Question about 1998 Ford Explorer

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Would not start when cold.

Turned over but no pop. tried many times. Windy day ~ couldn't smell gas! let set for several minutes ~ then it started but hard ~ had to crank it three times to get it going. Opened gas cap and listened when key was turned on, I could hear the pump run. Any suggestions.

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Have the crank sensor checked

Posted on Sep 05, 2008

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When cold starts but dies.to start, peddle to floor, rev a minute then it idles but at times dies when accelerating from a stop. Raw gas smell present and puff of blue smoke when it starts.


have you checked the cylinder compressions as backfire and blue smoke can be a symptom of low compression , either rings or valve seats but would need a dropdown test to be sure

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Car does not heat up despite debater being on and letting ca run for 15 minutes


There are several things which come to mind. You have 2 complaints. A gas smell and a cold blooded vehicle.

Starting with the temperature problem. My initial concern is whether the thermostat is weak, but also that the automatic controls may be inoperable and working against you. The car is suppose to go into a temporary "cold start routine" which increases the RPM and makes the fuel rich. (This could contribute to the gas smell)

After the Temperature sensor and O2 sensors warm up, the idle is suppose to drop and the fuel mix should lean out. If the engine remains at high idle, the water pump will work faster with the engine spinning faster. Sometimes there is not a direct 1 to 1 ratio between the heat generated by the motor and the RPM versus the cooling produced. An idling engine may warm up faster than an engine running at higher RPM.

Another problem may be the Defroster setting. There are Thermal switches which are suppose to cut off the Electric Radiator cooling fans. When the Defroster is activated, some cars are built to spin the A/C compressor in the Winter. But the Electric Radiator cooling fans may also switch on as part of the A/C system. This would super cool the radiator at a time when you least want it. Check to see if the cooling fans are activating when the Defroster is turned on.

There can be 2 Temperature switches in your car. One would send the signal to kick out the "cold start routine" and the other would work the guages or indicator lights.

The O2 sensors can have heaters in them or they can just be slow. If you leave the engine idling like you do, they could foul out and be sluggish to warm up.

If running the Temperature at 80 degrees causes an additional 5 minutes of warm-up time, you may be better off setting it for say 72 and having it work sooner.

The thermal sensors are not that expensive. Work on a cold engine when changing them. Note what I said about your rich fuel mix contributing to the smell.

Please rate my info.

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It sounds like something that needs to be checked by a professional auto repair technician to me.

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