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Explorer won't start even when boosted

98FordLove

Well-Known Member
Joined
January 27, 2021
Messages
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City, State
Calgary
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 Explorer XLT 4.0L OHV
It has been -50C here the past few days but still, I have a battery charger plugged into the truck so that the battery stays charged in the morning. Anyways I tried starting it 2 days ago and it turns over fine but just won't start. Even tried boosting it with my Noco GB70, my own car and my neighbours booster pack that has 900CCA. It was a no go. My battery shows that the battery is fully charged.

Im thinking it's the alternator but the radio and lights and headlights turn on fine. And I was told that even if the alternator was bad, as long as the battery is fully charged, the truck will still start ...especially when boosted.

I've been waiting 2.5 days now for a tow and hopefully my tow through my road assistance coverage comes tomorrow. But I'm thinking now that perhaps it's the battery gone bad.

Any thoughts? Have any of you ever seen a car not start even when boosted from another car and a booster pack?
 



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CEL light on ? Could be your fuel pump is out... spray some carb cleaner / starting fluid inside the throttle bottle and see if that starts it up a few seconds... report back with results...
 






-50°C (-58°F) i'd consider moisture frozen in injectors or fuel system..
 






It’s likely a bad fuel pump or just no fuel pressure
That is the most common cause of a sudden no start

Check for fuel pressure
 






-50C is cold enough for motor oil to freeze. Gas starts to freeze at that temperature.
 






CEL light on ? Could be your fuel pump is out... spray some carb cleaner / starting fluid inside the throttle bottle and see if that starts it up a few seconds... report back with results...

Thanks. Where is this throttle body? Does it need to be sprayed while trying to start the truck? I have the CEL on but it's the code for faulty cats.
 






Loosen hose clamp and slide off end of air intake hose / tube as shown by yellow arrow in pic- 1
Turn throttle body linkage to open throttle body plate (wide open) and saturate inside with carb cleaner/ starting fluid, QUICKLY SLIDE TUBE BACK ON...NO NEED TO TIGHTEN FOR NOW, AND QUICKLY crank over engine before sprayed contents dries up / evaporates...if you have a second person have someone sitting in drivers seat ready to crank as soon as the tube is back on. As long as you crank engine within about 1 minute it will yield an outcome.
P.S. Seriously clogged cat can cause an engine not to start.... how good / poor was it running/starting last time vehicle was used ??
throttle body.jpg

throttle 2.jpg
 






If the starter is turning the engine (no matter were that voltage is coming from - jumped, boosted, another battery) and the engine does not start, then the problem is not the battery or starting system.
 






Loosen hose clamp and slide off end of air intake hose / tube as shown by yellow arrow in pic- 1
Turn throttle body linkage to open throttle body plate (wide open) and saturate inside with carb cleaner/ starting fluid, QUICKLY SLIDE TUBE BACK ON...NO NEED TO TIGHTEN FOR NOW, AND QUICKLY crank over engine before sprayed contents dries up / evaporates...if you have a second person have someone sitting in drivers seat ready to crank as soon as the tube is back on. As long as you crank engine within about 1 minute it will yield an outcome.
P.S. Seriously clogged cat can cause an engine not to start.... how good / poor was it running/starting last time vehicle was used ??
View attachment 449028
View attachment 449029

Thanks. The truck was running perfectly fine prior to Friday not starting. And had no starting issues.
 






If the starter is turning the engine (no matter were that voltage is coming from - jumped, boosted, another battery) and the engine does not start, then the problem is not the battery or starting system.

Okay thanks. So it sounds like it's the fuel pump or clogged cat. My mechanic said possibly the fuel filter too. The truck was just towed to his shop a couple hours ago.

I have had the CEL light on for about a month now saying faulty cat. I would clear it and then 2 days later it would pop up again so I just left it. Could a clogged cat cause the truck not to start?
 






