Engine Stalling on 2000 XLS??? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Engine Stalling on 2000 XLS???


Active Member
January 3, 2001
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
'00 XLS
All, I need some please!?!?!?! I will keep this as short as possible.

I have a 2000 XLS OHV "X", with 29,600 miles. After leaving the x outside, all night, in thunderstorms (this happened 2x so far), I will get up and drive about 2 miles and the engine sputters and then stalls. The check engine light then comes on. The headlights never go out, the stereo doesn't go off, no indication that the engine stalled (except for the fact that you lose all engine power, and the tach goes to zero), then 10 seconds later all the different lights in the dash come on. When I try to start it again, the engine turns over, but doesn't start. The battery seems fine and is not wet. All guages appear perfectly normal (except the check engine light). About 5 minutes later and several attempts to start it, the engine eventually starts for about 30 seconds to a minute then sputters and stalls again. If I give it gas, it immediately stalls. Then after going through this for about 10 more minutes the engine starts, and everything seems back to normal (except that the check engine light is on). Now, after driving 20 minutes, it does it again!!! But I am able to get it started after only 2 minutes of trying. It did this 5x on the way to work, each time she started back up quicker and quicker. It got to the point where it stalled, I coasted in neutral and started it right back up, put back in drive and continued driving. The first time this happend, about 5 or 6 weeks ago, the engine stalled, I pulled over and after twenty minutes of trying to start her, it started and stayed running. I haven't seen the problem since (until now). I drove yesterday, in the rain with some downpours over 200 miles without a problem (NJ to CT).

Do you guys have any ideas? Could I be getting water in my fuel tank somehow? I haven't called the dealer yet, it is too early in the day...any ideas?????

Thanks in advance! Ben

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I've called 8 Ford dealers within 50 miles of me, and no one can guarantee that they can fix my "X" before next Wednesday.

Is there anyway that water or water vapor can get into the air filter/canister area?

That's what happened to a friend of mine and it turned out that somehow, water got into the canister and after dryiing it out, the engine was working fine again.


I will check the air filter and locate the "canister." I did just put in a K&N air filter, but this problem occured for the first time before I put in the K&N.

I am also going to buy a fuel additive (dry-gas or something), thinking maybe there is water in my gas tank.

Engine Stalling


Two minutes is about the time it takes for the engine to warm up and go into closed loop, so I'm guessing you have a sensor that's getting wet overnight, but not drying out in the two minutes of driving. Judging by your description of it dying as soon as you give it gas, I would start by looking at the TPS... take what connectors you can apart & clean with WD-40, and dry.

I'm in New London and just got one of the OBD-II computer interfaces. If you're close by we can do a scan on it.



I will begin to look at connectors when I get home, but by then they will dry, so I will just clean and spray. I never had a problem off-road, in mud or big puddles. Forgive my ignorance but what is the "TPS?"

I had a buddy take me to autozone during lunch to get some additives for taking water out of fuel (methanol I think). I poured that in and stood on the bumper and jumped around to mix it up. After work I will take it for a ride and see what happens. When I get home I will pull out the WD40 and look at connectors. Another clue is that when it does stall, it putters like it is running out of gas.

Thanks again to all!!!!


TPS = Throttle Position Sensor. Should be near the throttle body with a three wire connector and a shaft that rotates as you move the gas pedal.

When you step on the gas pedal, this senses the throttle opening up and immediately commands the injectors to put in more fuel. If the sensor is shorted or has high resistance, it won't "see" the throttle open, and you will go very lean until the O2 sensors ramp the fuel back up. If it doesn't stall, you'll feel a "stumble."

The sensors are usually just a potentiometer, which if cracked, can get damp inside, and will need to be replaced.


Here is what I have done so far, and have yet to notice the problem again:

1. I filled up the gas tank (it was at 1/4).
2. I added the green liquid to the gas tank, methanol I think, to get rid of any moisture in my tank.
3. I installed a locking gas cap 3 or 4 months ago, so I put the old one back on.
4. I parked the X in the garage last night, out of the rain.
5. I checked connectors in the engine compartment, everything was dry.
6. I checked the air filter and it's housing, no water, bone dry.
7. I unplugged the battery for the whole night.

I re-connected the batery and I drove to work with no problems this morning and my engine light has not yet come back on.

Next I will take a closer look at the TPS. Any other ideas?

Thanks again!

