2014 Explorer Sport Ignition Issues & Water Pump Service | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Ryan Barlow

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September 16, 2018
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2014 Ford Explorer Sport
Hi All,
I’m having some serious troubleshooting issues. I have 2014 Explorer Sport with 107,000 mi. May 2021 at the 100,000 service a leaking water pump was discovered. The water pump was replaced along with the valve cover gasket, and spark plugs by a local service shop, not dealer.
Since then, the car has had multiple P0420 codes, but they come on and off intermittently.

2 weeks ago I added Techron Fuel Cleaner, and for that tank of fuel, the car ran better. On the next tank, the car began misfiring on cylinder 1, 6 and threw engine codes P219A, P0301, P0420, P0011, P0018.

I had to pull into a local shop which identified ignition coils, and shortly there after realized that the ignition chambers had flooded with oil, due to spark plus tube seals not being changed during the initial water pump service.

Now the spark plug tube seals, spark plugs, and ignition coils (Carquest Premium coils, Motorcraft wasn’t available).

The issue is the car is idling poorly and even feels hesitant at speed when in gear around 2,000 Rpms.

The shop cleaned out residual oil in the engine system yesterday with seafoam, but the issue is only slightly better, causing the occasional red light stall, or reverse engine stall.

Are there any obvious missed troubleshooting steps and solutions to what may be the root cause of the ignition issues?

Any help will be greatly appreciated! Many thanks in advance!

Welcome to the Forum Ryan. :wave:
I don't know if you checked what the codes meant. I had to look them up. The last 2 codes indicate issues;
P0011 is the OBD-II generic code indicating the engine control module (ECM) has determined that the bank 1 intake camshaft is more advanced than what the ECM has commanded it be. This over-advanced condition could be during advancing or retarding of the camshaft timing.
P0018 is the OBD-II generic code indicating that the camshaft position sensor A for bank 2 does not correlate to the signal from the crankshaft position sensor.
Several members have replaced their water pumps but I don't recall that there ever was a mention of "spark plus tube seals" being replaced or even mentioned.


You definitely have a timing issue. Convenient enough, all the timing components came off your engine to replace that water pump.

I have a strong suspicion your timing chain is one tooth off. It is extremely easy to mess up the timing on these cars. There are multiple timing marks that must align correctly on the chain.

I am shocked that they did not replace the timing chain, tensioners, guides etc since they were in there... I can't recommend going back to the shop who did the initial work since they overlooked such a common-sense repair technique (do it right once...). Additionally, I can assure you the spark plug tube gasket would have to be visibly cracked or torn to leak.

I did the waterpump and timing job on my car recently and I never replaced those gaskets. My engine has 130k. For the top end, I used blue felpro valve cover seals and felpro grommets on every bolt. I re used every other gasket and nothing leaks.

You should pickup OBDLink MX bluetooth adapter and download ForScan onto your phone. That will tell you everything going on and where to start next. Unfortunately i think you will be tearing the engine down again...