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Explorer Won't Start, Fuel Problem?

AlabamaExplorer

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96 XLT 4WD
I have a 1996 Explorer XLT 4WD that ran perfect this morning but after trying to crank it this evening it turns over but won't start. A few days ago my check engine light came on so I stopped in at Advanced and had it checked and it was the O2 sensor. I was told that an O2 sensor would not cause it to not start, only cause bad gas mileage. When I tried to crank it this evening it just kept turning over but wouldn't try to crank. I noticed that my battery light was on and the battery gauge was close to low. I knew nothing was wrong with the batter but hooked it up to the charger anyway and it showed it was fine. The check engine light was on as well but like I said it had been on a few days for the O2 sensor. I checked the fuel pump reset and it was fine. I then checked the relay and it did start clicking when the ignition turned. I'm wondering if the fuel pump could be bad or if anyone else has any ideas on what it may be. The reason for the battery light and gauge also has me confused. Any ideas or help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Paul
 


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96eb96

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I have a 1996 Explorer XLT 4WD that ran perfect this morning but after trying to crank it this evening it turns over but won't start. A few days ago my check engine light came on so I stopped in at Advanced and had it checked and it was the O2 sensor. I was told that an O2 sensor would not cause it to not start, only cause bad gas mileage. When I tried to crank it this evening it just kept turning over but wouldn't try to crank. I noticed that my battery light was on and the battery gauge was close to low. I knew nothing was wrong with the batter but hooked it up to the charger anyway and it showed it was fine. The check engine light was on as well but like I said it had been on a few days for the O2 sensor. I checked the fuel pump reset and it was fine. I then checked the relay and it did start clicking when the ignition turned. I'm wondering if the fuel pump could be bad or if anyone else has any ideas on what it may be. The reason for the battery light and gauge also has me confused. Any ideas or help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Paul

If there is strong cranking chances are your battery is good. I think what you describe with the battery light is normal until the alternator starts spinning.

Just to make sure, does you check engine light come on when you turn the key before you crank (bad pcm relay)? Does it go out as you crank(crankshaft sensor issue)?

Fuel can be checked with a fuel pump gauge. There is a shrader connection near the engine on the fuel line.

Also, Do you hear a the fuel pump when you turn the key?
 




AlabamaExplorer

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Yeah, I checked the battery and it is fine.

Yes, the check engine light does come on before I crank. It doesn't go out as I crank but like I said, it has been on the past few days because of the O2 sensor.

I don't hear the fuel pump at any time.

This is probably unrelated but I had a knocking sound that sounded like it was coming from under the motor or around the wheel. It doesn't do it all of the time, usually just after it has been sitting awhile. I can slow way down and it get slower the quits or I can speed up and it get faster and then quits. Some days it doesn't do it at all. Like I said though it's probably unrelated but I thought I would mention it just in case.

Thanks,
Paul
 




96eb96

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Yeah, I checked the battery and it is fine.

Yes, the check engine light does come on before I crank. It doesn't go out as I crank but like I said, it has been on the past few days because of the O2 sensor.

I don't hear the fuel pump at any time.

This is probably unrelated but I had a knocking sound that sounded like it was coming from under the motor or around the wheel. It doesn't do it all of the time, usually just after it has been sitting awhile. I can slow way down and it get slower the quits or I can speed up and it get faster and then quits. Some days it doesn't do it at all. Like I said though it's probably unrelated but I thought I would mention it just in case.

Thanks,
Paul
I'm pretty sure that the CEL has to go out when you crank, even if you have a check engine light. This is the computer reading the crank position sensor. If when the car starts the CEL goes on again.

Now..the noise is suspicious. That Crank position sensor is gapped near the crank wheel in the lower front of the engine. I think you can see it from under the truck. Could a loose CKP be making the noise and the no start condition? This is the next thing I would look for.

If that looks ok, then look toward the fuel pump issues.
 




skoal_mint

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You checked for spark yet??
 




manaen

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Check spark and fuel pressure, my guess is you don't have any fuel pressure, it could be a bad fuel pressure regulator (FPR) which would also explain the O2 sensor code. Autozone loves to sell o2 sensors, and rarely are they the cause of the problem. Most often they are just reporting it.



Can you hear the fuel pump kicking in when you turn the key to the on position ?
 




budwich

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I think his second post ... "I don't hear the fuel pump at any time." ... indicates the probable cause of his "no start". Check for voltage going to the pump and also check the resistance of the pump.... that will likely tell you IF you are getting power there and whether the pump is "good" electrically.
 




manaen

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missed that comment...

It could be as simple as a fuel pump relay, while you turn the key to on, have someone listen to the fuel pump relay located in the fuse block under the hood. you should be able to hear and feel the click as the solenoid engadges. If you don't hear it check your fuses, thats the easy stuff before you crawl under her and start probing wires.
 




budwich

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none of the "checks" that I suggested requiring crawling anywhere... the best place is right at the "shut off" switch. I wouldn't do anything with the tank (crawling) until you have done some testing with a meter.
 




AlabamaExplorer

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It does have a spark and the crank position sensor isn't loose. I can't hear the fuel pump come on but I know that I did in the past. I did check the relay and it did begin clicking.

To be honest I don't know how to check the voltage going to the pump and also check the resistance of the pump. Where would I check this and do I need a simple voltage meter to do this with?

