A new question is answered every 9 seconds

2001 Ford Windstar: Checked cylinder 6 spark plug for spark..fouled

Customer Question

2001 Ford Windstar will not start. Checked cylinder 6 spark plug for spark and found plug quite fouled. Replaced all plugs. Checked again for spark, no spark from plug. Tested Ignition Coil and found no resistance on Coil for 2/6 plugs. Replaced the Coil (tested before installation), and thought for sure solved the problem. No spark still, and no vehicle start. Plugs smell like gasoline when I pull them out after attempting to start, so I'm getting fuel. How do I check if the PCM is the problem
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  SuperBob replied 5 years ago.

Hello, take a look at the attached illustration and tell me if the fuse that I have indicated is blown or not


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
This fuse appears to be fine.
Expert:  SuperBob replied 5 years ago.
With a test lamp, disconnect the electrical connector to the coil and look for power on the red wire, pin #4. The ignition must be in the run position. Also, check all the fuses at the engine compartment fuse box
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

About 12 V on B+ pin.

All fuses in engine compartment look good.

Expert:  SuperBob replied 5 years ago.

I would try your old coil again, I think you got a defective one, if that is the only thing you have done to go from running on 5 cylinders to running on none. If your old coil allows it to start and run on the original 5 cylinders, then take the other one back and cus at the clerk for selling you junk. get back to me and let me know what happens. I must get to bed, early day tomorrow

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I'm going to bed as well. However, more background. The van was no spark/no start before. Not just running on 5 cyl. There was no resistance on coil 2 (plugs 2/6), so the old one was definitely bad. Completely checked the new one before install and it tested out perfect (almost 11 Kohms through all three coils and 1 ohm betwen B+ and all three connectors). I'm thinking my PCM may have a problem. Any way to test out without expensive diagnostic equip?


More Background- Car just stuttered and stopped running while driving. I won't say it was running great before it died, but it would start and get us around. Had a P0174, P0171,P0402,P0302, and P0156 code. Replaced DPFE sensor and car was running a little better prior to the stall.


After replacing the coil, I really thought I had fixed the problem. Still will not start!

Expert:  SuperBob replied 5 years ago.

dtc p0402 is for excessive egr flow at idle, a dpfe sensor only measures the flow of exhaust into the engine and does not control the amount of flow. A defective dpfe sensor could set the p0402 or your egr valve is stuck open, an egr valve that is stuck open will cause a no start if it is open far enough, and will cause a runs rough at idle if it is open just a little. the p0174, &172 are telling you that you have a vacuum and the 02 sensors are reading too much oxygen in the exhaust, p0302 is a cylinder 2 miss fire detected. and p0156 is telling you that you have a problem with the downstream 02 sensor on bank 2. None of these codes can cause a lack of spark. As you have power on the coil circuit. you need to find out if you have a signal from the pcm to energize the coil, take your test light, hook the clamp to the POSITIVE battery terminal, touch the probe to the other three wires at the coil connector one at a time while an assistant cranks the engine and see if you are getting a flashing light. If not your cam position sensor is probably bad.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Tested each wire in the connector. Starting from B+, 1st wire no light at all (during cranking or key off), 2nd wire lights even with car keys out of car, does not flash when car is cranking, 3rd wire no light (during cranking or key off). Is something shorted out (which should blow a fuse...)?

Expert:  SuperBob replied 5 years ago.
These other three wires are from your pcm driver to turn the coil on and off, If they do not flash You have one of three things happening, they are not getting a signal from the cam position sensor to pcm (this is what I believe it is) 2. the pcm is bad, 3 a wire harness is damaged along the way either between the cam position sensor and pcm or between the pcm and coil. The cam position sensor is on the back (meaning rear, or engine) about three inches in front of the transmission under the throttle plate, it is circular in shape and has two 7/32 bolts that hold it to the synchronizer, You need to remove this sensor and check to see that the magnetic pickup has not broken off the sensor.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I took the Cam position sensor off and looked at it. It was really dirty inside, but intact. However, the replacement part was only $20 so I went ahead and replaced it. Still no fire.


