CEL Blinking, plugs question | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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CEL Blinking, plugs question


Well-Known Member
April 7, 2006
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT
Well I changed the 3 easy to get to plugs on my 4.0L 98, one at a time so I got the wires back on in the right order. Now my CEL is blinking, and runs real rough. Could this be due to the fact that I changed one side of plugs, but not the other side? I think I should put them back in, but I want to make sure first. Any help is appreciated! Also, I gapped them at 54.

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Blinking MIL means the engine is missing. If it wasn't doing it before the change you didn't get something right in the plugs or wires.

Double check the gaps and make sure the boots are pressed onto the spark plugs all the way. You'll feel it snap into place when the boot is on right.

To add to what JL said, I don't think that it's caused by the fact that you only did 3 of the plugs. And I wouldn't put the old ones back in. You should try to change the other side soon though, it's not as bad as it looks if you go through the wheel well. You should pull the plugs that you just put in and inspect them. Make sure the wires are on tight and also check to make sure that none of the wires are touching the exhaust manifold. This would melt the insulation and cause that wire to short out.

Well I messed with the wires quite a bit, and they feel like they are on, I can feel underneath them and they are almost all the way over the insulator...I will pull the plugs out tomorrow and check those as well, but the only thing that makes me nervous is that it really seems like the wires are all pushed on good. I'm confused.

Get the codes pulled if you can. It should tell you which cylinder is missing.

Does it pull codes if it's flashing? If it does, I have an autozone less than a mile from me :).

Yes if the MIL is on at all (solid or flashing) there is a code stored.

Sweet, thanks for the tip :) should make things a lot easier!

Also, it's a lot easier to get to the plugs by pulling the wheels and coming thru the wheel well.

Wow, even more bigtime than expected...here were the codes:

P0301 Misfire Cyl. 1
P0303 Misfire Cyl. 3
P0306 Misfire Cyl. 6

Now that looks like 1 and 3 are on the opposite side of what I was working on. Also I find it strange that those THREE codes came up, what could be the issue? Those wires weren't even taken off? 6 was, but I think that this may be a completely different issue since the firing order goes

3 6
2 5
1 4

Goes in a sideways V on the cylinders?


Ok so I put back in the old plug from Cyl 6, put the wire back on and now it all runs fine...Strange. Anyways, that fixed the problem!