Not starting once again !!! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Not starting once again !!!


May 2, 1999
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City, State
Yukon, OK
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 XLT
Not starting once again !!!
Hello all ...

This has been an on going problem for my '98 XLT. Getting quite frustrating !!

My first post on this was in May 1999. When my X wouldn't start back then, it turned out to be the Crankshaft Position Sensor. After getting it fixed, it ran fine until the next summer.

Summers of 2000 and 2001 - my X had sporadic starting problems. Usually if I had problems, it was in the morning. After letting it sit for a while, it would start up and not have any more problems that day and for a while ... until - boom - it wouldn't start some morning. Once the temps went down (fall/winter/spring), it would start just fine. So, I figured it was a sticky fuel check valve.

Now, it is the summer of 2002. In July, it started the whole "won't start" thing. And yes, it was in the morning. Had it towed to the shop. $600 later, I had a new fuel pump AND the truck worked great --- DA DAH DUMMM --- until this weekend (8/24/2002).

It's the same M.O ... cranks and cranks - but won't turn over. Sometimes it would turn over by pushing down on the gas a couple of times (out of frustration really) ... but it isn't doing that now.

In early August, it started back up when I let the gas level get down low where the 'check gauge' light came on. Usually meant I have a couple of gallons left. My X wouldn't start right after the light came on. I went and got some gas .. put it in .. a few cranks and it started.

When I had it in the shop when I got the fuel pump replaced, they also did the following: 75k checkup, changed fuel filter, and changed negative battery cable.

From some posts I read, I picked up a fuel pump relay on the way home from Autozone. No luck.

So, anyone have any words of wisdom? I was hoping to diagnose and solve this reoccuring problem myself. Plan to try to start it up by putting some fluid into the injectors ... to at least determine if it's a fuel or spark problem.

Any help, guidance, etc would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

John Sterling
'98 XLT

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One thing comes to mind. When it does its thing-not starting-jump out and pull a spark plug to see if you have any spark at the plug. Be careful though cuz it will shock the f$$k out of you. Hold it with some pliers and a rag wrapped around the pliers.

Sounds like you have a fuel problem, but you never know.

Also check the psi level in the fuel line. I don't know what the proper range is but it could'nt hurt.

When you finally do get it started what does your exhaust look like immediatly after it starts? If its black or dark-could be unburnt fuel which means no spark or air.

When you turn the key to the on position, not start but on, do you get a hum noise from the back? I do, I think it is the fuel pump.

Check for air, fuel and spark when it does not start. That is where I would start out at diagnosing the problem.

Good luck.


Thanks Brian ...

Going to check the spark tonight ... we'll see ...

John Sterling
'98 XLT

I just came across this thread doing a search. My 2000 explorer has a hard time starting up every once in a while. It all started after the check gauge light came on. It's pretty similar to the problems listed above. Lately, it will have difficulty when it's cold (i live in north east), rainy, and in the morning (when motor is cold). I started running better gas and that helped for a month but since then it will happen every couple weeks. My wife says that usually pressing the gas pedal will help it start. Today it did it twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon and the weather was colder 40 degrees and rainy. My mechanic tested the fuel pressure psi and everything tested fine and he doesn't think it's the fuel pump. My wife went to a ford dealership after work since it did it twice today and they say it probably a "valve". She made an appointment for Thursday. What type of valve are they referring to?

Thanks Guys!


Sounds like Fuel pressure regulator might be sticking:( Somebody else want to chime in?

Originally posted by JSterling
Thanks Brian ...

Going to check the spark tonight ... we'll see ...

John Sterling
'98 XLT
Did you ever get it figured out John?

the "valve" that ford referred to is probably the IAC. Do you have the SOHC V6 engine? If so, your symptoms are dead on for the bad Intake Manifold O-rings. Search for 00M12 owner notification program for more info.

Yes, I do have a SOHC V6. I will do a search.


I was just looking at my invoices from Ford dealership, and we had the 00M12 ONP work done back in 2001. The camshaft chain tensioner and intake gaskets were replaced - is this all part of the 00M12 ONP?

Is the IAC the same as the Orings for intake manifuld?


IAC is different. It adjusts idle to compensate for extra drag caused by the a/c compressor, among other things...

You may want to retourque the manifold bolts to make sure they have not come loose, or even have the O-rings double checked to make sure they were installed properly....

could be the fuel pressure regulator. there's an easy way to check.

before starting up, turn the key to the on position and wait until your dash lights cycle (about 3-5 sec.)

then try cranking it.

if it starts then you know the regulator's the problem. they sometimes stick and let all of the pressure in the line bleed off overnight. even if your pump works it still won't crank because it can't get any pressure built back up before your intake tries to suck it down.