2003 Ford Explorer dying at stops


Asked by Jan 27, 2015 at 10:11 AM about the 2003 Ford Explorer XLT Sport V6 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 2003 Ford Explorer XLT (4.0L, V6)
has started dying at red lights and
extended stops.

It does not do this at every stop, and
has only happened twice. I first
noticed it when I left to take my
fiancé to work (5AM and roughly 30
degrees). Upon starting the engine,
she began to sputter and the
headlights immediately dimmed. I
waited about four minutes and she
stopped so I proceeded. On the trip
across town she did it a few times at
red lights but it was barely
noticeable. I made the trip and
started heading back across town to
my work. I got to a red light (driving
about 20 minutes now) and she
starts it again and then the engine
died. All of my gauges dropped, but I
did not lose power as I still had use
of the inside lights and hazards. She
immediately started back up and
then made the trip there and home
(hour total) without incident after
that. However, I got home and gave
her some oil and then drove two trips
around town without incident. Then,
upon going to work (5AM again and
low temperatures) she did the same
thing as the last time.

The oil is passed due and needs to
be changed (recently filled).  

I am not sure what is wrong with her.
At first I thought it was the spark
plugs but that's been ruled out and
now I am unsure. Any ideas?

3 Answers


It could be your IAC, intake air control valve, or just a dirty throttle body. Clean it, clean the MAF (with MAF cleaner only), check air filter for cleanliness. If it runs good when giving it gas, and dies when you let up off the gas, I would suspect the IAC.

Bob Beaman

If it is in fact the IAC, only buy a Ford or Motorcraft part. Some of the aftermarket stuff is junk. Been there done that.


My 96 and 99 with the 4.0 experienced the same problem over time. Cleaning the MAF did the trick along with a complete tune up. Most people never change the fuel filter. At age 13 it is about time. It's only ten bucks.

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