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2013 Explorer Sport Rough Idle / Bucking on Cold Starts

2013Sport

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January 20, 2013
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City, State
Louisville, KY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 Ford Explorer Sport
I've had my 2013 Ford Explorer Sport for about half a month now and have logged about 1100 miles. Over this time, I have been noticing an issue on cold starts I wanted to check up on. There is a light random shudder at idle & also some power holdback and bucking upon acceleration the first couple minutes. I had first noticed the issue within the first couple days I had it and decided to see if it would go away with a few miles, but there has been no change. I decided to search some of the forums this morning to see if this was normal operation, or a sign of a problem and also, if there might be a fix.

Upon searching, I was not able to find any similar threads on this forum, but I did find a post on the Ecoboost Forum started by Rick at LMS when he noticed the same issue last summer on a 2013 SHO they were putting on the dyno. There were several replies, some saying they've not experienced it and some saying they have, but beyond that, no mentions of a possible TSB or Re-flash to fix the concern.

I'll descibe my issue a little better here. As for the rough idle, it reminds me of the feel of some of the older muscle cars but on a lighter scale, just a random shudder feel in the idle every couple seconds. I really only experience the rough idle when backing out of the garage & driveway when not even touching the throttle, it's not bad, but noticable, just has that older big motor feel to it. That doesn't bother me any, but my real concern is that once in drive on a cold start, there seems to be a noticable hold back of power the first half mile to mile or so, and if you push it past 3500 rpm or better, it starts bucking a bit in it's acceleration, very noticable if you go WOT. When driving through neighborhoods, it's not very noticeable since there is not much effort needed to get to 25-30 mph, but when leaving work, I am pulling out onto a 4 lane highway with traffic moving about 55-60 mph, so you kind of have to dip into the throttle just bit more and thats when I notice the bucking issue the most. But once the engine starts reaching towards normal operating temperatures, it's super smooth running.

But with all that said, I was just mainly curious if anyone else with the Explorer Sport is experiencing this issue and to make sure there is no cause for alarm. If others have experienced this issue, has anyone made an attempt at the dealership for a possible re-flash or TSB service that has cured the issue. In the posting on the Ecoboost thread, Rick from LMS did say the issue seemed to improve with their tune, but not eliminated. I do plan to retune with LMS in about 2 weeks once upto about 2000 miles, but I'd prefer to let the dealer do a Ford authorized service/update before retuning if they have a fix available? This may just be normal operation for the 3.5L Ecoboost, but I wanted to make sure before I just decided to ignore it. Thanks!
 



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Just curious. Are you running regular or premium gas? If you are running premium, what octane?

I have a 2013 Sport on order and was thinking about just running regular gas in it but I am worried about engine knock with the lower octane.

Thanks,
Don
 






I am using 93 octane.

I will say that I believe you would be fine using a lower octane as I don't believe the issue I am experiencing is in any way related to octane or engine knock. It really seems more like something that is programmed in for some reason on cold starts, I'm just not sure if it's of an intentional design or if it's an oversight in the factory programmed tuning allowing the issue to arise when the engine is cold. As mentioned, once the engine warms a littlemore towards normal temperature, it is super-smooth, rather it is at idle or accelerating. It's quite possible my concern is just normal operation, I just wanted to verify that this issue is not something relatively unique to just my Explorer that may be cause for concern.
 






I have a Sport and do not have this rough idle issue. Mine only has 250 miles on it but it is smooth no matter what temp.

I hope you get this resolved and it is something easy!
 












I've had my 2013 Ford Explorer Sport for about half a month now and have logged about 1100 miles. Over this time, I have been noticing an issue on cold starts I wanted to check up on. There is a light random shudder at idle & also some power holdback and bucking upon acceleration the first couple minutes. I had first noticed the issue within the first couple days I had it and decided to see if it would go away with a few miles, but there has been no change. I decided to search some of the forums this morning to see if this was normal operation, or a sign of a problem and also, if there might be a fix...

Hi 2013Sport,

I want to get your regional customer service manager involved by escalating your case. Send me a PM with your VIN, dealer, mileage, daytime phone number, and full name; I'll get to work on your case!

Crystal
 






Just curious. Are you running regular or premium gas? If you are running premium, what octane?

I have a 2013 Sport on order and was thinking about just running regular gas in it but I am worried about engine knock with the lower octane.