Further note... the wires test out as follow with Key off:


Red- 12 V

Dark Blue/Light Green- 0V

Red/Light Blue- 0V

Pink/White- 12 V approx


This does not seem right to me... but what do I know?

Expert:  SuperBob replied 5 years ago.

I have attached the wire diagram for the coil, as you can see in the illustration that you should not have voltage on the pink/white wire, the only thing that will cause this is a short to power in the wire harness between the pcm and coil, or the pcm is bad

Expert:  SuperBob replied 5 years ago.

sorry, forgot the link



SuperBob, Ford Senior Master, Mazda Senior
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 2609
Experience: 18 years Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda Dealer ASE master, diesel certified. Specialize electrical
SuperBob and 3 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

How should I go about testing the PCM? I'm thinking this must be the problem, because the car was running (not great) but running, then it just died while driving. Before replacing this part, I would definitely like a strong diagnosis that it is bad because of the expense.


Could you give me some pins to check, and as far as the wiring harness goes it looks like the pink/white attaches to pin 78. I could check for voltage there...?

Expert:  SuperBob replied 5 years ago.
The only tests that you can do is to verify the wires from the pcm, look at that previous wire diagram I sent you and disconnect the pcm and first see if that pink/white wire has voltage, It shouldn't, if it does then the problem is in the harness, if it does not then it is the pcm. There are no tests for the pcm except for knowing what the expected outputs are and having something other than what it should have like you do on that wire
Ask SuperBob Your Own Question
SuperBob, Ford Senior Master, Mazda Senior
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 2609
Experience:  18 years Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda Dealer ASE master, diesel certified. Specialize electrical
Type Your Ford Question Here...
SuperBob is online now
How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

What Customers are Saying:

  • AlvinC answered a question about my Ford truck that only someone with an in-depth knowledge of his subject would have known what was going on. Rich D USA
< Previous | Next >
  • AlvinC answered a question about my Ford truck that only someone with an in-depth knowledge of his subject would have known what was going on. Rich D USA
  • Because of your expertise, you armed me with enough ammunition to win the battle with the dealer. They are installing a fuel filter and fuel pump at no charge to me. Molly USA
  • I needed help with my car on Saturday morning....got a response in 5 minutes, and it was the perfect solution. Thanks again to your service. Jason V. Kirkland, WA
  • I do know, after going though this with JustAnswer, that I can somewhat trust my mechanic but I will always contact you prior to going there. BR New Jersey
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
  • used your service this weekend with "Trecers" help. thank you ,thank you, thank you. replaced an A/C fan motor. Local Auto Zone had part. $15.00 "tracer" fee and $40.00 for parts, I saved several hundreds of dollers at a shop. i will recommend you and use you in the future. David L. Richmond, TX
  • 9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much. Phil Marysville, CA

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

Meet The Experts:

  • Ron


    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FO/fordguyu/2015-7-7_172556_onnieew.64x64.jpg Ron's Avatar


    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/muddyford/2012-6-13_1204_1.64x64.png Chris (aka- Moose)'s Avatar

    Chris (aka- Moose)


    Satisfied Customers:

    16 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JM/jmcdo28/2012-2-23_01655_resized.64x64.jpg John Mc's Avatar

    John Mc

    Ford Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    19 years Ford Lincoln Mercury experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/wmarti7/2009-4-18_04332_Avatar.jpg Chuck's Avatar


    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    33 Years Experience,Ford Senior Master,ASE Master,L1 Advanced Engine Performance
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BL/Bluegorilla/2012-6-21_16298_cam.64x64.JPG Cam's Avatar


    Journeyman Automotive Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years Automotive experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CR/crzydrvr00/2013-11-3_12123_246347.64x64.jpg Richard's Avatar


    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    12 years at a Ford Lincoln/Mercury and Jaguar dealer as a technician and shop foreman.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/baddad1/2014-4-1_23659_avatar.64x64.jpg Mike V.'s Avatar

    Mike V.

    Auto Service Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    25 years experience on all makes and models, Licensed NYS Inspector.