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2002 Ford Explorer has needed four new fuel pumps

My fuel pump went out. I had it replaced and the new pump was deemed defective. It was replaced. Repeat, repeat. I am on the 4th or 5th pump now. I think it is more likely there is an underlying problem that is going undiagnosed. Maybe a bad electrical circuit or connector? The mechanic thought maybe they got a bad batch of pumps… Can anyone offer any ideas?

Change suppliers for the pump? Where are they coming from?

I had a friend with a 69 Chevy full size wagon that bought a “lifetime guaranteed” starter for it from Pep Boys. When the new starter failed they cheerfully replaced it, ALL 5 TIMES, in the 2 or 3 years before he junked it.

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Are you replacing the pumps with aftermarket or OEM Ford Fuel pumps? I’d stick with genuine Ford fuel pumps. Here’s an OEM Ford parts listing page showing fuel pump options based on your model. You can filter the results by entering your VIN on the page. Hope this helps out. https://www.fordpartsprime.com/parts-list/2002-ford-explorer-limited-6_cyl_4_0_l_gas/fuel_supply.html

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Are you using quality pumps? Make sure voltage and ground circuits all good.

Is your fuel return line working? If not…that would load the pump and overheat it. Not hard to check to see if it can flow back to the tank

The quality of parts these days is not a good situation… Name brand or OEM is really the only way to fly.

There is more than likely a misdiagnosis problem. The odds of getting 4 bad pumps in a row is as close to zero as it can get in my opinion.

I would suspect the problem is more in the pump controls. The inertia switch, pump relay, or even the PCM would be a suspect.

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4 bad aftermarket pumps in a row is certainly possible. 4 Ford oem pumps from at least two separate dealerships fail in sequence seems nearly impossible. If the pumps are known to be good, and they fail anyway

  • pump has lower input voltage than it should. This will lower the motor’s rpm and increase the current through the windings, not a good thing for any electric motor’s long life. connector, wiring, or ground problem.

  • restricted flow somewhere in the loop from the pump to the fuel rail and back to the tank (if it is a return flow design). fuel filter is the first place to look.

  • less likely, but if the pump is often run with a nearly empty tank of gas, might be a factor. I presume this theory can be discounted b/c the vehicle’s original pump worked fine for 16 years, right OP?

If OP has been using aftermarket pumps from parts stores, start by trying an OEM Ford pump.

I should add at this point, one time I got 3 bad oem light bulbs in a row from a dealership. They all failed within 3 weeks. The next one I bought at a parts store and it worked for 10 years. So anything’s possible.

Did you have any other electrical work done before the first failure?
Had a 92 Taurus, radiator fan failed. After repair, something they did knocked out the fuel pump twice. What they did to cause and then repair the problem, I do not know.