Thanks,
Don
Welcome to the Forum Obreezevic.:wavey:
The only thing you should experience when using regular gas is a bit less than optimum performance. Engine knock is very rare nowadays in that the electronics will adjust the timing/engine accordingly.

Peter
 






I've had my 2013 Ford Explorer Sport for about half a month now and have logged about 1100 miles. Over this time, I have been noticing an issue on cold starts I wanted to check up on. There is a light random shudder at idle & also some power holdback and bucking upon acceleration the first couple minutes. I had first noticed the issue within the first couple days I had it and decided to see if it would go away with a few miles, but there has been no change. I decided to search some of the forums this morning to see if this was normal operation, or a sign of a problem and also, if there might be a fix.

Upon searching, I was not able to find any similar threads on this forum, but I did find a post on the Ecoboost Forum started by Rick at LMS when he noticed the same issue last summer on a 2013 SHO they were putting on the dyno. There were several replies, some saying they've not experienced it and some saying they have, but beyond that, no mentions of a possible TSB or Re-flash to fix the concern.

I'll descibe my issue a little better here. As for the rough idle, it reminds me of the feel of some of the older muscle cars but on a lighter scale, just a random shudder feel in the idle every couple seconds. I really only experience the rough idle when backing out of the garage & driveway when not even touching the throttle, it's not bad, but noticable, just has that older big motor feel to it. That doesn't bother me any, but my real concern is that once in drive on a cold start, there seems to be a noticable hold back of power the first half mile to mile or so, and if you push it past 3500 rpm or better, it starts bucking a bit in it's acceleration, very noticable if you go WOT. When driving through neighborhoods, it's not very noticeable since there is not much effort needed to get to 25-30 mph, but when leaving work, I am pulling out onto a 4 lane highway with traffic moving about 55-60 mph, so you kind of have to dip into the throttle just bit more and thats when I notice the bucking issue the most. But once the engine starts reaching towards normal operating temperatures, it's super smooth running.

But with all that said, I was just mainly curious if anyone else with the Explorer Sport is experiencing this issue and to make sure there is no cause for alarm. If others have experienced this issue, has anyone made an attempt at the dealership for a possible re-flash or TSB service that has cured the issue. In the posting on the Ecoboost thread, Rick from LMS did say the issue seemed to improve with their tune, but not eliminated. I do plan to retune with LMS in about 2 weeks once upto about 2000 miles, but I'd prefer to let the dealer do a Ford authorized service/update before retuning if they have a fix available? This may just be normal operation for the 3.5L Ecoboost, but I wanted to make sure before I just decided to ignore it. Thanks!
It almost sounds like bad gasoline of misfiring. Have you switched places where you fill up?
I would definitely take it to the dealer to have it checked out before you might possibly do any damage.
Good luck.

Peter
 






This happened to me, too. After a few days, they figured out it was some sort of idle sensor. Since that was replaced it has been perfect.
 






sounds like it's going to idle like my 04 GTO -- I like it!
 






I'm having the same issue with mine. Nothing major. On cold start when pulling away it hesitates and misses a little. Stops when it's warmed up. Strange. I'll mention it to the dealer when I bring it in for servicing
 






There is also a very annoying fan noise coming from somewhere in the cabin. Very faint but also very noticealbe when there is no music playing. Stops when I turn the engine off.
 






I'm having the same issue with mine. Nothing major. On cold start when pulling away it hesitates and misses a little. Stops when it's warmed up. Strange. I'll mention it to the dealer when I bring it in for servicing

There is also a very annoying fan noise coming from somewhere in the cabin. Very faint but also very noticealbe when there is no music playing. Stops when I turn the engine off.

Hey broken strut,

Getting your dealership involved is a great next step. I can also help by escalating your case. Send me a PM with your VIN, dealer, mileage, daytime phone number, and full name. I'll get your case into the right hands. :thumbsup:

Crystal
 






There is also a very annoying fan noise coming from somewhere in the cabin. Very faint but also very noticealbe when there is no music playing. Stops when I turn the engine off.
This seems to a common issue with the 2013 models. It is very likely the fan that is behind that small grill in the dash that records the cabin temperature.
Many members on here with the 2013 model have had to get that fan replaced.

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=373859&highlight=fan

Peter
 






I've had my 2013 Ford Explorer Sport for about half a month now and have logged about 1100 miles. Over this time, I have been noticing an issue on cold starts I wanted to check up on. There is a light random shudder at idle & also some power holdback and bucking upon acceleration the first couple minutes. I had first noticed the issue within the first couple days I had it and decided to see if it would go away with a few miles, but there has been no change. I decided to search some of the forums this morning to see if this was normal operation, or a sign of a problem and also, if there might be a fix.

