HELP: No Crank No Start Intermittent Issue | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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HELP: No Crank No Start Intermittent Issue


May 25, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Poolville, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
2008 ST Adrenelin
Hi all I am having a time with my 2007 Explorer Sport Trac. About 6 months ago while driving home the gauges "froze" in place. Since I couldn't tell how fast I was driving, I pulled over and killed the engine. When I tried to re-start, it would not. No crank, no start. Battery was fine. After fiddling under the hood and removing and inserting the key 20-30 times, it finally started and ran fine. It did not repeat this again for 2 months. Needless to say it became a daily issue and I took it to a trusted dealership for diagnosis and repair. The first diagnosis was a faulty instrument cluster which they replaced. The night I picked it up, it happened again so I took it back. Next they "thought" it might be the ignition switch but were not sure. So they replaced it. Issue has returned after 30 days and I took it directly to the shop and they saw the condition. However, it has been in the shop for the past two days with no clues as to the issue. They could not reproduce the issue after I brought it in. Here are a couple of other things I noticed (that I told the tech).

1. When this condition happens, the PATS light on the dash blinks rapidly.
2. When the car is running and the gauges "freeze", if you look at the odometer the mileage looks like "-------- miles", "Trip A ---- miles", etc.
3. Once you fiddle with the key (remove and re-insert) it will (or has 3 times now) started back up.

Any suggestions?

Oh, its a 2007 Sport Trac 4.0 V-6 with 117000 on it. Fairly new battery, and it runs great when it starts.

Thanks for any suggestions, I am at a loss.

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Do you have remote start? What about an aftermarket alarm?

No it doesn't have remote start and no it just has the factory alarm. I am leaning more toward the pats system as when it won't start the pats light blinks fast but once I mess with the key a couple of times the light goes back to normal and it starts.

You by chance using one of those crappy walmart programmed keys, or an ebay special, or one of the OEM keys for it?

what's on your keychain? anything like a mobil paypas thingy or other transponder?

No cheap keys. One is the factory original, the other was bought and programmed at a Ford dealership.

what's on your keychain? anything like a mobil paypas thingy or other transponder?

Nope. My remote for my ST, ignition key, bed cover (factory) key and 4 other plain house keys. My spare set is just the key and remote and it has happened with it in the ignition also.

More of the same

Well I picked it back up today as the Ford dealership has had it for 3 days and cannot reproduce the issue again. It seems the first service writer did not bother to have a tech hook it up until later and by that time it started. My original contact gave me the name of the service manager and shop foreman and said to ask for one of the three of them the next time it happens and they would hook it up right away. At least they didn't charge anything....

I appreciate the replies and would appreciate any thoughts anyone may still have. I really like my Sport Trac, but this is starting to make me think its time to go...:(

I'm currently having the same issue with my 08 sport trac. I took mine to the dealership also and they told me it was a bad PCM(computer). The only difference is mine would start once run for a few minutes then shutoff. After that it would not crank or anything. The odometer would also read dashes and the anti-theft light would blink faster than usual. Since the dealership wanted $1,300 for the repair. I decided to do it myself. Tomorrow I'm going to pull the PCM out of the truck send it to get professionally repaired(lifetime warranty). A company in Florida does this it's called automotive electronic services. When I get it back I should be able to plug it back in and start it up. I'll let you know how it goes when I get the PCM back. Good luck with your truck

Thanks dfraire21 for that info. Thinking back to when I first got my truck, and they were trying to program the second key they had a real hard time "communicating with the computer". It took about 3 hours to get it done. I am anxious to hear your outcome.

I hope that fixes your trouble too.

Issue RESOLVED!!!!

After several more trips to the dealer, I believe they found the problem.

They replaced the instrument cluster again and the PATS but to no avail, it happened regularly right after that probably 50 times on the way home and back to the dealership. The gauges would turn off and on along with all the dash lights coming on and going off. The tech spoke to Ford "engineering" since the problem was regular and he could repeat it. They said it was the instrument cluster connector, so they replaced the cluster again along with the connector.

Its been 4 weeks and no more problems! It was much worse when the air temp was below 55 so I believe it is now fixed. I hope this helps someone else...

07 explorer EB V8

07 explorer EB V8 and I have a similar issue I thought I resolved it but came back today. Mine says low fuel, service rsc now, bat light, check engine, brake and all gauges go out and the pats light blinks real fast. will keep running and driving but if you shut it off it wont start. used contact cleaner and sprayed the connecter and plug used almost a whole can. a year later its doing it again... here is the other thread.