Ford Explorer Won’t Start? Here’s Quick Solutions to the Most Common Causes

Ford Explorer wont start

Introduction

As a professional auto mechanic with over twenty years of experience, I’ve seen my good share of Explorers that refuse to start. And believe me, I understand how annoying it can be when you’ve got places to go, you hop in, turn the key, and … drum roll please … nothing!

But fear not, you’ve come to the right place. My name’s Robby and in this article, I’m going to guide you through the most frequent explanations why your Ford Explorer won’t start. I’ll cover all the most common causes and you’ll understand how to diagnose each potential cause, as well as what to do in each case. I’ll offer useful troubleshooting pointers and repair solutions based on my two decades of hands-on experience, so you can get your Ford Explorer starting and moving as swiftly as possible.

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Quick Solution Alert! 🚗💡

To save you time, this might be the quick solution you need.

An online mechanic can help you solve the issue much faster, and save money doing it.

They help 1000s of people every day in your position, save a lot of time, money and risk getting their vehicle repaired. Having a friendly expert mechanic guiding and advising you every step of the way, is the best thing you can do. You will have your issue fixed faster, and likely cost much less.

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Understanding Why a Ford Explorer Won’t Start

Ford Explorer wont start up

Before we get stuck into the causes and repair options it’s important to first have a grasp of the issue. When you hop into your car and realize “My Ford Explorer won’t start”, this could be because of an array of things being wrong with your car. Possibly the engine is not cranking at all, perhaps it is turning over partially but then not starting, or perhaps you can hear a clicking sound when you try to start the engine, but ultimately absolutely nothing happens. Each of these cases can be indicative of different problems with your car.

Common Reasons Why Your Ford Explorer Won’t Start

There are numerous reasons that an Explorer will not start. These problems usually consist of a dead or weak car battery, a broken alternator, starter motor problems, fuel system issues, as well as electrical or circuitry complications. Every one of these issues can manifest as an array of symptoms and require separate solutions to identify and repair, so we can get your car back on the road ASAP.

Symptoms of Ford Explorer That Won’t Start

Having the ability to recognize and diagnose these signs, will assist you in discovering the underlying cause of the issue. For example, when you turn the key in the ignition, and you hear a clicking noise but your vehicle still refuses to start, it can mean that there is an issue with the fuel or ignition system.

Analysis of The Reasons Why Your Ford Explorer Won’t Start

The initial step to finding a solution to the problem is figuring out the root cause of that issue, so let’s explore the most typical reasons your Explorer won’t start.

Ford Explorer Battery Issues

car wont start but battery is good
Image Credit: MechanicAnswer.com

In the vast majority of cases, the most common reason why your Ford Explorer will not start is often because of the battery, it’s either weak or dead, and you need to either recharge your car’s battery or replace it. The car’s battery stores the power needed to start the engine, and power all the electrical parts in your Ford Explorer. Symptoms of a weak or dead battery problem in a Explorer, can be things like the vehicle being sluggish to crank the engine, poorly lit headlights, or a lit-up battery caution light on your car’s dash. A portable jump starter allows you to jump start your car if the battery is dead without needing another vehicle. And a battery charger can help recharge a dead battery and diagnose battery issues.

Ford Explorer Alternator Problems

Ford wont start due to alternator issues

The alternator is responsible for charging the battery from the engine while the car is running. A faulty alternator can certainly prevent your Ford Explorer from starting as it will not be able to charge the battery, from the engine, so it will deplete fairly quickly till it’s dead and you only realize it when you get into your beloved Explorer and it refuses to start. Signs that your Explorers alternator may be faulty include a lit-up battery or alternator caution light on the dashboard, poorly lit headlights when the engine is idling, and also a whining or grinding sound from the engine while it’s running.

Ford Explorer Starter Motor Failures

Ford wont start due to starter motor issues

The starter motor handles turning the engine over (cranking) when you start your Ford. If the starter motor is broken in some manner then the engine will not crank, and your Explorer won’t start. You can find out if your starter motor has a problem or not typically by listening for a clicking noise when you turn your key or a grinding sound during the start-up, or your vehicle can start, but only intermittently then the starter motor may very well be the problem.

Ford Explorer Fuel System Complications

my car wont start but clicks

Now we’re not talking about when you simply run out of gas here, but your car’s fuel system itself having issues. Your Ford Explorer uses a combustion engine, andfor that reason to start and run, it requires a combination of both fuel and air. If your Explorer issues are the result of a faulty fuel system, this can be a clogged fuel filter or a damaged fuel pump relay, which could mean the engine might not be receiving the fuel it needs to get the car up and running. Over time fuel injectors can also get clogged, so using a fuel injector cleaner like Red Line can help clean them and improve starting.

