Spiritus_Spatium
Spiritus_Spatium New Reader
10/17/17 11:08 p.m.

I don't know if this is the right place, but since I saw others asking questions...

 

My dad's '99 Explorer XLT (V8, RWD) used to start fine. We got it a year ago for dirt cheap in very good condition from a friend of his. I think someone messed with it at a shop while "servicing" it and it has been wrong for months. It used to start on the second try [Edit: Before the service it started on the first, I think it wasn’t the service, maybe just casualty that it started to fail after leaving the shop] but now sometimes it takes up to three attempts. The longer it's been sitting, the longer it takes. If it's warm and you turn it off, it will start immediately without a hiccup. It runs and idles just fine and it pulls hard all the way to redline (don't tell my dad lol). It's just the starting that gives me issues.

I hate bad mechanics... This engines are so simple to work on, yet they manage to get it wrong...

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
10/18/17 12:36 a.m.

I *think* "Tech Tips" is for things like "Hey, I have a handy trick that makes job XYZ easier!", but I'm sure it'll get moved if needs be (I'd probably have just posted in Grassroots Motorsports)

If it took until the second try to start before, perhaps it was just earlier in the deterioration? First try is really what we're after when things are correct, right?

Anyhow, my first thought is check valve, which may be (probably is?) integral with the fuel pump. What happens if you turn the key to "run" (but not "start"), then back to "off", repeat, and then once more and on the *third* time turn it all the way to "start"?

If the check valve is bad, it will let the pressure in the system bleed off, or even let the fuel drain down into the tank, and the "priming" pulse won't get fuel where it needs to be.

And, uh, if they're so simple to work on, why'd you have to ask GRM? wink But yeah, bad service is more trouble than no service. Just don't forget that cars are the bastard children of Murphy and Rube Goldberg. Even good mechanics aren't going to nail it every time, and sometimes part B fails right after part A is fixed. Sometimes a fresh A pushes B off the ledge.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro PowerDork
10/18/17 1:09 a.m.

Change the fuel filter.

If that doesn't fix it, check the fuel pump pressure.

 

Spiritus_Spatium
Spiritus_Spatium New Reader
10/18/17 7:02 a.m.
Ransom said:

I *think* "Tech Tips" is for things like "Hey, I have a handy trick that makes job XYZ easier!", but I'm sure it'll get moved if needs be (I'd probably have just posted in Grassroots Motorsports)

If it took until the second try to start before, perhaps it was just earlier in the deterioration? First try is really what we're after when things are correct, right?

Anyhow, my first thought is check valve, which may be (probably is?) integral with the fuel pump. What happens if you turn the key to "run" (but not "start"), then back to "off", repeat, and then once more and on the *third* time turn it all the way to "start"?

If the check valve is bad, it will let the pressure in the system bleed off, or even let the fuel drain down into the tank, and the "priming" pulse won't get fuel where it needs to be.

And, uh, if they're so simple to work on, why'd you have to ask GRM? wink But yeah, bad service is more trouble than no service. Just don't forget that cars are the bastard children of Murphy and Rube Goldberg. Even good mechanics aren't going to nail it every time, and sometimes part B fails right after part A is fixed. Sometimes a fresh A pushes B off the ledge.

That’s what I used to do when it started to not start on the first try. It used to work. Turn the key, then go back and then turn it on. The engine would start the first time.

I ask on GRM because my experience is basically doing compression test (which mechanics told me was super involved and hard to do in my Volvo) and a couple of simple things like that in my S60.

It’s one of those things that you know by other people’s experience. They always talk about how easy this or that car is to work on and diagnose. I mean, it’s not a Mercedes, you get me?

 

Thanks a lot. I only wish my dad would take the car to the mechanic I trust. Charges more, but gets stuff done honestly and on the first time :(

Spiritus_Spatium
Spiritus_Spatium New Reader
10/18/17 7:04 a.m.
Trans_Maro said:

Change the fuel filter.

If that doesn't fix it, check the fuel pump pressure.

 

This was a thought I had but someone told me it may have timing wrong. I’ve been thinking, if that was the case, it wouldn’t run/idle as it used to so smoothly, no? Thank you very much.

