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Explorer dying.

five0hfox

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City, State
Kansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 XLT
Lately it's been a little over 100F here. I had to wait on a friend in my Explorer and didn't want to sweat like a pig so I left it running with the AC on max. Well it ended up taking at least 30 minutes. When I went to back up it, the engine wouldn't rev up. It then kind of lugged then died. Tried to start it and no dice, just cranked and cranked. Then turned the key on and off a few times to run the fuel pump. It then started but lugged and died when I tried moving.

The gas gauge was at 1/4 tank, and has never been off. So I put 5 gallons of gas in it (this was after sitting with it off for at least 15 minutes) and it started up. I drove to the gas station and filled up. It was fine for the rest of they day. Anyways, two days later I drove over to Joplin (35 minute drive) and it was just fine. After coming out of Sears I needed to make a phone call. I sat with it running for at most 10 minutes and when I went to leave same thing. Wouldn't rev up, lugged and died. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then it started just fine. I then went to head home but stopped to fill up first. It only took I think 4 gallons or so. I then proceeded to drive home with out any issues.

Any ideas on what is causing this? The CEL does not come on when this happens.
 
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arco777

Elite Explorer
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Probably your fuel pump. You can check it with a fuel pressure gauge. When the car's sputtering and has no power you'd see a lack of fuel pressure. You want to see 30-40psi at the rail.

The pump relay is a possibility but it is probably the pump.

When they are at the end of their lifespan, they will cut out when they get hot - and they get hot easily. Long drives and low fuel levels (fuel cools the pump) will heat them up faster.
 
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five0hfox

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Now I wonder if I should spend $50 on a gauge and another $100 on a pump if my pressure drops or just do the pump. I mean it does have 210,000 miles on but I'm not sure how old the pump is.
 
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arco777

Elite Explorer
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You can get a pump cheaper than that - check RockAuto. Or eBay, if you want to risk it.

Maybe you can borrow or rent a fuel pressure gauge? Some auto parts stores rent tools out.

A fuel pressure gauge is a great diagnostic tool to have. Just stay away from the cheapos. I picked up a $40 Innova/Equus gauge and it worked for a while, but then started to have inconsistent readings. Soon after the fittings started leaking.
 
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Turdle

Lowrider
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2000 Mounty
In a pinch--just get one of those small round air pressure gauges at walmart. It will work for a fuel pressure test. I've done it lots of times without ruining my gauge!!

Be careful --wrap it with a paper towel when removing as there will be a touch of fuel spray.

Are you located in Pittsburg?
 
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acschilling

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92 XLT
My pump was acting the same way..you can rent a gauge for free I'm sure you know. Also, Advance has killer online coupons. I got 30 dollars off an Airtex, picked up in the store. I also made an access panel
 
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five0hfox

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94 XLT
We have an AutoZone, orileys, and Napa here. I don't *think* they rent it but it won't hurt to double check. I might go the air pressure gauge route if they don't. In 6 years this is the first time I've needed one.

And more or less in Pittsburg, Frontenac specifically. Kind of cool that there's actually a "local" on here.
 
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