Ford Explorer Electrical System or Wiring Problems

car wont start electrical issue

Ok, so that image is a joke, but all the same, modern Ford Explorers rely heavily on electronic components, which can mean there are lots of things that can potentially break and cause problems. Even in an older car, you can still have regular issues such as blown fuses, spark plug problems, a broken ignition switch, or a damaged sensor, and more. These can be some of the numerous electrical examples of how failing electrical components can be the reason your vehicle will not get started. Signs of a circuitry or electrical issue can vary widely but can typically include the engine not cranking, or your Explorer can start but just intermittently or some alert lights show on the dashboard. To properly diagnose and fix these kinds of issues, you will require the skills of a knowledgeable car mechanic in your area or online.

Solutions & Repair Tips

As soon as you have figured out what the cause of your car  being unable to start is. The next step is obviously to attempt to fix it. Here are some tips for the common issues we’ve covered up until this point.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix Battery Issues in a Ford Explorer

my car wont start i think its the battery

If it’s a battery issue you suspect is the cause of your troubles, then the first thing you ought to do is examine the battery terminals. You want them to be clean, not corroded, and securely connected. If you find that the terminals are in fact corroded you can attempt cleaning them with a mix of baking soda and water.

Once you have checked the battery terminals, you can check to see if the battery is just out of charge, or worse, it’s old and weak, or dead and needs to be replaced. For this, you can charge the battery in a few different ways:

If the battery charges up and works fine, great, problem solved! However, you will need to replace the battery if it’s old or weak. Otherwise, even if you charge it up enough to start the vehicle, it will probably run out of life once again in the not so distant future. You can use a multimeter or OB2 scanner as a way to test the life of the battery to find out if it’s worth saving or if it needs to be changed for a new one. You can get a replacement car battery for your exact Ford model by visiting Amazon here, and selecting “enter a new vehicle” to filter the results for your Ford Explorer, and choose a suitable one, from a seller with great reviews.

Robby Recommends:

Portable Car Battery Jump Starter Charger - NOCO Boost Plus GB40

At Home Battery Charger - YONHAN - Fully Automatic

Jumper Cables by Energizer for Car Battery - Heavy Duty

NOCO Boost Plus GB40 1000A UltraSafe Car Battery Jump Starter

YONHAN Battery Charger Fully-Automatic

Energizer Jumper Cables for Car Battery, Heavy Duty

If charging your Explorer’s battery does not resolve your issues, and problems like frequent draining and needing frequent charges persist even after replacing the battery, there is likely a more complex underlying issue causing excessive battery drain. In that case, you will need a professional mechanic to inspect and diagnose the root cause. You can also ask the advice of a mechanic online through us, or get an instant free quote on a Roadside mechanics near me.

How to Diagnose Alternator Problems in a Ford Explorer

car wont start, jumped and started alternator

If the alternator is what you think is the perpetrator, you can test it to see for yourself. If you can get the vehicle to start up temporarily (you may need to jump-start the car for that), but once it’s going, let the car run, and while it’s running, disconnect the positive terminal of your car’s battery. If you notice your Ford Explorer is dying instantly, then it’s likely due to a problem with the alternator. You should be aware however that this method can be risky, and may damage the sensitive electronic parts in your Ford Explorer, so it’s best to seek advice from a professional car mechanic in your area or online, prior to ever attempting this.

How to Identify Starter Motor Failures in a Ford Explorer

starter motor issues in a ford

If you hear the clicking sound when you try and start the car by turning the key, however the engine doesn’t crank, then its most likely a problem with your starter motor. In this case, the solution is to have the starter motor replaced by a professional mechanic.

How to Fix Fuel System Problems in a Ford Explorer

clogged fuel filter car wont start

If you think the issue to be because of a fuel system problem, listen for the fuel pump when you turn the key to the “on” position, before starting up the car. You should hear a humming noise for a few seconds. It might be there is a problem with the fuel pump if you are not able to hear this sound. If you discover your Ford is hard to start, it stalls, or it has bad acceleration, it could possibly be because of a clogged fuel filter. Both of these will likely need a professional car mechanic in order to effectively fix. This is because may require a fuel pressure test kit and mechanic’s tool set to fully diagnose and repair fuel system problems.

