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Solved Missing while idling

JamesWoolery

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I bought a 2002 Sport Trac from a dealer that was carfax approved, the carfax was perfect on this truck is only has a little over 60,000 miles on it, I test drove it, everything was fine & ran great. I drove from Nashville to Bowling Green KY to buy this truck, I got back into Tennessee & then had to stop for gas & when I got back on the interstate then all the sudden I was losing power & when idling it felt like it wanted to die, I figured I got some bad gas so I put some sea foam in the tank hoping that would help, it didn’t seem to help at all, eventually the engine light came on, I took it to AutoZone & the machine said it needed spark plugs & coil pack so I bought them & was able to replace only the coil pack & 1 plug, I had a hard time getting it out, in fact part of it broke off & I had to get that out & didn’t want to chance doing the others, but I got it out & put a new one in & the new coil pack & it ran worse than it was running before, I took it to two different mechanics to have them run a diagnostics tests on it, they can’t figure out what’s going on, I ended up putting the old coil pack back on & it’s running like it was before I replaced it, just a rough idle like it’s wanting to die & it’s also sounding like there’s either some loud exhaust noise or some air or something coming from somewhere. I don’t know how to really describe it. Can anyone maybe tell me what else I can do?
 



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Fix4Dirt

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I bought a 2002 Sport Trac from a dealer that was carfax approved, the carfax was perfect on this truck is only has a little over 60,000 miles on it, I test drove it, everything was fine & ran great. I drove from Nashville to Bowling Green KY to buy this truck, I got back into Tennessee & then had to stop for gas & when I got back on the interstate then all the sudden I was losing power & when idling it felt like it wanted to die, I figured I got some bad gas so I put some sea foam in the tank hoping that would help, it didn’t seem to help at all, eventually the engine light came on, I took it to AutoZone & the machine said it needed spark plugs & coil pack so I bought them & was able to replace only the coil pack & 1 plug, I had a hard time getting it out, in fact part of it broke off & I had to get that out & didn’t want to chance doing the others, but I got it out & put a new one in & the new coil pack & it ran worse than it was running before, I took it to two different mechanics to have them run a diagnostics tests on it, they can’t figure out what’s going on, I ended up putting the old coil pack back on & it’s running like it was before I replaced it, just a rough idle like it’s wanting to die & it’s also sounding like there’s either some loud exhaust noise or some air or something coming from somewhere. I don’t know how to really describe it. Can anyone maybe tell me what else I can do?
welcome!

imo hissing+dying= vacuum leak imo. id suspect intake gasket. though thats odd that the coil pack affects it.
 






DintDobbs

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@JamesWoolery You've found a piece of gold among the rocks, only 60k miles? That's a time traveler! Beware if it's been left sitting; that can allow all kinds of things to go wrong, including bugs or rodents in the wiring, intake, etc.

Concerning the problem, if you didn't notice that problem at all until you filled the gas tank, the gasoline really could be the problem. Regardless of what else you put in there, if the gas is contaminated with water or other non-combustible liquids, it's gonna run like that.

1. Get the actual engine codes and let us know what they are. We don't trust the parts counter jockeys here.

2. The sound could be an exhaust leak, or a vacuum leak, or any number of other things (may be just a poorly-installed or decaying exhaust setup underneath - have you checked?)

3. Carfax means nothing. Zero. Zilch. My truck is far from stock, but the carfax is clean, because all the mods were done by myself or shops that don't report to Carfax.

4. Hang onto those plugs and coil pack. Any car that old, regardless of mileage and abuse, is going to need new plugs and wires sooner or later. Get some new wires to go with the plugs, check all your hose clamps and fluids, don't trust any dealership with anything.

A dealership once sold me a car with the battery cables loose. Jesus Christ must have been holding it on, because I drove 22 miles home from the dealer, and then 25 miles to work, and it wouldn't start when I left from work. Problem? Battery cable disconnected.

Hope you get this figured out, we'll help as much as we can, but we need the codes first! If you don't have your own scanner yet, buy an OxGord or similar for about $25 on Amazon.com, make sure it's OBD-II compliant and reads manufacturer-specific codes, and you're set for life.
 






JamesWoolery

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2002 Sport Trac V6 4.0
@JamesWoolery You've found a piece of gold among the rocks, only 60k miles? That's a time traveler! Beware if it's been left sitting; that can allow all kinds of things to go wrong, including bugs or rodents in the wiring, intake, etc.

Concerning the problem, if you didn't notice that problem at all until you filled the gas tank, the gasoline really could be the problem. Regardless of what else you put in there, if the gas is contaminated with water or other non-combustible liquids, it's gonna run like that.

1. Get the actual engine codes and let us know what they are. We don't trust the parts counter jockeys here.

2. The sound could be an exhaust leak, or a vacuum leak, or any number of other things (may be just a poorly-installed or decaying exhaust setup underneath - have you checked?)

3. Carfax means nothing. Zero. Zilch. My truck is far from stock, but the carfax is clean, because all the mods were done by myself or shops that don't report to Carfax.

4. Hang onto those plugs and coil pack. Any car that old, regardless of mileage and abuse, is going to need new plugs and wires sooner or later. Get some new wires to go with the plugs, check all your hose clamps and fluids, don't trust any dealership with anything.

A dealership once sold me a car with the battery cables loose. Jesus Christ must have been holding it on, because I drove 22 miles home from the dealer, and then 25 miles to work, and it wouldn't start when I left from work. Problem? Battery cable disconnected.

