mpg to go down as well as colder air more dense which requires more fuel to make the correct air fuel ratio..
 








Kevlar7R

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Phoenix, AZ
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1997 Mountaineer 5.0 4x4
I agree with roamer. I always get worse fuel mileage in winter. I don't track mileage on my mountaineer, but on my commuter car, I'm averaging about 29mpg now, as opposed to 32 during the summer.

I'd say do normal maintenance and not worry about it. Mileage will drop as the truck ages too.

By the way, I'm in chandler too. Greetings neighbor!
 




swshawaii

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Put a half tank in yesterday and I got 35 miles out of the top half of it. I average about 110 on that first bit normally.

Agree that Winter blended gas and E85 sucks, but that's a SUBSTANTIAL reduction at 6.25 MPG. :eek:
If reading correctly, he's getting 35 miles from 1/4 tank, or about 5.6 gallons. (22.5 Gal. Capacity)
 




Joined
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City, State
Chandler, AZ
Year, Model & Trim Level
05 Sport Trac
I agree with roamer. I always get worse fuel mileage in winter. I don't track mileage on my mountaineer, but on my commuter car, I'm averaging about 29mpg now, as opposed to 32 during the summer.

I'd say do normal maintenance and not worry about it. Mileage will drop as the truck ages too.

By the way, I'm in chandler too. Greetings neighbor!

Haha, greetings!

My mileage dropped quite a bit. I'll do plugs and clean everything off. Maybe a new fuel filter and see how it does.




Oh. And she*. Not he.
 




interscope8

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Purdue University
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Sport Trac 4x4
Just saying 40 in the morning is like fall weather here... we are down to the teens in the morning, highs of 40s. Not noticing any difference in mine. Like others have said, the winter fuel doesnt help out the MPGs... aside from losing maybe 1 or 2 MPGs the cold hasnt affected me at all.
 




Kevlar7R

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Phoenix, AZ
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 Mountaineer 5.0 4x4
So we live in the desert... Our perception of hot and cold is different. :)

We also think of 100 degrees as a cool summer day. :)

Sammich, are you saying your truck is a she, or you're a she?
 




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05 Sport Trac
I'm the she. :p

Waiting on a reply back from the dealership we got the truck from. They owe me service since they kinda messed up my truck when I took it in for a free oil change [couldn't resist free]. They rotated the tires, too, but only hand tightened the lugs on the rear left wheel. It fell off when they brought it out to me. Ouch. I have the worst luck with wheels.

If they can do it a tune up on the engine, great. If not I guess I'll have to suck it up and go outside in this stupidly cold weather.

80-100 degrees is perfect!

79 and below I might as well be in a parka.
 




interscope8

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2001 Sport Trac 4x4
Lol, I loved the climate when I went to NM for a month. I was also back packing so the warmth felt wonderful. I'd love to go back out west sometime soon for an extended vacation!
 




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05 Sport Trac
Hiking in the cooler weather is pretty awesome. I just avoid the shade, lest I feel like freezing my rear end off. I'm not kidding when I say I'm a dainty thing.
 




Kevlar7R

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1997 Mountaineer 5.0 4x4




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hahahaha!
 




mcgufer

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NJ
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92 Mazda Navajo
I would check for vacuum leaks, Fords tend to stumble when un-metered air is entering the system. The PVC elbow is notorious to go bad or kink. I would check anywhere there is air/vacuum lines and sometimes the rubber gaskets fail on the plastic intakes. I would spray carb cleaner on the vacuum lines and the intake mating points with engine idling and listen for little surges in the idle. these leaks usually set a lean code but not all the time
 




gtyates

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Goodlettsville Tennessee
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'09 Sport Trac, '17 Explo
Has anyone checked the coolant temp sensor?
 




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City, State
Chandler, AZ
Year, Model & Trim Level
05 Sport Trac
The Coolant temp sensor was taken out recently when my t-stat housing exploded. I had a leaky water pump and replaced it, and the next day the housing cracked and coolant spilled all over the road while I was driving. I should have replaced it, but spending $$$ on a tow truck, plus shop work for the t-stat housing was overwhelming. I would have done the work myself if I could afford to take a day off work.
 


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