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#1577 of 6385 Explorer SportTrac Starting and Idling Problems
Sep 14, 2002 (9:36 am)
I own a 2001 Ford Explorer SportTrac that has random starting and idling problems. This began about 2000 miles. It has been towed into the dealer 3 times under warranty. The dealer could not "duplicate problem" or read any codes from the computer. It is now out of warranty 55,000 miles. The starting problem has only gotten worse in the last two weeks. It takes 15 minutes every morning to start and hold an idle. Any suggestions as to the problem will be appreciated.
Sep 14, 2002 (1:18 pm)
That sounds like an Idle Air Control Valve. Symptoms are Hard starting and rough Idle. I have heard of these going bad on Explorers. Just not mine...Yet knock on wood. Good luck with it!
#1579 of 6385 gasburner, tomtex
Sep 14, 2002 (1:53 pm)
gasburner, my 99 does the same exact thing your talking about as i turn into my neighborhood and in to my driveway look in your passenger wheelwell and see if the plastic material is rubbing against the exposed part of the strut tower this is what i believe i making the noise in my car. you will see fresh rubmarks on the coil looking item in there. Tomtex as far as your problem goes I just had the same problem also and replaced the idle air control valve (like a 5 min. job very easy) and the problem has not returned. part was $63 for motorcraft replacement part. located right on top of intake manifold on the V8, dont know what engine you have. good luck anyways
#1580 of 6385 1999 Explorer starting problems
Sep 15, 2002 (4:54 am)
I guess misery truly does love company, I'm glad I found this board. I've seen a few references to the problem my truck is having. I have a 1999 Ford Explorer w/44000 miles on it, and its problem is that it starts when it wants to. It seems like if we have rain or if it's very humid out the truck will not stay running. Each time I've had this problem the truck starts - but when I put it in gear it cuts out (all times when it has been damp and/or raining out), then afterwards will not start again. The 'Idle control valve' has been replaced (2 weeks ago), the battery was replaced (1 month ago) and one other module that's name escapes me at this moment was also replaced (1 month ago). The other 2 times this happened to me luckily I was at home and was able to start the truck the next day (which happened to be sunny both times). However yesterday I was not so lucky and was at the train station in a desolate parking lot alone (and am a woman). Not the best time to be broken down (thank GOD for AAA). Again the truck initially started and soon as I shifted gears it cut out and would not start again. This time it had to be towed to the dealership - who of course is closed because it's the weekend. I am so frustrated with this now I couldn't even sleep last night. I have already written letters to the dealership and Ford - so will be sure to let you all know what (if any) response I get. To add insult to injury the last 2 times I've gone to pick up my truck it's taken me over an hour each time just to pick it up and pay because of having to wait for the service tech, wait for the writeup to be done, wait to talk to the service manager because something was not right - I'm ready to buy a Toyota. I feel like they are trying to sell me $2000 worth of parts before they may fix the problem. I saw note #1509 from lisa (I think) about filing a lawsuit and I am entertaining that idea myself. The worst part is that no matter what happens with Ford or the dealership at this point I have lost all confidence in the vehicle. As a single woman I need a vehicle I can depend on and this surely is not it. Phew! Thank you for letting me vent. Like many of you I came from a "Ford" family - but no more. The dealership treats you like they don't care if they have your business or not. It's awful - especially for the prices of vehicles and repairs today. Funny thing is last time I was picking up my truck (2 weeks ago) I was chatting with this man in line who was picking up his 2001 Explorer. He said he was in the week before for the 'Idle Control Valve' problem, and when pulling off the lot on his way home from having that problem fixed the 4WD light came on and the truck locked up. It had to be towed back into the garage and that time the 4WD had gone up on it. What is Ford's problem? You'd think they'd be kissing people's butts after the tire fiasco.
Sep 15, 2002 (5:45 pm)
Anyone out there changing their own oil in a 4.0 with OHV? After the local dealers have all raised their prices to $24.95 and over for oil changes, I've decided to try doing it myself.
I am yet to crawl under, but how easy is it to get the filter out/in? (I had a 1990 Taurus with a 3.0 6 cylinder, and you needed to be an acrobat to get the filter moved)
Also, what type of oil (synthetic vs. dino and what brands) are people using, also what type of filter?
#1582 of 6385 Oil Consumption-SOHV 4.0
Sep 15, 2002 (6:32 pm)
I found out today that my 98 Explorer 4.0 SOHV has used slightly more than one quart in the last 4,400 miles. I change oil regularly, and have used Mobil 1 5-30 only. My Explorer has only 49,600 miles. Is this oil consumption rate a problem, or just part of a used engine to keep and eye on?
