Engine will not crank over

Tiny
TREVOBOY
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD EXPLORER
  • 4.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 249,000 MILES
4.0L sohc v6 engine. So today my truck started and drove fine. I got in it this afternoon and started it and it started with an ideal of around 3,000 rpm's. I drove it about half a mile stopped turned off the engine and tried to start it again and it is dead got nothing; no crank over no clicking. Battery is fully charged, got dash lights, headlights, radio all work fine. The engine I got nothing though. Any ideas on where to start looking will help me a lot right now. Thanks
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Friday, July 26th, 2019 AT 8:38 PM

30 Replies

Tiny
SCGRANTURISMO
  • EXPERT
Hello,

This could be a problem with Maxi Fuse #5(50A) in the Battery Junction Box of your vehicle which is located near the battery. In the diagrams below I have included a wiring diagram of your vehicle's starting circuit as well as a diagram of the location and the Battery Junction Box with callout. I have also included this link below for you on how to properly check and replace a fuse if you are unfamiliar with how to do it:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-a-car-fuse

Please go through these guides, if necessary, and get back to us with what you are able to find out.

Thanks,
Alex
2CarPros
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Saturday, July 27th, 2019 AT 12:33 AM
Tiny
TREVOBOY
  • MEMBER
K so I checked all the fuses under the hood and in the cab all are good starter relay tested good all around kt does have a tiny bit of resistance only like.5 I pulled the starter off and bench tested and every thimg engaged fine I have power going through the solenoid next to the battery I broke down and bought a obd 2 today plugged it in and all I got after the scan was ( cant connect to the power train of the vehicle) the fuse is good for the PCU and I have power to everything when the key is in the on poss. I can hear the fuel pump kick on the relays click got dash lights headlights im spinning my head around this I cant figure out what is going on if the ignition switch was bad would I still get power to everything. Also I did try jumping the starter with the battery I got spark of course but nothing else and I read that if I jumped it like that regardless it should start?
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Sunday, July 28th, 2019 AT 9:33 PM
Tiny
SCGRANTURISMO
  • EXPERT
Hello again,

Okay, so when you jumped the positive post on your starter solenoid, did the starter crank the engine?

Thanks,
Alex
2CarPros
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Sunday, July 28th, 2019 AT 10:15 PM
Tiny
TREVOBOY
  • MEMBER
No I just got spark off the terminals and nothing else.
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Sunday, July 28th, 2019 AT 10:33 PM
Tiny
SCGRANTURISMO
  • EXPERT
Hello again,

Okay, then that's your problem. The starter is no good, or more specifically, the bendix gear in the starter has failed. If you did it correctly, there should be no reason, other then a broken or bent flywheel/flex plate that the bendix shouldn't have engaged. Please double check that you put power to the positive post of the starter solenoid and if the starter doesn't engage and crank the engine, then it will need to be replaced.
Please let us know what happens.

Thanks,
Alex
2CarPros
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Sunday, July 28th, 2019 AT 11:11 PM
Tiny
TREVOBOY
  • MEMBER
Ok thank you for your advice. If you dont mind me asking one more question I just bought a obd2 today from harbor fright plugged it in ran a scan and came back with not connecting to power train and said no codes are stored in the freeze frame. I checked the pcm fuses and they are good any ideas why it wont connect or read codes after the scan?
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Sunday, July 28th, 2019 AT 11:43 PM
Tiny
SCGRANTURISMO
  • EXPERT
Hello again,

In the diagrams down below I have included the factory diagnostic troubleshooting pinpoint test NB for your vehicle's Malfunction Indicator Lamp(MIL) or "check engine" lamp. Please go through the guide and get back to us with what you are able to find out.

Thanks,
Alex
2CarPros
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Monday, July 29th, 2019 AT 4:23 AM
Tiny
MIRIHAROSE
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 80,000 MILES
My 99 explorer won't turn over unless I jump it. I just put a new battery and alternator in it and the problem still exists.
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Thursday, December 31st, 2020 AT 8:56 AM (Merged)
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • MEMBER
Hello,

Ok, look for the part below, it should be near the battery...

https://www.2carpros.com/images/external/101346.jpg

Using a screw driver or something with an insulated handle, connect the 2 large terminals. If vehicle turns over replace it (Starter Relay Switch NAPA Part Number ST404).

These guides can help us fix it

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/starter-not-working-repair

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-battery-load-test

Please run down these guides and report back.

.
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Thursday, December 31st, 2020 AT 8:56 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ED FARMER
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD EXPLORER
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 12,700 MILES
Every thing was fine when my wife turned the key off, but would not crank back. No fire to coil pack shop put it on computer, no codes were shown c/o cam position sensor, still no fire to coilpack. Electric fuel pump was working. He had a old e.M.C around shop. Pluged it in motor started for a sec. He would like to put a new ecm on it but im not so sure. They rarely fail my themselves maybe a ground fault?
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Thursday, December 31st, 2020 AT 8:56 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • MEMBER
Hi there,

See if your mechanic has a contact with one of the electronic repairs who do ECU's they often (here anyway in Australia) have test units that you can try on your car, if it doesnt fix the problem there is a small service charge, and if it does, well your all done.

This guide can help

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/starter-not-working-repair

Mark (mhpautos)
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Thursday, December 31st, 2020 AT 8:56 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BILL CARROLL
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 220,000 MILES
Hello everyone. My SUV (Eddie Bauer) sat in the garage for the last two months. It had been running fine. When I went to start it up the other day, it would not crank but fired right up when I jumped it. I drove it the next day for a while and all was fine.

Today I went to start it and it would not turn over. I tried jumping it again but it would not start. I took out the battery (it was about due to be replaced) and took it to AutoZone (they tested the battery and said it was bad) and bought a direct replacement. When I installed the new battery, it cranks great but will not start. Lights and everything all work normally.

