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2020 Explorer Starting Problems


Metromike

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Hi Everybody. I am Metromike from Orlando. I bought my new ST a few months ago when they first arrived in Central Florida. It's a very good car but it definitely has first-year issues with the computer system. The week after I bought it I was out for dinner one night and the car wouldn't start. I called AAA and they finally showed up the car turned over immediately. I took it in the next day in my dealership made me aware of the keyholder in the center console. I didn't have any problem until this week when the exact same thing happened again. The keyholder in the center console had no effect. That's when I learned that ST owners in other places are experiencing the same problem. There is a YouTube video titled "2020 Ford Explorer ST starting problem" that will give you a first-hand look at what's going on. This time when I took it to the dealership after it finally decided to start they said they were aware of the problem. They've had it for two days and haven't solved it yet. I was disappointed that Ford or the dealership had not contacted me before they left me stranded twice!
 


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blwnsmoke

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You are the 1st to report a starting problem like this. I am confused on the part about Ford not calling you. If they are aware of an issue with no fix yet available , what would one expect Ford to do as far as phone calls? And Ford wont call anyone, they will send out a letter/recall fine is issued.
 




peterk9

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Welcome to the Forum Metromike.:wave:
I'm guessing the Reverse Brake Assist is considered a 'safety' feature and therefore its default mode is ON after a key cycle.

Peter
 




Metromike

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You are the 1st to report a starting problem like this. I am confused on the part about Ford not calling you. If they are aware of an issue with no fix yet available , what would one expect Ford to do as far as phone calls? And Ford wont call anyone, they will send out a letter/recall fine is issued.

I agree on the backup assist. If you shut it off, I wish it would stay off after the next key cycle automatically till you turn it back on.
Just got it back from dealership. The starting problem is on a technical Advisory bulletin. They indicated that it was a five hour fix but also so that shouldn't happen again now. The dealership also said that Ford is aware of the backup problem and the Ford engineers are working to find a solution.
I agree with you that "call" was a poor choice of words. I recognize that Ford would not call but after my first issue was starting and the dealership not having any solution I thought they might contact me once they receive the technical bulletin on the same subject. Guess I was just hoping for too much!
 




blwnsmoke

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Just got it back from dealership. The starting problem is on a technical Advisory bulletin. They indicated that it was a five hour fix but also so that shouldn't happen again now. The dealership also said that Ford is aware of the backup problem and the Ford engineers are working to find a solution.
I agree with you that "call" was a poor choice of words. I recognize that Ford would not call but after my first issue was starting and the dealership not having any solution I thought they might contact me once they receive the technical bulletin on the same subject. Guess I was just hoping for too much!

If you are able to get a copy of the TSB or at least the number, please let us know so we can add it to the list at the top of the forum.
 




thedanman

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I have exactly the same symptoms as the videos and reported them right after I bought mine, I think it happened that very weekend. Has happened maybe once more since then (Sept) but yesterday it was very stubborn. Only trick I know is that remote start on the fob will cause it to start. Hit the start button like normal, but if you do anything else such as shut the door or put your seatbelt on, the head/tail/brake lights flash like the car is possessed and the car will then shutoff after flashing everything for about 5 seconds. Then you have to do the entire routine again, and if you're lucky you will be able to drive it.

Please if you can get ahold of that TSB # or similar so I can submit it to my dealer to fix this, I would appreciate it.

I will also try to get a video uploaded the next time I get the problem.
 




peterk9

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So if you shut the door, fasten your seatbelt and then hit the Start button, it will start?

Peter
 




thedanman

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So if you shut the door, fasten your seatbelt and then hit the Start button, it will start?

Peter
When the car isn't in a starting mood, it won't matter if the door/seatbelt, etc. is done, nothing will happen if you hit the start button. If you walk away and come back 20 minutes later, it seems likely to start. This doesn't seem to make my wife happy, because then she has to take my car.

I've been able to get it to start, as detailed above using remote start, but then that comes with its own problems - namely that anything like putting your seatbelt on, putting on the brakes or closing the door is enough to send it into a panic leaving all of the external lights blinking and after 5 or so seconds the car shuts down. Yesterday was a very unfortunate time for it to happen, or I would have just called roadside assistance and let them handle it.
 




