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

895

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.

52 Answers

505

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

18 of 18 people found this helpful.
895

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.

64 of 64 people found this helpful.
895

Thank you for your response

10 of 10 people found this helpful.
505

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?

11 of 11 people found this helpful.
895

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...

9 of 9 people found this helpful.
20,170

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.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
895

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

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
20,170

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.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
20,170

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.

11 of 11 people found this helpful.
20,170

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.

11 of 11 people found this helpful.
190

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.

15 of 15 people found this helpful.
80

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

8 of 8 people found this helpful.
100

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.

10 of 10 people found this helpful.
210

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.

21 of 21 people found this helpful.
2,375

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 of 2 people found this helpful.
100

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

10 of 10 people found this helpful.
435

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?

22 of 22 people found this helpful.
90

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

9 of 9 people found this helpful.
435

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!

10 of 10 people found this helpful.
90

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??

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
435

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).

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
90

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

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
10

did you starter go bad?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
220

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.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
55

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

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
70

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

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
80

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?

8 of 8 people found this helpful.
435

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.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
130

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.

13 of 13 people found this helpful.
105

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?

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
105

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.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
80

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......

8 of 8 people found this helpful.
60

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

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
240

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

5 of 5 people found this helpful.
20,170

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.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
240

i put a code reader on and got nothing

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
220

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.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
240

clock spring where?

220

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.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

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

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

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

40

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

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
20

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?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
10

Kaspence! You are my hero today! Thanks so much!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
30

My 2002 Ford Explorer just died went to crank it nothing, new starter , new battery... nothing... guy checked it out said motor locked... what? Can it be unlocked

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
20,170

Nicole, you're on a threat which if 4 years old. Begin a new one with your topic.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

when something like that happen to me, I went ahead and changed the fuel pump pressure, which is beneatht the intake manifold , it was a B^#$$# trying to remove it, but 2003 ford explorer does work now. hope that helps someone.

10

sorry , its actually call FUEL PRESSURE SENSOR... which by the way i found out ,, no one can fine the part for a 2003 , but if you ask for a 2004 , its the same part ... learn my lesson trying to find this part. Thanks FORD. But anyway, it can be change, just took me half of my day on a saturday morning to get it done... o yeah removing the screws in the back since they are old, get your self a IRWIN set to remove BIG help... you may also want to changed manifold gasket while add it and gasket for idle control valve( the thing that opens up and closes connected to the airflow. GOOD luck

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

I change my fuses on my 2002 ford explorer I hear clicking but it wont start

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
10

A Vacuum Line is off which connects to a junction behind the head on the driver side near the firewall so look down toward dip stick to locate the line and stick it back on that connector. Car normally stalls often at stop signs each time you would stop and you have to restart car else hold in accelerator, this will stop that issue. See the thin smaller tube that one is extra long & stiff could be hanging down low so look for it closely. The other end connects to the EGR valve.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

2002 explorer rollover switch will wear out and kill the fuel to the engine. mine burned the plug to the valve killed the truck. have not figured out what burned the plug to the valve.?????????????????

20

My 02 explorer stopped running. Found out that one of the O2 sensors was laying on the exhaust and burned through the wires causing a fuse to blow. Before we found that out we changed the transponder ring in the ignition but that wasn't the problem. So now had a locksmith come out to reprogram my keys and he couldn't do it. It kept saying his computer won't link up to my ecu. I don't know what to do now.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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