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97 Ford Explorer, electric windows will go up and down when there is no key in the ignition

Our 97 Ford Explorer’s electric windows will go up and down when there is no key in the ignition. Also, the car doesn’t always start. Any ideas?

Thank you

Did it just start doing this? I have mine wired in the fuse box to operate without the key.

Yes, it did. Just out of the blue.

Do you have a key fob for remotely locking and unlocking the doors?
Some of these key fobs enable you to lower the windows by holding the unlock button in a unique way. If you check your Owner’s Manual, it will tell you if it has this function.

It is possible that the unlock button on the key fob is being inadvertantly pressed by something hitting it while it is in your purse.

What is happening is the key is totally out of the ignition, and I can push the window controls, and they will just go up and down!

Does this vehicle have “retained power”?
How many minutes elapse between removing the key from the ignition and opening the windows?

On some vehicles, accessories like the power windows will retain power for a few minutes after removing the key from the ignition.

They will go up and down immediately after taking the key out, and they will do it 5 minutes later, and they will do 15 minutes later, etc.

Looks like VDC driver nailed it.

A quick look at the factory wiring diagrams for my 97 Explorer shows 30 amp fuse 5 is wired to the “accesory delay relay” and it looks like the relay has stuck closed.

You’ll find the relay & fuse under the hood in the power distribution box. Drivers side near firewall.

Give the relay a whack with your Ford wrench.

Relays are about 7 bucks.

Thanks everyone for your help. Have a great day!