It's a process of elimination. It sounds like everytime it happened your X was in a thunderstorm so water/moisture sounds like the culprit. If it rains again, try leaving your X outside to see if the problem returns, then go through these checks to see if you can spot the problem. Who knows, it could just be the gas cap, nah, too easy!!!

Well....went for a test drive (tried to) at lunch. I got 10 yards from the parking lot and sputter sputter stall (the check engine light came back on). I coasted into another parking lot. She wouldn't start. Let it sit for 5 minutes, she started then ran for 20 seconds, then sputter and stall. Waited another 5 minutes, started, it seemed fine idling for over a minute, then I lightly touched the gas, had a sputter then it stalled. I tried again for ha ha's and same thing, she idled until I hit the gas. I also triwed putting it in drive without hitting the gas, same thing, sputter and stall. I still have the warranty, I guess at 3:00 it is time to call AAA and the Ford dealer.....unless there any other easy ideas to try? I might as well make Ford do the work, and hopefully get a loaner (yeah right!). At least the guy next door works near me, hopefully I can bum a ride........It is very interesting that I had no problem at all on the way to work this morning, then all of a sudden it came back.

That's too bad. Good thing your warranty will take care of the problem. Whatever the problem is, I'm sure it's logged in the computer and the technicians would know. Let us know what you find out.

It may be the Air Idle Control valve (IAC). This regulates the idle. Another possibility- Do you hear your fuel pump running when you turn the ignition to on?? When you try starting, turn to "on" (not all the way to start) and listen for the fuel pump. You should hear a whining sound. There may be a problem with the fuel pump. It's also time to change the fuel filter if you havent done it already (30K is recommended). There could be something clogging it. Good Luck! Let us know what the dealer says.

call me dumb but i thought they didnt make the ohv engines anymore. i thought they were all sohc'sn now.

maybe your car got struck by lightning.
i have no idea what the effects of lightning are on your car seeing as how se get a lightning storm once every 5 years here. but i dunno. maybe it got struck by lightning and it messed up the computer some how.

.....*shuts up*

Mikeresin -

'00 X still had the OHV engines available along with the SOHC engines. Only beginning in '01 that all X came with the SOHC enginers.

ahh i c

Here is the story:

1st of all, the dealer wouldn't make an appointment to see my "X" until the end of next week. So, I called AAA, had them pick up the "X" and park it right in the middle of the dealer's service garage, saying that it is disabled. I had it fixed within 24 hours.....

I was told (and the receipt verifies this) that the crank sensor was cracked and therefore replaced. Part Number: 1L2Z-6C315-BB, SENSOR ASY-CRA. I have no idea what this does, but the warranty covered it.

They also did the 30k mile service for $433.00 (tax included).

Thanks to all for your help in trying to solve my problem!!!

I'm glad they were able to find something wrong. I have had too many experiences with the dealer and intermitant problems that usually result in multiple trips to get it fixed. You were probably splashing water up onto the crank sensor which caused the problem. The sensor is what tells your computer what position your crank is in. If it looses the signal, it will either run real bad or die.

That was a good idea by having it towed down their and dropping it off. I get the same hassles from my dealer when trying to arrange for service. Unless it is an oil change, you can count on waiting two weeks to get it in. Apparently to them, if you are calling in to make an appointment, it isn't a severe enough problem to render the vehicle inoperative. I had a Ranger once that died on my on the freeway and wouldn't restart. I had it towed to my dealer and got it fixed by the next evening. Everytime I try and call this dealer I get the usual two week appointment wait. I even drove my Explorer up to this same dealer last March with my temperature gauge running in the red. This dealer had just had it the day before for a high idle issue and couldn't find the problem. They tried telling me to come back in a week, that it was OK for my temperature gauge to run in the red. It took some loud complaining on my part with several customers around before they agreed to take it in that day.

Maybe from now on, I'll just drive it down to the dealer the night before and park it in front of their service drive. I'll call them the next morning and say it is undriveable in its current condition. Maybe I can get around the 2 week wait. My feelings are that if the vehicle is in for repairs under warranty, Ford should pick up the cost of a rental car until the vehicle is ready to be picked up. If the vehicle is undriveable (like yours was) they should supply a rental car until yours is fixed, even it they have to wait 2 weeks before they can get it in. The dealer that I bought my Explorer from in Ohio did provide rental cars for work whenever it had to be left over night. Unfortunately, here in Arizona it is next to impossible to get a dealer to pay for a rental. The only time that I have had success was when I had to take it back multiple times to get fixid. After about the second or third return, they will sometimes give me a rental if I push the issue.