What would cause a 2002 Ford explorer engine to just stop in the middle of driving?

Dillwood
455

Asked by Jul 23, 2012 at 05:33 PM about the 2002 Ford Explorer XLT 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I was backing the 2002 Ford explorer out of our driveway, when it suddenly stopped, no warning, no unusual sounds.  The dash indicators lights, the radio, etc all  work.  When you turn the key in the ignition there is nothing.

43 Answers

shortboxdan
355

well if u had a bad spark or fuel issue, your car would crank over and attempt to start, since your getting no power with the turn of the key its possible u loss a ground or power wire, also if ur alternator or circuit has been going bad it could have allowed the battery to drain and not have juice to crank...look at battery cables and connections then all ur fuses first...try jump starting also

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.
Dillwood
455

The battery seems okay, as the radio works and the dash indicator lights up. It is strange as when you turn the ignition key nothing is heard at all. Not a sound.

33 out of 33 people think this is helpful.
Dillwood
455

Thank you for your response

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
shortboxdan
355

not strange actually common, if connection is not good or ur ignition switch suddenly went out. now did it die when u stepped on the brakes backing up?

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
Dillwood
455

Thank you for your assistance. I did not step on the brake when backing, I had just started backing, maybe moved 6' when it just stopped - died...

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
OJ
11,420

My son's 2003 did the same thing. Everything worked except it would not crank. Called me out of my bed at midnight to truck down to the all night grocery store to pick him up. All I did was this. I removed both battery cables from the battery, cleaned the terminals on the battery and both connectors, reattached, and he drove home. Give it a try.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Dillwood
455

Thank you for your suggestion. Removed the battery thoroughly cleaned posts and cables, sprayed them, and took the battery in for testing. Battery is very strong and stil no sounds.. Yes we still ahve dash lights and radio, etc. Thanks

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
OJ
11,420

Did you check for a blown fuse? Get the hayne or clinton book for the year, make and model. Get a meter and begin checking for current when the key is in the run position. If your starter is not turning, or trying to do so, power is not getting from the battery to the starter. Makes me believe it's a fuse issue, maybe a bad wire. It's a short run from the battery to the starter with wires exposed. Trace the wires. If there is a solenoid between the battery and starter, check that. Good luck.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
OJ
11,420

I know this is out there, but it may apply to your 2002. I was using my daughters 99 explorer. Weht to the corner store and got out of the vehicle but left it unlocked. Got back in and nothing would happen, but everything else worked. Finally called her to tell her what happened. She told me to use the key fob to lock then unlock the door and it would start. She was right. Check the anti-theft features of the vehicle, there may be a problem there.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
OJ
11,420

Just checked the manual for a 2003 explorer, which should cover the 2002. I believe the problem is in the solenoid which is attached to the starter. Try this first, it's the simplest. Tap moderly on the starter and solenoid with a wrench etc. No heavy banging, but not a tippi-tap either. Then try to start. If you then get a clicking noise or if the vehicle starts, replace the starter and solenoid. If this fails to work I will explain the starting circuit so you can begin checking. The starting system consist of the ignition switch, the clutch pedal position (CPP) switch, if you have a standard transmission, or Digital Transmission Range (DRT) sensor for automatics. The starter relay and a 50 amp fuse. (both of these are located inside the engine compartment fuse and relay box. The other parts are the battery, the starter solenois, the starter motor and the wires that connect the components. We know the battery is good so the problem is not there. All other components are easily accessible. Good Luck.

