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DeaneB

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Baton Rouge, La.
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Ford Explorer XLS
It’s never done this, have had no battery trouble lately, battery is only a few years old.

I hear a fast clicking when I try to start it.
2002 Ford Explorer XLS with 92,000 miles. Yep.
I didn’t drive it regularly/every day for several years, so low mileage. But it has never just sat, always been driven.

Original problem:
Car would start like normal (when cold) but when stopping it after driving & shutting off engine, it wouldn't start again until engine was off for ~
30-60 minutes.
During that time trying to start it would sound like a normal start, but sputter and die.


Mechanic checked a few things and said his tester said it was the dpfe.
Of course I had searched this site and I chimed in, can we check to see if it’s fuel related.
( It had started, of course didn’t do it while he was here).

Side note if related::Check engine light has been on for a few years, I thought it was just broken. Car ran fine. ‘Door ajar’ light also. He’s worked on my car a lot over last several years, never mentioned it as an issue to check out.


So he did a few more tests and said it was the fuel pump. I asked can we change the fuel filter first, then yes we might have to change the fuel pump.
Can’t afford to just keep randomly trying things. Maybe sometimes you have to??



Been busy and didn’t use the car for 6 days since.
I just went to start it and it won’t - I hear a fast clicking when trying to start it.

(This may not matter but when I leave the key in the ‘on’ position, as someone here said to try to prime the gas, after 4-5 seconds I hear just one tiny faint click that sounds like it’s coming from under the car. Not sure if that’s the fuel pump sound (?) or what. Happens each time after I turn the key, but not try to start the car).

So I did the key turn several times. No luck.
Only tried to actually start the car 4-5 times over an hour.


I messaged and asked him what he thought and he said right away,‘battery, new problem’.

Of course it’s possible but seems very coincidental. In my opinion makes sense to stop and consider all possibilities because:
1. We just did something to the vehicle
2. It was very, very difficult for him to change the fuel filter, per him. And it took a very long time.
Lots of swearing heard coming from under the car, haha.
He had never done one on a 2002 before, we had to figure out where the fuel pump was, seems it’s in a different place than usual (?) on 2002
3. We weren’t even sure what the initial problem was caused by, so before assuming it’s a new problem makes sense to review it all. Jmo.

I say that because many folks here say make sure you did this or that when changing the fuel pump.


Told him I’d read things here we could try, he cut me off and said they’re not experts. Well then!

Not throwing him under the Explorer, but wish he’d brainstorm/troubleshoot more!
Any advice?
Anything I can try?
Thanks so much for reading.

(More questions later- rear liftgate glass broke/is gone, glass place cannot find another one!)
 


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Tshaw88

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It's just a fast clicking sound? The motor doesn't crank when you turn the key?
 




Tshaw88

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I ask because just clicking is typically a failed starter solenoid or a weak battery. First thing would be to grab a multimeter and test the battery voltage to make sure you have 12.6 volts at the battery. If you so then you'll want to take your meter and test the small connection on the starter to make sure you are getting 12.6 volts at the starter as well. If you are then it's time for a new starter.
 




DeaneB

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It's just a fast clicking sound? The motor doesn't crank when you turn the key?
Correct.
So I called my car insurance company, Farm Bureau, to use the free roadside assistance to come and jump it. After 4 calls and 4.5 hours they finally came. Pop a Lock jumped it.

It started right up. Turned it off, started it again, and faint white/grey smoke was coming from the engine on the driver’s side. I quickly shut the engine off.
Am sitting in it now, trying to decide what to do next.

It’s hard to see where the smoke was coming from (I took a quick video while it smoked) but in my layman’s terms- its way deep down there, sort of behind and under where the dipstick is.
It also looked like it may be wet around the area.

I’ve read to run the car to get air out, that this is normal after fuel filter change, or do not run the car since oil may be leaking.
(It definitely needs an oil change, if that’s a factor. But it has/had plenty when I checked a few days ago, before it got jumped/started).

