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Truck Get, truck problems, and license get!

aspieRommelaspieRommel Belkan Air Force 22nd Air Div. 4th Tactical Fighter Sqn.Indianapolis, IN Icrontian
edited Dec 2015 in Lifestyle

So, as I mentioned in my previously created thread, I now have a vehicle:

image

It's a 1999 Ford Explorer Sport Editon (Yes, bring on the Ford jokes. I can take 'em.). My mother and I bought it from my cousin and her husband for $1800 last month. It's 4-wheel drive and currently has 112,000 miles on it. It ran really good. I am currently using it to try and get my driver's license (So I don't have to rely on @Gargoyle to bring me to Epic.). I had been driving it around, with mother in tow, to work on my hours (In Indiana, you need 50 hours of driving time with/without driver's ed, 40 daytime and 10 nighttime.). Like I said, it has been running good...

Until Sunday, that is.

On Sunday, I had just come home from driving around. It had been running good all day and there was no sign of any problems. I had just pulled into my parking spot in front of my house when my mom and I noticed it starting to idle rough. So I turned it off. I tried to restart it.

It tried to turn over but couldn't fire all the way.

Tried to start it again.

Same thing.

So basically, my truck was now dead. Yesterday, I tried to see what was wrong with it. Me and my uncle tried a few things and at one point, we thought it was the MAP Sensor. (The sensor that dictates the fuel/air mixture in the combustion chamber.) So, I went and bought a new sensor, hoping and praying that that was the case. I get home, put it on, turn the key and hoped for the best....

Same thing.

So today, I had a buddy of mine, who is a mechanic, tow it to his shop to take a look at it. I show him what it is doing and he says it sounds like the fuel pump doesn't have enough pressure. However, my cousin and her husband got a new fuel pump for it in February. But, as we all know, that doesn't mean they didn't possibly get a defective part. So my friend is going to look at it in the morning and going to do a pressure check on the fuel line. Hopefully it'll be fixed soon and that I'll be driving it again in no-time.

P.S. I should also mention that, as part of her buying the truck for me, I owe her $1000, plus the cost of an oil change and the repairs that will be made. So, at best estimate I will owe her $1400 after this weekend.

primesuspectGargoyle
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Comments

  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja I don't know how to not Icrontian

    First cars are often full of repairs and pain while being unbelievable money dumps.

    More often than not, given your mileage and symptoms, this would be a timing/electrical issue but I'm sure your mechanic buddy will get you sorted. Good luck.

  • aspieRommelaspieRommel Belkan Air Force 22nd Air Div. 4th Tactical Fighter Sqn. Indianapolis, IN Icrontian
    edited Aug 2015

    @PirateNinja said:
    First cars are often full of repairs and pain while being unbelievable money dumps.

    More often than not, given your mileage and symptoms, this would be a timing/electrical issue but I'm sure your mechanic buddy will get you sorted. Good luck.

    Thanks. He said to call him after I get off work and that he should have it looked at and hopefully diagnosed by that time.

  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian

    It's the hyperencabulator.

    aspieRommelGnomeQueenBuddyJMassalinie
  • KarmaKarma Likes yoga Icrontian

    Probably the flux capacitor.

    aspieRommelBlueTattooMassalinie
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Honestly it could be something as simple as a clogged fuel filter.

  • drasnordrasnor Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    Always dump the OBD-II log before spending money. If your buddy says low fuel pressure then he's probably already done that, but definitely make sure it gets done.

    GargoyleGnomeQueenBuddyJBlueTattoo
  • Creeperbane2Creeperbane2 Victorian Scoundrel Indianapolis, IN Icrontian

    Advice on the payback you mentioned. Ask your mom if she is willing to wait until April or so, I seem to remember you mentioned some time back that a mechanic's cert is in the realm of interest, well professional studenting is a GREAT source of quick revenue if you can land scholarships.

  • HeroHero formerly known as XGPHero Icrontian

    @Thrax said:
    It's the hyperencabulator.

    Silly those are only on Chryslers

    drasnor
  • GargoyleGargoyle Purveyor of Lincoln Nightmares Illinois Icrontian
    edited Aug 2015

    @aspieRommel said:
    It's a 1999 Ford Explorer Sport Editon (Yes, bring on the Ford jokes. I can take 'em.). It's 4-wheel drive and currently has 112,000 miles on it.

    Daang, that's really low miles for a '99. That's about what I have on my 2002 Jeep that I barely drive. Hopefully it goes back to running well after this fix. Keep the oil changed regularly and find a shop you trust, and hopefully they'll spot any problems before they become major during regular check-ups.

    Also, avoid towing lots of weight with that Explorer. I had a 1992 Explorer crap its transmission when I was towing a trailer up hill once. That was expensive. Kind of funny to see a tow truck towing a car towing a trailer, though.

