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Tech501
Tech501, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 747
Experience:  38 years exp, ASE Mastertech with L1 Advanced Engine performance
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96 Thunderbird: My check engine light came on..fault code..lean

Customer Question

I have a 96 Thunderbird with a 3.8 V6. My check engine light came on. I have checked the fault code and it is 174 fuel to lean left bank. I have installed new Bosch plugs, new air filter, cam positioning sensor and a thottle positioning sensor. It was clattering and loss of power and hesitating when I took off. It still hesitates when I take off. What could be the problem?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.

 Look hard for a vacuum leak on that side of the engine. Fords are notorious for sucking holes through the rubber connecter at the manifold vacuum sources. Sometimes they are hidden real good underneath the intake. Listen for the hissing and spray some carb cleaner in suspected areas listening for rpm change when you hit a leak.


You should also test the O/2 to be sure it is capable of reading rich but you'll need a scanner or DVOM to do that.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: I checked and found not vacuum leak. I checked it three time all over every where that vacuum would be, intake, hoses, connections and found nothing.
Since I can not check the O/2 sensor do you think I should change it just to be sure?
Expert:  Darrol L. Belt replied 11 years ago.
BOSCHE RECOMMENDS AN O2 SENSOR EVERY 60,000 MILES. AIR MASS METERS (MAF) ARE COMMON FOR THAT CODE AND DRIVABILITY PROBLEM. ONE THING YOU CAN DO IS WITH THE ENGINE OFF, UNPLUG MAF SENSOR AND CHECK THE RESISTANCE OF THE MAF. CHANCES ARE YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO FIND SPECS IN PRINT BUT WHEN IT AFFECTS THE DRIVABILITY OF THE CAR YOU'LL FIND EXTREMELY HIGH RESISTANCE ACTUALLY GOING AS HIGH INTO MEGA OHMS. GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND PLEASE CLICK ON ACCEPT. THANK YOU.
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
 It wouldn't hurt to change the sensor if you wish but I really doubt it will set that code. There are other codes for non switching sensors that would have been more likely. I doubt the MAF would cause those problems either without causing some driveabilty issues. I nearly always find a vacuum leak in a Ford. They are well hidden under the intake manifolds. Listen for the hiss noise.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Darrol L. Belt's Post: You were right it was the MAF sensor. Where do i click on accept for your answer?
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
 His answer was a free post.

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