I have 1999 Ford F-150 2WD Lariat with a 4.6 liter fuel injected V-8 engine. I’m the original owner. It has 77K miles on it and is driven about 3K miles a year for the last couple of years. It sits a lot because we have three cars and two drivers in the house. I’m a Scoutmaster and use the truck for towing the troop trailer for our monthly outings. These trips can be as short as a few miles or several hundred miles. When it isn’t towing the trailer it is doing short trips to the home center or taking my son and the lawn mowing equipment a mile or so to the other side of the neighborhood for a lawn mowing job.
Three times now, once in April and twice this month it stalled while I was jockeying the trailer around the parking lot at church. The first time it had a full tank of gas and was at the beginning of the trip. I unhooked from the trailer and used another truck for the weekend. When we got back it fired right up and had been running fine ever since. I changed the fuel filter, added some fuel cleaner and unrelated to this recently replaced the battery and air filter. I didn’t have any problems with it again until last week. On Sunday we returned from our outing, about a 1/4 tank of gas in it, the trip was very short, 7 miles to the camp site. After dropping the kids off at one parking lot, shutting the truck down in the process I drove over to the parking space for the trailer and backed it in. While I was unhooking it it stuttered to a stop again and wouldn’t start. I let it sit for about 20 minutes after opening the hood and giving it a good stare and it started again. We swapped the fuel pump relay with another identical but unused relay (trailer battery charge circuit) but that didn’t make a difference. Last night it happened again, and again after 20 minutes it started fine.
On all three occasions the common thread has been short drives followed by several times of starting and stopping the truck as we moved the trailer from one place to another. The last time I shut it down normally and it wouldn’t restart, the first two times it stuttered and died while idling.
It has plenty of crank, and it sounds like it is firing but not getting fuel. Both times this month after letting it sit for 20 min it fired right up and idles and accelerates fine.
I don’t get any “check engine” lights so I’m not sure if the mechanic will get anything from the computer. I’m due for inspection next month so it will be going to the shop and I’m sure it will work fine while its there. I don’t want the mechanic to just start swapping parts as some will wont to do.
Given the prime use for this truck I really need to get it fixed right the first time. I can’t have it die on an outing and have us stranded in the middle of nowhere on the way to a camp site. Any ideas guys?