It's definitely gone pretty far but if this was mine I'd have it down to my favorite mechanic for him to give me a diagnosis. There are simple DIY items that I'd look at such as just go ahead and replace the fuel and air filters while looking over all the vacuum lines to see what shape they are in. At this age you are likely to see deterioration or out right cracked lines.
Remember I'm not there so I will never claim any idea is "it."
There are also some models that a carb/inject system is failing but I like to start with simple DIY items first then move to fuel pressure checks and more.
The pump action does make me thing vacuum lines, fuel filter and delivery issues.
Hello, first time poster so please forgive any rules I may have missed.
My 96 Ford Explorer, 4.0L 6 cylinder engine with 238,000 miles on it. Been at least 75,000 miles since last tune up.
The issue: Sometimes (not all the time, but with increasing frequency) when I go to start my car, then engine will turn over then immediately begin to sputter to death. I was countering this by pushing on the accelerator just after it turns over, and this seems to be the only trick to make it start revving. However sometimes this doesn't work and it just prolongs the pathetic sputtering. I've been told that pumping the pedal a couple times before turning the ignition can help, and it did for a few days, but then it stopped working.
My theories: I was hoping it would be a cheap fix, so I replaced the fuel filter. The issue continued. My thoughts are that it's either a fuel pump issue, which is a bit out of my experience level, but I have friends to help me with. Or it might be a bunch of toasted spark plugs, as they haven't been changed in a long time.
Please keep in mind that it will still start most times. Especially when it's cold. For example I left to go shopping after not driving all day last night and it started just fine. Drove a mile to the store, did my half hour of shopping, then I went to leave and it wouldn't start. It would turn over almost every time, but then just sputter to death right away. Pumping the gas wouldn't help, just prolonged the sputtering. I let it sit for about 40 minutes while I tried to clean out the intake filter and look for any loose wires or plugs, then I tried one last time and it grabbed and revved and I got it home.
Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I don't have a ton of funds so I really don't want to replace anything that won't solve the issue. If you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer them quickly. Thank you!