    @drasnor said:
    Always dump the OBD-II log before spending money. If your buddy says low fuel pressure then he's probably already done that, but definitely make sure it gets done.

    I've got one of these bluetooth ODB2 scanners and it works pretty well. I use it with the Torque app on Android.

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic Virginia Icrontian

    That's a pretty clean ride you have there. Milage is really good for that year and vehicle. Plus buying from family is always nice. You know where it came from and maybe how it was driven.

    I have a similar issue with my 94' S10 LS. Typically when you turn the car to ON (not to start to turn the engine over) you can hear the pump prime the system so that pressure is in the fuel lines before the engine starts. My pump doesn't prime. I did however pick up a fuel pressure gauge from the local autoparts store. Pretty handy little tool to have in your chest. Seeing as you already have it at a shop most of this is useless other than the fuel priming information that may be useful to other folks.

  • SignalSignal Icrontian

    @Gargoyle said:
    I've got one of these bluetooth ODB2 scanners and it works pretty well. I use it with the Torque app on Android.

    Along with the scanner, here is the most important tool for this truck. It's like a strategy guide for cars. Under $30 and you can pick them up at most auto stores.

    Gargoyle
  • aspieRommelaspieRommel Belkan Air Force 22nd Air Div. 4th Tactical Fighter Sqn. Indianapolis, IN Icrontian

    @Gargoyle said:
    Also, avoid towing lots of weight with that Explorer. I had a 1992 Explorer crap its transmission when I was towing a trailer up hill once. That was expensive. Kind of funny to see a tow truck towing a car towing a trailer, though.

    I don't plan on towing anything with this vehicle. This is mostly an "a-to-b, get me to some races in, like, Fort Wayne or someplace" vehicle. If and when I need something to tow a trailer or something, which will be true if I get into racing, I'll buy something more appropriate.

  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian

    Kind of funny to see a tow truck towing a car towing a trailer, though.

    http://inception.davepedu.com/

  • doabarrellrolldoabarrellroll San Jose, CA Icrontian

    @Gargoyle said:

    OBDII scanners are great, but, they don't tell you a ton about parts that are getting close to intermittent or catastrophic failure.

  • aspieRommelaspieRommel Belkan Air Force 22nd Air Div. 4th Tactical Fighter Sqn. Indianapolis, IN Icrontian
    edited Aug 2015

    Well guys, I got my truck back yesterday. The culprit (Drumroll, please):

    Fuel pump.

    As I should mention, one time I let my fuel get to almost empty, until I was able to fill it up. That caused the fuel pump to get too hot. Another thing they found was that the fuel filter was actually clogged up pretty good. Also, when they did the fuel pressure test, the results came in at a whopping 5 psi. So, I now have a new fuel pump, new filter, and new lines. And the cost for all of this, including parts, labor, and towing fee is:

    $330.

    On another good note, with the replacement of the fuel pump, filter, and lines, my "check engine" light has gone away (for now).

    But, it does come with a catch. They said I should make sure that my fuel level does not go below 1/4 tank. The reason they said this is because if it goes below that mark, as I said earlier, it will get too hot and it'll, in his words, "lose it's prime" (Not talking about you, @primesuspect ). Basically, the pump needs to be, for lack of a better term, submerged to work properly.

    They also gave me a bottle of Lucas fuel treatment to put in the tank to help clean the filter as well as other parts in the engine. They told me to put a bottle in the tank every other fill-up.

    Driving it home, I noticed a major improvement in my truck's driving (acceleration, idle, etc.) and I am glad that it is back home.

    primesuspectPirateNinja
  • drasnordrasnor Hawthorne, CA Icrontian
    edited Aug 2015

    A few things worth noting about fuel systems:
    1. Fuel pumps use fuel as a lubricant. As you said, you want to avoid any situations where it it not fully submerged. 1/4 tank is a bit conservative though unless Explorers are bad about this (I don't know.) My Civic is good down to about 1/10 tank.
    2. Gas tanks accumulate sediment in the bottom over time. The fraction of your tank that is sediment is inversely proportional to the amount of fuel left in the tank. If you let it get too low then you will suck mud through your fuel filter and pump before the engine quits. If you ever "run out of gas", be sure to replace your fuel filter.
    3. All fuel storage tanks have some amount of sediment in them proportional to their age. Try to avoid buying gas from a service station the same day it gets topped off from the truck and definitely not if you see the truck filling it up while you're there. The fuel truck stirs up the sediment in the storage tanks and it takes awhile to settle out again. You're paying for gas, not mud, and that stuff will stay with your tank until you get it pumped or change the filter.