How to Fix Electrical or Wiring Issues in a Ford Explorer

fuses to check when car wont start

If you think it’s a wiring or electrical system problem, first inspect the fuses related to the ignition system, and change any that have blown. If your Ford starts after this, then it was a successful, low-cost and easy repair! If the car does not start, even intermittently, it could be an issue with the ignition switch itself. It might be a faulty sensor if numerous warning lights are noticeable on your dashboard. These issues can be extremely complicated and a professional car mechanic is likely needed to diagnose and fix it. They will probably need tools like a multimeter and OBD2 scanner to test wiring and pinpoint electrical gremlins.

Preventive Steps

As my dad always stated “Prevention is better than cure”, so here are some preventative measures to make sure you avoid any Ford Explorer starting pains again!

Regular Upkeep of Your Ford Explorer:

Regular maintenance on car to prevent starting issues

Routine maintenance of your Ford Explorer is crucial to prevent future problems. This includes things like routine oil changes, inspecting your car battery, cleaning up the terminals, replacing the fuel filter as recommended/needed, and of course having your vehicle checked by a professional car mechanic routinely. If you are unsure about regular upkeep tasks needed for your specific car, you can speak with a mechanic locally or online.

Drive Your Ford Explorer Frequently:

drive regular to avoid car troubles

If you happen to leave your Ford Explorer in the driveway for long durations of time without taking it for a spin now and again, the battery may run out of charge as it’s not being charged up by the engine being in use. Try to drive your Explorer frequently to keep the battery charged. Take it for a fast spin to make sure there is still charge in the battery if you remember you haven’t driven your Ford in a while. Worth noting: letting the battery fully drain, is also damaging to the long-term life of the battery, try not to do this.

Take Notice Of Warning Signs:

Check Engine Control Light on a Vehicle Dashboard

If you observe anything out of the ordinary like unusual noises, changes in how it drives and the performance, or alert lights lit up on the dash, don’t just disregard them and get on with your day. These can be early indications of a problem and it’s best to be addressed ASAP before they end up being much bigger issues later. Chat with a car mechanic in your area or online about these warning symbols and get advice on if they need to be dealt with.

When to Ask a Ford Mechanic Online

If you’re either limited on time, want a professional Ford mechanic on hand assisting and advising you, or you’ve tried to fix it by yourself, however regardless of your best efforts your Ford Explorer can’t start, then talking with a Ford mechanic online can be a great choice. It certainly beats googling things like “Ford not starting” all day and still getting nowhere.

Advantages of an Online Ford Mechanic

Happy mechanic repairing car looking at camera

Online mechanic services, like ours in the bottom right of this page, offer a number of advantages. You can get expert Ford mechanic recommendations 24×7 and without leaving your house, which is particularly helpful if your car will not start and is stuck in the driveway. You can also save money as online mechanic consultations are more affordable than a physical visit to a local mechanic near you. Plus, you can get responses rapidly, which is great if you’re in a rush, require a 2nd opinion, or you simply prefer having a professional Ford mechanic on hand.

How Solutions Like MechanicAnswer.com Can Help You

Ask a mechanic online about my car not starting

MechanicAnswer.com connects you with accredited expert mechanics who can offer instantaneous assistance, guidance and suggestions with all issues and all Ford models. So it doesn’t matter if your Ford Expedition won’t start or it’s your Explorer that you’re having issues with, we’ve got the mechanics online that with a little bit of information over a chat box, can solve anything for you.

You’re able to have the ability to describe the issues you are having with your car, ask Ford mechanics limitless questions, and even submit images and videos so you are able to show the mechanic what you mean. You can speak with them by means of online chat or by telephone call, whichever you choose. The Ford mechanic will help you identify the problem, advise you on the best course of action for your specific circumstance and even guide you through easy maintenance and repair work step by step.

So feel free to try out our Ford online chat service and see for yourself!

Conclusion

In conclusion, when your Ford Explorer can’t start, it can be a total disappointment and an enormous inconvenience. However, knowing what might be causing the problems, being able to troubleshoot them, and knowing what steps are needed in each case, and where to get help if needed, will be a substantial help. Bear in mind that routine maintenance is essential for avoiding all kinds of vehicle issues.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) For When a Ford ExplorerWon’t Start

Ford Explorer won’t start but lights come on?

If your Ford Explorer’s lights turn on but it still won’t start, the issue is likely not related to the battery. More than likely there is a problem with the starter motor. Investigate if you hear any clicking sounds when attempting to crank the key. If so, the starter motor is attempting to activate but failing. Have a mechanic inspect the starter motor – it may need to be fixed or swapped out.

Ford Explorer won’t start but has power?