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
K8955
110

I have a 2002 Ford Explorer and the same thing happened to my daughter when she was driving. The alternator had gone out. It went out because the door ajar light on the dash would not go off, It drained the battery so bad it ruined the alternator. I've had the alternator replaced and when my daughter got the gas station the door ajar light is now back on. Does anyone know which fuse disables that light. It has to be a bad connection somewhere. She has checked all the doors and the rear door glass. All seem to be closed securely.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
hotrod0069
40

my brother have a 02 ford and it just quit run the window go up and but will not start

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
angelsglobal
70

I have an explorer 2002 and I also had an issue once where it just suddenly shut down on me. One day stumble upon something very interesting while I was changing the thermostat housing. The alternators harness goes over the thermostat housing and for some crazy reason through the engine and then splits two ways which one goes to the starter and the other to the battery. The part of the harness that went through the engine had the rubber around it completely melted and peeled off making contact with the engine block. I noticed when I moved the harness to take the thermostat housing off and it made a big spark in there with a bit of smoke. 1-What I did to fix the issue was first disconnect the battery. 2-Then go ahead and finish splitting the the harness. 3-At pepboys they sell an alternator harness which is about 32'' long. Buy it! 4-Re-route both the thick alternator harness and the two small wires that go with it through the side and over the engine. Sorry I didn't add any fotos but this job took me a while to do because it was raining. But I guaranty you all that an electro mechanic will charge you a ton of money to do this so do it yourself.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
mskat
130

I have a 02 explorer I was drive and it just cut off then when I tried to start it now it won't start it will crank bit won't start changed spark plugs had a new battery put in and still nothing can somebody please help.

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.
jjmtuttle
Not Active

check fuel pump. spray starting fluid in the throttle body if it starts start checking for relays and make sure you can hear the pump kick on when you turn the key forward. hope it helps

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
vernon1977
50

change the crankshaft or camshaft postion sensor if it is bad the fuel pump wont work and it will not fire also

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
palmtreemechanic
285

Dillwood, did you get your 02' explorer running again? If so what was the issue? I have an 02' Explorer, that I believe is the Passive Anti-Theft Systems also. The security "theft" light on the instrument panel is blinking very rapidly. I've checked everything else that could be the issue, with no avail. Does anyone know if this system can be replaced, without taking it to a dealer?

15 out of 15 people think this is helpful.
Candice Schuld
50

does anyone know what the original problem was? our is doing same thing and mechanic said its not the alternator. Maybe something to do with alarm, computer or could it possibly have something to do with speed control recall? I have to take to ford for recall but if there is something else I really dont want to take to dealer for other repairs

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
palmtreemechanic
285

Candice, my problem was in the PATS. The transponder ring (It produces the electrical field for the chip inside the key) replacing it was under $30.00. This is the only thing that does not require reprograming, very simple to replace yourself. Its the plastic ring around the ignition switch. It has one electrical wire that snaps in. Requires not much more than a screw driver. Hope this saves a trip to the dealer!

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
bs22205
40

Im Having the same problem with my 2003 expedition. I have two keys both worked until today but now only one will start the truck, and the light blinks fast with the one key but the other key works fine.. could the transponder ring be a part of this issue??

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
palmtreemechanic
285

bs22205: In my case the Transponder Ring either worked or didn't (no matter which key I used). After replacing it, both keys worked fine (again).

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
bs22205
40

Thank you for your response I got another key and plan on trying to reprogram the key that quit working. I will keep you posted if it works thank you

shawn12134
0

did you starter go bad?

Maxizwell
120

Your problem(in a nutshell), is your FPDM (Fuel Pump Driver Module), located on the frame in front of your spare tire, on the left-hand side. They have a tendency to corrode on the side that's touching the frame and short out the components inside.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
medardo17
35

check first battery terminals, then go for fuse its gonna be a big 50 amps fuse overthere

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Nanamclendon
40

I,m having the same problem at a red light the car shut off and wouldn't,t restart no engine light came on radio, lights horn all work dealer said the engine was blown

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Kasheara Smith
0

My 2002 Ford Explorer shut off while I was driving. All of the lights and mechanical things have power such as my radio comes on sear moves windows work...when I try starting it the engine sounds like it wants to start but it just won't! What's the problem?

palmtreemechanic
285

Kashera, if your theft light is blinking rapidly you may have the same problem I experienced with a bad transponder ring. if you do, it's simple to replace. But first, check your emergency fuel shut-off switch to make sure it has not been activated (sometimes just a child kicking it can set it off). It is located in the passenger side floor panel. Just push it in to reset the fuel system. Follow the guidelines in your manual before resetting. If you suspect a damaged fuel system, don't reset it.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
joewilly
30

