My car has a problem wanting to start, mainly when it's cold outside. The service engine light comes on and off the whole time the car is on. Once it's started, it has a tendency to die, especially when I slow down or the car is idling. I've had it to a shop for about a week and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. It's had a tune-up, a brand new battery put in and the fuel filter and pump changed this past summer
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Follow your glowplug wires towards the Firewall. The glowplug wire goes into a Timer which is suppose to be internally regulated by outside Temperature and feedback from the glowplugs.
When you are in Cold weather, the Timer is suppose to keep the glowplugs on longer. When the engine is fully warm and you shut it off, you will notice it starts up like a gas engine. First you want to remove your glowplugs and check them by using Jumper cables and heating them up.
Be careful because they can melt or distort if on too long. I usually pull out 4 at a time because it is a comparison test and when you find the quickest, brightest glowplug you measure the others against it. When the glowplug stays dark or does not heat as quickly it is bad. Remember when it is in the engine the glowplug only has bumps of current coming from the Timer to warm up.
Once you are confident the glowplugs are okay, try starting the truck. Or for good measure, just change the Timer, but it will add to the cost.
As for the engine light, if you mean the "check engine" light, you can get that checked free at Autozone, Oreillys, or Advance. I believe Advance may be better equipped to test the PCM.
I hope my solutions are very helpful to you and thanks for using this service.
The weather you live in, oil weight being used, what type of car/truck. I'm thinking run an engine cleaner through for 5 min to clean the engine. What you are hearing is most likely a sticky valve. Drain the oil, change the filter and fill with a light oil in the cold with light loads and heavier oil in hot weather. A multi viscosity oil can be used to weigh out the cold and hot weather.
i will suggest to have ford repair these because they can be a pain. and as far as hookin up a computer it wont help much because you really need a check engine light to come on.
hope this helps you decide.
First place to check is the battery. Old ones can push your lights , radio, etc, but the starter is the real load. . Can verify this by using jumper cables to a running vehicle and watch your machine fire right up! The reason mornings are the worst, is the battery has had the most time to discharge, and it is probably cooler outside.
If your battery starts turns the engine over, it is doing it's job well. It sounds like your engine computer is not liking the cold engine. If it has been a while since a tune up, it would not hurt to go ahead and do it, but if it runs ok after it warms up, I sould not worry about it a whole lot. When the engine is cold, the egr valve and other things that are made to limit polution tend to stick and give the computer bad readings. A serious tune up may fix it, and I think should, but you MAY still be in the same boat! That does not FIX it for you, but should ease your mind on the light.