Question about 2001 Ford Windstar

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Engine light stays on at times blink when van starts to shake.

I was told I had a code PO171/PO174. So I changed sensor 1&2, the filter changed and the injectors flushed. It runs a little better but it still spudders and hesitates. Also back in Nov 2008 I had wires and plugs changed. Now code PO304 reads out from auto zone what does that mean?

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This is a very common problem and has nothing to do with the oxygen sensors, I hate to think how much has been spent on those since this problem started occurring. You need to replace the intake upper plenum gaskets. There is two pieces, a top cover with one big silicone o-ring gasket and a lower half with six smaller silicone o-rings for the individual intake ports. You can buy these as a set, just for this job. Start this job by removing the wiper blades, then release all the screws, (including the ones that support the wiper motor), that hold that big black plastic valence at the back of the engine compartment. Pull that out of the way, you will have to pull the windshield washer hose through it, just disconnect it on the engine side, now you have access to the plenum. It's a pretty easy job now to remove and replace both halves, just a bunch of 8mm screws hold it all together. Take notes or digital pics along the way so you can pop it all back together. My only caution would be; when you have it apart, do not drop anything in the intake port! I always stuff kleenex in these while I'm working in case something slips out of my hands. Also, don't over tighten, it's all plastic.

The codes are the result of small vacuum leaks around these gaskets. The computer tries to correct the idle mixture but doesn't have enough authority to richen it enough to get the O2 sensors into toggling range, so they appear lean all the time and set the codes.

The dealerships should be well aware of this problem. I can do this job now in half an hour.

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

  • Dave  C
    Dave C Mar 12, 2009

    Sorry, forgot the code p0304, this is a misfire on cylinder number 4, a whole new ball of wax, but I would start by replacing that spark plug.

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reagards

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