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My 2001 Ford Explorer cranks good, but will not start. This

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My 2001 Ford Explorer cranks good, but will not start. This has happened before and when the tow truck driver cranked the engine, it started right up. I took it to a repair shop to check the codes and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. So I had them change the fuel filter and it still had the same intermittant problem. So I took it to another repair shop and they check the codes and couldn't find a problem. So I had the fuel injectors cleaned and it worked good for a while, but now its stating to do the same intermittant problem again. I notice that it started to happen after I filled the gas tank at Costco. It did it the first time and now it did it again. This might be a coincidence, but it appears to to be a fuel related problem. The spark is good and it did start with starting fluid once, but wouldn't stay running until it decided to start with just the key. What can I do next?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Scottdagoalie replied 6 years ago.

HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer.


There are a couple of items that can commonly cause this concern.

The first thing that you need to check is to see if the theft light is flashing when the Explorer wont start.If it is,then the PATs (passive anti theft) system an intermittent fault.The key may be faulty or there may be a wiring problem to the ignition key transponder.This is the unit that reads the chip in the key.Often when you have a tilt steering,the wiring to the transponder can develope a break and create an intermittent no start.


The next step would be to check to see if the check engine light comes on when you first turn the key on.If it doesn't,the PCM (engine computer) power relay may be faulty.


If these checks don't lead to a repair,you will need to check fuel pressure with a gauge during the no start.There may be an intermittent fault in the fuel pump.


Unfortunately with intermittent problems,it may take some trial and error to pinpoint the fault.I've given you some solid things to help narrow down the possibilities.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The anti theft system stopped working when I disconnected the battery. It doesn't beep at all when I lock and unlock the doors. It use to not allow the engine to crank at all until I pushed the unlock button. My car cranks fine now, so I didn't suspect the anti theft system.
Expert:  Scottdagoalie replied 6 years ago.

There are two anti theft systems in your vehicle.A PATS (passive) and an active system.The PATs inhibits starting only when the key isn't recognized.Look for the flashing theft lamp to see if this could be the problem.




11 - Anti-Theft Indicator (THEFT)

Scottdagoalie, Senior Master Tech.
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1940
Experience: 30 years with Ford dealers
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