#1583 of 6385 Woeisme7 and bmr4
Sep 15, 2002 (7:58 pm)
WOW that is very frustrating! However when you said that this running poorly thing happens only when its wet out makes me think that its a may be bad Spark Plug wires. Something as simple as that. If it is just that then your dealer is defiantly incompetent. Actually you have probably determined that on your own already. I had this happen on another vehicle where I would come to a stop and it would cut out and then not re start for 5-10 minutes. Spark Plus wires are somewhat regular maintenance but it seems that they fail prematurely in explorers. I had a set go on my 2000 at around 20,000 miles. It would run but would jerk around and overall run very poorly. Another problem that I have heard make Explorers run badly is a faulty fuel pump. I don't know if this could be the solution to your problems but you might me able to ask them to do a fuel line pressure check to make sure that its operating at full strength. To check the spark plug wires is simple. You start your Explorer and have a spray bottle full of water. Spray the spark plug wires really good. If the car sputters or stalls out you know thats the cause of your problems. I would also highly recommend finding a different dealer if at all possible. Yours sounds just awful. Either that or find a reputable auto repair shop since your vehicle is out or warranty. I find that indepentend garages are more honest and repairs generally cost less. Good luck with your problem. Also one last thing. What engine does your Explorer have?
Every engine consumes oil. Your engine having consumed only a little over a quart in about 4,500 miles is actually below average. It sounds to me like your engine is in fine condition. My Explorer 4.0L SOHC V6 used about 3/4 of a quart of oil every 3,000 miles. That was with 30,000 miles in the clock. I think that you have nothing to worry about IMO.
Sep 16, 2002 (7:19 pm)
Thanks for the suggestions, I'll give the spray bottle thing a try. I have the 4.0 V6 engine.
When the dealer called me this morning I was told the problem was the Inertia plug was kicked out. I did have a passenger w/me when the truck cut out on me last time, but I find it hard to believe she kicked the plug out. My Mother is handicapped and stretches her leg into the corner where this plug is located regularly (it's on the passenger side floor in the righthand corner by the firewall) and if anyone would have kicked that plug out it would have been her - my friend that was with me the other day did not stretch her leg and if you know where this plug is at it's not something you can easily kick. I don't buy it. Then of course the bad news (for them) was they tried to charge me $73 service fee (to plug it back in) - so I chucked a fit over that and called Ford's Customer Service line. They worked out that I was only charged $49 -- because the dealership is saying it's a different problem than before but I say it's all the same problem. In any event I got my truck back and went tonight to look at a Toyota 4runner, but was kinda disappointed with that. I really do like the styling of the Explorer, but it has to go.
Up until all this bad experience w/Ford I had hoped my next vehicle would be the Lincoln Navigator -- but I balk at getting another Ford product. Meeeooowww!! Pfft! Pfft!
Oh - forgot to mention, today's weather was drier and sunny. Funny the truck started working again. I'll definitely give the spray bottle thing a try. Thanks again.
Sep 16, 2002 (8:54 pm)
Another quick question...Do you know where the spark plug wires are? If not I can help explain. Also these wires contain high voltage and if faulty and wet can be a little electrifying to touch when its running. Also spray the ignition coil pack (the spark plug wires all start from here (a green and black box) then go off to the separate cylinders). This may also be one of the causes of your problems.
For what its worth (maybe nothing) I do have a 1999 Ford Expedition EB (brother to the Navigator) with 62,000 miles on it with out a single problem, and I am very happy with it. However people seem to be extreamly happy with Toyotas as well. Again Good luck with it.
#1586 of 6385 RE: Oil changes by njdevilsrn
Sep 17, 2002 (9:40 am)
Just finished doing this job on my 99 XLT 4.0 SOHC. It is quite easy since the filter will be staring you in the face when you look up after locating the oil pan drain plug. There are no obstructions to get in the was of removing the filter, so it should be a simple task even for a "first timer". I use Mobil-1 synthetic, 5W-30 and a Mobil-1 filter (M1-301). The combination will probably cost you more than 24.95, but you can extent the drain interval to 5K miles. If you are planning to keep the truck for a long time, this is a worthwhile investment. Add to that the fun of getting under the truck and getting dirty, you can't beat it!! Don't forget to wear latex gloves to minimize your contact with the dirty oil.