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I have 2001 Ford Explorer Sport. Two weeks ago had new fuel…

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I have 2001 Ford Explorer...
I have 2001 Ford Explorer Sport. Two weeks ago had new fuel pump put in. Suddenly, have problem starting car. Will crank. There is no pattern to it. My mechanic checked fuel pressure and saw that it was dropping. We changed the relay and pressure came back. We used the relay that was next to it because it was "not used". For a day seemed to start fine. But now its back to having problems starting--it cranks though.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Ford
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
3/4/2016
Ford Mechanic: Edward, ASE Certified Technician replied 2 years ago
Edward
Edward, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3,767
Experience: ASE certified. Auto Transmission rebuilder for Ford Motor Co. from 91 to 2000
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Hello, Eddie here and I will do my best to help. You can usually hear the fuel pump cycle for a couple of seconds when you turn the key ON, Do you hear the pump run now? and is it starting now or is it in it's no start condition currently? Have you replaced this suspect relay yet? Let us know, Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Its pretty much as I said. We used the relay next to the suspect relay that shows "not used" and suddenly fuel pressure was fine. The car does start enventually.
Ford Mechanic: Edward, ASE Certified Technician replied 2 years ago

Alright, Do you currently have a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel rail now where we can check it? Also, try this, if you cycle the key about 3 or 4 times, does it start easier then?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I don't have fuel pressure gauge on it now. Not a mechanic! Sometimes is starts right up. There is no pattern to it. I will go try cycling 3-4x.
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I cycled it 3x and it started right up. I assume you mean turn the key on and off without cranking
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
We also checked new fuel filter which he replaced when he replace fuel pump and he says it looked fine. Because he was concerned there might be dirt in tank which he saw when he replaced pump two weeks prior.
Ford Mechanic: Edward, ASE Certified Technician replied 2 years ago

That's correct, cycling the key to ON, back to OFF again, 3 or 4 times, within a couple of seconds, then you attempt to start it.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
It started. Again there is no pattern to this. Sometimes it starts right up, sometimes it doesn't.
Ford Mechanic: Edward, ASE Certified Technician replied 2 years ago

So does it start everytime correctly when you do that? What that does is work the fuel pump more before attempting to start. The fuel pump runs about 2-3 seconds when you first turn the key to the ON or START position,

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I have turned the key and waited and then tried to crank--and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I have never cycled off and on like that till now.
Ford Mechanic: Edward, ASE Certified Technician replied 2 years ago

Alright, I follow you, What I can only suggest is getting a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel rail and making sure pressure is 55-65 psi when it does NOT start. If your fuel pressure is 55-65 when it doesn't start, then we know the pump, relay, filter, everything in the fuel delivery system is fine. I don't think your starting problem is anything else other than a fuel issue, but I can't be 100% sure, it could be something else. So we want to see if the pressure goes up to 55-65 psi everytime you turn the key on. It should. If it doesn't come up to 55-65 and doesn't start, then we have correlated low fuel pressure with the starting issue.

It could be some crud in the lines, it could be the inertia switch, or the PCM itself as the PCM grounds the fuel pump relay. But until you can get a fuel pressure gauge on it and it's in it's "broken state" it will be impossible to know with absolutely certainty what is at fault. But I believe it is going to be one of the things I've mentioned. Let me know if you have any further questions. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
The big problem I have is my mechanic is slammed and then going to NASCAR next wednesday! So should I keep cycling it 3x before starting? I also ran Seafoam through it each time the last two full tanks. would that have helped clearing possible crud? or try something else? What is PCM? Thanks
Ford Mechanic: Edward, ASE Certified Technician replied 2 years ago

The PCM is called the Powertrain Control Module. Hopefully you want need that though. Seafoam should have helped. but depending on how bad it was maybe some still in the lines possibly, but, overtime if you treat it once a month or so, it would clean the lines and injectors out overtime. I would keep cycling if it seems to help. Also, when you first turn the key on, get in a habit of listening for the fuel pump, You should hear a fight buzz from the back for 2-3 seconds then it quits, that is the fuel pump cycling, try to correlate a no start with not hearing that pump cycle. If it won't start also you could try spraying some starting fluid directly into the air intake. If it fires up then and that helps. That would also point to a fuel delivery problem.

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