Check Engine question

Discussion in 'General Automotive Questions' started by Clark, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. Clark

    Clark In Maximum Overdrive

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    My 2002 Ford Ranger, 3.0L V-6, is giving me a Check Engine light. I had it checked and cleared at the local parts store. Their analyzer says "intermittent miss on cylinder number 4." Strange to me. I certainly don't feel it. Runs very smooth.

    I'd been on a 1,400 mile drive and was forced to refill with 10% ethanol gas since I was too far from any non-ethanol station. Probably not related, but the Check Engine light came on shortly after the refill.

    I've run through a tank of decent gas and had the error cleared but the Check Engine light came back on in a few miles of driving.

    The spark plugs, ignition wires (Motorcraft), coil pack (Motorcraft), and cam synchronizer (Motorcraft) are not that old or that many miles - maybe 10,000 at the most.

    I haven't pulled a plug yet (new snow) but am wondering where to look.
     
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  2. andrewok1

    andrewok1 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER GOLD MEMBER

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    I had that or similar happen to my 2004 sport trac 4.0 it turned out to be a loose plug wire on the spark plug , was a simple problem but the check engine light kept coming on , and had everything else checked nothing was wrong , 7500 miles no light, simple squeez of wire boot , worth a look /MERRY CHRISTMAS
     
  3. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

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    Could be a dirty/failing injector, or even the electrical connection to it.
    Or, as pointed out above, ignition.
     
  4. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Swap #4's wire to #5 plug and coil, and vice-versa. Drive it, and if the light doesn't come back on, John's correct, problem solved. If it does, scan it, and if the errant cylinder is now 5, you have a bad wire. Remove it and carefully inspect it, make sure the plug boot and wire are not cracked, burned or corroded. if it comes back on but is still #4, put the wires back correctly, but swap #4 and #5 plugs, go clear the codes and drive. If the light stays off, it was a loose plug. If the light comes back on, scan it, and if the misfire moved to #5, bingo. Are you now seeing the diagnosis pattern here? Swapping next-door parts allows you to see if the misfire migrates, and if it does, which component had moved it. Once you get through the plug, wire and injector, if the misfire is still at #4, it's logical to assume the problem is engine mechanical related.
     
  5. Bryan59EC

    Bryan59EC In Overdrive

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    I have an 05 Ranger 3.0/5spd that is getting hard to start
    feels a little rough at idle
    110,000
    No CEL
    Someone suggested to me that the coil pack was getting ready to give up.
    I have not really looked into it too much as this is pretty much just a backup vehicle.
    (less than 3000m in two years)
    I might take it to town once a month just to make sure it still runs..
     
  6. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

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    The cam position sensor will often not throw codes when failing.
     
  7. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    And the cam synchronizer is a pattern-failure item. Is there a squeaking sound as the engine is running? That would be a failing synchronizer, so make sure, if you decide to replace it, that you get the Motorcraft one, as it has the design changes that give better lubrication.
     
  8. Clark

    Clark In Maximum Overdrive

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    I removed the number 4 cylinder spark plug which looked perfect. I checked the ignition wire to be sure it fit snug on the plug and it did. Now, days later, the Check Engine light turned off and has stayed off. 'Course I suppose the danged bulb could have burned out! Sheez. As I wrote earlier, if this engine has a miss, I've never noticed it.

    Oh for the Ranchero! Just a great, dumb 460 with no computer!
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  9. As Is '66

    As Is '66 2 Wheeled Mod Staff Member

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    ya could Pull a plug wire to see If`n the bulb blew?
    Yes @Clark Old School is better school!!
    D
     
  10. plumcolr

    plumcolr In Maximum Overdrive

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    Or just turn the key on. All the idiot lights should come on.
     
  11. Clark

    Clark In Maximum Overdrive

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    Ok, finally fixed this problem. At the suggestion of my nieces husband, a truck mechanic, I gave this Ranger a can of BG-44K fuel injector cleaner. Expensive stuff but IT WORKED! Finally, no more check engine warnings after several tanks of gas.

    I had tried Seafoam before to no avail. This BG-44K really works.
     
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  12. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

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    Yup, dirty/failing injector.
    Don't be surprised if the problem returns.
    I don't know why there are not stone filters in front of every injector. Even high grade metal piping releases debris over time.
     
  13. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Oh, but injectors do have a 'stone screen,' built into the top of the injector inlet. And for the record, BGs 44K is specifically formulated to dissolve the crud that degrading gasoline leaves in the inside of the rail and injectors; Seafoam is simply a 'top engine' cleaner, to remove carbon, but it doesn't do all that good against varnish if you put it in fuel, depending on dilution, whereas 44K is a high-concentration cleaner requiring a near-full or full tank for it to work to its fullest advantage.
     
  14. TestDummy

    TestDummy In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    If we didn't have a good one at work, I'd buy a scan tool. You can get a decent one for $40, and if you spend $100, a really good one. I think they all will clear a code. The info they give is invaluable.
     
  15. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    My friend Steven just scored an Amazon deal of the day for a $45 handheld with data stream for $25, to include a specifically-made carrying case. Sorry, guys, it was only for three hours or so.
     
  16. TestDummy

    TestDummy In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    Totally worth it. I'd have one if we didn't have them at work. We've got OE specific kits that dealers use, which is very handy.
     
  17. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

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    I miss my former boss' NGS tester; it made Ford diagnosis a lot easier than using an MT-2500 with the latest updates.
     
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  18. ForistellFord

    ForistellFord In Maximum Overdrive

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    A little late to the party but yes, definitely. It's already pinpointed three things on my Durango that may have been shotgun repaired otherwise. Clark, you never said what your p-code was...
     

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