Solved - Weird Electrical Issues, Won't Start - 2007 Explorer Sport Trac 4.6L V8 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Solved Weird Electrical Issues, Won't Start - 2007 Explorer Sport Trac 4.6L V8


Elite Explorer
November 6, 2000
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 EX Sport Concept
Have some REALLY weird electrical and starting issues with a 2007 ST 4.6L V8.

Ran fine, then had a brief episode a few days ago where the engine shut off when driving, but started up again. No problems for several days.

Today, after driving a bit and turning it off, get back in and it won't start.

When they key is turned, there is no fuel pump noise, no cranking, no starter click.

The weird part is, with the key turned on, the throttle clicks and clatters/rattles like it is rapidly opening/closing, or the relay is working.

It also sounds like one of the relays in the drivers side kick panel is clicking.

Sometimes the idiot lights on the gauge panel flash on when trying to turn the key to start it. The gas gauge appears to work. Sometimes the dome light goes on when turning the key on as well.

Battery shows 12.8 volts, terminals cleaned, connections at battery, starter and solenoid are good.

Vehicle also seems to have developed the stuck gear shifter issue, but I'm not sure if that's directly related to the starting issue or not. Manually releasing the shifter and putting it in Neutral doesn't change anything, it still won't start. Pushing it forward and holding it in Park doesn't change anything, nor does holding the park safety switch on the shifter. Thinking of replacing the shifter and park detect switch, perhaps even the ignition switch, but not sure if any of these are something that would cause the weird issues with it not starting.

Ford TSB 06-10-7 is about no starting with instrument cluster issues, perhaps a new cluster is a fix? Anyone done this?

Any help related to this issue appreciated.
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have that battery load tested. batteries can show good voltage but have a bad cell.

I don't put much stock in load testing of batteries, especially at the places that do it for free like auto parts stores. It's very possible for a known bad battery to test good, and for a good battery to test bad, sometimes deliberately to sell a new battery, sometimes just because.

I didn't mention that jump starting with a portable battery pack was tried prior to everything else, with nothing happening.

A new battery might still be worth a shot, but I'm not so sure that would explain all the electrical issues. Do '07+ Sport Tracs and/or Explorers have all this odd electrical stuff happen when a battery is dead or has a bad cell and the vehicle won't start? Seems like it would be mentioned more on the forums if that were the case.

Load test the battery, and put some stock in it. Loaded cranking amps are a lot tougher to make than a consistent non loaded voltage. The battery should have 14.4 v if its good without load.

Go to a different parts store if it makes you feel better but really you just have to ask them to show you the readings from the load tester itself. It's not that difficult to test. Just connect the load tester's leads to the battery posts, hit a switch and the dial or digital screen spits out a voltage. Are you saying they take the battery back to some shady back room? If you can limp your truck t the parts store and back, leave the battery connected to your car. They will come out to do the test.

If a battery has a bad cell, it has a bad cell and the load tester should reflect that. Also, 12v batteries should test at ~2.1 per cell so about 12.6v is fully charged. if you're getting 14.4v than you've either got another battery hooked up in a series or your reading the voltage when the engine is running and at that point you're not testing the battery anymore, you're testing the charging system.

If you're having a starting problem, make sure they also run a conductivity test to see how many cranking amps the battery still has. Batteries can test great on load test but still not have enough cranking power. A battery conductance tester checks the healthiness of the conductive plates.
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hey anime--i just noticed you're in hattiesburg. i went to junior and high school there..small world..

The vehicle is currently sitting in a parking lot, and there is no way to move it short of a tow since it won't start. I can take out the battery and take it to a store for a load test, but it seems like a lot less hassle and an easier test to just throw in another battery and see if that helps anything.

If a new battery doesn't change anything, I'm still looking for any possible causes or similar experiences from other '07+ Explorer or ST owners who have figured this one out before.

Would be nice to throw in a new battery and come back later and post that it started and everything is now fine and it just needs the shifter issues taken care of, but since it wouldn't start or even click or try to crank, even with a jumper pack hooked up, I'm thinking a new battery, no matter how many amps it's got, isn't going to change anything.

Unless you know of a way to dispose of old car batteries properly, you'll still have to take the old battery out, take it the parts store and get the core trade discount if whatever battery you put in there fixes things. If it doesn't fix anything, you'll have to remove/reinstall two batteries. Pick your poison, I guess.

Put in a new battery, started right up.

Guess it has a lot to do with the systems all being electrically controlled.

Old battery was apparently the original Motorcraft, unless it was replaced with another Motorcraft.

Lesson here, replace a battery that is more than 6-7 years old before problems start.