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Hard Start but Runs Great /1999 Ford Explorer

Hard start like it’s not getting enough fuel then kicks in and runs great with no hesitations or issues and with plenty of power. Replaced fuel filter, nothing changed. Has anyone experienced this?

thanks you
Adam Eye Way

When was the last time that the spark plugs were changed in this Exploder.

A little info on the maintenance of this vehicle would help us too.

An air filter dirty and plugged may also contribute to hard starting.

If these don’t help, then you may want to take it to a mechanic to have the fuel pressure tested.
Good pressure and I’d next do a compression test.At this age the rings may not be allowing for enough compression. Too low compression and the fuel mist will have a hard time exploding in the cylinders.


The next time you go to start the engine, turn the ignition switch on so the dash lights come on for two seconds, and then turn the ignition switch off.

Repeat this a half dozen times and then try starting the engine.

If the engine starts right up, the anti drain-back valve on the fuel pump assembly is defective and the fuel pump requires replacement.


With fuel injected engines like yours, when we see this complaint here, the most likely cause seems to be what @Tester above suggests.

But if that doesn’t pan out, too much fuel can cause this symptom too, like if an injector was leaking when the engine was off that would flood the intake manifold w/gas, making the engine hard to start. One way for an owner to test this idea, hold the gas pedal all the way down, then crank the engine, and see if it starts easier that way. If so that’s consistent w/ a flooding problem.

A shop doing a fuel pressure test would quickly diagnose this too.