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Steve, Service Manager
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 5494
Experience:  25+ years experience as a professional technician ; ASE L1 master Technician
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Ford Winstar: Several months ago, after a heavyrainstorm, my

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Several months ago, after a heavyrainstorm, my 2002 windstar ran very rough (almost died) the check engine light was on and off, for the entire 7-10 miles drive home. The next day it ran fine, and had run ok ever since then. This morning I drove to work (1.8 miles) - after about 6-8 inclhes of snowfall, and it did the same thing again. I barely made it. It hesitates, the charging is low (dim lights on panel and low running heater fan), and it makes a popping sound. how would wet weather cause this? what should I check or change first?
A known problem on this model year is water intrusion into the PCM, which can cause various unusual symptoms in wet weather, including the ones you are describing.
Ford has a technical service bulletin on this issue (06-14-10) which calls for inspection and replacement of the PCM if necessary, and checking for any water leakage from the cowl panel area that could be allowing water to run into the PCM or the PCM electrical connector.
If you take this in to your local Ford dealer, I am sure the techs there have seen this issue many times and will be familiar with the service bulletin and the steps to inspect the cowl area and correct water leakage issues.
Although Ford did cover this issue under warranty when the vehicle was new, there are no recalls or other campaigns for it so Ford will not pay for the necessary repairs.
I hope this is helpful!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Please describe replacement of the PCm - so I can do this myself?


Before replacing the PCM it would be a good idea to make sure that is what is causing the problem; this would require inspecting the PCM for water intrusion, and using a garden hose to inspect for water leakage into the area where the PCM is located while running water over the windshield and cowl area. Also, after a replacement PCM is installed it must be programmed with the exact software calibration your vehicle requires or it will not start or run. Programming the PCM does require some special equipment you do not ahve at home, so I am not sure you would be able to complete this repair fully without having the vehicle towed in to a shop for the programming afterwords.
However, physically replacing the PCM is pretty easy. You will find it located behind the firewall, towards teh passenger side of the vehicle. If you look in this area you will see a very large electrical connector with about 60 wires, this is the PCm connector. Loosen the bolt in the center of the connector and you can unplug it. Then, the small cover plate that surrounds the PCM has to be removed; you will see a nut on either side of the electrical plug; remove these nuts, and pull the cover and the PCM out of the firewall.
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