Welcome and thanks for your question. My name isXXXXX will do whatever I can to answer your questions!
the most common problem I run into with the 00 explorer is a bad fuel pump in the gas tank. Here is a pinpoint test using the check engine light to determine if you have a bad relay or if it is spark or lack of fuel.
Need to start with the basic and check for spark and fuel.
The easiest way to start is see if the check engine light comes on key on engine off.
If the light does not come on you have no power to the pcm or the computer. The most common concern for this is a bad computer relay or as Ford calls it a pcm relay. It is located under the hood of the vehicle. Replace it.
If the light does come on the pcm or the computer has power and ground.
The next step is to crank the engine the check engine light should go out when cranking the engine This indicates spark.
If the light does not go out then you have a bad crank sensor or a code in the computer.
If the above is good then checks the inertia switch see if it has been tripped and the connecter is plugged into the inertia switch. It is located on the passenger side firewall near the kick panel.
It is a black box with a button on top make sure the button is down and the connecter at the bottom is plugged in.
If this is good need to check fuel pressure at the fuel rail should have around 40lbs while cranking.
The engine light goes out while the starter is running.
Location of the inertia switch! Is it inside the engine compartment on the passenger side or inside the cab?
Then it is a no fuel pressure concern. The inertia switch is located in the cab on the passenger side kick panel.
I have no way of checking the fuel pressure. What do you suggest?
More than lily the fuel pump in the gas tank is bad and it needs to be replaced. If you want to confirm this then go to the parts store and buy a fuel pressure gauge for a Ford, and hook it up to the fuel rail shrader valve. Looks like a tire valve on the fuel rail.
Is this problem the type that happens without any prior symptoms. Is there a chance that the Fuel pump fuse (if there is such a thing) may have blown. On a Ford Taurus I had the fuel pump failed and it failed on the road with a starving- kicking in- starving action. This one was good one minute and completely gone in about 8 hours.
Unfortunately fuel pumps going bad can happen in many forms. The fuel pump is a electric motor that can go bad and not work immediately or cause not enough flow and pressure like what your taurus had. It can go bad and not work on a hot restart. Fords do have a lot of different fuel pump concerns. If you want to know for sure what is going on then check the power to the fuel pump with a test light or a voltmeter while cranking the engine. If you have power to the pump then it is bad. I would also verify that is the concern by checking the fuel pressure.
Just one more question.
What is a reasonable cost of replacement in NC?
Thank you Steve but I don't believe I need additional consultation. Actually the problem turned out to be low fuel level in the tank and the fact that the car was parked on a slope at subfreezing temps. Once I added an additional couple of gallons of gas, it started on the first turn of the starter. This 2000 Explorer has been kept in mint conditions and looks and runs almost like a new one out of the show room. Regards,