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EricFromCT
EricFromCT, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 4021
Experience:  20 years dealership exp., ASE A1-A9 L1 L2, Ford Lincoln Mercury Senior Master, Diesel Certified
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I'm troubleshooting a 2003 Ford Explorer xlt that cranks but

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Hello I'm troubleshooting a 2003 Ford Explorer xlt that cranks but will not start. I checked for spark and it does have a strong spark coming from all six wires. I can hear the fuel pump kick in when the ignition is turned on and when I checked for pressure at the valve it consistently has pressure. I sprayed fuel into the intake but it does not respond.
JA: Have you checked the engine's fuel supply? And the spark plugs -- are they all working?
Customer: Any suggestions?
JA: Are you fixing your Explorer yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Hello I'm troubleshooting a 2003 Ford Explorer xlt that cranks but will not start. I checked for spark and it does have a strong spark coming from all six wires. I can hear the fuel pump kick in when the ignition is turned on and when I checked for pressure at the valve it consistently has pressure. I sprayed fuel into the intake but it does not respond.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: Thats it

Hi. Welcome to chat! My name is ***** ***** have been a dealer tech for 20 years. I will attempt to assist you with your concern today.

Ok thanks. There is a theft light on the instrument panel. When you turn the key to the ON position, the light either comes on for 3 seconds then turns off, or it will blink rapidly. Can you find this light and tell me what it is doing?

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The light blinks a few times then goes out.

The light should not blink. It should come on for 3 seconds and then turn OFF. If the light blinks with the key in the ON position then there is a problem with the anti theft system. Either the key or the vehicle itself.

Please also note that rating this chat session positive will keep the chat open for further follow up questions you may have.

Please read this:
Understand it's not one answer and done. We can communicate back and forth many times.
1. I am an independent FACTORY DEALER auto mechanic and do not work at or for Just Answer.
2. When you're pleased or happy with my assistance or efforts to help you, at the top of the screen please rate me or reply and say "I'm satisfied".
3. Rating does not close the post and you're more than welcome to follow up.
Thanks for using Just Answer, Eric

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ok just realized the light comes on for a few seconds then turns off. It does not blink.

DO you have a scan tool to check for codes or read live data from the computer?

Please also note that rating this chat session positive will keep the chat open for further follow up questions you may have.

Please read this:
Understand it's not one answer and done. We can communicate back and forth many times.
1. I am an independent FACTORY DEALER auto mechanic and do not work at or for Just Answer.
2. When you're pleased or happy with my assistance or efforts to help you, at the top of the screen please rate me or reply and say "I'm satisfied".
3. Rating does not close the post and you're more than welcome to follow up.
Thanks for using Just Answer, Eric

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No scan tool��

Ok. Spraying fuel until the intake probably will not ignite since fuel needs to be atomized from the injectors. You can try spraying some actual starting fluid into the intake and see if the engine wants to start. If you have spark at the plugs and fuel at the port on the engine the engine should run. You can make sure the fuel injectors have power to them by using a test light. If you do not have a test light either, you can check all the vehicle fuses in case one has failed.

Please also note that rating this chat session positive will keep the chat open for further follow up questions you may have.

Please read this:
Understand it's not one answer and done. We can communicate back and forth many times.
1. I am an independent FACTORY DEALER auto mechanic and do not work at or for Just Answer.
2. When you're pleased or happy with my assistance or efforts to help you, at the top of the screen please rate me or reply and say "I'm satisfied".
3. Rating does not close the post and you're more than welcome to follow up.
Thanks for using Just Answer, Eric

EricFromCT and 9 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello I got your voicemail and I bought some starter fluid and sprayed it inti the intake from the brake booster but the engine did not sound like it wanted to start. Autozone does not carry the Noid tester so I need to check out NAPA. I'll try a little later on today. Also I get a pressure tester for the fuel pump in hopes to rule it out. Do you know what fuse positions the fuel injectors are in in the fuse box?

You should probably check all the fuses. But the fuse for power to the injectors is fuse 39 in the box under the hood. Make sure the instrument cluster or a scan tool shows engine rpms while cranking. SHould be at least 200 rpms when cranking.

Also,

It could be the engine timing. If the engine sounds different then it used towhen cranking that could be a sign of an engine timing concern. You also want to make sure you have power to one of the wires at the fuel injector and coil connectors, with the key on. Sometimes a mass air flow sensor or bad electronic throttle body can cause a no start. There may be some indication of that if there is a code stored in the computer. Try unplugging te MAF sensor and see what happens.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I believe the timing is the issue. I sprayed the starter fluid directly into the throttle body intake and it did not respond.

Doing a compression test would tell for sure.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
According to the owner the engine was rebuilt about two years ago. Just so I understand, how does the compression or lack there of prevent the engine from at least firing up? If there's spark shouldn't it at least backfire?

The camshafts and crankshaft need to be aligned (timed) so the valves will open and close correctly so compression can build in the cylinder and allow for the air fuel mixture to fire. If the valves are opening or closing at the incorrect time, air fuel mixture can be going right out the exhaust before the spark happens. It doesnt have to backfire if timing is off. Some instances it probably will. Other instances maybe not. Like I mentioned just doing a compression check will let you know for sure and you wont have to wonder about that being the problem.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for clarifying. I checked compression and there was zero coming out of two of two cylinders on the left bank and very low compression out of number two on the right side.

That is not good. If the valves are all damaged then you will be better off just getting a used or remanufactured engine.