2005 Ford Explorer truck wont start

Tiny
KARENLOWERY
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
About a month ago got water in my gas but put some gas treatment in and it was fine. Well now I'm going down the road and it just started stalling out and now wont crank. Not battery or fuel pump. What could it be
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Sunday, October 26th, 2014 AT 3:35 PM

7 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You're describing two different problems, and you didn't say how the battery was tested and proven to be okay. What does "started stalling out" mean? If the starter doesn't engage, what sounds are you hearing? What happens to the brightness of the head lights or interior lights when you try to crank the engine? Measure the battery voltage and holler back with that number. If it's good and fully-charged, it will be 12.6 volts.
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Sunday, October 26th, 2014 AT 8:49 PM
Tiny
KARENLOWERY
  • MEMBER
The starter is engaging. The fuel pump is turning on cause I can hear it do so. The battery is ok cause it says so on the voltage gauge. Stalling out means it acts like its not getting gas
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Monday, October 27th, 2014 AT 8:49 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy. First of all, forget the battery gauge on the dash. That is nowhere accurate enough for doing any type of diagnostics. They are notoriously inaccurate and their only real value is to the person who regularly drives the vehicle and will recognize when it indicates something different than what it normally does. That's also why they don't have numbers on the entire scale. The difference between a good, fully-charged battery and one that's good but totally discharged is only 0.4 volts. You'll never see that minute change in the gauge reading. To get the accurate "state-of-charge" reading, you need an inexpensive digital voltmeter, and the reading has to be taken right at the posts on the battery. If you don't have a voltmeter, you can find them at Walmart, Sears, Radio Shack, and any hardware or auto parts store. Harbor Freight Tools has a perfectly fine one that is usually on sale for less than eight bucks.

Second, since the starter is cranking the engine, the battery state-of-charge is not an issue. The confusion here is you originally said it "won't crank". A lot of people confuse that terminology to mean the engine fails to start and run. "Cranking" and "turning over" mean the starter is spinning the engine. Whether it starts and runs is a separate issue. "Cranking" is a leftover term from the days of hand cranks to start engines.

The water in the tank is almost certainly not related to this sad story. It has been run through the engine by now, and any problem it was going to cause would have occurred long before now.

The first thing you have to do is determine if you have spark. Next is to determine if the fuel pump is running during engine cranking but this is more involved. The one or two-second hum you hear when you turn the ignition switch on tells us the pump is operational, but it takes a different set of circumstances to turn it on again when the engine is being cranked. If you do not have spark, it is pretty likely the pump isn't running either at that time, but that is only an additional symptom or clue, not the circuit that needs to be diagnosed.

You listed two different symptoms for the running problem so please clear that up first before I wear my fingerprints off on this keyboard. "Stalling out" and "acts like its not getting gas" implies the engine is running but poorly. At first you said, "it just started stalling out and now wont crank" which I think you meant the engine won't start up or run at all.
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Monday, October 27th, 2014 AT 9:22 PM
Tiny
KARENLOWERY
  • MEMBER
Yes sir, I'm sorry I am female and don't have a clue what I'm talking about. Staling out for me means it got kinda sluggish then died. I tried to start it back up and it it started for me for a split second as long as I pushed on the gas pedal but died quickly I'm sorry for confusions
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Monday, October 27th, 2014 AT 10:41 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Your problem is not related to being female. It's that very few people, guys included, know much anymore about the machines we trust to get us back home. For the record, three of my top students over a nine-year period were girls. The guys had a lot of respect for them as do I.

I still am skeptical that water in the tank is related to the current problem, but now it does sound like you have a fuel supply issue. That doesn't necessarily mean a fuel pump problem. It sounds more like the Engine Computer is not commanding the correct amount of fuel for proper engine operation, and that is usually based on sensor readings. One thing you can check yourself is the fresh air tube between the mass air flow sensor and the throttle body. That tube is typically three or four inches in diameter, hard plastic usually with lots of ribs around it, and it may extend to an air filter box. Between the sensor and throttle body there can't be any leaks from cracks or loose hose clamps. If any air sneaks in there that doesn't go through the mass air flow sensor, it won't get measured and the computer won't know about it so it won't command the corresponding amount of fuel to go with it.

The next thing is to check for diagnostic fault codes. On a vehicle as new as yours, only Chrysler makes it possible to read them yourself. For all others you need a scanner or code reader. The people at most auto parts stores will read them for you for free but they usually can only read codes stored in the Engine Computer, not the dozens of other computers. It's very important to understand, (which many parts salesmen don't), that those fault codes never ever say to replace a part or that one is defective. They only indicate the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis or the unacceptable operating condition. There are well over 2,000 potential fault codes, and about half of them refer to something that could adversely affect emissions. Those are the ones that must turn on the Check Engine light. A lot of people, especially mechanics, think the Check Engine light has to be on for there to be fault codes to read, but that is not true.

If there are no fault codes to get you started in the diagnosis, then you need a full scanner to view live data. That usually means going to a mechanic. He can watch the readings the Engine Computer is seeing from its sensors and is responding to. Experienced engine performance specialists can usually see where to start looking based on those numbers.
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Monday, October 27th, 2014 AT 11:56 PM
Tiny
KARENLOWERY
  • MEMBER
The fuel pump turns on but its not getting any gas at all at the fuel pump check valve could the fuel filter be clogged
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Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 AT 9:04 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Don't know why this happened, but I'm sorry I missed your reply.

Don't suspect the fuel filter. They don't become totally blocked all of a sudden. The symptoms of a plugged filter are very different and can include engine stalling when coasting down from highway speed, among other things.

Where is this check valve you're referring to? Have you actually tested the fuel pressure with a gauge? That is the only accurate way to know what's going on. It will show how much pressure develops just from turning on the ignition switch, whether that pressure increases during engine cranking, and if it bleeds down right away or holds for at least a few hours.

Many auto parts stores rent or borrow tools now. They will have a fuel pressure gauge you can use.
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Thursday, October 30th, 2014 AT 12:35 AM

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