My car stopped running in the middle of driving, any ideas


Asked by Jun 08, 2013 at 03:45 PM about the 2002 Ford Explorer

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Battery, fuel are fine

33 Answers

timing chain stretched until the poor tensioner couldn't give any a can of marbles let go...or jumped a tooth...look for a timing chain out of did not say which engine otherwise would post a rebuild kit including new hydraulic tensioner with wear shoe and fresh chain~

7 people found this helpful.

If the timing chain is the problem you would have all kinds of racket associated with it. Can you give more details. and yes what motor the vehicle has would help also

3 people found this helpful.

Stay with the basics first: Fire Triangle - Fuel, heat, oxygen. Is there sufficient fuel pressure and delivery (fuel pump, inertia switch, filter)? Are the Spark Plugs firing (computer control, codes, sensors)? Can the engine get air in and out (filters, compression, plugged catalytic converter)? These should be the first steps is figuring out what's going on (or NOT going on). Start there.

14 people found this helpful.

ThAnkyou Tracy, , best u can tell fuel is pumping, air filters brand new and seems ok, spark plugs have fire, intrigued by the computer and anti-theft device, after the fact, post checking all the other basics, theft warning light stared to flash intermittently and was no longer able to lock/unlock doors thru the key alarm... Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

2 people found this helpful.

Uh oh! The THEFT light flashing is a passive system that shuts off the fuel pump (cranks but won't start or starts and dies). Does your key have a chip in it? You might try another (chipped) key if it does. You may need to hook up scan tool to see what is going on with the theft deterrent system.

8 people found this helpful.


4 people found this helpful.

Everything has power, but still won't crank

15 people found this helpful.

everything has power but it still wont crank even with a jump

13 people found this helpful.

Why my ford explorer 2006 xlt.stop when I driving. Star right a way but is dangerous in the express way.any though

16 people found this helpful.

I read about this on the forum because my 2004 ford explorer was shutting off on me. after replacing the fuel pump, and Tune-up it when I decided to do some research. Many people have this problem and not even the ford dealers know how to fix it. People spend thousands of dollars due to this issue. The guy that I used as a resource has a 2003 ford expedition and wanted to share the repair with you, first of all for the safety of our families, and the cost of everything the mechanics think is wrong (even most ford mechanics are not aware of this fix) I have been lucky and never did the coil packs, fuel pump and new throttle body and valve. I did waste money on the camshaft sensor and IAC control valve; I did keep the old one so I have a back up if I need it in the future. I didn’t try the high octane fuel fix because I heard of this year throwing spark plugs which are big bucks to repair. Putting on this part and looking at the old one makes me think I didn’t even need a new one, but didn’t know what to expect when I bought it. The bracket connects the alternator to the positive terminal on your battery. If you start at the battery + terminal it has 2 red wires coming out of it. They are both usually red and about the same thickness. One of them goes into a long black rectangle clip that says “fusable Link” or something like that. Then comes out the other side and goes to the alternator. Past the fusable link box there will be 2 wires that split off of this wire. If you are in front of the truck one wire runs towards you and is pretty short. It plugs into another wire. The second wire is longer and it runs away from you THIS IS the wire you need to follow. It runs back towards the battery into a plug under it. Follow this wire from where it comes off of the big wire. You will find it resting on a silver/aluminum tube (its an AC pipe) Flip the wire over where it is touching this pipe, you will find the wire is rubbed down to the bare metal!!! It is randomly shorting out your engine and you will STALL. If I didn’t by the part I would try to tape it up, tape the pipe it rests on as well or get some foam tubing for the pipe, if the wires are too worn, looks like you could always use a wire nut. You Are WELCOME, he just saved us a lot of money. The second issue that my 2004 had was with the computer. And this other source talked about this because it can also cause the engine to shut off.. Turns out there is a group of wires near the rear and they were supposed to be suspended in some sort of harness and never were, so over time, the plastic coating rubbed off and caused at least one wire to ground out, which caused the plug near the computer to overheat and slide out of its socket, causing the engine to shut off. Once it cooled, the motor would start again. I have also replaced the following: the visors, interior overhead console, the plastic brackets that hold the rear glass door, and battery (3x). The crack in the back window frame is still there as well as Engine light that is not going away. Overall, my truck is awesome and I will ride it until it dies. I have about 250K miles on my truck and provide regular maintenance such as every 5K oil change, new tires every 2-3 years, valve cover gasket once

12 people found this helpful.

one more thing that occurs while you are driving on some fords is that the cruise control is defective and when turned on the truck will immediately shut off. The fix to this can be very very expensive, however, a quick fix is to turn the overdrive off in order to operate the cruise control and the truck will not shut off. I will post updates once my truck is evaluated by my mechanic for the wire that connects to the battery that maybe rubbed to the core. I hope this helps. Rose

1 people found this helpful.

just tried the fuel relay. instead of spending approximately $20 in a new one, I switched the A/c relay with the Fuel relay to test it. so far, my truck is not stalling when I stop at a red light. since my truck is only shutting off on me once a week, I am going to keep it like this for about three weeks. If the A/c relay works and my truck doesn't shut off at all, then it's time to spend the $20 for the new fuel relay. Cheap way of testing without spending more money.

