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A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6212
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
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2000 ford windstar: rough idle and acts..miss..Check engine light

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2000 ford windstar 3.8l all the sudden has rough idle and acts like a bad miss when driving. Check engine light is blinking. Just started today, all the sudden. Never ran completely out of gas. 89,000 miles. Well maintained vehicle.

HelloCustomer

You need to get he codes from your Windstars computer to tell us wht cylinder is missfiring. Any auto parts store will do this for you for free. Get the codes and post them here on this post and we can go from there. The codes will help me diagnose you concern.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I took to parts store and drove around for 1/2 hour and now I have no "check engine" light and we put on computer and it is not throwing any codes. It does have a bad smell while running and I still have the terrible "miss" and about 50% loss of power
Look under neath at the catalytic converters after driving around awhile. It sounds like they are clogged and causing your lack of power and smell. See if they are red or excessively hot. See if it is a metal or rotten egg smell.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
wouldn't this throw a code if convereter is clogged? Does have rotten egg smell and exhaust coming out of tailpipe seems very hot
It will eventually once the 02 sensors and the cat monitors see a problem. You will need to get the vehicle up on a lift and see which converter is the one that is clogged. A temp sensor gun or a smple meal thermometer will work.
A. Penland and 2 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
drove for an hour and still no codes. Still have rough running and no power. What is a normal temp for the converter? What is considered a high temp. I do notice a very black, powdery looking resin at the end of tailpipe.
You will notice a reddish color in the metal around the converter. That happens when metal gets really hot. With a thermometer you will see a drastic temp difference with the bad one compaired to the other ones. he temps will varry, there is no set temp.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I drove van last night and checked underneath. I noticed that it was glowing red where a 1 inch tube goes into the top, side of the converter. This converter is on passenger side and is 1st in line, on the exhaust, coming from the motor. Is this a catalytic converter? And, is it clogged?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I drove van last night and checked underneath. I noticed that it was glowing red where a 1 inch tube goes into the top, side of the converter. This converter is on passenger side and is 1st in line, on the exhaust, coming from the motor. Is this a catalytic converter? And, is it clogged?

That is the one. The exhaust and the fuel cannot escape and they heat up at the clog.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It was glowing cherry red where the sensor screws in. Is this where it is clogged? It still not flashing check engine light or throwing codes, but still running real rough and no power.
Yes, that is where the clogg is. It cannot get through the converter and is collecting there. I would replace the converter and the 02 sesnor.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OK Changed catalytic converter. Got back the pwer That I lost. Still have low idle miss. At rpm over 2200, seems to run smoother. But at idle and take off, acts like it has a bad miss. Put fuel injector cleaner in and ran it for 3 days and no change. Still I have no "check engine" light.Could it be a clogged injector? bad plug or wire? I am baffled
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OK Changed catalytic converter. Got back the pwer That I lost. Still have low idle miss. At rpm over 2200, seems to run smoother. But at idle and take off, acts like it has a bad miss. Put fuel injector cleaner in and ran it for 3 days and no change. Still I have no "check engine" light.Could it be a clogged injector? bad plug or wire? I am baffled

Make sure your check engine light is working. Turn the ignition on, not start, and see if the check engine light comes on at all. The bulb may be burned out. With a bad missfire, the check engine light should come on. Also check the spark plugs and wires to the side of the engine the convertor was replaced. The convertor went bad from the missfire possibly. If unburt fuel enters the convertor, that would cause your problem.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
the "check engine" light does work. I will check the wires and plugs. If it is a misfire, I should get a "check engine" light. this I don't understand.

Thanks,
jim
Your PCM should see if. If you haven't done a tune up, it would be a good idea. Remove the plugs and check and see if any smell like fuel. You will notice the bad one. Also chekc the plug wires. If they have the cylinder #'s on the 1 thru 6, they need to be replaced as they are the factory original wires.