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Explorer Question...Where to post?

Old 03-26-2007, 04:29 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 6
Default Explorer Question...Where to post?

Which room do I post this question/problem? I don't see an Explorer room, so I am putting it here, because I think it is on an F-150 chassis/engine?? (but I'm not sure). BTW, I am a total dunce when it comes to auto mechanics stuff and I want to have some knowledge about my problem BEFERE taking it in to a mechanic I don't know (just moved here a year ago). So I don't own any fancy tools or diagnostic gadgets or anything of the sort. Anyway, here is my problem/question.

Whenever I go to somewhere, say from home, my 1996 Ford Explorer starts and runs normally. But after being parked for a bit (10-60 minutes), when I start up the truck, it can't hold the idle and stalls. I have to keep my foot on the gas to keep it running until it warms up enough. Once I start driving down the road for a bit, everything is normal again. The problem only happens after it has been off for about an hour or less. Longer, like sitting at work all day, it has no problems starting up and idling. The problem seems to get much worse as outside temperature increases, starting at about 60 degrees. The hotter it is, the worse it gets. During the winter, this never happens.

For instance, this weekend I went to Applebees, I was there for about 2-3 hours so my truck was parked there long enough that it started up just fine when I was ready to go. BUT, if I would have just gone in to eat and then left (15-30 mins), it would have not kept the idle and I would have to sit there with foot on the gas for about 5 mins which would barely keep it idling long enough to back out of parking space and start moving. Then after driving about a mile or two it is back to normal.

So....short breaks=stalls after ignition...BUT....long breaks=normal

What could be causing this? And what is needed to fix it? I have some guesses, but I have no clue.

1. Vapor Lock?
2. Timing Belt?
3. Spark plugs?
4. Air filter?

I have a 1996 Ford Explorer, 125,000 miles, oil/filter/air filter changes fairly regularly, but never had a tune up or changed any belts, that I know of.

Thanks for your help...

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