Why Won’t My Ford Expedition Start?

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Released back in 1997, the Ford Expedition has seen a lot of models over the years and has received a fair amount of upgrades and changes, but alas, it was still not enough to save it from various problems which can prevent the car from starting.

While many of these issues are relatively small and can be fixed easily, they are still vague and hard to figure out where the problem lies, making the owner go, “Why won’t my Ford Expedition start?” and the answer is not necessarily a good one either as any issues in the battery, the ignition system, and the starter system, all can prevent the car from starting.

The main issues the Ford Expedition faces are:

  1. Ignition Cylinder Issues
  2. Battery Problems
  3. Starter Motor Issues
  4. Alternator Issues
  5. Spark Plug Problems

It is a good idea to get these problems fixed as fast as possible so that you can avoid further damage to the car’s systems.

In this article, I will go over all these issues in depth and show you how you can identify and alleviate them entirely.

What Would Cause A Ford Expedition To Not Start?

Learn what common issues with the ford expedition when it doesn't turn over

The working parts of the car all have to be in proper condition if you want your Ford Expedition to start properly.

This means that even one issue can cause the car to fail to start, whether it be in the battery or the fuel system, or even the ignition system.

All of it must be in sync, and all of the car’s components must be free from defects; otherwise, they may prevent your car from starting.

1: Ignition Cylinder Issues

Before anything starts to move internally in the car, you first have to activate your Ford Expedition by turning the key.

This sounds like a relatively easy job to do and should not cause any problems, but unfortunately, the Ford Expedition has issues in its ignition cylinder, which are so drastic that they can prevent the car from starting entirely.

These issues manifest in the key getting stuck and the ignition lock going bad.

This can, in turn, give you trouble putting the key in and taking it out. How are you supposed to start the car if you cannot even put your key in?

What Should You Do About It?

  • Wiggling your key around as you try to put it in or take it out can help to reduce the issue but ultimately do little to fix it.
  • If you want to get rid of the issue entirely, you will have to take your Ford Expedition to the mechanic and have the ignition cylinder replaced. This will also result in you getting a new key as the locks will differ.
  • Upon getting your new cylinder, you should make it a habit to carefully and slowly take your key in and out of the ignition coil to prevent wear and tear.

2: Battery Problems

It is almost a given that you will have battery problems in any car you drive, so you should not be surprised when you figure out that you have battery issues in your Ford Expedition.

The battery is sensitive to lack of maintenance and the weather, so it is recommended to do your best to try and take care of this sensitive component.

A battery should be replaced every 4-5 years, depending on the usage.

If you have been experiencing dim interior lights and difficulties starting the car, you should always check the battery first, as that could be the issue.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Firstly, you should conduct a voltage test to see if the battery is the main cause. If the voltage test shows less than 12 volts, your battery is to blame.
  • If you have used the battery for more than four years, you should consider getting a replacement.
  • If the battery is less than four years, then you should have the battery jumpstarted. You can do this by attaching the dead battery to a healthy one from another car and then starting its engine.
  • You should also ensure that the battery stays as healthy as possible by maintaining its temperature and cleanliness.

3: Starter Motor Issues

This one is the main component for turning the engine over during the ignition process. It is an incredibly important part of the car.

It is safe to say that if anything is defective in the starter motor of your Ford Expedition, then it will not start.

If you see that the engine is having trouble cranking, not turning over, or giving out a clicking or grinding noise, you can assume that the starter motor has an issue that you should have checked out immediately.

What Should You Do About It?

  • An issue with a starter motor is not one that you should take lightly. You should book an appointment with a mechanic immediately to resolve the issue.
  • Your best bet would be to get it replaced entirely, as even if it is fixed, it may still pose some threats to the engine.
  • Once you have your new starter motor, you should regularly clean the solenoid and terminals and make sure it gets regular checkups.

4: Alternator Issues

Many people know that their car batteries are recharged once they drive a little but do not know how this happens.

The battery of your Ford Expedition, or any car for that matter, is recharged via the alternator, which converts the mechanical energy of your car to electrical energy and sends it to the battery, ensuring that it has a good charge for most of its life.

A car constantly depletes its battery and is more likely to have a faulty alternator than a dead battery, especially if you know the battery is relatively new.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you have noticed a trend showing that your battery is dying more than usual, you should have a good reason to suspect the alternator and show it to a mechanic.
  • If the issue is indeed in the alternator, then you should have it completely replaced as it is much more cost-effective and efficient than fixing your old one.
  • Henceforth, you should ensure that the alternator is given proper attention and care by regularly maintaining its exterior and preventing the accumulation of grease and dirt.