Mechanic hasn’t answered my texts.
Any input greatly appreciated!
 




DeaneB

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I
I ask because just clicking is typically a failed starter solenoid or a weak battery. First thing would be to grab a multimeter and test the battery voltage to make sure you have 12.6 volts at the battery. If you so then you'll want to take your meter and test the small connection on the starter to make sure you are getting 12.6 volts at the starter as well. If you are then it's time for a new starter.

I meant correct about yes, it was fast clicking.
 




DeaneB

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A8A2A0A4-1EBC-4FE1-AEAA-B6BD9BF76D24.jpeg
10AC87EC-6CAD-4A24-8299-44127D45E319.jpeg
I ask because just clicking is typically a failed starter solenoid or a weak battery. First thing would be to grab a multimeter and test the battery voltage to make sure you have 12.6 volts at the battery. If you so then you'll want to take your meter and test the small connection on the starter to make sure you are getting 12.6 volts at the starter as well. If you are then it's time for a new starter.
I ask because just clicking is typically a failed starter solenoid or a weak battery. First thing would be to grab a multimeter and test the battery voltage to make sure you have 12.6 volts at the battery. If you so then you'll want to take your meter and test the small connection on the starter to make sure you are getting 12.6 volts at the starter as well. If you are then it's time for a new starter.
I don’t have a way to test the battery right now but will if you still think it’s that.

In case it helps, this is a pic of the new fuel filter from the driver’s side, a view from above the tire.

And it’s probably normal to have oil in driveway after changing the fuel filter I imagine?
I’m just trying to piece together a puzzle!

If the engine starts now I’m wondering if it’s safe to drive it? If it’s truly just smoke related to changing the fuel filter.
Thanks!

1F034A47-31CE-454A-8C88-9460A13E98A2.jpeg
 




Tshaw88

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That's the starter not the fuel filter. And it's not really "normal" to have oil in the driveway.
 




Tshaw88

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And if the mechanic sprayed down the bolts to loosen the rust off them he got some on the exhaust since there is an exhaust flange right there that hides one of the starter mounting bolts, that's probably the smoke you are seeing it will go away. I'd grab that small wire and see if you can wiggle the connector at all, it could be that nut that holds it in place is a little loose, hard to tell from the picture. If it is tighten it down it's a 10mm socket. It sounds like the battery was just.weak tho.
 




Number4

"I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad."
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Fast clicking would indicate a battery power issue. Either a bad battery or bad ground/positive cable. Typically.

It also looks like your solenoid wire has a bubble in it. As if it’s melting. Between the wire loom and the black shrink tubing on the small wire.

Of this vehicle sits a lot, the battery will tend to discharge and cause corrosion on the positive cable. This corrosion can work it’s way down the cable reducing its ability to carry power.

Test the voltage at the battery end of the cable and down at the starter. See if they are the same.

Also, the door ajar light is an issue with the wiring in the boot of the drivers door jamb. This issue will often drain the battery of you don’t turn the interior light knob to off.
 




RagnarL

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Replacing a fuel pump is going to be expensive and quite possibly unnecessary. The engine should turn over regardless of whether the fuel pump works or not. If you just hear a fast clicking but the engine doesn't turn over I'd focus on the battery, starter/solenoid, and wiring between the two. I'm betting you need a new starter
 




DeaneB

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Thanks for your help! So I went and got a new battery.
Car still did the same thing a few days later. Not every time. It started fine for two days no more clicking.
(I guess just a coincidence battery went out)
Then wouldn’t. Sounded like it was going to then sputtered a second and didn’t start.


(Another big problem- I’m also looking for a rear cargo hatch glass window that the glass place here says they can’t find due to only a few were made (?)
Due to being made in 4-2002 then Ford changed something. So I’m looking on my own but not sure how to know it’s the right one.
Guess I’ll try to find the forum to put this question in for help.

Thank you!
Any other ideas on the engine not starting appreciated!
 




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