Hope you get this figured out, we'll help as much as we can, but we need the codes first! If you don't have your own scanner yet, buy an OxGord or similar for about $25 on Amazon.com, make sure it's OBD-II compliant and reads manufacturer-specific codes, and you're set for life.
Can you tell me the name of the scanner that I need to get so I can get the codes? Thanks for all the other info as well. I appreciate it.
 






Fix4Dirt

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Can you tell me the name of the scanner that I need to get so I can get the codes? Thanks for all the other info as well. I appreciate it.
any elm adaptwr on amazon and forscan will work imo
 






DintDobbs

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@JamesWoolery Here's a link to one like mine. It doesn't read manufacturer-specific codes, but it has read every engine code I've encountered thus far.

Amazon product

I hope you get her all cleared up soon, ST's are getting hard to find!
 






JamesWoolery

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@JamesWoolery Here's a link to one like mine. It doesn't read manufacturer-specific codes, but it has read every engine code I've encountered thus far.

Amazon product

I hope you get her all cleared up soon, ST's are getting hard to find!

@JamesWoolery Here's a link to one like mine. It doesn't read manufacturer-specific codes, but it has read every engine code I've encountered thus far.

Amazon product

I hope you get her all cleared up soon, ST's are getting hard to find!

Thanks, I’m working on trying to change out the PCV hose at the moment but I will be getting this device.
 






Fix4Dirt

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Thanks, I’m working on trying to change out the PCV hose at the moment but I will be getting this device.
not to doubt dintdobbs, knowledgable guy, but imo forscan on your computer and any elm adapter can read ford specific codes.
 






Turdle

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Second bad gas hunch. Do what you can to get that fuel drained and replaced with fresh fuel from a different source. Sea foam is not a fix for bad fuel
 






DintDobbs

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@JamesWoolery I'd listen to Fix4Dirt; this isn't the first time I've heard FORScan recommended. The OxGord has two advantages; first, it is very small, and second, it is self-contained. The FORScan is a much, much more sophisticated piece, but requires an external device.

Read all about it here:


I've gotten suspect fuel from the only gas station that had any after a hurricane with bad flooding a few years back, and mine had some goofy side effects going on until I used it up and refilled with fuel from a trusted source. Didn't always want to start, rough idle, you get the picture.
 






Turdle

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I'm going to stress the point of avoiding a code--- parts rabbit hole, get that fuel out and replaced. You'll have a check engine light, sure. My bet is it goes away with new fuel. Sounds exactly like a bad fuel stop I once made.
 






swshawaii

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BEFORE throwing any more parts at it inspect the notoriously failed rubber PCV elbow.
Trouble code scanner or Forscan with ELM adapter is invaluable, BUT this pesky rubber elbow does NOT always throw a CEL or DTC's.

So common it's the very FIRST sticky in the 2001-03 Sport / 2001-05 Sport Trac sub forum's "List of Useful Threads" and five pages long. (PO171&174)
 






drbenz

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Plus one on the pcv elbow. If you can hear the vacuum leak either put your finger or something in the hose or spray some throttle body cleaner (CAREFULLY, remember the stuff burns) at the suspected vac leak or around the intake generally and listen to see if the runneng of the engine changes noticeably as you spray something that will burn to the extra air leaking in. Just be careful, you aren't trying to start a fire on the outside of the engine, that's for inside.
For those that have a scan tool, look at the o2 sensor readings at idle and compare to what it reads at 2000 rpm. Idle is affected a lot more than higher speed so at idle it could be peged lean and at 2K show some switching which would tell you for sure that you have a vacuum leak. if only one bank is affected look for something loose or broken on that bank of the intake.
 






swshawaii

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^ Good tip(s) but the PCV elbow usually leaks on the bottom where residual liquid from fuel vapor collects.

Worth a try spraying, but in most cases requires removal.
 






drbenz

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I guess that I should say that using propane with a wand or hose is better, the gas gets in low places like that and is a little easier to prevent fire but that requires a little prior preparation or manufacture at the time.
 






swshawaii

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Propane should work although access is somewhat confined. Problem with removal is the possibility of damaging the hose. Breaking free hoses can be difficult, and this PCV elbow is small in a very tight spot.
 






Fix4Dirt

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@JamesWoolery I'd listen to Fix4Dirt; this isn't the first time I've heard FORScan recommended. The OxGord has two advantages; first, it is very small, and second, it is self-contained. The FORScan is a much, much more sophisticated piece, but requires an external device.

Read all about it here:


I've gotten suspect fuel from the only gas station that had any after a hurricane with bad flooding a few years back, and mine had some goofy side effects going on until I used it up and refilled with fuel from a trusted source. Didn't always want to start, rough idle, you get the picture.
for a general use i think that works, but forscan can do oh so much more. all depends what you want to do with it. that one is sinple, one and done, you get the idea. forscan can have a slight learning curve but once you get it, its a godsend. its like built vs bought ;)
 






JamesWoolery

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Second bad gas hunch. Do what you can to get that fuel drained and replaced with fresh fuel from a different source. Sea foam is not a fix for bad fuel
I have used all that gas & gotten new gas since however changing the PCV hose & cleaning the mass air flow sensor has actually took care of the issues that I was having. I appreciate all the input & I will be getting that code reader as well in case of any future issues.
 









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