Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Please help 2000 explorer

I’m trying to help my mother by fixing her Ford Explorer 2000 it turns over but won’t start it sputters and everyone smile you hear what sounds like a small backfire.

it seems to be getting good spark I can get it to start for a little while and run on either. So I’m assuming the plugs and wires are working well they look good. When I tested the spark it looks very good.

eCm fuses look good able to use a scanner

Jump fuel relay and can hear pump run I made sure there is gas in the gas tank

I am trying to Attach the pictures from a scanner i borrowed.

Thank you guys

it seems to be getting good spark I can get it to start for a little while and run on either

Can you clarify? Run on either… what?

Probably runs on ether. Purdue guy, you are correct plugs and wires good, getting spark. You have a fuel delivery problem. The pump may be running but not moving fuel, the filter may be clogged -not sure if your moms car has a separate filter or is part of the pump, or the injectors are all gunked up. See if you can disconnect the fuel line in the engine compartment and run the line in a jar or can and see if gas is being delivered. Be careful!

Ether is what I believe PurdueGuy meant to write.

I think he means ether; or starting fluid.

If there is fuel pressure then you need to make sure the fuel injectors are pulsing. This can be done with a Noid light or with a stethoscope while someone is cranking the engine over. You should hear them clicking.

I might ask how much ether you’ve been spraying in there. If you get heavy handed with that stuff it can wash the cylinder walls down and cause a no-start due to lowered compression.
IF, and I reiterate the IF part, this is true you can remove the spark plugs, squirt a little oil in each cylinder, and then see if it will start.

Just my 2 cents, but ether should not be used on a gas engine. It’s ok for a farmer or truck driver trying to start a diesel on a cold morning if need be.

More on ok 4450’s point about ether / starting fluid washing down cylinder walls:

Back in the 1970s my Fiat 128 was due to go in to a body shop to repair collision damage. It was a very cold day in Milwaukee and it would not start. (My GF’s dad ran a gas station - he said you could walk around an Italian car with an ice cream cone and it wouldn’t start.) I tried over and over using starting fluid and in desperation had the car towed to the body shop.

Days later the body shop called to say they were done, but the engine wouldn’t turn over. Investigating, it was determined the pistons had rusted to the cylinder walls.

That’s what I suspected, gang, but wanted to be sure before I got too far down that path.

Thanks for the info I’ll be Avoid starting fluid. I just rent a Fuel pressure test. Pretty much no pressure maybe one or two pounds. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of pump running not get pressure.

My appologies i ment starting fluid

Open the gas cap. Does the fuel pressure go to normal?

No same low pressure with cap off or on

The cap won’t make any difference, an electric fuel pump doesn’t need atmospheric pressure to work. That is a belief carried over from the days of the mechanical fuel pump.

Your fuel pump has failed or you have no fuel in the tank. I’ve seen a great number of vehicles of that period (1995-2000) towed in with empty tanks and the fuel gauge stuck at 1/4 tank.

The first thing I would do is change out the fuel filter. I’f I’m not mistaken, it is located on the frame rail near the drivers door.

Many times people don’t realize that the fuel gauge is not working right. They never realize that there should NOT be this much fuel left from the last fill up.

I would then pour a couple of gallons of fresh gas to the tank. You then may have to turn the key to run/off/run/off a few times until pressure is built up as the empty lines full with fuel.
If that doesn’t do the trick and the engine start, you may need a new fuel pump.

Don’t pour in more than 2 gallons of fresh fuel. If it is the pump, you don’t want the tank any heavier than it is.

Pumps do go bad to where you can hear them run, but no fuel is being pushed.