    SignalGHoosdumBuddyJMAGIC
  • aspieRommelaspieRommel Belkan Air Force 22nd Air Div. 4th Tactical Fighter Sqn. Indianapolis, IN Icrontian

    @drasnor said:
    A few things worth noting about fuel systems:
    1. Fuel pumps use fuel as a lubricant. As you said, you want to avoid any situations where it it not fully submerged. 1/4 tank is a bit conservative though unless Explorers are bad about this (I don't know.) My Civic is good down to about 1/10 tank.
    2. Gas tanks accumulate sediment in the bottom over time. The fraction of your tank that is sediment is inversely proportional to the amount of fuel left in the tank. If you let it get too low then you will suck mud through your fuel filter and pump before the engine quits. If you ever "run out of gas", be sure to replace your fuel filter.
    3. All fuel storage tanks have some amount of sediment in them proportional to their age. Try to avoid buying gas from a service station the same day it gets topped off from the truck and definitely not if you see the truck filling it up while you're there. The fuel truck stirs up the sediment in the storage tanks and it takes awhile to settle out again. You're paying for gas, not mud, and that stuff will stay with your tank until you get it pumped or change the filter.

    Question, how can you tell if the truck was there?

  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian

    You can't really, unless you use the same station when you fill up and you drive by it a lot on other days.
    If you typically use the same station and drive by it, just start noting when you see a gas truck delivering fuel. Pretty easy to see that it is there every 2 days or every 5 days, whatever. Then plan gas stops accordingly.

  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja I don't know how to not Icrontian

    I thought that was an issue of the past and fuel was properly filtered at the pump these days. Then again I also thought fuel pumps overheating because of fuel levels getting too low was a thing of the past.

  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian

    There are filters in the pumps, they look like large oil filters, canister style.
    Does it get everything out? probably not. Does that much sediment get in if you fill up and the truck is dropping gas? YMMV :)

  • SignalSignal Icrontian

    @PirateNinja said:
    Then again I also thought fuel pumps overheating because of fuel levels getting too low was a thing of the past.

    Which is convenient because this truck is a thing of the past. It was probably the original fuel pump, 16 years old. So the new fuel pump may not have this problem, but don't chance it, keep 1/8 of fuel in the tank. Especially when it's 90+ out.

  • drasnordrasnor Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    @Ryder said:
    You can't really, unless you use the same station when you fill up and you drive by it a lot on other days.
    If you typically use the same station and drive by it, just start noting when you see a gas truck delivering fuel. Pretty easy to see that it is there every 2 days or every 5 days, whatever. Then plan gas stops accordingly.

    QFT.

  • HeroHero formerly known as XGPHero Icrontian

    I had an explorer a couple years ago, and 1/4 tank(according to the gauge) seemed to be more like 1/8 tank (based on observations over time when refueling)

    Also get yourself a Haynes or Chilton manual. Invaluable tool for any halfway mechanically inclined vehicle owner.

    PirateNinja
  • aspieRommelaspieRommel Belkan Air Force 22nd Air Div. 4th Tactical Fighter Sqn. Indianapolis, IN Icrontian

    @Signal said:
    Which is convenient because this truck is a thing of the past. It was probably the original fuel pump, 16 years old. So the new fuel pump may not have this problem, but don't chance it, keep 1/8 of fuel in the tank. Especially when it's 90+ out.

    Actually, the fuel pump that needed replaced was new, as in 5 months new, as I stated before...

    @aspieRommel said:
    However, my cousin and her husband got a new fuel pump for it in February. But, as we all know, that doesn't mean they didn't possibly get a defective part.

  • SignalSignal Icrontian

    I no read good.

  • aspieRommelaspieRommel Belkan Air Force 22nd Air Div. 4th Tactical Fighter Sqn. Indianapolis, IN Icrontian

    So, it's been a while since I last said something about my truck. A couple of major problems either still with it or came up since I got the fuel pump fixed. Since I got it, the driver's side lock is a little messed up, as in when I put the key in the lock, it won't turn, so I have to (or someone else has to) come from the passenger side to pull on the inside door handle. My mechanic friend said that something is jammed in it.

    Another issue is that the one of my dash motors (the things that control the needles) is messed up. The water temp gauge is not working properly, so I'll have to get that soon.

    Other than those, my truck is working fine and I feel confident that I will get my driver's license by year's end.

    Gargoyle
  • aspieRommelaspieRommel Belkan Air Force 22nd Air Div. 4th Tactical Fighter Sqn. Indianapolis, IN Icrontian
    edited Nov 2015

    I wanted to say this in this thread because I felt it would be appropriate. I have just racked up the last 45 nighttime minutes to fulfill the legal requirement to take the test to get my license. (In Indiana, a new driver must have 50 hours of driving time: 40 day and 10 night.) Now I just have to make the appointment to take my test.

    SonorousSignalStraight_Mandrasnor
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Congrats, aspierommel!

  • Church4252Church4252 K-Pop authority™, Pho King Madison Heights, MI Icrontian

    grats

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