Hard to start when cold

Tiny
FRONTSHADOW
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD EXPLORER
Engine Performance problem 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 210000 miles

I've a 99 Eddie Bauer, 4.0l E code, 4x2. Bought it new. At about 190K is started to have a cold start problem. Engine cranks, catches but either barely idles and stops or revs really high and stops. After several attempts and using the accelator to rev the engine up/down, and working it it for maybe 2min, it will level out nicely, no misses, no rough idles, and will from that point on, start on command, just like new. This problem seems to appear after the engine is cooled down. The colder the engine and ambient temp, the worse it is and the longer it is before it corrects it is. Check engine code is always 171. Right bank too lean. I have changed both right side O2 sensors (have ones for left side but not installed), replaced MAF sensor, EGR vacuum control solenoid, tested/cleaned EGR, replaced EGR vacuum sensor, replaced plugs and wires, checked for leaking vacuum, and replaced engine coolant sensor (behind thermostat housing). I have read there is a temperature control sensor that feeds to the ECM (TCS) that could be the problem but cannot locate on engine. Anyway, am looking for ideas.

Again, this problem only happens when the engine is cold. I noticed it happening this past summer, but for a much shorter period of time with the warm weather. This winter it is unbearable! I am the original (new car) owner.

Thanks very much
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Saturday, November 29th, 2008 AT 9:38 AM

28 Replies

Tiny
ENGINEMAN 73
  • MEMBER
This sounds like you have an engine coolant sensor that is not working right. Here is a guide to help you see what you are in for when doing the job.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/coolant-temperature-sensor-cts-replacement

this guide can help as well

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/engine-cranks-excessively-before-starting

Please let us know what you find. We are interested to see what it is.

Check out the diagram (Below)

Cheers
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Saturday, November 29th, 2008 AT 9:59 AM
Tiny
FRONTSHADOW
  • MEMBER
This summer the idle air control/solenoid. Sits top of intake. Went out and was holding the engine at a high speed when coming to a stop. As soon as I replaced the control solenoid, that problem stopped and was corrected.

I was having the aforementioned problem all along and dealing with it as time permitted. Changing the idle control solenoid DID NOT affect this problem.

. Back to the "drawing board"
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Saturday, November 29th, 2008 AT 10:05 AM
Tiny
ENGINEMAN 73
  • MEMBER
Did you try the coolant sensor?
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Saturday, November 29th, 2008 AT 10:18 AM
Tiny
FRONTSHADOW
  • MEMBER
I have not got a chance to change it out yet I am waiting for my next paycheck.
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Saturday, November 29th, 2008 AT 10:31 AM
Tiny
ENGINEMAN 73
  • MEMBER
Okay let me know what happens.
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Saturday, November 29th, 2008 AT 1:22 PM
Tiny
FRONTSHADOW
  • MEMBER
Quick question could MAF on this car cause the problem?
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Saturday, November 29th, 2008 AT 2:07 PM
Tiny
ENGINEMAN 73
  • MEMBER
Not usually on a cold start problem but to make sure lets clean the sensor to see if that makes a difference.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/mass-air-flow-service
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Saturday, November 29th, 2008 AT 2:19 PM
Tiny
FRONTSHADOW
  • MEMBER
Nope. There are NO sensors between the MAF and throttle body. Just one pipe inserted into the intake hose which runs over to the EGR.
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Saturday, November 29th, 2008 AT 3:14 PM
Tiny
ENGINEMAN 73
  • MEMBER
I really think it will be the engine coolant sensor lets give that a try when you can.
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Saturday, November 29th, 2008 AT 10:52 PM
Tiny
FRONTSHADOW
  • MEMBER
Yep should have replaced that from the start engine runs perfect now. Thanks for your help I love this site.
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Sunday, November 30th, 2008 AT 3:17 PM
Tiny
LOST IT TIME
  • MEMBER
Good to hear, please use 2CarPros anytime we are here to help.

Cheers
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Thursday, December 11th, 2008 AT 10:42 PM
Tiny
DIENQUANG
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
Shakes or Wobbles problem
1999 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 120000 miles

hi sir, I have a problem with my car, everytime in the morning I start the car it shake a lot and stall, I have to do it again and again, then it start up. The mechanic already change the Idle air control valve, the problem is the same in the morning. They say my car maybe have the intake gasket problem, please help me to give some advice, thankyou very much
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Thursday, March 15th, 2018 AT 12:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
AIRSOFTSOLDRECN9
  • MEMBER
Does this problem continue while driving or only during the first 5 minutes of initial startup? Your mechanic described a vacuum leak to you from your intake manifold? If the stalling and rough idle happens during driving also then yes you should consider anything downstream of the throttle body to be a problem. Make sure there is not a leak in any of your emissions vacuum lines. If you want to make discovering a vacuum leak easier here is a tip. Go to Party City and buy a fog/smoke machine. Hook it up to a vacuum tee that goes into your intake manifold. Fill the manifold with smoke and see where it comes out. If anything it should come out of the throttle body bore but nowhere else.
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Thursday, March 15th, 2018 AT 12:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RMOORE09
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD EXPLORER
  • 207,805 MILES
Hello, my suv runs really great and has no problem with idle. Its injectors are really great and it has no vacuum leaks. What it does is when you turn the key it will begin to start and as it starts it will shake and have trouble starting. When it starts it revs up not too bad. If you turn it off and then start it will fire right up but if you let it sit for maybe 5 to 10 minutes it will have trouble starting. Sometimes though it will start just fine after a while or it will do that rough start. Other than that it drives great. The only thing wrong with it is the alternator bearings are going bad and the belt tensioner is getting bad. What is the problem and can it get worse?
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Thursday, March 15th, 2018 AT 12:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RMOORE09
  • MEMBER
There is no check engine light either.
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Thursday, March 15th, 2018 AT 12:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PROAUTOTECH
  • EXPERT
It can get worse, whatever it is. Electric gremlins can be intermittent like that. When was the last time you did plugs, wires, fuel filter etc?
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Thursday, March 15th, 2018 AT 12:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RMOORE09
  • MEMBER
About 7000 miles ago on the spark plugs and wires and the fuel filter was around
10000 miles ago I was told my filter was good at my last inspection.
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Thursday, March 15th, 2018 AT 12:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RMOORE09
  • MEMBER
Could it be a fuel pump relay? Or the fuel pump itself
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Thursday, March 15th, 2018 AT 12:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STLFDPCC
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 FORD EXPLORER
  • 4.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 118,000 MILES
My daughter took the car and parked it, it ran fine. On her way home it stalled out and was hard to start. When it finally started it lacked power and idles rough at low rpm. It had a code for a bad O2 sensor so I replaced that and the Idle air controller. Depspite this it still wont run correctly. It almost like in an older car the carb is messed up. I'm at a loss.
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Thursday, March 15th, 2018 AT 12:07 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PROAUTOTECH
  • EXPERT
I like to think fuel pump issues are constant, even though they aren't, it sounds like your problem is more intermitant than that. Try checking into the idle air control valve, or map sensor. Any codes? If you haven't had it scanned, go to the car parts store and get it done free.
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Thursday, March 15th, 2018 AT 12:07 PM (Merged)

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