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Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 33048
Experience:  23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
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2004 Ford Freestar: engine started..idling..Check engine light came on

Resolved Question:

I have a 2004 Ford Freestar. About 3 months ago the engine started sputtering when idling and when driving. Check engine light came on. Autozone found 'engine misfire'. Took it to shop and first thing they found was bad spark plug wires. Changed those and it helped a bit but continued problem. Changed coil pack and found slight crack in it. Past three months have been fine. About a week ago it started again--but only when accelerating at around 40mph--then would ride through it and be fine. Yesterday it started sputtering as soon as we started it, rough at all speeds, doesnt seem to want to get over 30mph and check engine light just came back on.

Will have to take it in tomorrow as its really bad now. Don't want them to start trying everything. Any suggestions on what to look at first?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Ron replied 6 years ago.



Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer.


How many miles on the engine?


Have you had scan done on it to see what codes you have?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Just over 75k. Autozone didnt get the full codes but I think it said engine misfire cylinder 6 (?). My local mechanic got the same code. He first starting thinking major things like catalytic converter but I read a good bit about coil pack problems and told him to try that after changing the plug wires didnt work entirely. Sounds stupid but I don't know if he changed the plugs when he changed the plug wires.

Since its idling and misfiring even when in park it sounding to me like some type of fuel injection problem.
Expert:  Ron replied 6 years ago.



Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer.


Even tho Ford say the spark plug are good for 100K, I would start with having all six replaced. Its not likely a fuel injection issue at all as it pretty rare for injector to go bad on this engine. I would also make sure there are no vacuum leak in and around the intake.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks. Couple last questions.

Changing the coil pack (and wires) seemed to make the problem go away for a few months. Do you think the combination of those two may have overridden a developing plug problem?

Lastly, how do I check to see if there is a vacuum leak around the intake? Is that something I can take a look at or is it best to take it to Ford tomorrow, tell them to do a 'tune up' (change plugs) and let them respond?
Expert:  Ron replied 6 years ago.
No not likely, and Its not likely the coil pack and wire are bad again. You can do a visual inspection and have a look around at the lines. There are other test which require carb cleaner but they can be dangerous if you are not a trained professional. If you don't see any obvious leaks, I would let Ford check it for you.
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