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


Asked by Dillwood 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.

18 Answers


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

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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.

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Thank you for your response

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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?

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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...

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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.

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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

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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.


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.

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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.

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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.

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


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.

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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.

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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


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


Will some one please answer this question for me my truck will not started its a 2002 ford truck it shut down while I was driven wat should I do.

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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?

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