Ford E350 SD won't crank only after refueling?

Asked by Dec 03, 2014 at 08:35 AM about the 2010 Ford E-Series Wagon E-350 XLT Super-Duty

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2010 Ford E350 SD XLT, the Flex Fuel engine. Only have ever used unleaded in it. I keep having a no start issue, but only after fueling ( and I have never "kept adding" fuel after the first click when fueling). Cranks but won't turn over, wait a few minutes, then usually struggles but starts and I can drive away as normal. Also, when I get the no start, I get a oil light icon on my dash in green that isnt part of my normal start up icons, but there is plenty of oil, no leaks or burning we can detect, and the oil gauge once started is fine and the green light clears. No OBD codes or check engine light. Also intermittent rough idle issue when fan kicks on, only in idle, drops rpms, then "jumps" and over compensates until settling back down to normal idle speeds.  I think this is related as a fuel issue, not electrical.

12 Answers


Hard starting after a short hot soak, long crank time required for starting. Struggles to run at first when it finally starts. This happens after fuelling. 2010 E350 SD xlt. flex fuel Vehicle always fueled since new with unleaded. During hard start, green warning light for oil. clears after start. Oil level is safe, and pressure indicator shows good. No OBD code set. Rolling idle speed "when fan kicks on idle drops, When fan kicks off, idle rises." This translated version of the info can be called in to your dealer with your VIN number. The service advisor for Ford can make use of your vin to tell you about updates, parts or procedures that may apply. He/she can also discuss where you are with your last major service and current mileage. There may be a Idle quality issue known to them that has a bulletin instructing them what to repair or replace. This is your best course of action because of the Year make, model etc.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

If you want to address a replacement of idle air control parts and throttle body clean, and tune up parts, you may want to obtain your own motorcraft replacement parts for best results and install them, but I recommend you let them diagnose it, research it,Inspect and test the parts that come into question, and report their findings first.

Thank you for your suggestions. We have taken it to ford 4 times so far for the rough idle issue us a few o2 codes that kept triggering. So far we have done a fuel service, replaced a few sensors, replaced a valve, cleaned the throttle body manually, and reprogrammed the computer for a known issue with o2 codes. The problem persisted and is getting worseand now the van won't start after refueling. Ford answer was to allow them an open ended diagnostics at almost $100 an hour, which is why I posted here. They have no idea and we can't afford to throw more money (we are in over $1000 already!) At it without having some idea of where to start. Another mechanic said maybe it's a vapor lock or a problem with the purge canister or fuel pressure sensor (but again, was hoping someone had a similar issue before so we aren't just throwing more money at it!)


You could ask their service manager to drive it as you do, Then stop for fuel. He could bring the test equipment so when the concern is actually happenning, he could verify it and write down the fuel pressure and volume readings. If the fuel return pipe in the tank is too close to the uptake screen, it can be supplying fuel vapor instead of just being immersed in the gasoline. Ford has issues that occur, then reccur after a few years because of Production methods by the carter fuel pump company, or what the tank factory does with the pump and tank. These kind of concerns can be seen on some models, and then others, and then the first one again as time passes, and the suppliers methods revert. Verifying loss of pressure while it is having the symptom. That is enough to direct the testing to the regulator, the return line, the pump, and then having the vapor in the injector fuel rail instead of liquid gasoline. Then the engine gets cranked, the injectors cycle, the vapor purges, and the fresh gas comes with just enough pressure. It takes serious dedication to stay with it while it acts up and tests get indicated, and then run. Costs rise, they look for people who work cheaper, just like any business. As a consumer, you must keep relating the symptom and how to make it act up to get satisfaction. Keep appealing to a higher court within the Ford organization. They have the knowledge and the power. You just want to get the right person's attention.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

My information is experience, not verified facts about this particular vehicle, fuel pump, or regulator. My language is streamlined about your concerns to help you communicate with Ford, in theirs. Try using what I suggest. The way I communicated it, without telling them what to do, but inquire, and show them your data and expenditures so far. You can settle the bill at the end of the rainbow, but for a while, You have to believe they can get to the test that defines what it loses at fuel-up. After they experience the concern, you will have won them over. If not, give them this data from the webpage to refer to as suggestions to clear up the possible confusion. Write them a sheet to attach to the repair order. Ask them to attach it. Ask them to introduce you to the manager or director of the service department. Ask what else you can do, Or what Ford agency in your area may be more well versed with this model in your area. Sometimes a truck dealer service area has more for you than a car and light truck dealer perhaps. Ask for Ford phone numbers to call so you can get them the engineering attention they may need from the Ford Hotline.


If you have anything on the front of the truck that could block airflow, I recommend removing it till you have this concern erraticated. I have seen bug shields and tire carriers and bumpers and other accessories that are not Ford approved, cause an increase in engine compartment heat and reduce available air to the fresh airstream of the air cleaner. I have also seen add on equipment interfere with fuel lines and electrical systems. It could be valuable and save time to make a list of all add ons and eliminate them as possible contributing causes to increasing heat present in the engine bay. Dont give up !


The fuel cap holds pressure, yes? And that accompanied by engine heat soak is the 2 things that are in play. The ability of the fuel pump to make enough constant fuel pressure to fill and pressurize overcoming the vapor that may be being offered to it by the return is what I question. Then the return's dump out proximity to the pick-up screen, like a taurus, they were too close together. The pressure could fall to 12 pounds. The engine would finally start and run poorly till it purged the injectors. You could have a helper bleed the fuel rail while conditions were right and if bleeding it resulted in vapor or bubbling fuel ejected, then the engine crank time was reduced, you know what to tell them.


Since I have not had to remove a pump exactly like yours, I can merely speculate. There is also a reason to inspect the existing pickup screen. It can be partially stopped up by fuel debris kindly sold to you by the gas station. The possibility of metallic dust created by the environment the tank was manufactured in had been a factor in the distant past. This wears away at the pumps internal parts. Reduces its ability to produce as much as it used to. When they changed designs to a new type, I saw troubles like that for the trucks. We drove them with the fuel pressure gauge installed and watched the pressure during the road test. Since the gauge had a dump circuit, you could bleed the circuit and look for evaporation in the discharge.


The V8 engines of many makes had a crossing passage between the heads. If one of these had burn through, The resulting heat could try to cook the fuel in the (obsolete) carburetor. But the engine coolant temp would stay low enough not to overheat the engine. If the fuel rail is right above that, it may need some kind of way to insulate it from that radiant source or conductive reaction. They dont pay me enough to redesign it for them because I'm not qualified. Anyways, hope you find more after reading my imaginationings.


NHTSA cites sulfur content in fuel for reduced fuel pressure in GM cars. The idea being that it wears away at the clearances in the fuel pump's internal parts. Their pumps have been failing at 30K on some models and their pickup screens have been discussed in bulletins for filtering down to too fine a micron. It has lead to them redesigning with a complete fuel "module" which means the consumer has a choice, Buy a filter every 15K or buy a new complete tank,pump,lines. when it starts to have issues. Because their pumps have to draw so much power to push the dirt, they damage themselves trying.

Hello, just checking to see if you ever had the issues fixed on the 2010 Ford E350 XLT? I have the exact same problems and they are only getting worse? Thanks

Mines a 2011 E-350 XL, same exact problem. Waiting to see what the result of this issue is. Not sure where to start. Yesterday my engine died twice at two different traffic lights. It started right up like there was no problem at all.

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