2002 Expedition-INTERMITTENT cranks won't start problem.

Asked by Mar 23, 2017 at 05:14 AM about the 2002 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Today is 3/23/17. 12/23/16 I first experienced my crank/won't start problem.
Since then I have had at least 10 episodes. After each episode the vehicle
has started. However the length of time it takes for the vehicle to start AFTER
the cranks/won't start episode has lengthened. Initially it might take 30 to 45
seconds after the initial "no start" problem to wait and try again and it would
start fine. After a few weeks it would take 1 to 3 hours of waiting (NO
attempts at starting) and then it would start right up and run GREAT> until the
next episode. In early Feb '17 I replaced the battery during a "crank/no start"
episode that lasted 2 days. It had a Walmart battery in it rated at 700 cca that
I took to Walmart and they tested it and it showed it was putting out 650 cca.
They said that was within "parameters" for this battery in MY climate area
(southeast Alabama, 30 miles north of the Florida panhandle). They refused
to replace the battery so I went to Advance Auto and bought a new battery
with rating of 850 cca. Installed it along with new battery cable ends and the
truck started right up! Great, right? Not so. Since then I have had 4 additional
"episodes" with the truck. And these are puzzling to me. On 2 occasions the
truck has actually "started", but not in the real sense of the word. The engine
"catches" but runs POORLY. NEVER climbing above 400 r p m. On the 1st
occasion I tried to give it more gas by depressing the throttle slowly and it
IMMEDIATELY stalled. I waited about 60 seconds, cranked it again and it
fired up immediately and ran fine. About 4 days later it did the same thing.
Seeming to start but never getting over 400 r p m. On this occasion I DID
NOT GIVE IT ANY GAS> just to see what it would do. It "sputtered" like this,
at 400 r p m for about 30 seconds and then stalled. An immediate attempt to
re-start got only the "cranks/won't start" story. I waited 3 minutes and cranked
it again and it started right up and ran fine. Then a few weeks later I got the
"cranks/won't start" issue again. This time it took 2 days to finally start. Most
recently a similar story EXCEPT that it took 4 days for it to start.
     A few things I can note here are that after each NO START episode I get
NO check engine light once it starts. I have run it for "codes" & get "no codes
found". It has NEVER quit/stalled once it starts. In fact it runs GREAT, when it
starts. There are 2 things to note. May mean something or may mean
nothing. 1st, the ABS light has been (coming) on for 2 years. I believe it is a
problem with the "main board" located on the frame next to the exhaust &
transmission as it is not on all the time. It's usually off when I 1st drive the
truck but as the truck heats up it comes on & stays on. There are NO
problems with the brakes & as I've been quoted $1000 to replace that
component. It will just not get replaced.
     The other thing of note may possibly more related to my problem. After I
replaced the battery and the truck started I wanted to get the alternator tested
so I took it to Auto Zone for a free test. As the truck had been sitting a while
the windshield was covered with pollen (it's spring in southern Alabama). So
on the way to A/Zone I used the windshield wipers & squirter to clean off the
windshield. When I got to A/Zone I noticed smoke/steam coming from under
the corner of the hood nearest the passenger door. Opening the hood it was
obvious that this was coming from a "wiring box" located on the passenger
side of the fire wall about a foot directly back from the battery. It seems that
the rubber(?) insullation between the 2 layers of (what I would call) the cowl
have separated. By "cowl" I mean the piece of plastic that goes from the back
end of the hood to the windshield and to each fender,and acts sort of like a
"gutter" on a house. It drains rain water (& squirter fluid) that runs down the
bottom of the windshield off to either side of the fenders. Well my "cowl" has
separated for about 16 inches on the passenger side and was leaking water
directly onto this "wiring box" causing it to "steam". I have since stopped the
leak with liquid silicone but I don;t know what "damage" if any it may have
caused. I also don't know how long the problem existed before I discovered it
by accident. I don't know what particular wires (maybe 20 of them) control or
why Ford would not have designed a cover for the front of the box to keep out
water from road splashes, etc. if these wires were prone to short circuiting.
would think IF the wiring was compromised there would be a "code"?
     Any and all insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. And by
the way, NO I have not checked for fuel pressure (as until a few days ago I
did not know how). No I have not checked spark as I am reluctant to remove
the "coil on plug" for fear of destroying the coil (the spring tends to come out
& stay attached to the plug, ruining the coil). I HAVE checked the inertia
switch and the red button appears to be depressed (no click). Can this switch
go bad, intermittently, without popping the button? I don't know where on the
vehicle to find the "fuse" box that contains the "relays" (PCM, EFI, fuel pump)
that many in this forum say to check.
     Again any insight will be greatly appreciated!  Thanks.

1 Answer


Sounds to me like you have a bad crankshaft sensor the crankshaft sensor has alot to do with spark, fuel injectors and crank timing it communicates with the vehicles computer so the coils spark and the injectors open and spray the sufficient fuel to start good luck

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