Question about 2001 Ford Windstar

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2001 winstar running rough. started after big rain I drove in. engine light flashing. someone said a leak in plenum mite be problem, or gasket on plenum blown. idles fine with little 'boomfs' coming out of tailpipe. runs somewhat smooth until higher rpms. any suggestions? had this problem about 4 driving weeks.

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  • rajprev Apr 06, 2011

    Hey, mkay5637, it turned out to be a cracked ignition coil. Cost about $80 at Auto Zone. Fixed it myself. Is somewhat easy if you are mechanically inclined. I found out 'newer' vehicles don't all have a distributor 'cap'. Not like the 'old days' anymore. Thanks for input, hope mine helps.


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You might want to check windshield mounting channel make sure seal is good and not letting water leak in onto coil pack and wires. does it clean up after its dry out for awhile or not? Im having same problem hope we both get the help we need i will share with u what i find

Posted on Apr 06, 2011

  • rajprev Apr 06, 2011

    My problem turned out to be the ignition coil. It had a crack in it. Check yours if you have the same problem. Cost-$80 at Auto Zone. Installed it myself, took a couple of hours, because of all the stuff you have to remove. Windshield wipers (held on by two nuts, easy to remove), the whole 'cover' that holds the windshield wiper motor assembly and the windshield seal. (This 'cover' snaps loose if you gently pry and pull away from the windshield quickly. Be careful, I broke one clip, I think because it was too cold when I did it. Be sure and disconnect the wiper motor plug also, you'll see it.) Take out the bolts holding the ignition coil on, THEN remove the sparkplug wires one at a time and plug into the new coil. Then bolt the new one where the old on was. replace all that you took off. One reason it took me 2 hours- I did it in 'freezin' weather, outside. Kinda a cold thing to do. I recommend doing it some place warm. Thanks and hope this helps.


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Have it checked out ASAP. you may have aready damaged the catalytic converter., by driving it so long with a flashing light.

Posted on Jan 03, 2011

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2001 Buick Regal keeps stalling and running rough has white smoke coming out of tail pipe

The upper intake plenum is leaking coolant into the cylinder heads. The head gaskets on this motor are awesome. So, chances are it's the upper intake plenum. You can check this, by removing the vacuum hose that runs between the upper plenum and the brake booster. Stick your finger in and try to touch the top of the lower intake manifold. If your finger is wet it the upper plenum. You might as well replace the lower intake gasket while you're performing this work because they are prone to failure also. Use a shop vac to pull any coolant out of the cylinder heads. Get brand new spark plugs because the old ones are probably fouled. Once you get the plenum and gaskets replaced, remove your fuel pump relay and leave the spark plugs out and turn the engine over repeatedly for about 10 seconds to push any excess coolant out of the cylinder heads. Then, put the spark plugs in and turn the engine over for 10 seconds again. This will burn excess fuel as coolant out. Then, replace the fuel pump relay to allow fuel to be pumped into the heads. Car will smoke for a few when it fires up, but will clear out quickly. CHANGE THE OIL! Twice within a week if possible.

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I have a 2000 ford explorer 4wd and i have codes p171,p174 & p1151 it has no vac leaks and i have replaced the following MAF , PCV , OS SENSORS , FUEL FILTER , EGR VALVE , I'M lost what next still...

4.0 SOHC?

Your sure the upper plenum/intake gaskets are not leaking? This is a very common problem and usually starts to get worse around this time of year especially in the midwest when the temps start to drop.

You can check the intake gaskets by starting the engine and spraying the area where the plenum meets the intake with carb spray. If you hear the idle change you found the problem. Be very careful when you do this as carb spray is flammable. I would do this after the engine has sat for a while and cooled down.

A shop will Likely use a smoker to check for this. They inject a smoke under light pressure into the intake of the motor and then look to see where the smoke is leaking.

Once again plenum gaskets are very common on these engines so don't rule them out until you have checked them.

If you have any questions let me know.

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year make and model would help a lot.

P0171 and P0174 are lean codes. Since it is running rough at start up and goes away when warm it is usually a sign that the plenum gaskets are leaking. If this is a pickup with a 5.3 liter than for sure the intake plenum gaskets that go in between the intake and the heads are leaking. Very common problem. Once the engine warms up everything expands and the leak seals itself up.

If you can post the year make model and engine size I can help you out a little more.

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03 windstar rough idle working bad,worse in the rain

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2000 ford windstar won't stay running

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