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explorer cold start


firedoug's Avatar
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12-11-02, 06:06 AM   #1  
firedoug
explorer cold start

I have a 1997 Ford Explorer, 4.0 liter SOHC 6 cylinder w/77,000 miles. On cold mornings, the vehicle starts fine then surges fast and then slow, very low idle, chugs, surges again to a high idle about 1500 + rpm, then drops to about 300 rpm, and back and forth, usually stalling out within less than a minute. Must keep restarting or giving it gas to keep running. When it warms up it runs fine!! any suggestions on curing or diagnosing this problem would be much appreciated. I have a Remote starter installed and it is useless since the vehicle will not stay running. The remote starter has been installed for several years and i do not believe this is the problem. it only happens when it gets very cold outside and runs fine when warmed up!!

 
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12-11-02, 06:39 AM   #2  
most likely an upper intake orings leaking or fuel rail gasket leaking if found to be the problem i would suggest you change both while you are there, you may want to drop it off at a shop and leave it so the vehicle will be cold and have them check for intake leaks common problem but is hard to detect on warm engine.

 
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12-11-02, 06:47 AM   #3  
fordman30
explorer

it almost sounds like a repeat but the problem is the idle air control valve.easy fix 10 min. tops...it is a do it yourselfer. on these newer fords they are bad about going out when cold weather comes around...be sure to carry your vin number with you to get the part.good luck

 
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12-11-02, 09:22 AM   #4  
Joe_F
Classic case of a dirty throttle body or bad Idle Air control valve.

Clean out the throttle body with the Ford approved cleaner. If tht doesn't help, pitch the IAC in favor of a new one.

 
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12-12-02, 04:38 AM   #5  
I believe,(but not sure ),that bejay must or had been a ford technician.I agree with his response they are bad about upper intake gasket(o-ring) leaks.We had one several shops had looked at( including ford dealers) and it had the same problem.It seemed like afterwards we got a flood of them.We always set the vehicle outside and in the morning had one tech crank it over while the other had a can of carburator spray handy to spray the intake with.

 
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12-17-02, 04:30 AM   #6  
macgrudder
Re: explorer cold start

Originally posted by firedoug
I have a 1997 Ford Explorer, 4.0 liter SOHC 6 cylinder w/77,000 miles. On cold mornings, the vehicle starts fine then surges fast and then slow, very low idle, chugs, surges again to a high idle about 1500 + rpm, then drops to about 300 rpm, and back and forth, usually stalling out within less than a minute. Must keep restarting or giving it gas to keep running. When it warms up it runs fine!! any suggestions on curing or diagnosing this problem would be much appreciated. I have a Remote starter installed and it is useless since the vehicle will not stay running. The remote starter has been installed for several years and i do not believe this is the problem. it only happens when it gets very cold outside and runs fine when warmed up!!
were you able to solve your problem? if so, how?

 
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12-17-02, 05:43 AM   #7  
macgrudder
Re: explorer cold start

Originally posted by firedoug
I have a 1997 Ford Explorer, 4.0 liter SOHC 6 cylinder w/77,000 miles. On cold mornings, the vehicle starts fine then surges fast and then slow, very low idle, chugs, surges again to a high idle about 1500 + rpm, then drops to about 300 rpm, and back and forth, usually stalling out within less than a minute. Must keep restarting or giving it gas to keep running. When it warms up it runs fine!! any suggestions on curing or diagnosing this problem would be much appreciated. I have a Remote starter installed and it is useless since the vehicle will not stay running. The remote starter has been installed for several years and i do not believe this is the problem. it only happens when it gets very cold outside and runs fine when warmed up!!
were you able to solve your problem? if so, how?

 
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12-17-02, 08:49 AM   #8  
fordman30
did we fix the problem with an idle air control valve

 
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12-17-02, 09:36 AM   #9  
firedoug
Unfortunately my schedule has not permitted me to check the idle air control valve yet. I plan on doing so by this weekend and replacing if necessary. I will kepp you updated. thank you for all the input I have received!!1
Doug

 
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12-27-02, 07:56 PM   #10  
macgrudder
Any luck figuring out if it was the idle air control valve?

 
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01-03-03, 10:24 AM   #11  
firedoug
I Finally was able to replace the IAC valve assy. with a Ford Factory part, but unfortunately, the problem still remains. I also di clean the throttle body but no correction to the problem. I will try and check the intake o-rings this weekend with a can of carb cleaner when it is cold at start up.

 
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01-04-03, 07:16 AM   #12  
firedoug, just be real carefull when doing so ,because the stuff is flammable.Just spray right where the intake mates to the block/heads at the bottom.Sometimes you can even hear the vacuum leak without even spraying it.

 
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01-04-03, 07:21 AM   #13  
One more thought.You might have the local Ford dealer run your V.I.N. on your vehicle.Ford had a recall out for the timing chain tensioners(about a 3 hour repair for noise on start up) and it then would cover your problem at their expense.All the dealers i worked for would check for recalls at no cost to the customer,so it might be worth a chance!

 
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01-05-03, 08:26 AM   #14  
Another item to look at would be the coolant temp sensor (not the sender for the guage). This provides information to the computer for air/fuel mixture and a faulty one can "mislead" the computer as to how much air/fuel the engine needs during start up..

 
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01-05-03, 10:24 AM   #15  
Joe_F
I'd go with Fordtech's advice on running the VIN # and see what comes up that you might be able to get out of them for free .

 
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01-07-03, 06:49 AM   #16  
macgrudder
explorer idle problem fixxed!

I tested the connections on the IAC for resistance to mak sure it measured within 6-13 ohms and it measured 9 so that made it o.k.

The electriacal connectionalso fell into the 10.5 - 12 volt rangeso I knew it was o.k.

I finally decided to pull off my IAC and take a look at the insided. The spring and piston was crudded up with carbon and residue. I used wd-40 and some electrical contact cleaner spray to get the internal piston and spring cleaned up.

I let the unit dry for an hour and re-installed it.

Turned the key and the engine fired up and idled at 1000 smoother than it has in the last year.

Ahhhhhhh.

 
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01-07-03, 07:08 AM   #17  
Joe_F
Good job!

 
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01-07-03, 04:49 PM   #18  
Very good! Glad you got it fixed!!

 
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01-08-03, 03:43 AM   #19  
firedoug
I tried spraying carb cleaner around the intake to head gaskets in the cold morning but it didnt seem to have any effect on it. one thing i forgot to mention, i do have a check engine light on, code stored says i have a lean mixture in both the left and right bank.
any suggestions other than checking/testing each sensor one by one. i am unable to find a vacuum leak in any of the hoses.

 
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01-08-03, 03:45 AM   #20  
firedoug
I also received the notice on the timing chain recall about a year or two ago, but my vehicle was not affected.

 
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01-08-03, 07:15 AM   #21  
Joe_F
Might have a bad O2 sensor.

Go to any Autozone, have them pull and reset the codes and see if the light goes off and stays off. If not, change your O2 sensors (they should be changed anyhow with the mileage you have).

 
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01-08-03, 05:30 PM   #22  
you might check out the below sight for a tsb article 99-10-4 for malfunction indicator light on with or without driveability problems, if you select tsb and go to electronic devices , computers, etc if this was your problem you could probably have it repaired by ford under emissions warranty coverage as suggested by fordtech previously, you will need acrobat reader to view this tsb.
http://www.cybrrpartspro.com/Manual%...delLookup.html
but when you have your codes scanned see if any match the ones in the tsb.

 
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