5 people found this helpful.

rosemaryford, I still don't know how you fixed the problem (car shuts of while you driving)

2 people found this helpful.

rosemaryFord, Would you possibly be able to post some pictures as I cannot locate the wire or AC pipe you are talking about. I have a 2005 maybe its different maybe its the same. It would be great if I could see the wire and AC pipe contacting point.

2 people found this helpful.

Hey everyone, My 2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer started stalling out too. My husband changed out the fuse relay and it seemed okay for a couple of months. Now, it has started to stall out more often! I am going to check out the wires under the hood when I get home. I am really hoping that the issue is just the electrical ones. I will have to take a look at the fuel pump. I LOVE my Expedition and will do whatever it takes to make it better:) Rosemaryford, I appreciate you for posting this possible fix!! I will let you know what I find out:)

2 people found this helpful.

Sounds like the R303 fuel pump fuel shut off relay which unfortunately is soldered into that massive fuse box. They have a tendency to short out. Any burnt smell near fuse box? I am going through this problem right now. Here is a picture of fried fuel pump relay located deep in the fuse box and you have to be a really talented mechanic to get this fixed without getting a whole new or used fuse box

1 people found this helpful.

Hi there Expiditionowner. I don't notice any burnt smell at all, so hopefully that is good. Should I replace the fuel pump relay like he did with the fuse one? I have also heard about replacing the entire fuse panel box. Tomorrow I think I will have time to get a better look at the panel. Also I wanted to note that when its been really hot here in California, above 95 degrees, I notice it tends to stall out more. It's been a bit cooler these last couple of days and nothing has happened. Any other thoughts? Thank you again so much!


That's exactly what I noticed. The hotter it was out the more it would crap out and car buck and die. My mechanic ran it for two hours today and it wouldn't stall. Then he detached the fuse box with the one nut that holds it and started moving it around and it died immediately. I have a strong sense of smell and I could smell a definite burn smell in the fuse box. Not sure where it was coming from but my mechanic tried to get me a used fuse panel from local junkyards and they were all out of them. They said they are first to sell. The fuel pump relays go. I have 139,000 on mine. Found one on ebay and hopefully this one good. Beats $500 at Ford. Good Luck

2 people found this helpful.

JJ_619- unfortunately, my truck is not fix. I have continued my search for other things that may be wrong with my ford. It continues to shut off on me while I drive. I have made new discoveries since my last entry. They are as follow below! 66FSTbck- I am sorry but I do not have a pic. I will post one soon if you still need it. FxyFord71- Before you replace any fuel box.. you may want to test it by switching the A/C relay. If you do have a burn smell then look no further cause that is not the problem. If you have black water coming out of the muffler with a fuel smell to it then you may want to check out the manifold seals(remove, clean it, and apply new seals. If it keeps shutting off and then turns on then it most likely will be the fuel rail pressure sensor. That's what I'm replacing on my 2004 Ford Explorer this weekend. This is another common issue with these fords. Should be about a 5 min. Job for just the manifold seals 1- remove the fuel relay fuse 2- crank the car until it won't start again 3- disconnect the battery cable 4- remove the intake manifold (make sure you have replacement seals for when you replace it) 5- once your truck is completely cooled off (hours and hours or it can spray and cause a fire) then you can start working on your fuel rail pressure sensor. Cost about $199 for the ford brand, DO NOT BY AFTERMARKET PART, you can get it for less at Amazon for $93 but make sure it's by Motorcharft as they are calibrated for fords. 6- depending on the truck the fuel raid pressure sensor can be under the manifold or in the front of the truck. 7- pull vacuum line off gently as they get brittle with heat and can break(inspect all hose because any leaks can cause the truck to shut off). 8- remove the electrical connector (clean it and add electrical grease) 9- place paper towels around the old pressure sensor in case there is spillage (DO NOT USE POWER TOOLs DUE TO SPARKS) 10- Loosen bolts evenly in case there is still pressure (be very careful, may need to remove with a paper towel on top) 11- once removed, clean around it and make sure it's not clogged 12- apply a bit of grease on new sensor, line it up, and tighten bolts evenly 13- re-attach the vacuum line and electrical connector 14- DO NOT START ENGINE you must pressurize the fuel by turning the key a few times. If there is no leaks, then you can start your engine.. you can see all of the above steps on YouTube. FordTechMakuloco: fuel rail pressure sensor replacement. He does great videos!

1 people found this helpful.

On my 2004 expedition just moving unbolted fuse panel around a little caused truck to stall immediately. No fuel pressure. Strong smell of burnt coming from the box. Strong suspicion R303 relay fried. Got one out of wreck ebay. Hoping it comes tomorrow and will let you know if all is good. Thanks for info!

