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Intermittent Problem Starting


New Member
December 17, 2013
Reaction score
City, State
Woodstock, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Ford Explorer
I have read several posts and they are very similar to my situation.

A few weeks ago, I started having problems with my 98 Explorer not cranking right up. At first it would be the attempt to start it and it would turn over but not start. I would try again and it would crank right up. The situation increased until one morning it would not crank. I had it towed to a repair shop. They ran a diagnostic test and determined it was my anti-theft system PAT II. They replaced the the ignition key transponder ring and the flash powertrain control module. Within a week or so, I went to crank it and it would not crank. I tried again and it cranked right up.

They had issued me a new key and I thought at first maybe it was the key. My vehicle cranked up without any problem until just this past Friday morning. I tried each key, different attempts (waiting awhile) and it just would not crank. So I had it towed back the the repair shop. Once they hooked up the equipment, it showed no fault code and it cranked right up.

They continued to try to reproduce the problem and it did not fail. After having my vehicle for two days, I asked them could it have been a defaulty part? They did not think so.

Initially during their determination they checked my fuel pump and said it engaged and had enough pressure. Now they rechecked it and said that there was low pressure. They vibrated the tank and tried starting it and it cranked right up.

At this point, they still could not determine what was wrong until it failed to crank again. I had to have my car back at this point. So I got it and it cranked right up and it did again this morning. I have been on this site reading and came across a situation just like mine.

Although this person determined it was the pump relay switch. Before I drop it off again and let them have it several days to reproduce a problem, and before I have to pay for a new fuel pump, that at first was fine, I wondered if it could be something else.

Since the relay switch is relatively inexpensive should I go ahead and replace it, instead of waiting for the problem to arise again?

Replacing the relay is easy and inexpensive. It really couldn't hurt to give it a shot.