5: Spark Plug Problems

The spark plugs are responsible for generating the spark which ignites the fuel, resulting in the generation of energy that the car uses to get its energy.

Such a crucial part of the Ford Expedition will prevent it from working if there is a problem with its spark plugs.

If you notice that the engine is cranking but does not turn on, it could be a problem with the fuel, but it could also be that the electrical spark is not reaching the spark plugs.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You should personally check to see if the spark is sufficient to light the fuel or not. If you do not know how to check this, then you should have it checked by a mechanic.
  • Alternatively, the problem could also lie in the spark plug wires, the plug gaps, or the distributor, so make sure to check them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Ford Expedition Start With New Battery?

Most people often think that getting a new battery will be the end of their problems, but the fact is that the battery is a small but crucial part of one of many systems of the car.

The issue may lie in the fuel system or the ignition system of your Ford Expedition.

On the other hand, there is always the chance that the mechanic made a mistake while connecting the battery.

Q2. Why Won’t My Ford Expedition Start Even With A Jump?

If your battery has been giving you many problems, so much so that even after various jump starts, it does not work, then the fact of the matter may be that the battery is well past its prime.

If you believe that the battery is not at fault, then there is always the chance that there can be an issue in the starting system or the fuel system.

Q3. Why Won’t My Ford Expedition Start But Lights Work?

The Ford Expedition’s interior lights do not take that much power from the battery to turn on and stay on, which is why it is often the case that even low-charged batteries can turn on their interior lights.

These batteries lack the necessary power to turn on the car, however, and will need to be jumpstarted. On the other hand, you may have corrosion on your battery terminals or cables.

Q4. Why Won’t My Ford Expedition Start But Cranks?

If your Ford Expedition is cranking for some reason but does not start, then you may have little fuel in the tank.

Alternatively, there is the possibility that the fuel system has a blockage or a leakage that prevents the fuel from reaching the engine.

On the other hand, there is always the chance that the issue could be in the starter motor, which could not turn on the engine properly.

Regardless of the issue, you should be able to find it quickly as you can infer that the electrical system is working fine.

Q5. Why Won’t My Ford Expedition Start Just Clicks?

Clicking is the Ford Expedition’s way of informing its driver that there is a glaring issue within its electrical system and that it needs to be taken to the mechanic so that the exact issue can be determined.

The issues could range from anywhere, starting from the battery and going to the starter motor, which could all have any sort of defect.

The alternator could also be at fault since it is possible that it may have failed to charge the battery.

Q6. Why Won’t My Ford Expedition Start In The Cold Weather?

You should avoid keeping your Ford Expedition in the cold weather as, just like any other car, the results will be a slew of problems that will prevent the car from starting and working properly.

These problems manifest in the form of a low-charged battery that operates slowly due to slower reactions caused by the cold weather.

Additionally, the weather causes the oil in the car to thicken up, reducing its efficiency. Furthermore, the cold weather can even cause failure to occur in the spark plugs.

Q7. Why Won’t My Ford Expedition Start After I Get Gas?

Getting your fuel tank filled with gas is important if you are planning for long road trips, and it can be very disappointing to not be able to start the Ford Expedition despite having a full tank.

The issue is likely in the fuel system itself. You are probably dealing with some sort of blockage which prevents the engine from receiving the amount of fuel that it needs to work.

This blockage could be in the fuel filters, which may be filled with contaminants.

Q8. Why Won’t My Ford Expedition Start But Radio Works?

The radio in your Ford Expedition is one of many different gadgets which rely on the battery to turn on.

Even if your radio is getting enough power to turn on, it does not mean that it is enough to power to turn on the car.

Similar to the issue with the lights of the Ford Expedition, the battery may not have enough juice to turn on the car. A simple jumpstart should fix the problem.

Alternatively, the issue could be in the battery’s terminals and cables, so you should have them checked out as well.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Ford Expedition?


Just because a car can have issues does not necessarily mean that it is a bad vehicle.

As owners, it is your job to take care of your cars, so instead of next time asking questions like why won’t my Ford Expedition start?

Instead, you can look at yourself and see how your current treatment of your car could have caused any issues.

Regular maintenance and repairs should make sure that any problems that do end up occurring do not cause a lot of damage and can be fixed relatively easily.

With the help of this article, not only should you now have a grasp on how to take care of these problems but also how to prevent them in the future.