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Hi, I'm new to the forum and have looked through the threads and stickies but didn't find the answer I need. Sorry if this is long, I'm not sure what details are important.

My 2000 5.4L Eddie Bauer Expedition was recently in the shop and had the idle air control valve replaced. The mechanic also mentioned that a gas tank vaccum pressure something was not working properly but it was not fixed. Not long after it was done the lights were left on and the battery drained dry. I hooked it to a portable charger for a bit then started the car and it drove fine. A day or two later noticed it was turning over fine like it wanted to start but didn't. Tried several times and it finally started. I thought I had flooded it but found that it actually starts when I give it more gas, not less.

Over the past two weeks it starts intermittently. Better when it's cold but won't start when it's hot unless I open the air filter and spray in starting fluid, then it will start. Once started, it runs well for as long as necessary, I just can't turn it off or it won't restart. Quite a problem since I can't go to the store or anywhere else. Just before the IAC was done, my daughter put in some old gas from a can. Noticed it was driving a little rough but didn't worry about it at the time. I have noticed that there is no longer a hiss when I open my gas tank from air being sucked in. Obviously, there isn't a vaccum in the tank anymore. Would this cause starting problems?

Could this be from a clogged fuel line? Water or condensation? Fuel filter or fuel pump problems? Thank you for any suggestions you can give me to talk about with the mechanic.
 

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Can you get the actual diagnostic trouble codes for us?

Can you check your fuel pressure at the fuel rail? Autozone and other stores have a tool loan program, you may be able to borrow a fuel pressure guage to test it.
 

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If the truck starts and runs fine once you give it some starting fluid, then I suspect your problem is electronic. I'm not familiar with the fuel tank vacuum pressure gadget that you mentioned, but if the mechanic says that it's malfunctioning then I would look no further until I had that fixed.
 

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First, I hate hearing the words Starting Fluid and gas engines. It destroys them internally so be very careful. Carb cleaner is better. Now since it starts and runs when a fluid is used that tells me that the ignition system is working. That tells me you have spark but possibly no fuel delivery till it is running. Check voltages at the battery during cranking. Also check at the fuel pump relay. If the voltage is dropping to low. The relay will not close and the pump will not run. Once the engine is running the voltage goes up and the relay stays locked in.
 

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I agree with Canuck, using starting fluid is a very bad idea on a gas engine, and you should definately look into the fuel pump end of things. Almost every fuel injected Ford I've owned has a pump you can hear when you first turn the key. If you can't hear it, or it sounds different, that usually means you have a pump or pump relay problem.
 

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Seems I may have a similar problem

I know this thread is old, but it sounded very similar to my issue with our 2002 Ford Expedition 4.6L.

My neighbor put his code reader on it and said there was a "pending" code but said it was permanent, therefore, shouldn't be a big deal. He didn't say the code "number." And, of course, he is out of town now for a week. He said our starting issue was probably due to needing a new fuel pressure regulator. Ours has to crank over about 3 seconds before it will start, when its hot, you need to turn off the key and restart it, then it starts right up. I replaced the fuel pressure regulator and it did seem to help a little, but now it continues to not start until after 3 seconds, then start perfectly and if we go to start it again within an hour or so, it will start right up. Longer than that, it takes 3-4 seconds.

Jay, how do I check the fuel tank relay? I'm going to O'Reily's tomorrow to see if they have a fuel presure gauge I can borrow.

Jay
 
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