I bought a 1997 F250 Diesel about 6 months ago. About a month ago it
suddenly died on me as I was backing it into a driveway. It wouldn't
restart and I had it towed to my mechanic. When my mechanic went out to
start it, it started right up and he was unable to get it to fail for
him, so I went and picked it up.
Fast forward to Sunday/Monday. It died on me again on Sunday as I was
slowly driving on a dirt road (exiting a horse show). Fortunately I was
able to steer it to the side so that other traffic could pass (the show
had just ended, lots of trucks and trailers leaving). I let it sit and
then tried to start it again.
Symptoms when it is giving me trouble:
1) The "wait to start" light goes from solid on, to flickering before
it goes off. Normally it goes from solid on to solid off.
2) Sometimes when I crank I get nothing.
3) Sometimes when I crank it sputters and tries to start.
4) Sometimes it starts and sputters and dies.
5) Sometimes it sputters and if I keep the gas on I can keep it turning
and then it evens out and runs.
6) Sometimes it just starts back up like nothing happened. It does this
each time the mechanic starts it, of course!
7) When it dies the electrical is still working (radio, fan, etc.). I
know that a diesel doesn't need electrical to run (no spark plugs), but
if it were electrical to the fuel pump and the electrical were dying
system wide then the radio would go off and that's not happening. I
also was wondering about the electrical because of the glow plug light
8) I have dual tanks. It happens on either tank.
After it finally started running smoothly at the horse show I was able
to drive it home with no problems. Then yesterday (Monday) it died
again while I was driving home from doing some banking. And it died
again after I got it running, when I was trying to drive it to the
mechanic. I was able to get it to restart both times by waiting, once
it sputtered pretty badly when it restarted, once it just started right
So, what should I look at? My mechanic says "it's fixed" because it
started right up for him. I asked him to look at the engine code
because when it was sputtering the "check engine" light was on, but he
says there is no entry when he looks for the code. :-(
I don't want to just randomly replace parts without knowing if the
failure I'm describing could be due to failure of a specific part. Does
this sound like a fuel pump problem? If not that, then what?
Also... when I bought it the seller told me that sometimes if you idle
for a while (5 minutes or more) there would be a small fuel leak onto a
valley on the top/back of the engine and you would smell the fuel. I've
misplaced the email where the seller told me exactly what was causing
this. I was told it was ~$300-400 repair. I'm wondering if this is what
is causing the problems I'm having now, if this problem is getting
worse to the point of causing the engine to die. If this rings a bell
with anyone and you can tell me what the problem is called and what
part needs to be replaced, that sure would help!