1998 Ford Explorer - unexplained problem

Tiny
ALEXSINCLAIR
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 162,000 MILES
Hello,

My 1998 Ford Explorer Sport (2WD, automatic, V-6 SOHC engine) has stalled in traffic several times in the past two weeks. I am able to drive the vehcle 3-7 miles before the problem occurs. The vehicle starts from cold without trouble, initially shifts fine and everything seems to be okay. A few miles down the road, when I come to a stop, the vehicle stalls. I put it into park, turn the ignition and it starts okay. With the brake pedal pressed down, I engage any gear, and let off the brake just a little bit, and it immediately stalls again. It continues to stall after starting, when put into gear and brake pedal released. It is possible to "power brake" it, though, to move it off the road. Once the vehicle sits, turned off, for about an hour, it is possible to drive it a few miles before the problem happens again. There are no codes. (There was an 02 sensor code several months ago, that when cleared, never reappeared.) I have been to three mechanics, had it towed several times, spent over $500 in repairs (new PC valve, fuel pump and filter, and diagnoses), without resolution. Is it possible that something is heating up and malfunctioning that causes it to stall, but then cools down after an hour to allow the vehicle to be driven again? The only thing I've heard is that it probably needs a new transmission, but I want to check with you to see if there's a much less expensive repair to make first. It really seems like it's related to something that gets hot, causes a malfunction, then needs to cool off to run again. Any ideas for what that could be? I appreciate any help you can give me in how to proceed from here. I've had my Explorer for 10 years, have loved it, have regularly had it serviced, and have all of its maintenance records. I am currently on a student salary, so it would be great if I could find out what's going on and fix it, because right now I cannot afford to purchase a new or (unknown) used vehicle.
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Sunday, January 25th, 2009 AT 8:03 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi alexsinclair,

Thank you for the donation.

What is the idling speed when engine is warmed?
Were there any driveability problems prior to the engine stalling?
When driving, ie, cruising etc, did the engine stall or it happens only when slowing down and stoppinbg?
Does the engine stall if you keep it at idling without engaging gear?
Does the engine stall if you enagage gear and do not release the brake pedal?
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Monday, January 26th, 2009 AT 11:58 AM
Tiny
ALEXSINCLAIR
  • MEMBER
Hello,

Thank you very much for your questions. My answers are below. I really appreciate your help! Also, I forgot to mention in my original message that the IAC valve has been replaced. It was the first thing replaced when the problem happened, but no luck in fixing it. Then the PCV valve was replaced, but again no luck.

- Idle RPM is around 1000-1200.
- No, there were no driveability problems or noises, etc. Also, inbetween stalls, nothing is noticeably wrong for the few miles I can drive it.
- The engine stalls only when approaching a stop, after being driven 3-7 miles. The sequence is 1) start to apply brake just a little as I approach the stop, 2) get very close to coming to a complete stop, applying brake constantly now, 3) vehicle makes a clunking sound immediately before stall, then 4) stalls right before I've some to a complete stop.
- The engine does not stall if idling and without engaging in gear.
- The engine does not stall if engaged in gear and brake pedal is not released (at all), but once brake pedal is even slightly released it stalls.
- It is possible to "power brake" the vehicle, which I've had to do twice to move it off the road a few feet from its stalled location.

Thanks again!
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Monday, January 26th, 2009 AT 12:20 PM
Tiny
LIONEL S ORTEGA SR
  • MEMBER
You might want to check into your coil packs if one them is heating up beyond temp specs it shorts out your engine from cold to regular temp is about 3 to 5 min 1 mile to 5 miles
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Monday, January 26th, 2009 AT 12:21 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi,

The problem seems to stem from vacumn leakages between the Mass Air Flow and throttle body and since it is affected by application of the brakes, I would suggest checking the brake power booster for vacumn leakages.

With engine warmed up and running and trans in neutral, try depressing the brake pedal and releasing in succession and monitor the idling speed. If the engine seems to stutter badly or stalls, then there is vacumn leakages from the brake power booster. Check the seals between the master cylinder and power booster for wear or damages.
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Monday, January 26th, 2009 AT 1:42 PM

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