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Rough idle/Stalling
03-08-2015, 04:36 PM
Post: #1
Rough idle/Stalling
Hey Ya'll,
2003 Ford Windstar

Problem: When starting car I'm getting a rough idle. Car starts fine but after ignition idle is rough. Sometimes car turns off, especially when put into gear. Belt is making a chirping noise during rough idle. I can give it gas and car won't cut off and chirp goes away.

Problem is intermittent, might happen one day then run fine for a week. Problem happens when car first started, once everything is warm problem doesn't happen. Problem typical happening in cold weather. No check engine light on.

History: new battery, just replaced wires and plugs (OEM), I had a rough idle problem in 08/2014 bc during transmission replacement a hose came loose. That was fixed.

Thanks,
Dave
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03-09-2015, 06:23 AM
Post: #2
RE: Rough idle/Stalling
Even if the Check Engine Light isn’t on I would suggest checking for codes. Have all systems scanned, record all of the code NUMBERS and post them here for review, and have the computer cleared. This could help to reduce the diagnosis time and cost if codes are present. Other helpful information would be the Engine Size & does it have a Distributor or Coil Pack?

Without anything else to go on I can only take a wild guess out of a lot of possibilities. My first guess would be that a plug wire wasn’t put on tight enough and is letting moisture in on the cold days causing a short. Another thing may be that a wire rubbed through and is shorting out. One way to check for this is to have the car in a dimly lit garage or outside after it is getting dark. Start the engine and use a spray bottle to mist the plug wires with water. If there is a bad wire you can usually see the sparks jumping.

Please get back to us with any codes or extra information.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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03-09-2015, 07:52 PM
Post: #3
RE: Rough idle/Stalling
I replaced the belt tensioner and idler pulley to fix the chirp. I thought maybe belt could be slipping on alternator pulley could be causing problem. I don't hear the chirp anymore.

I was getting a rough idle a few months ago and changed the plugs and wires. Gap was like a 0.8. After I changed the plugs and wires car ran fine and then started getting the above issue. Within last day car will also miss when accelerating, again when engine is cold. When hot, car runs fine. Three of the plugs are on the back side, against fire wall. So it could be likely the seal is not great. It was pain in butt getting to them.

I'll scan. I'll check connections of wires. Thanks for help.

3.8 L with a coil pack
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03-10-2015, 06:03 AM
Post: #4
RE: Rough idle/Stalling
Without code numbers I’m limited to guessing and then letting it up to you to check each thing out. The fact that you say it only does this when it’s cold could point to the Coolant Temperature Sensor, low coolant level, coolant freezing up due to improper anti-freeze to water ratio, or an air pocket in the cooling system. It could be moisture in the fuel line or the exhaust that thaws out with the heat from the engine? A lot of possibilities. Hopefully a scan will narrow things down.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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03-27-2015, 06:35 PM (This post was last modified: 03-27-2015 06:35 PM by dwd2014.)
Post: #5
RE: Rough idle/Stalling
I've been driving around town. I finally got check engine light to come on. P0340 and P0300 came up when scanned.
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03-27-2015, 10:44 PM
Post: #6
RE: Rough idle/Stalling
The p0300 is the easy code. That's multiple cylinder misfire, which may or may not be caused by the root of the p0340 code, which starts out as the cam sensor, but reading between the lines could actually be caused by an EGR problem.

Some have suggested pulling the vac line to the EGR and doing a test drive (how long?) to see if that's the cure. (as a diagnostic aid for the light staying off) Again, reading between the lines the EGR passage is inside the intake manifold and you'd have to remove it to do a manual cleaning. Some suggest the issue is partially clogged passages and certain cyls get EGR while others don't. It's a stretch but I can see what they mean. Others suggest you replace the cam sensor then go from there. It would seem both are common problems with the 3.8 engine.

I'm not the Ford expert here so my direction would be to make sure the ignition is good, the injectors are ok, (might require "reading" the plugs) and then look into the cam position sensor or the EGR system.

Garner, you have anything to add?
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03-28-2015, 10:20 AM (This post was last modified: 03-28-2015 10:21 AM by Garner.)
Post: #7
RE: Rough idle/Stalling
You pretty much covered it. This is more in W2O's line of expertise.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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03-28-2015, 12:11 PM
Post: #8
RE: Rough idle/Stalling
Cool. My brother is a ASE Master Tech for Honda. He's moving up to VA from FL because he got a job here. So I got good help on the way.

Thank you for the help Rupe and Garner. I'm going to do those fixes. Rupe can you help me out with the pulling vac line piece? By pulling the line if the issue goes away then we can assume a clogged EGR passage?

I went http://www.fordwindstarrecall.info/morecodes.htm and it's just a list of everything that has gone wrong with my car in last year. The left one thing off though: the transmission, ha. The only thing I haven't done is EGR valve and coil pack. I'm going to pull the trigger and do some PM. My kid almost got stuck at school because the car wouldn't stay running.
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03-28-2015, 12:23 PM
Post: #9
RE: Rough idle/Stalling
Pulling the vac line is simply a matter of removing the end of the vac hose and blocking it off with a screw or similar so it doesn't suck air. Your brother may be able to explain it better via a phone call if you have trouble figuring it out. There's also a picture of it on that web link you posted.

The idea is (possibly) that some cyls are getting more EGR than others, which may show up as a misfire. Eliminating the EGR from ALL may at least tell you if anything changes. IOW, it's just a diagnostic tool to help point you in the right direction.

BTW, a weak fuel pump can also give a p0300 due to low pressure (intermittently?) so perhaps your brother can help with testing that aspect. It's just another one of those things when you drive an older car. Many of the parts are only designed to last the first 100k miles.
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03-28-2015, 01:11 PM (This post was last modified: 03-28-2015 01:12 PM by dwd2014.)
Post: #10
RE: Rough idle/Stalling
Yep, I'm reading about fuel pressure regulator/vacuum line and fuel pump issues right now. I'm going to test pressure. Would the following lead you to believe possible fuel delivery issues (I know it's hard to say). The car will have a couple misses after running for 30 seconds. That's it. Runs fine after that. Yesterday the car would start then turn off after 20 seconds. When the cars gets going after 1 minute, never having an issue.
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