1 people found this helpful.

Same issue- used a service on ebay (5 Star Repair $60)- all I did was pull out the fuse box and sent it to them. They fixed the burnt 303 and numerous other smaller issues and had it back in the mail the same day they received it. I highly recommend this service.

1 people found this helpful.

Hi there! This is great information! I will have to say that it hasn't stalled out in the last 6 to 8 weeks now. I have noticed that it does a stall out when the temps outside are 95 degrees and hotter!! makes me think that the hotter it is outside whenever I drive in it, it must really heat up a wire that then shorts out? I will look into this service on ebay. I love to use Ebay! Do I just plug in 5 Star Repair?? Thank you again so much! I have really appreciated all the help I have been given on here. Sincerely, Kristi

1 people found this helpful.

I'm not sure if this will resolve your issues, but it did mine. Apparently Ford dropped the ball in fuse box placement/ design and windshield sealant. Water flows directly in the path of the fuse box and causes all kinds of issues. Here's the ebay link (side note: my dealings with them was quite possibly the best customer service experience I've ever had- crazy considering the fact that it's a small shop from nowhereville Virginia selling on eBay). Attached is a screenshot of the email they sent me. Hope this helps, good luck!

3 people found this helpful.
40 72420649333 I forgot to send the link...


I removed the oil filter ramp as it appears it was running on the wiring harness since then so far so lucky I've not had a problem ??!!


What is very interesting is that it appears my Ford only does this when its 95 degrees and plus! When its hot and the AC going is when it does it stalls out. It has not stalled out for the past 3 months now! Has anyone else experienced this issue with the weather related stall outs?? Thanks, Kristi:)


Hey thank you Expeditionman and Charlescarroll! I appreciate all your insight and help with this issue. I haven't been smelling anything burning during the times it stalled out, though again, it's been a little over 3 months since its stalled out and the temps have been under 90 degrees, though now under 70 will be interesting to see if it still stalls out during the fall, winter and early spring.

2004 Ford Explorer shut off while driving. Rosemary please let me know. I read your post about this. Did you get this fixed? I'm reading posts and realize it's a common issue w these ford explorers. I towed my car to shop 1 and they found nothing, couldn't diagnose unless it happened again. Shop 2, same. But they replaced fuel filter, put something in fuel line to clean, new battery, oil, just preventive maintenance. 1 day later: Drove fine AND THEN shut off on me at the car wash line! This time I had my children in the car and that rocked me. The Car was in drive, it was 35 degrees outside, so no overheat problem here. Then sat in car wash line, after a couple tries it wouldn't stay on. But then I just waited maybe 10 minutes and it started and stayed on and I just drove home fast to get it there which was 10 min away. Could anyone shed light to this shut off while driving issueplease? Someone help this mom that needs to get to work Monday so I can feed my babies and have a Christmas w a gift for them at least. What exactly can be wrong w 2004 Ford Explorer shutting off while driving?

1 more thing. On the repairs made on the 04 Ford Explorer. I just had the housing of coolant and thermostat and also had thermostat replaced. The heat was blowing cold air and so I added anti freeze and that worked for a little while but then it must of leaked out again. Took it to Ford dealership. I had to have that fixed because it's freezing cold weather hear. Hope that info helps someone. This issue w my car has been for 2 consecutive weeks and it's Christmas. Any help about my previous post regarding 2004 Ford Explorer shut off while driving is appreciated.


found what rosemaryFord described.. let's see if it fixes my stalling that just started with my 2003 Expedition

2 people found this helpful.

Hey Expeditionowner... Thank you for the info on the fuel pump shut off relay. I will look into that myself. It was funny because for several months it didn't stall out or anything...then all of a sudden, it starts it up and stalled out on me 12 times trying to get home from Galt, which is an hour from where I live. (this was 2 weeks ago) ...then today, it has stalled out 3 times. So, it appears that it isn't just the heat is when it likes to stall out on me. I appreciate all the help and suggestions. Its somewhat funny because when I stall out, someone always pulls over and I just let them know that in about 10 seconds I will be up and running again! Then, I start it up and away I go! It just gets a little "old" by stalling out so much in just one day! At least I do not panic. I even drive in the far right lane just incase too. I am going to get a new fuse box for my Ford. I will have some time during Christmas to get the work done. Have you experienced any other stall outs besides when its blazing hot outside? Merry Christmas!

I've read every reply above here; I'll ad this, In my 04 Exp. today, it died twice. I put in (N) to lesson the drag while coasting along. Pulled in a parking lot. About the same time I pumped the gas peddle a couple of times...then when I had finally stopped , the engine was running. I put in (D) and went on. The temperature was about 50 degrees here, I had only been driving about 20 minutes before it happened the first time then about 20 minutes till it did it again...I was driving on in town ( a very town in West Texas) I'm going to start checking "wires" as mentioned above, TY all !


Car keep cutting off,tried jumping it no go.This is a 2002 Ford explorer

1 people found this helpful.

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