My wife's 2003 Ford Explorer just shut off on her in the middle of the hwy. It wouldn't start after this, so I tried jumping it and then it started right away and drove for about a mile then shut off again. I then again jumped it and she got another mile again and then shut off. We did this one more time until we got to our house. I don't think the battery is bad, does anyone know what it could be? We also replaced the alternator on this about 3 years ago.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Christopher Staffan
55

after all this i found a few plausable answers... -bad connection to battery -fried wiring -theft feature being an idiot this morning my 02 exploder started, i jumped back out, put the trash on the hood, and it stalled... as funny as it sounds, its not the trash that made it stall... it cranks over, radio and all electronics work... just doesnt start... to me, i think its not getting fuel...but im no mechanic. anyone know if i am right?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Christopher Staffan
55

also, makes ticking sound when it did run, normally its bad when it first starts up and then goes away in a few minutes then its very faint. also 2 weeks ago i took it on a long haul (600 miles) and when i was almost home it started acting up, it was raining but it felt like it was running out of gas going down the highway, i quickly pulled off and got gas( my gauge doesnt work) but it was still roughly quarter tank, so started driving again and it was fine.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
4aker
0

I have a 2002 Sport Trac doing the same thing. Would not start last night, but all the lights, radio, horn & power w&l worked. While attempting to start it the locks kept clicking and lights blinked so I'm wondering if as statedI have a 2002 Sport Trac doing the same thing. Would not start last night, but all the lights, radio, horn & power w&l worked. While attempting to start it the locks kept clicking and lights blinked so I'm wondering if as stated above it could be the anti theft system. The battery is only 2 years old, spark plug & wires are new, fuel pump is new....what the heck else could it be?? Ugh......

Melissa481967
10

Have a quick question what would make the whole dash lights n a car stop working the radio and the power windows and moon roof don't work either the only thing that does is the heat and ac its a ford explorer 2003

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
jaketynan97
10

i have a 97 explorer and the o/d light comes on randomly while driving it starts to run rough but it doesnt lat long enough to get it to the shop and have them look at it and i cant figure it out

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
OJ
11,420

Bring it to an auto parts store and have the codes read. Could be many things. If your is running rough the PCM will try to correct the condition. If the transmission is hunting for a proper gear with a faulty running engine, it could also signal a problem with OD. You need codes read first.

jaketynan97
10

i put a code reader on and got nothing

Maxizwell
120

Being that it's a '97, more then likely, it's your clock spring that needs replacing. Simple enough, if you're mechanically inclined, if not, then find someone who is and have them to replace it for you.

jaketynan97
10

clock spring where?

Maxizwell
120

The clock spring is located directly behind the airbag/horn. You'll have to disconnect the battery first, then remove the two screws directly behind the steering wheel. They have caps covering them. You can google how to remove the clock spring. It's pretty simple.

Tyler Hogan
0

Hey if anyone is still having problems try this: my 2002 explorer shut off while running, when I would turn the key nothing happened, no crank no turning over. Replaced #15 fuse under the hood (blue fuse 15 amp) started right up after I replaced it. $5 from autozone for a 5 pack of fuses

Tyler Hogan
0

Also the od problem there is a connection on the transmission that messes up if there is even a tiny bit of dir. Had the shop blow the dirt out and reconnect it, o/d stopped flashing, been fine since

kcspence
10

On the series of explorers connected to the 2002, the wiring that runs behind the engine on the firewall to the exhaust sensors below. After time these wires burn through and short out. Bad design by Ford due to the limited space in the V8 models between the engine and the firewall on the passenger side. The result is that fuse #41 will blow and the engine will die instantly. Once replaced the car will start normally and run. I have cut the wires and tied them up for now. I will need to solder the wires back together and get the check engine light to go off. If anyone has any suggestions on how the better solve this problem I would appreciate the input. Should have been a recall by Ford. Thanks, KC

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Colleen Amanda
0

yes my #41 fuse keeps blowing. Can you take a picture of where i should look and what wire? can i tape it up with electric tape?

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