Reader Question: My 1998 Ford Explorer started this morning, and on my way to work, it just died, will not start again.
What do you think the problem could be?
You are missing one of the key ingredients, spark, fuel, and compression. If you can hear the fuel pump “whine” for 2 seconds when you turn the ignition key to the ON position we might be able to rule out a bad fuel pump and assume you have fuel going to the engine.
If you do not hear that short electrical whine noise coming from the fuel tank when you turn the key to the ON position, you might have a bad fuel pump or the fuel pump is not getting power for some reason.
So, that leaves checking for spark at the spark plugs as the next thing to check. You can remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug and hold it close to the spark plug as someone cranks the engine over to see if there is a spark jumping from the wire to the plug or any metal object on the engine. You can shock yourself if you are not grounded properly…so be careful.
To be honest, both of these suggestions are better left to the mechanic if you really do not know what you are doing. You can always get a proper diagnosis from the dealer or a trusted mechanic then decide if you want to tackle the repair yourself or not.