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1998 Ford Explorer XLT does not start

My 1998 Ford Explorer XLT does not start. I am trying to describe the problem as good as I can. But since I've got no idea about cars, my language might not be correct.

The first time I tried it was with a jumpstarter to start it, yet no good. Something under the hood makes crazy clicking sounds time to time once it's connected to the jumpstarter, even without me plugging in the key. When I plug in the key, lights goes on, radio, moonroof works fine.
When I turn it to ignition and keep it there, it makes a few cranks, but very slowly: something like "crank"....silent for a second, then another "crank" and silent for two seconds, another "crank" and dies, no more cranks. When I unplug the key and try it again, it does not make any more cranking noise. It feels like it's trying to start, yet somehow it does not have enough power to turn a full cycle. But that few cranks used up all the electricity in the battery leaving no electricity for me to do another try. That's my impression, but I may very well be very wrong. The battery guage on the dash board indicator stays between H and L, yet very close to L.

I browsed the online information for the starting issue, one of the suggested possible problem is that the engine computer do not see the cranksharft position. If so, the check engine light will not light up when I try to ignite it. So I tried it on my Ford while I have my jump start cable connected to a running car, and found check engine light never come on when I turn the key to ignite. Does that mean my cranksharft position sensor is bad, or it might be at least part of my problem?

I was looking at the battery gauge and found the following: when I use a external battery/jump starter, the indicator stays very close to "L" end; while when I am using a jumpstart cable connected to the other running car, it goes higher, closer to the middle. Does that mean my battery is possibly OK? I know I really should use the multimeter to test it, but before I get access to it, I am trying to give it a little guess. Please correct me if wrong.

Then I noticed the engine oil pressure gauge. My memory is a little vague on this part when I am writing this up, I am pretty sure, but not positive about what I am saying in this paragraph. While I have my key on "ON" position, the indicator sits below "L". While I was trying to ignite the car, the oil pressure indicator goes to the middle. At the mean time, the indicator on battery voltage gauge goes slowly down until it's below "L". The engine makes a few very slow "cranking noise" (if I understand the "crank" word correctly, but that's the noise trying to start). But sometimes the oil pressure light does not go up immediately when I turn the key to ignition, instead, it stays below "L" first for a little while and then jump to the middle. When I let the key go back to "ON" from "ignite", the oil pressure indicator goes back to below "L".

Also I want to mention, the "very slow cranking noise" I was talking about seems to be "less slow" when I am using my jump start cable than I was using the jump starter. And it does not kindof dies off after a few trials. My guess is that my jump starter battery got depleted after a few trials while my jump starter cable has no such problem.

Since I heard about it, I decided to press on the accelarating pedal on my running car while I was trying to start my ford, so to give it a little so-called-"juice". But this time, very similar to what I saw when I connect the well-charged jump starter to the battery, without even putting the key in, something under the hood starts to make a lot of noises, some of them are very quick clicking noise, some are the belt trying to turn (I saw the belt trying to turn, is that the "starter"?). Meanwhile, the Theft indicator on the panel flashes very quickly, and some other lights on and off as well. That's even before I put my key in.
I apologize that I might have described it in a messy way and may give you headache. It is major because that I have little knowledge about cars yet want to make sure I describe everything I saw. Please help. Thanks so much!

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Well you have made mention of a few things that I don't believe pertain to your starting problem, but I will attempt to give you some information to get you on the road.
The very first thing I thought of when I started reading your problem was your battery is dead, and it may need to be replaced. Although it could be several other this as well. I would start by checking the battery cable ends. Make sure they are clean, free of corrosion and acid film on the battery cable ends and the battery posts. If they are corroded that very well may prevent the battery from recieving the needed charge while driving and it may take a little time before the results of it shows up.
I guess the next thing I would tell you to do is check the voltage of the battery. It should be a little over 12 volts, something like 12.87 volts if you check it with a multi meter. From what you told me so far it probably won't be. So put your battery on a charger for awhile until it charges up. NOTE: a bad battery won't charge up or if it does it won't hold a charge for long.
To me you problem sounds like a shortage of suffieient electrical supply to start your vehicle, and you probably most likely will have to replace your battery. You can have your old battery tested at most places that sell auotmotive batteries and that's what I would do next.
The clicking noise you had made mention of sounds like to me to be a relay clicking from a lack of sufficient electrical power, thus the battery is most likely bad.
Clean your battery connections first and charge up your battery. If that dosen't do it take your battery to a place where they are sold, like Wal Mart, Auto Zone, ect., and have it tested. I'll bet that's your problem. Anyway let me know how you make out and rate my reply
Thanks!

Posted on Mar 09, 2009

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emissionwiz
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SOURCE: Ford Explorer XLT does not start

have the battery tested, u are not describing a lack of fuel problem, u either have a defective battery or a corroded positive battery cable, that is very comm on on your year and model, I am a Ford dealer tech so I know what is going on with these explorers, it is seldom a fuel pump concern, the slow or no crank is the key factor here.

Posted on Mar 05, 2009

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