Metromike

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I have exactly the same symptoms as the videos and reported them right after I bought mine, I think it happened that very weekend. Has happened maybe once more since then (Sept) but yesterday it was very stubborn. Only trick I know is that remote start on the fob will cause it to start. Hit the start button like normal, but if you do anything else such as shut the door or put your seatbelt on, the head/tail/brake lights flash like the car is possessed and the car will then shutoff after flashing everything for about 5 seconds. Then you have to do the entire routine again, and if you're lucky you will be able to drive it.

Please if you can get ahold of that TSB # or similar so I can submit it to my dealer to fix this, I would appreciate it.

I will also try to get a video uploaded the next time I get the problem.
I spoke to my service advisor and he indicated that it is not been flagged by Ford yet but he can get me the TSB number on Monday. As soon as I get it I will forward it to you. Let's hope that this fixes the problem because it's no fun being stranded with your brand-new $60,000 automobile!
 




thedanman

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Hi Metromike, I'd love to hear if you know more yet! My explorer really was crabby today and I scheduled a visit to the dealer tomorrow. I was able to capture the evidence on video pretty well. I even drove the car home, which is a 25 minute, 12 mile commute - plenty of time to charge the battery. As soon as I got home, I whipped out the phone to record and viola, the symptoms were back. Now I need to go in for service tomorrow and somehow convince them of the problem.

P.S. There are now several videos on youtube also documenting the issue. It's not just the ST, and XLT has it as well.

I spoke to my service advisor and he indicated that it is not been flagged by Ford yet but he can get me the TSB number on Monday. As soon as I get it I will forward it to you. Let's hope that this fixes the problem because it's no fun being stranded with your brand-new $60,000 automobile!
 




thedanman

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So apparently the dealership can't do much unless they can directly reproduce the problem while the machine is hooked up. Is that seriously how it is these days? I can have an major problem that occurs twice a month but they can't fix it unless it happens while it's in the techs hands? Sometimes it can take 40 minutes to start the car.
 




blwnsmoke

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So apparently the dealership can't do much unless they can directly reproduce the problem while the machine is hooked up. Is that seriously how it is these days? I can have an major problem that occurs twice a month but they can't fix it unless it happens while it's in the techs hands? Sometimes it can take 40 minutes to start the car.

How can somebody fix something that isn't broken when it is in their possession? Too many electronics and sensors on today's vehicles to be able to troubleshoot when everything is working 100% in front of them.
 




2020ST1847

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Hi Everybody. I am Metromike from Orlando. I bought my new ST a few months ago when they first arrived in Central Florida. It's a very good car but it definitely has first-year issues with the computer system. The week after I bought it I was out for dinner one night and the car wouldn't start. I called AAA and they finally showed up the car turned over immediately. I took it in the next day in my dealership made me aware of the keyholder in the center console. I didn't have any problem until this week when the exact same thing happened again. The keyholder in the center console had no effect. That's when I learned that ST owners in other places are experiencing the same problem. There is a YouTube video titled "2020 Ford Explorer ST starting problem" that will give you a first-hand look at what's going on. This time when I took it to the dealership after it finally decided to start they said they were aware of the problem. They've had it for two days and haven't solved it yet. I was disappointed that Ford or the dealership had not contacted me before they left me stranded twice!

Hi Metromike and other "no start" posters,

My 2020 Explorer ST, purchased new, now has only 3195 miles and already been in Ford service five times for a total of 37 days. My Ford service replaced the battery twice, replaced BCM, reprogrammed APIM, BCM and other modules but, still, once or more per week, touch brake, head lights flash, start button flashes, NO START. Try many times, leave, lock it, return, again lights flash, NO START. After several tries, disconnect negative battery cable, for one minute, connect it, now normal start for 3-7 days. Then, all over, lights flash, NO START. I have this new ST for nine months but only 3195 miles because cannot go far with it. Never made fifty miles without restart failure. Dangerously, must leave it running or be stranded. I should not need to open hood, disconnect battery on a 2020, $60,000 lemon. Frustrated in Henderson NV. I saw the YouTube videos of the same problem. My dealer service says they are in touch with Ford engineers but Ford does not know how to fix it.
Remember, if you have this problem, keep a 10mm socket or nut driver in the car. If stranded, disconnect negative battery cable for a minute, connect it back and it will start for a few days.
 




peterk9

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thedanman

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Just an update that I am still having this starting issue. Plagued us terribly this weekend - car was having fits starting. Headlights flash but no action when you click start. The dealer said they had fixed it by updating some modules. Not. Just scheduled an appointment again for warranty. 2 weeks until the next available. Ridiculous.
 




