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6Bucs
6Bucs, Ford Senior Master
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 981
Experience:  Ford senior master tech, 18 years experience.
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Ford Flex 2010, slightly rough idle, check engine light came

Customer Question

Ford Flex 2010 , slightly rough idle , check engine light came on ,losing coolant , none in the oil , small amount of vapor coming out of exhaust, runs great other than that , code p00016 from month ago , I think that's what code was , 135k. I have read a lot of posts about possibilities, I'm leaning towards intake leak , not water pump , or head gaskets, I have mechanical experience, , this has been going on couple months, girlfriends car , flex driven approximately 500 miles a week. Thanks David
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Matt replied 1 month ago.

Hello David

to get that code then this points to an issue with the cam timing

and there's a few possibilities:

  • The camshaft timing is out of position due to the timing chain jumped teeth.

  • The camshaft phaser is out of position due to problems with phaser.

  • The oil has flow to the phaser is impeded from having an incorrect oil viscosity or partly clogged passages.

  • The Oil Control Valve (OCV) has a restriction in the OCV filter.

so if the performance is low and there's a rough idle it could well be this.

I'd suggest 1st removing the oil valve and cleaning out its filter and also consider changing the oil if its not been done for a while

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It runs great , no power loss , it is drinking coolant , at a pretty good rate . Oil changed regularly by me , with half quart of Lucas . Let's discuss water issue , could rough idle be from coolant injection into cylinders at idle . That code seems to cover many possibilities
Expert:  Matt replied 1 month ago.

Hello

thanks for the extra information

so if its using coolant then yes this can be due to a leaking gasket or cracked cylinder head

if you apply compressed air to the radiator cap and remove the spark plugs you may be able to hear the escaping air

as for a fix then I'd say its well worth trying some of this

http://www.kalimex.co.uk/our-products/k-seal

as I've known it make an effective repair that lasts many thousands of miles

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I used some of that years ago on a Taurus motor that was smoking vapor , and watched it quit smoking in 10 min . On the 3.5 motors 2010 what is the relationship with the intake gasket to and ports to the cycinders ? Have you torn down the 3.5 ?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
My next step tomorrow was autozone and borrow, pressure checker on radiator plastic tank and check for leaks or combustion bubbles
Expert:  Matt replied 1 month ago.

Hello

I'd agree to try the pressure checker next and it looks like the inlet manifold has no water in teh upper plastic part but it runs through the lower aluminium part

see the attached image

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Have you worked on the 3.5 ford? Have you torn one down?
Expert:  Matt replied 1 month ago.

Can't say that I have

if you would prefer me to opt out and open this up to others then please say so

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I prefer you to opt out
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 month ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

Do you still need help?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
have you read earlier posts? I just checked with autozone chemical tester for combustion in cooling system . All good . I'm pulling spark plugs on easy side in few to check for discoloration. Coolant has to be going somewhere, small amount being burned in combustion chamber I think. Have you seen issues like this on 2010 3.5 ?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 month ago.

The chemical testers do not work. On numerous occasions I've inserted the vial with brand new fluid from a sealed bottle into the tailpipe of a running car to prove that it didn't change colors.

It's possible that you could have a leaking intake gasket or cracked intake but it's much more likely to be a head issue. What I would recommend is filling the cooling system completely and allowing the engine to cool. With the radiator cap off apply shop air to each cylinder with a compression tester adapter and watch for bubbles in the coolant.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Did chemical test , went to tailpipe color changed quickly so , chemical worked . Plugs on easy side changed ,color looked ok , have to pull upper intake to get to other plugs anyway. Will do this week , have you dealt with cracked heads on 3.5 fords?Or seen intake leaks?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 month ago.
I have not seen an intake issue but it's possible.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have the tools to do the apply air to cyclinders if needed . When I have upper intake off I hope I might get a clue to what's going .
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 month ago.
I believe you will find bubbles with the test I described.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Have you torn down the 3.5 with p0016 code ,? What is most common conclusion?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 month ago.
That's either a variable cam timing problem or base cam timing may have jumped .
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Are you talking cam chain has enough slack it jumped a tooth on the cams
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
You have not answered question on your experience with 3.5 "s. . Explain jumped timing better for me , thanks
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 month ago.

Jumped timing means that the chain has allowed the cam and crank sprockets to move independently of each other causing the engine to be out of time.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I understand jumped timing from my old school days . I don't understand phasers and vct on the 3.5 , I just got new info that gf told me it made screeching noise at stop light months ago , check engine light came on then , noise is gone now
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 month ago.

Cam phasers receive oil pressure. Solenoids are used to control the amount of bleed oil from a phaser to alter the cam sprocket's position in relation to the cam itself, to control cam position related to crank position variably.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
But that would have nothing to do with coolant loss in motor ? Correct . How do I figure out which components it could be . Would front cover need to come off to access ?
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 month ago.

The cam timing issue is not related to the coolant loss.