When your Ford Explorer has power (lights, radio etc work) but does not start up, there may be a fuel delivery problem. Issues like a faulty fuel pump relay could prevent fuel getting to the engine. Without enough fuel, combustion can’t happen and the engine won’t start. Listen near the back seat when cranking the key – you should hear the fuel pump prime for a few seconds. If not, get a mechanic check the fuel system.

Ford Explorer won’t start but battery is good?

If your Ford Explorer’s battery checks out OK and is fully charged, but the car still refuses to start, the underlying cause is likely electrical. Potential culprits include a bad ignition switch, broken sensor, or wiring problems. As electrical issues can be tricky, diagnosis by a professional mechanic is best. They can accurately identify the specific electrical fault and have it repaired.

Ford Explorer won’t start just clicking?

When you turn the key and there’s only a clicking noise but the engine fails to turn over, the most common cause is a faulty starter motor. The click comes from the starter solenoid trying to engage the starter motor, but the motor itself fails to spin up the engine. As the starter motor needs physical fixing or swapping out, consult with a reliable mechanic to get your Ford Explorer running again.

What should I do if my Ford Explorer doesn’t start?

First of all, don’t panic. Try to identify any symptoms that might indicate a problem, such as unusual noises, warning lights on the dash, or changes in performance. The cause of the issue is likely one of the typical causes talked about in this guide. If you can’t find the problem yourself, you will need the help of an Ford Explorer mechanic locally or online.

What should I do if my Ford Explorer can’t start?

First off, do not panic. Try to identify any symptoms that could suggest an issue, such as unusual noises, warning lights on the dash, or changes in performance. The cause of the problem is likely among the main causes talked about in this guide. If you can’t find the issue yourself, you will require the assistance of a Ford mechanic in your area or online.

How to tell if my Ford Explorer won’t start because of the battery?

Signs of a battery issue in a Explorer include the engine being slow to crank, dim headlights, and lit battery warning lights on the dash. You can also check the battery terminals to see if they are clean, not corroded, and tightly connected. It may be best to just replace it if the battery is old or weak.

How can I prevent my Ford Explorer not starting issues?

In order to ensure this annoyance never ever happens once again, regular maintenance is key. This includes things like oil changes, examining the battery and cleaning its terminals, changing the fuel filter as recommended/required, and getting your Ford Explorer inspected by a mechanic regularly. It’s also a terrific idea to drive the car routinely so the battery remains charged.

Can I ask a mechanic online if my Ford Explorer will not start?

Yes, you can. An online mechanic service like ours can offer instant specialist Ford mechanic help and advice, without you needing to leave your home. This is particularly helpful if your car is unable to start and is stuck in the driveway.

How can services like MechanicAnswer.com help if my Ford Explorer can’t start?

We connect you with accredited specialist Ford mechanics who can supply guidance on your particular scenario. You can inform them about your vehicle issues, ask unlimited questions, and even upload images and videos so you can correctly describe and show the issue. The mechanic will have the ability to assist, troubleshoot, diagnose the problem, suggest the best course of action and guide you along the way.

Random Interesting Facts About the Ford Explorer

Did you know that the Ford Explorer has been a popular choice for law enforcement agencies across the United States? That’s right, this versatile SUV has been used as a police vehicle in numerous cities, thanks to its powerful engine and spacious interior. And here’s another mind-blowing fact: the Ford Explorer was the first four-door SUV to be equipped with a driver’s side airbag! Talk about cutting-edge technology. And if you’re into off-roading, you’ll be thrilled to know that the Explorer has a Terrain Management System that allows you to tackle any kind of terrain with ease. So, if you’re feeling down about your Explorer not starting, just remember all the cool and interesting features that make it such a unique and reliable vehicle!

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Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic Near You. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. If there are none near you, you will be redirected to the online mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just £5.
  2. Get help from a Mobile Mechanic. We  recommend Fixter. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper for you, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Which Mechanic Suits You?

  1. Chat with an Online Mechanic to get instant, unlimited help and advice for 1 full week, for just $5.
  2. Get in-person help from a Mobile Mechanic. We recommend YourMechanic. They will come to you and fix your vehicle at a time that suits you. Instant free quote online below. We recommend the online mechanic first, as it’s cheaper, and you may not need an in-person mechanic.

Where Can I Find My VIN?

Your vehicle’s unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can be found on the title document, the vehicle registration, and the insurance policy. It is a series letters and numbers like this as example: WAUGC0896JA235262. The VIN can also be located on the following locations on the vehicle itself:

how to find VIN on vehicle