2001 Ford Expedition 4.6L 2WD

I apologize in advance for the long description but I want to be as detailed as possible.

I have a 2001 Ford Expedition 4.6L 2wd and everything has been running great until a couple weeks ago. One day out of the blue, when I tried to start the car it would crank/turn over but wouldn’t start. There was no check engine light and the lights/radio worked so I know it isn’t the battery. After about 15 minutes of checking under the hood and talking to triple A, I decided to try again and it started with no problems.

I drove it around for a week with absolutely no problems but one day it wouldn’t start again. I left it in my parking lot for 2 days thinking I need to tow it to a shop but when I tried to start it again, it worked and showed absolutely no problems.

I used the car for about 3 days with no trouble before I drove it to a mechanic today. He plugged in his little snap-on diagnostics tool and scanned it for any errors. He found none. He said that the car might be calibrated wrong and told me he reprogrammed my ecu to “factory settings” hoping that will fix any problems it might have.

Is this normal for him to reprogram my ecu? I heard you should flash/reprogram your ecu if you add performance boosting mods like a turbocharger, supercharger, or any other mods that change the timing, air/fuel, etc but never heard of a mechanic reprogramming an ecu without finding any problems/codes being shown by the scanner.

After he did this, the car started to show problems and had trouble starting again. He sprayed some starter fluid into the engine and got it running. He then hooked up a fuel pressure gauge and showed me that it was running at 30psi instead of the 40psi he said it should be. He then immediately told me that my problem was the fuel pump without checking anything else.

After doing some research online, I read from several sources that said that the fuel pump either pumps/works or it doesn’t and nothing in between. Meaning that if there was a problem with my fuel pump then it would be impossible for me to start my car and drive it around like I have been, reaching speeds up to 80+ miles like I have been, for the past couple weeks. And according to them, if my fuel pump was bad then it wouldn’t be able to maintain a pressure of 30psi like it showed.

Based on this information and seeing how my fuel pump pressure was at a constant 30psi, it led me to the assumption that the drop in the pressure can be due to residue or gunk build-up in the fuel filter, fuel injector, or something else in the fuel delivery system. Is this probable?

He didn’t check the fuel filter, he didn’t check my spark plugs, he didn’t check any relays, or anything else for that matter. He just immediately said it was my fuel pump and quoted me $235 for the fuel pump kit on top of his hourly labor costs.

If it’s true that the fuel pump either works or it doesn’t and nothing in between, then is he just trying to scam me into doing more work than needed by replacing the entire fuel pump and everything else that comes with the kit (sending assembly, gaskets, strainer, regulator, etc)?

Do you have any idea what the problem might be and how to fix it? Should I take my car to another mechanic or just replace my fuel pump anyways since replacing older parts for a newer one now will prevent me from having to replace it later? Can it be just a residue build-up problem that can be easily fixed by cleaning? Please advise. Thanks.


I need to take care of this problem tomorrow because I have no other time to do it, so a quick response would be HUGELY appreciated!

1 thought on “2001 Ford Expedition 4.6L 2WD”

  1. Thank you for the detailed description, every bit helps us to understand your question.

    Not ever heard of a mechanic reprogramming your ecu without permission nor would they have need to unless there was an update put out by Ford. If this was a Ford dealership I would think you would have been told this up front.

    How Your Fuel System Works.
    Your engine is equipped with a multi-port fuel injection system. It has separately controlled fuel injectors mounted to the intake manifold for each cylinder. The fuel injectors are supplied with pressurized fuel from the fuel pump through the fuel injection supply manifold and has a fuel injection supply manifold which is equipped with a fuel pressure regulator has a fuel pressure regulator controlling the pressure going to the fuel injectors. It has excess fuel to the fuel injectors returned to the fuel tank.

    Most common failure part would be the Fuel Pressure Regulator. Fuel pump failure are not as common but do happen.

    I would recommend having the fuel filter replaced as it is a normal maintenance part and should be changed regularly. I would also replace the fuel pressure regulator as it is a fairly inexpensive part and takes less than a 1/2 hour to do. It is located under the hood on top of the engine.

    Let me know if you need replacement instructions.

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