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Starting issue


July 28, 2006
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City, State
League City, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
'02 Sport Trac
My daughter's 2002 Sport Trac always cranks when the key is turned to the start position, but the engine does not always start. It starts every time if you turn on the ignition and wait 3-5 seconds. She is away at college and I am trying to fix it this summer. I have noticed that there is a gas smell on the outside of the truck when the truck is just turned off from a long trip (when she came home the last couple of times). Top end power may be lacking. Changed fuel filter just before last fall semester. No check engine light. I am thinking fuel pump. If I pull the bed, I want to make sure I only do it once. Anybody got any ideas?

Most likely it has developed an internal leak in the returnless fuel line--inside the tank. See if you can "prime" the pump ( turn key on and off 3 times), then start. If it then fires right up, I suspect a fuel pump problem. After changing the pump, I would drive it a few miles, "Then" replace the fuel filter. Let the old one trap the sediment you stirred up with the pump change.

As a second thought.
On the next cold start attempt, unlock the fuel cap-listen for a rush of vent pressure, then start the truck to see if tank pressure has anything to do with it.

I still think the fuel pump is weak. Stay away from cheap ones. Airtex is a no no