Oil pressure can be measured with a gauge. If oil pressure is ok and the engine is clean then the most likely cause would be the phaser. You could try replacing the solenoid but if that didn't work then disassembly would be necessary to check cam timing and if ok then replace the phaser.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Have you changed out phasers or vct solenoids on 3.5 fords
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 month ago.

If the site had not verified my credentials it would not have been physically possible for me to respond to your question.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I take that as a no . I have asked question before . No reply .
Expert:  sprinkles08 replied 1 month ago.

Do you have further questions about repairing your vehicle?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Of course I do ? Your to evasive on your qualifications. Opt out please ,
Expert:  6Bucs replied 1 month ago.

Hello, different expert here. My name is***** would like to try to get this resolved with you, if you like.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
helloCustomer I need help , girlfriends 2010 ford flex 3.5 made noise at stop light . I was not there , from her description it sounded like a idler pully to me . sound went away . but check engine light came on . I checked it , little low on water , slightly rough idle , but ran fine , oil looked good , I change it , and put half quart of lucas every time , car has 130,000 miles , 100,000 when she bought . code p0016 . I changed bank one cam sensor and cleaned throttle body , she run it couple more weeks , it overheated once on her , I went and checked it , started up fine added a gallon and half water , I exchanged vehicles with her . drove 100 miles back . oil looks little suspicious to me , but would not call it milky , I have read up some on phasers and vct solenoids . I am going to pull intake and change back plugs today , and pull a valve cover on front and see what it looks like . could it be a intake leaking coolant into combustion chambers . flex runs very strong , 2 issues using coolant and slightly rough idle . I checked coolant tank with chemical test , no issues , and checked chemical at rear exhaust and it changed colors. please let me know what you think , thanks
david
Expert:  6Bucs replied 1 month ago.

Alright thank you for that. Since the oil change has the noise and/or code returned?

Could you see any evidence of coolant boiling over out of the recovery tank when it overheated? Sometimes after the fluid has dried up you can see white stains from the glycol under the bottle, around the tank seam, or below on the inside of the body below the reservoir.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Buttoned it all back hour ago . Oil maybe little milky , changing in morning , poured blue devil block sealer and drove it , idle still little rough in drive , 600 rpm cleaned vct solenoid while valve cover off . Any suggestions to bump idle up . Or is it a timing issue with phasers ?
Expert:  6Bucs replied 1 month ago.

Base idle is computer controlled and not adjustable. The direction we go here will depend on if coolant is entering the crankcase. I think that if you lost a gallon and a half of water in 2 weeks you would definitely notice it in the oil. It's pretty obvious on this engine when that happens. The water pump is driven off the timing chain. Sometimes they do fail. They are supposed to leak out a weep hole in the left front side of the block, right above the ac compressor if you're looking from underneath the vehicle. Sometimes coolant can leak there and the water evaporates off the hot engine leaving just a white residue, so you may not notice a drip.

When the water pump fails, it can also leak coolant inside the crankcase. I've seen this several times. I have never seen a head gasket or intake gasket leak on this engine.

Most often though, overheating is caused by intermittent engine cooling fan operation, especially when the a/c is on. There is a test for this requiring a higher end laptop, but you can start the engine with the a/c on and make sure the fan is running on high speed. The module on the fan itself is what fails. This causes coolant to boil out of the reservoir. That's why I mentioned it earlier. It's more likely that is what happened to the coolant.

If after checking these things, you determine that there is no coolant in the oil, we can address the p0016 code, as contaminated oil will cause this code to come up.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I will change oil in the morning and look for dried residue while under there . I think the fans are ok , I have let it idle and watched them. I've read there are 2 o rings on water pump , not sure if true . Gauge on dash stays consistent since I have worked on it .if enough water no overheating . But I swear I smell something after driving , but nothing visible , so evaporation on warm motor possible , will see tomorrow , thanks
Expert:  6Bucs replied 1 month ago.

The water pump has an o ring and a gasket on the back of it. It bolts to the block and the impeller shaft is driven on a sprocket by the timing chain. Usually if it fails the bearing in the shaft gets loose allowing coolant to leak out into the oil, or if it leaks at the rear, the coolant will exit out the weep hole. It's hard to see the hole with the ac compressor installed, but you should see a trail coming down the side of the engine, if it is leaking there.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Changed oil and filter this morning, oil looked normal that I removed . No residue by ac compressor . Topped off with antifreeze to line . Drove 30 miles , came back idle still little rough , run flex runs great . Did a throttle reset with jumper wire from positive to disconnected negative, idle maybe slightly better , any ideas on what else to try . Thanks David
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Did you think over my last ?
Expert:  6Bucs replied 1 month ago.

Has the code come back? Has the engine overheated?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
code back , no overheating so far . Still slightly rough idle
Expert:  6Bucs replied 1 month ago.

Alright. Hey, do you have the VIN? If not we can work around it.

Thanks.