I'm really hoping it's not the fuel pump because they are about $150. I'm beginning to think that is what the problem is though. I just want to be sure before I shell out the cash for one. Is it a fairly straight forward repair?
 




Blacksheep Josh

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if i turn my key so it'll turn on just the radio and windows, my check engine and battery light comes on. did the same thing with my dad's 98. when i turn it over, it'll go away. so i think what you're describing is normal.
 




Walnut777

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Well you did say that you could not hear the fuel pump. I'd start form the fuses and relays and work my way to the tank.
I just replace one awhile back, fun job!
 




AlabamaExplorer

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The check engine light comes on when I turn the key on and it stays on when trying to crank. An earlier poster said it should go off when cranking and I read this somewhere else as well.
 




96eb96

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It does have a spark and the crank position sensor isn't loose. I can't hear the fuel pump come on but I know that I did in the past. I did check the relay and it did begin clicking.

To be honest I don't know how to check the voltage going to the pump and also check the resistance of the pump. Where would I check this and do I need a simple voltage meter to do this with?

I'm really hoping it's not the fuel pump because they are about $150. I'm beginning to think that is what the problem is though. I just want to be sure before I shell out the cash for one. Is it a fairly straight forward repair?

A CEL during cranking is not normal.

I would love to see a fuel pressure reading at the shrader valve. I would do that even before checking for voltages.

well before you implicate the pump...I had something similar on a lincoln and it wasn't the pump. Remember, the pump has a pressure transducer that talks to the computer. The pump relay is grounded thru the computer, and it could possibly shut off the pump for various reasons.

Is it clicking or one click? I believe it should just click once and hold until the key is off.


If you are around a harbor freight the meters are a few bucks. They also sell fuel pressure testers. The inertia switch is by the passengers right foot above the carpet. It has a button on top.

The wiring diagram says a pink/black wire goes to the pump, and the pump is grounded thru the body. You can check voltage and resistance at that point.
See if there is voltage at the inertia switch output as you crank...


changing the pump either involves dropping the tank, or carefully cutting an access hole (you can search the board...)
 




96eb96

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Quote about Check Engine Light from the Ford manual

The MIL is located on the dashboard and is labeled 'CHECK ENGINE' or 'SERVICE ENGINE SOON.' Power is supplied to the MIL whenever the ignition switch is in the run or crank position. The MIL will remain on in the run/crank mode as a bulb check until the Profile Ignition Pickup (PIP) signal is detected.....If the MIL does not turn off while the engine is cranking, it could indicate the PCM is not receiving PIP signals or the MIL circuit is shorted to ground. If the MIL blinks, there is a severe misfire or an intermittent in the MIL circuit.


PIP is you crank position sensor. This is definately something to think about...
 




96eb96

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One more thing

When the ignition switch is turned on, the Fuel Pump will operate. If the PCM does not receive PIP signals indicating that the engine is turning over, the Fuel Pump is shut off after one second. After the engine starts, the PCM will continue to operate the fuel pump unless PIP signals are not received, indicating the engine has stopped, or the IFS is tripped.


This is from the manual. PCM light on during crank + nostart + no fuel pump sound = :dunno::scratch:
 




budwich

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as mentioned, your best bet is testing with a meter and the best place to start is at the cutoff switch. Get a meter and find a friend that knows how to use one to help you with it.... you are going to need one anyway (ie. a friend) as the fuel pump is only "energized" for a "few seconds" before the PCM drops the fuel pump relay. So just turn your key to "ON", no need to try and start it... just a waste of battery power and starter "burning". Your voltage should show up at the cutoff switch for "a second". If it doesn't, then you have problems further back towards the front of the vehicle (ie. fuel pump relay)... which will be your next "stop" in your testing.
 




AlabamaExplorer

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The MIL is located on the dashboard and is labeled 'CHECK ENGINE' or 'SERVICE ENGINE SOON.' Power is supplied to the MIL whenever the ignition switch is in the run or crank position. The MIL will remain on in the run/crank mode as a bulb check until the Profile Ignition Pickup (PIP) signal is detected.....If the MIL does not turn off while the engine is cranking, it could indicate the PCM is not receiving PIP signals or the MIL circuit is shorted to ground. If the MIL blinks, there is a severe misfire or an intermittent in the MIL circuit.


PIP is you crank position sensor. This is definately something to think about...

Do you think this means the crank position sensor may be bad? Is there any way to check this?
 




96eb96

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Do you think this means the crank position sensor may be bad? Is there any way to check this?

I have a service manual with a list of things to do if the light stays on. Another major step is checking for spark (you did)..then checking for 35 to 40 psi at the fuel test port (verifies pump)...see if pressure holds for one min if the truck is off.. THen all the tests are about checking if the CKP has a good connection to the computer.Maybe carefully wiggle the CKP wires while someone tries to start? The CKP is also an AC generator. You can measure its voltage with meter when cranking. I don't know what the spec should be, but you can see if its alive

Here is another possiblity...the computer could be bad. I've seen that too. But checking FP voltages at the switch like budwich said would be good idea.
 


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JoeMahma

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I know this is stupid to say but when my Mounty is at like a quarter tank and parked on a grade with the nose facing down it will not start due to lack of fuel.
 




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