Ford Explorer died when tried to start and then restarted

I purchased a 1992 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer edition two weeks ago from a private dealer. Last week I went to start the car, and it started, but then turned off almost immediately. I dismissed it at the time saying I did not turn the key long enough or far enough because when I tried it again, it started. However, this morning (05/06/14) it turned itself off again. It was on for about a second or two before it died. I started it again and pumped the gas. It started for me but it sounded rough like it might die again.

I am not sure how to fix this. The previous owner did not mention that there was any problem. I am thinking that I’ll either need to replace the battery or the spark plugs.

Are my ideas correct? Has anyone else experienced this? Help please.

I am thinking fuel pump. Of course the best way to determine the problem is when it is failure mode. If no check engine lights that is.

If not a fuel pump problem, the cause could also be the ignition module. This model should use the problematic TFI module and the cause of failure is heat related; often exacerbated by the onset of warmer weather.

Symptoms can vary and one can mimic a failing fuel pump. Do a net search for “TFI Settlement” and that will provide some detail about the problem and how widespread it was, or still is.
You’re too late to join in the class action lawsuit though.

I’m a little confused

Just what is a “private dealer” . . . ?

If it cranks ok, starts, runs, then dies, that probably isn’t the battery. The crank operation put the most burden on the battery, and since it is cranking in a robust manner (you know, that rrr rrr rrr sound), the battery probably isn’t the problem. I’d discount that idea.

All comments above are good and should be considered. There’s so many possible causes that going on a parts replacement endeavor probably isn’t the best move. You can easily run out of money before you find out the problem. Best to engage a pro with expertise in this make/model/year to diagnose it for you.

If you want to start replacing parts, the best place to start is to bring all the routine maintenance suggested in the owner’s manual up to date. If spark plugs are on the list, no harm starting there.

Thanks everyone. I will start digging in the manual and look into your suggestions.

db4690 I meant to say private owner. As in opposed to a dealership.

Thanks for the info