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Ford Explorer won't start

09-17-2016, 11:43 AM
Bought a 1998 Ford Explorer about 7 months ago from a used dealership. It ran for about a month before a mechanic told me the transmission wasn't working properly and that it needed to be replaced. He told me it caused the engine to get very hot.

After the transmission was changed, the engine was still hot and I had to keep adding coolant every day. Eventually, something "popped" in the engine and I parked the car. I drove it for another mile or so before it was obvious that I shouldn't be driving it.

I haven't driven it since. I have a new car that I drive and I'm trying to fix this one.

When I try to start it, it made a sound like it was almost about to start, but didn't. Then, on the second try, it made a sound like it was something with the battery. I know the car has issues beyond the battery.

What should I do to troubleshoot this vehicle?

10-04-2016, 07:35 AM
Which engine does your Explorer have?

Have you pulled spark plugs to see if any are wet with fuel or something other than fuel (antifreeze?)? You'll also want to look for any other differences between the spark plugs such as one that is really clean.

Drain and strain the engine oil, looking for any metallic particles or chunks of stuff. You might hang on to a sample of the oil for a used oil analysis as well. Be sure to put in fresh oil before trying to spin the engine over again.

If you have access to a borescope with a small enough head to fit through the spark plug hose, use that to see if you can spot any piston damage up top, such as evidence of a piston striking a valve.

You said, "...before it was obvious that I shouldn't be driving it." What did you experience that made it obvious?


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