Ford Automobiles banner

2002 F150 intermittent starting problems

13327 Views 18 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Action
Hello all,
I'm new to this forum and I'll be the first to admit I'm not real auto saavy..... Anyway here is my problem.
My 02 F150 4.2 has been having an intermittent starting problem for awhile now. Sometimes it will go for long periods between episodes but the last couple of weeks it has been happening more regularly. I may just stop and shut down for a few minutes and it will not start up again. If I wait about 30-40 minutes it usually starts right back up . I have been researching other forums and heard about a part called a fuel pump driver module. At first based on other peoples symptoms it sounded like this may have been my problem.... Until I found out the 2002 does not have that specific part so back to the drawing board. Other people had posted that their problems were caused by the anti theft system. Also when I got home last night after shutting down and removing the keys from the ignition my anti theft light started blinking ( it has been disconnected for about 1 year), and the power windows were operating even with the truck off and the keys in my hand. Pleas tell me I'm not auditioning for a part in a new episode of the Twilight Zone. I am really hoping that it's not the fuel pump as that will get expensive and i haven't been able to work in 5 months due to a pretty bad accident so any and all input will be very much appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Go to Auto zone or a parts store and get the codes pulled for your problem and get back with us
they will do it for free
Go to Auto zone or a parts store and get the codes pulled for your problem and get back with us
they will do it for free
Go to Auto zone or a parts store and get the codes pulled for your problem and get back with us
they will do it for free
Called Auto Zone, unfortunately here in California parts stores are no longer allowed to perform code scans for customers. I did get codes though. I,ll post results and recommendations tomorrow when I hopefully have some time.
Thank you for the reply.
Back soon,
You can try cleaning the throttle control valve if you have it on your year truck.
OK first your vehicle electrical will stay powered till a door is opened on vehicle after ignition turned off... So sitting in truck after removal of key radio will operate windows all electrical will and is normal operation...
Second... Yes your vehicle does have pump module only thing is its your fuel pump....
You need to check fuel pressure your vehicle has valve on fuel rail to connect to so should be easy....
When your vehicle does no start look at odometer if only shows dashes this indicates pcm offline.. Common. With this year model relay in battery junction box failure.... Located in engine compartment....
Anti theft will not cause vehicle to shut down.... It is designed only to inhibit starting so do not think that is problem system
Likely pump getting hot shutting off til cools
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Have you resolved this yet? I have the same year, model and problem. I found keying the ignition several times will make the truck eventually start but my mechanic has a list of possible problems and no way to be sure where to start: PCM diode, crank sensor, bad key fob (haven't checked for the - - - - - will do next time), and of course the all mighty fuel pump. He's tested and checked all the basics like fuel pressure. He says he can't pin point it because it hasn't never done it when the truck is there. He kept it for a week.
Since the thread was stared two years ago and the last time Larry was on this site was 1-9-2014. You might just want to state your concern.

Crank and no start? Or no crank?
Any warning lights on?
Mileage on odometer?

Intermittant concerns are the most difficult. I feel for your mechanic.

2002 F150 four door (I forget what Ford calls that cab) Lariat with 140k miles.

Intermittent crank no start. Works great otherwise, has never turned off while running. Keying it multiple times gets it to start, I can hear the fuel pump sound when it's ready to start.

Waiting for it to happen again to look for the following: theft light blinking (security system problem) odometer showing only dashes (relay problem), engine light staying lit while cranking (crank sensor problem). If none of those, since my mechanic can't find anything wrong otherwise - replace the fuel pump?
I have seen it reported on sites that a crank position sensor or a cam position sensor can fail intermittantly, not trip the CEL and the engine is a crank no start condition. The sensor generates a weak or bad signal and the CPU will not cause the coil to fire because of the weak or lack of a signal. Some times engine will start on second or third attempt. Other times after a half an hour engine starts on 1st attempt or starts first time with no issue.

On a '96 4.6l I had this issue with a crankshaft position sensor. After replacing the sensor twice I got to the point of just pulling on the pigtail lead to the sensor and the engine would start. This is how I found out it was bad in the first plce. The engine was replaced so I never got to the cause and the new (to me) 4.6 engine never displayed the issue. I discovered this issue on my engine by a suggestion from some one on a forum that is no longer up and running. So the next time it happened I opened the hood, grabbed the crank position sensor lead and then got in the car and it fired right up. I did this several times before I replaced the sensor.

Fuel pumps almost never have an intermitment condition. Since they are an electric/mechanical device, they work or work poorly or don't work at all. Rare would be the event that a pump works well and then doesn't and then does.

Electronic parts can have this kind of symptom. The problem is there are dozens of electronic parts and random replacing can get rather expensive.

See less See more
What do you mean by pulling on the pig tail lead of the sensor? Just grabbing the wires and yanking on them? Can you post a picture? I'm not a car guy. I don't even know where it's located or what it looks like.
I guess it was just the pigtail lead and connector to the sensor. Yes just grabbing the wire harness to the sensor (it isn't big I believe on 2 may be 3 wires) and give a little tug. Here is a pic -
The attached pic states the crank sensor is on each head. That statement is incorrect. There is only 1 crank shaft position sensor. I believe there are 2 cam sensors. The pic is correct for the crank sensor.

Not sure what engine you have, this is a 4.6l engine SOHC. and any 4.6 DOHC or SOHC has this sensor is the same place. (5.4 may be the same as well since it is the same engine family) The sensor is located on the front of the engine, low and on the right or passenger's side. On my ride the AC compressor is right there next to it and made installation and removal a PITA. I am not the biggest guy on the block at 5' 8" and 200#, however bending over the front of the vehicle and reaching down to yank the wire got to be a bit much. And I had an oil leak so there was a lot of grease which didn't go too well with my dress shirt. So I got a stick and just poked at the sensor and wore and it did the trick. as well. It didn't seem to matter how soft or how hard I moved the wires or sensor just a little movemnt and it fired up. So I kept the stick in the ride. It happened on the 2nd sensor as well. May have been the harness don't know as the engine over heated at some point and I dropped in a used complete engine. Never had the issue again.

I don't know for sure and the cam sensor may cause a similar issue. I only had the issue with the crank sensor. The crank sensor sends a signail to the ECU (computer) to let the ECU know where the crank is to send a spark to a given spark plug. No signal from the crank sensor, the ECU thinks the engine isn't spinning and so no spark.

Not saying this is your concern and it is worth a check.

See less See more
Update: I found out from my wife that the PCM relay was replaced when the mechanic had it for a week. The problem DID occur twice after that (to the best of my knowledge) and has NOT occurred recently. I've been driving it frequently to try to solve the problem permanently and have been using the same set of keys. I'm going to try switching keys in case it's a FOB problem. This way I will also know which FOB is the problem.
Hasn't happened again with either set of keys. Can Fords heal?:)
did you ever truly solve this problem? I am having the same thing
Im having the same problem. My mechanic said replace the fuel pump. I paid $800 and the problem still remains. Sometimes just a click. Sometimes it starts. 2002 F150 4.2.
Im having the same problem. My mechanic said replace the fuel pump. I paid $800 and the problem still remains. Sometimes just a click. Sometimes it starts. 2002 F150 4.2.
A click - that is electrical

Why was the fuel pump replaced?

Generally a click would indicate a low battery or a marginal starter relay.
Poor electrical conections can be an issue too.
Battery cables both ends would be prime suspect.

Check/test the battery as to condition.
Remove, inspect and clean as needed the battery cable ends.
Then you might want to look at the relay.

See less See more
1 - 19 of 19 Posts