Upon searching, I was not able to find any similar threads on this forum, but I did find a post on the Ecoboost Forum started by Rick at LMS when he noticed the same issue last summer on a 2013 SHO they were putting on the dyno. There were several replies, some saying they've not experienced it and some saying they have, but beyond that, no mentions of a possible TSB or Re-flash to fix the concern.

I'll descibe my issue a little better here. As for the rough idle, it reminds me of the feel of some of the older muscle cars but on a lighter scale, just a random shudder feel in the idle every couple seconds. I really only experience the rough idle when backing out of the garage & driveway when not even touching the throttle, it's not bad, but noticable, just has that older big motor feel to it. That doesn't bother me any, but my real concern is that once in drive on a cold start, there seems to be a noticable hold back of power the first half mile to mile or so, and if you push it past 3500 rpm or better, it starts bucking a bit in it's acceleration, very noticable if you go WOT. When driving through neighborhoods, it's not very noticeable since there is not much effort needed to get to 25-30 mph, but when leaving work, I am pulling out onto a 4 lane highway with traffic moving about 55-60 mph, so you kind of have to dip into the throttle just bit more and thats when I notice the bucking issue the most. But once the engine starts reaching towards normal operating temperatures, it's super smooth running.

But with all that said, I was just mainly curious if anyone else with the Explorer Sport is experiencing this issue and to make sure there is no cause for alarm. If others have experienced this issue, has anyone made an attempt at the dealership for a possible re-flash or TSB service that has cured the issue. In the posting on the Ecoboost thread, Rick from LMS did say the issue seemed to improve with their tune, but not eliminated. I do plan to retune with LMS in about 2 weeks once upto about 2000 miles, but I'd prefer to let the dealer do a Ford authorized service/update before retuning if they have a fix available? This may just be normal operation for the 3.5L Ecoboost, but I wanted to make sure before I just decided to ignore it. Thanks!
I just noticed this same issue happening on my 2016 sport. Does anyone else have the same issue and is it the idle sensor that is causing it?
 






IIRC, I believe there's some sort of TSB related to the TB causing this issue.
 






IIRC, I believe there's some sort of TSB related to the TB causing this issue.

Can you please give me the tsb number and some info on it. I just left the dealership and they stated that the TB might be starting to go bad they will probably need to replace it but the cannot do so until I get the wrench light and the car starts to put me in limp mode.
I told them I do not want to wait for that to happen and possibly have an accident. They said that they will do some more research and call ford and get back to me on Monday but anyhow the TB is on back order till May.
I really do not know what to do here. Do they really need to change the entire thing or can they reprogram?
 






Can you please give me the tsb number and some info on it. I just left the dealership and they stated that the TB might be starting to go bad they will probably need to replace it but the cannot do so until I get the wrench light and the car starts to put me in limp mode.
I told them I do not want to wait for that to happen and possibly have an accident. They said that they will do some more research and call ford and get back to me on Monday but anyhow the TB is on back order till May.
I really do not know what to do here. Do they really need to change the entire thing or can they reprogram?
I'm not aware of any TSB for this issue involving the throttle body and there is no TSB listed in the TSB thread;
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343204
Many throttle bodies have however been replaced during the past year.

Peter
 






I'm not aware of any TSB for this issue involving the throttle body and there is no TSB listed in the TSB thread;
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=343204
Many throttle bodies have however been replaced during the past year.

Peter

Thanks Peter for your input. My explorer has 700 miles and I don't understand how TB can go bad unless there are a batch of defective ones.
I love the truck but I feel frustrated from all the issues that I had. I want to enjoy that truck. I guess it is my bad luck :)

My concern now is to get that fixed but from what the dealership is saying that I have to wait until it completely goes bad and the fact that it is on back order or at least this is what they told me just adds to my concerns
 



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Quick updates on this if anyone is interested.
I called ford customer service on Monday and they were great, they opened up a case for me and documented the issue and sent the case to the regional customer service manager.
The regional manager called me on Tuesday and said that she will check with the dealership and call me back later in the day.
Wednesday came and no call back so I called her number and left a message asking for updates.
Today is Thursday and still did not hear back from her. Still waiting for a call back, I am hopping today.
 






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