Metromike

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Just an update that I am still having this starting issue. Plagued us terribly this weekend - car was having fits starting. Headlights flash but no action when you click start. The dealer said they had fixed it by updating some modules. Not. Just scheduled an appointment again for warranty. 2 weeks until the next available. Ridiculous.
I had it happen twice before my update but once they did my update I only experienced the problem on 1 other occasion. I let it set for an hour and it started. I know how irritating this is and I would love to know if you ever reach a plausible reason for this problem. I just crossed 21,000 miles and I hope I never experience it again. My dealer never produced a TSB even though I requested a copy on several occasions.
 




thedanman

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I had it happen twice before my update but once they did my update I only experienced the problem on 1 other occasion. I let it set for an hour and it started. I know how irritating this is and I would love to know if you ever reach a plausible reason for this problem. I just crossed 21,000 miles and I hope I never experience it again. My dealer never produced a TSB even though I requested a copy on several occasions.

Thanks metromike, I will definitely let you know if they fix it and hope you do the same! The last updates they did where a couple of modules, but not the APIM as for some reason they said ford was having server issues that day. The car did work for a time after the update but that's probably because the symptoms randomly appear and are never reproducible. I've had it happen once before the fits this weekend but it quickly went away. This weekend we took the car and went on a couple hundred mile trip and it had the problems almost all weekend. We'd get up in the morning and start it - problem. We'd take it to go look at the foliage on a trailhead, problem. We'd hike for 2 hours, problem. We'd stop to take some pictures in the mountains (< 5 minutes), problem. I have it all on video and will upload it to show it to them although they claim that is not enough evidence.

I thought I was able to reliably reproduce it by having a radar detector plugged in (which auto shuts off after a while) but I've had that stuff disconnected for months and still the problem persists.

I should also note that we *rarely* drive this car, it's usually reserved for camping trips or long trips (14 hour drive, 600+ miles) to see families. Occasionally I'll take it out on the weekend when my wife takes my car to the gym but I'd say 95% of the time this thing sits in the garage. BUT the problem doesn't show up when we first try to start the car. It shows up after - do a long 200 mile drive, then it starts acting up. Drive it the next day, acts up. Leave it for a while, might act up, might not.

Although I say rarely, I will say that we have 13k miles on it now, having had it for 13 months.

2 months ago I took a 1500 mile trip, drove it every day for a week straight. No problems.

The only way to reliably start it is to use the remote start, don't put your foot on the brake! and then hit the start button to take over. This has worked every time since they did the BCM, etc updates. Before that even remote start was hit and miss.
 




sailingselene

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I have a new Explorer Limited which randomly will not start. This is the same problem posted in this forum under "2020 ST Starting Problem". Since this thread was never resolved, I thought I should ask the question again. My vehicle now has 4,000 miles.
I have the same problem as described, where randomly it will not start. I press the brake and push the start button and the lights flash but nothing related to starting happens. On my first dealer service call they thought the engine control software was causing the problem, so the reinstalled the latest engine control software. This did not solve the problem as a few weeks later the engine would not start again. The only thing that seems consistent with this problem is that the engine will start after being left alone for about an hour. (Time it takes for a tow truck to arrive). On my second dealer service call they told me there was nothing additional they could do to resolve the problem. They checked for service bulletins on the problem and found nothing. They suggested I call Ford Customer Service.
Ford Customer Service told me there was nothing they could do until the problem was identified and repaired. Meaning I would have to leave the vehicle at the dealer for at least a month and then they probably would not identify the problem. However, Ford Customer Service is leaving the case open for further review.

Does anyone know of the source of this starting problem? Is there a Service Bulletin on this subject? Repair suggestion? I just can not have an unreliable vehicle and need to find a solution. Based on the YouTube videos' it appears to be a fairly common problem, surely someone out there has fixed the problem.
Thank you,
 




Rick

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hbalek

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My guess is an intermittent fuel pump issue.

Here is a thread which deals with a members problems with that:

Towed to Dealer After Engine Stopped
For my stall and restart problem last weekend, the engine did crank every time the button was pushed. So it does not appear to be the same problem. I got my Explorer back yesterday and the fuel pump was replaced. The above problem appears to be an electronic or electrical issue.
 




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