Spiritus_Spatium
Spiritus_Spatium New Reader
10/18/17 7:11 a.m.

Also, allegedly, the fuel filter was changed when it got serviced, but at this point I don’t know what to believe. Sorry if it seems like I have a grudge with mechanics. I do not. I have a grudge with the shops my dad takes his cars to. He’s stubborn and hates it when I tell him he’s being ripped off. I’m not an expert, but I can tell when something’s fishy.

They told me my Volvo needed a new engine when in reality it only needs a PCV service, they looked at me funny when I told them. Never took it back there. /rant

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro PowerDork
10/18/17 9:09 a.m.
Spiritus_Spatium said:
Trans_Maro said:

Change the fuel filter.

If that doesn't fix it, check the fuel pump pressure.

 

This was a thought I had but someone told me it may have timing wrong. I’ve been thinking, if that was the case, it wouldn’t run/idle as it used to so smoothly, no? Thank you very much.

Do the simple things first.

Checking the fuel pressure with a gauge takes about five minutes and requires no parts.

I doubt it's incorrect ignition timing but that can be checked easily too.

Do you have a service manual? When was the last time you gave it a good tune-up?

 

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
10/18/17 12:06 p.m.

What Trans_Maro said. Simple things first. It sounds like you don't trust the folks who've worked on the car, so don't rule out the things they "fixed".

I didn't man anything with the "why are you asking GRM" razz; apologies if I missed the mark with humor.

When you say "that's what I used to do", that was already not behaving normally; if the Explorer were working correctly, you wouldn't need to do that. That tells me that it *may* be that it was already experiencing this problem, it's just continued to deteriorate.

But that's all conjecture. Again, Trans_Maro's advice is the central thing. Work methodically through the things you can check based on the symptoms it's showing.

Spiritus_Spatium
Spiritus_Spatium New Reader
10/19/17 12:17 a.m.
Trans_Maro said:
Spiritus_Spatium said:
Trans_Maro said:

Change the fuel filter.

If that doesn't fix it, check the fuel pump pressure.

 

This was a thought I had but someone told me it may have timing wrong. I’ve been thinking, if that was the case, it wouldn’t run/idle as it used to so smoothly, no? Thank you very much.

Do the simple things first.

Checking the fuel pressure with a gauge takes about five minutes and requires no parts.

I doubt it's incorrect ignition timing but that can be checked easily too.

Do you have a service manual? When was the last time you gave it a good tune-up?

 

Sorry for so much quoting, I’m on my phone and it works weird haha

Maybe six months ago. It’s ready for another tune up but I don’t do them. I only mess with my Volvo. You know parents, get it wrong and they will remember for years to come how the good ol’ Explorer didn’t start up after I “fixed it” haha

I’m gonna Google how to check the fuel pressure and try that myself. Other than that, I can’t work much on it because my dad doesn’t trust my skills haha.

Thank you very much!

 

Ransom said:

What Trans_Maro said. Simple things first. It sounds like you don't trust the folks who've worked on the car, so don't rule out the things they "fixed".

I didn't man anything with the "why are you asking GRM" razz; apologies if I missed the mark with humor.

When you say "that's what I used to do", that was already not behaving normally; if the Explorer were working correctly, you wouldn't need to do that. That tells me that it *may* be that it was already experiencing this problem, it's just continued to deteriorate.

But that's all conjecture. Again, Trans_Maro's advice is the central thing. Work methodically through the things you can check based on the symptoms it's showing.

Oh, I didn’t take it the wrong way, I knew you were joking but still sounded like a serious question in part. I still answered because it’s a valid question and some other who come into the thread may ask the same haha

I edited my first post. I said it used to start on the second try after they messed it up and now it worsened.

What I meant with “it didn’t use to do it” was that it always started on the first try. This morning I tried again to open the switch and then close it and then start the truck. It fired up immediately. Weird haha.

My dad wants to take it for a tune up for emissions test, I have no say on that truck but I’ll still keep my eye on it and check if they replace the fuel filter or not.

Thanks a lot!

Spiritus_Spatium
Spiritus_Spatium New Reader
10/19/17 12:19 a.m.

If you’re wondering, I worry about it because I enjoy driving it and want to buy it from him. Love that 5.0. I’ll keep it someday.

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