I have done some research and found out (?) That this may be the result of the anti-theft system needing to be reset? The battery was out of the car for about two hours.

The car has also been parked on a slight incline in my driveway (about fifteen degrees, so the front end is higher than the back end) and has about a quarter tank of gas. Could this have anything to do with it?
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Thursday, December 31st, 2020 AT 8:57 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The better suspect is some fuses blew from the current surge when the new battery was connected.

Fuel is not the problem. There should be a small bowl in the tank that the fuel pump and pickup sit in. That bowl is kept full so the engine does not stall when the gas runs to the side of the tank when cornering with low fuel level.
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Thursday, December 31st, 2020 AT 8:57 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BILL CARROLL
  • MEMBER
Thanks, have not considered that. I jumped the car a few times and got it started before the old battery just gave up. Why would a new battery blow any fuses? I hope you are right but it just seems odd.
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Thursday, December 31st, 2020 AT 8:57 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
That is very common. The engineers have seen fit to hang an unnecessary, unreliable, complicated computer onto every part of our cars. They all have memory circuits that draw a constant current to keep them alive. When connecting a battery, and sometimes when connecting jumper cables, there is a current surge when those memory circuits charge up. Also, some computers, by default, try to run things like pumps and solenoids, as soon as they see the twelve volts applied to them, then they go to "sleep" mode until they get a wake-up signal from the body computer or the ignition switch. All those things turning on at once can draw a current spike that is enough to blow some fuses.
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Thursday, December 31st, 2020 AT 8:57 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BILL CARROLL
  • MEMBER
Well, get this. After much consultation (and checking all the relays and fuses), I decided it must be the fuel pump so I found a reputable garage and called for a tow. The tow truck guy arrived and was figuring out how to get the Explorer off my inclined driveway (about 15 degrees) when he said, "I used to have one of these. Let me try something."

He put it in neutral and rolled it out onto the flat street and guess what? It started right up. He figured with less than 1/4 tank of gas and the cold weather, etc. Et al, somehow the gas wasn't getting to the fuel pump. I drove it around for a while, restarted it, all good. It needs a good tune up and the steering wheel shimmies when turning (which I discovered is caused by air in the power steering fluid).

The only thing that bothers me is that the Explorer has been parked on this same incline (nose up) a million times and never had trouble starting. I'm hoping that the two months it sat in the garage and the extreme cold we had for a while were the cause of the problem.

Thank you all for your help and patience.
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Thursday, December 31st, 2020 AT 8:57 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy. Let me share what I learned about how this works on my '88 Grand Caravan. Fuel coming into the tank from the engine on the fuel return line does not dump into that bowl the pump sits in, as you would expect. Instead, it flows up a ramp alongside the outside of the bowl, then washes into the bowl. The venturi action draws gas from the tank along with it, and it's that gas that keeps the bowl full. Knowing that, if the fuel level is real low, when parked on an incline, there won't be any to get pulled into the bowl. Only the returning gas will flow up the curved ramp and go into the bowl, but a large percentage of that will just run to the lowest point of the tank. In my gas tank, that bowl only holds about a quart of gas. If the engine idles too long while on an incline, the bowl will run empty. The good news is unlike with an older mechanical fuel pump that has to suck gas all the way to the front of the vehicle, an electric pump will start to pump gas right away once the truck is on level ground and fuel spills into the bowl. The thing to keep in mind is it's that returning gas that draws all the gas into the bowl. Were it not for that, no gas would spill into the bowl to keep it full once the tank got down to about a half tank.

As a point of interest, I found the fill pipe dumps gas right into that bowl, so if I run out, it just takes a half gallon to get going again. On the '94 Grand Voyager I'm driving now, that appears to be not the case. When I run it empty, (on purpose), I have to add almost five gallons before the engine will start. I assume that is because it needs to get high enough to spill over into the bowl. You should remember that too if this happens again. If you have, ... Lets say, ... Only one gallon left in the tank, and you're on an incline, only some of the fuel coming back on the return line will go into the bowl. Once that is used up, even coasting to level ground won't do it. There won't be any returning gas to pull additional gas into the bowl. You will likely need to pour in a good half gallon, and if that doesn't work, add a bunch more before you go looking for other causes.

As a second comment of value that may or may not be related, when I worked for my cousin in his tv repair shop, he was buying Ford vans every few years, and the dealer finally told him to not even bother complaining about the fuel gauge, ... Again. "That's the way they are" they told him. His grump was there was about seven gallons left in the tank when the gauge read "empty". Later I learned they did that to insure the pump motor was always sitting in gas to cool it. People who habitually run the tank close to empty had a higher incidence of pump failures, so they modified the sending unit so people would add gas before the level got too low.

Happy to hear yours is solved. Come back and see me again.
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Thursday, December 31st, 2020 AT 8:57 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BILL CARROLL
  • MEMBER
I learn something new every day, that's for sure. I've only lived with the inclined driveway about a year, but it's a constant vehicle rodeo (we have three cars) getting in/out of the garage. Typically the Explorer winds up in the driveway but NOT at the bottom, but near the top where it's almost flat. I guess it's just dumb luck that it hasn't happened before! Thanks again.
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Thursday, December 31st, 2020 AT 8:57 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KEN L
  • ADMIN
Glad you could get it fixed, that kind of problem can be tough. Please use 2CarPros anytime we are here to help

Cheers, Ken
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Thursday, December 31st, 2020 AT 8:57 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BILL CARROLL
  • MEMBER
And in addition to the tune-up it needed a master cylinder and armature. Ugh. Runs like a top now!
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Thursday, December 31st, 2020 AT 8:57 AM (Merged)

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