Could a clogged cat cause the truck not to start? I had answered that....yes....but being it ran perfect last time it's unlikely this is the immediate cause of not starting, you definitely need to replace the bad cat soon, but your issue is likely fuel pump or filter, clogged filters usually give you many warning symptoms as well....as well as fuel pump, but fuel pumps can go instantly unlike the two aforementioned possibilities. Usually a failing cat will cause poor running condition for a while before getting to the point of causing the vehicle not to start at all (rare)
 






Willing to bet that once the vehicle is in the heated shop and warms up, it will fire off like normal. Extreme cold like you're experiencing (is the -50C windchill or actual air temp?) can cause fuel line issues on top of the fact that the fuel/air mixture doesn't combust as well during start-up as in warmer temps. I live in MN and my Explorer sits outside. When it gets extremely cold, I won't let it sit for more than 4-6 hrs without starting it and letting it warm up. This is the third Explorer I've owned over the years that had to sit outside in the winter and on the absolute coldest days, I've even gotten up out of bed in the middle of the night to start them. Can't remember a time when they failed me when I needed them. Unnecessary wear and tear on the engine? First two reached 200K miles before rust took them. Current one brought up from AZ 12 yrs ago has 196K miles, no rust and no chain rattle that I can hear. I know the environmentalists would have a fit with my wasting gas, but in my mind it keeps everything under the hood "loose" for easier starts.
 






Could a clogged cat cause the truck not to start? I had answered that....yes....but being it ran perfect last time it's unlikely this is the immediate cause of not starting, you definitely need to replace the bad cat soon, but your issue is likely fuel pump or filter, clogged filters usually give you many warning symptoms as well....as well as fuel pump, but fuel pumps can go instantly unlike the two aforementioned possibilities. Usually a failing cat will cause poor running condition for a while before getting to the point of causing the vehicle not to start at all (rare)

I'm not going to replace the cats because they're so expensive and not worth it on a truck this old. So ill eventually just have them cut off and removed. Hope it's just the fuel filter and not the pump. But the pump on mine is still stock from what I know.
 






Willing to bet that once the vehicle is in the heated shop and warms up, it will fire off like normal. Extreme cold like you're experiencing (is the -50C windchill or actual air temp?) can cause fuel line issues on top of the fact that the fuel/air mixture doesn't combust as well during start-up as in warmer temps. I live in MN and my Explorer sits outside. When it gets extremely cold, I won't let it sit for more than 4-6 hrs without starting it and letting it warm up. This is the third Explorer I've owned over the years that had to sit outside in the winter and on the absolute coldest days, I've even gotten up out of bed in the middle of the night to start them. Can't remember a time when they failed me when I needed them. Unnecessary wear and tear on the engine? First two reached 200K miles before rust took them. Current one brought up from AZ 12 yrs ago has 196K miles, no rust and no chain rattle that I can hear. I know the environmentalists would have a fit with my wasting gas, but in my mind it keeps everything under the hood "loose" for easier starts.

That's what Im hoping too, that it just needs to warm up! That it was just the cold and that would cost me nothing. Even if it's the fuel filter, it will be a low cost repair. Fuel pump would obviously cost more. Is replacing the fuel pump on these a big job?
 






I'm not going to replace the cats because they're so expensive and not worth it on a truck this old. Hope it's just the fuel filter and not the pump. But the pump on mine is still stock from what I know.
Permanent removal can't be discussed here, if you forgot to mention you'd have them put back on after cleaning them up or out, you should edit the post
 






What kind of antifreeze coolant is in the system?

50 below would test any I'm aware of

Truck won't run right without working cats. You should have 4 of them
 






Permanent removal can't be discussed here, if you forgot to mention you'd have them put back on after cleaning them up or out, you should edit the post

Okay good to know, thanks. But you're honestly not suggesting I put all the money into new cats on a 28 year old truck are you? It's just not worth it.
 












What kind of antifreeze coolant is in the system?

50 below would test any I'm aware of

Truck won't run right without working cats. You should have 4 of them

Prestone coolant for GM/Ford cars. Replacing cats on a truck this old can't be worth the money. Cats are expensive and one alone would be worth more than the truck

prestone-all-makes-all-models-antifreeze-coolant-3-78l-d58a9bd2-e4ee-4a4b-a068-b9d393cd9ad2.png
 



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Listen. I drive a 2000. Equally valued. I'd still throw another engine at it over trying to replace it. What's it worth to not throw away is the question.
 






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