Nov 082016

2001 Ford FocusHi. I was traveling from California to Oklahoma, and right when I crossed the Oklahoma state line, I pushed the brakes, and all of a sudden my powertrain light flashed and there was no power to the car for a split second. And then it immediately started driving normally. It didn’t happen again for a month. Now, I’m on my way back to California, and I went to switch off my headlights and all the needles on the gauges started going crazy. So I switched my headlights back on and once again the powertrain warning light flashed. The car lost power for a second, but then immediately went back to normal and my gauges are fine if I keep my headlights on. Any idea what my problem may be?


When the powertrain malfunction warning comes on then the engine management has detected a fault with a sensor or actuator, this will store a fault code in the engine management memory. It will be necessary to have a scan tool in order to extract the engine trouble codes from your vehicle. Just about any local auto parts store will do this for free. Post the codes below in the comments for more information.

Nov 042016

1999 Ford Explorerhey, I’m throwing code p0171 on my 1999 Ford Explorer 4.0 EFI. So I looked it up and did a few things. I cleaned the MAF sensor and replaced the air filter, that did not keep code out. So I replaced the oxygen sensor on bank 1. Not sure where else to look. I do know that the engine seems to be running fine however it is using a little more gas then normal. I do know that my fuel neck needs to be replaced because after we replaced the oxygen sensor on bank 1 it threw a code for large evap leak and whenever your standing back by the fuel cap you can smell a little fuel vapors. Can the fuel neck be causing the computer to throw a p0171 code?



Most likely reason for code P0171 would be an intake leak. The intake gaskets are little rubber o-ring style gaskets. It is common for them to fail at this age.

Ford Code P0171  – Fuel Injection System Too Lean Bank 1

Ford Code P0171 Possible causes

Ford Code P0171 Description

With the Air/Fuel Mixture Ratio Self-Learning Control, the actual mixture ratio can be brought closely to the theoretical mixture ratio based on the mixture ratio feedback signal from the heated oxygen sensors 1. The Engine Control Module (ECM) calculates the necessary compensation to correct the offset between the actual and the theoretical ratios.

In case the amount of the compensation value is extremely large (The actual mixture ratio is too lean.), the ECM judges the condition as the fuel injection system malfunction and light up the Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) (2 trip detection logic).

Nov 032016

2013 Ford MustangSometimes when I turn my key in my Mustang’s ignition, there’s a millisecond where nothing happens. Then it starts up fine. Any idea what the problem might be? I’m afraid one day it won’t start.


Most likely cause would be the starter relay sticking. Seems like that would be the cheapest part also. It could also be an indication of a loose connection at the battery or starter. Make sure there is no corrosion around the battery connections. I have added the starting system wiring diagram to help give you a better idea of the components involved in the starting process.

Starting System Wiring Diagram 2013 Ford Mustang

Starting System — Starter Motor

The starting system consists of the following:

  • Starter motor
  • Starter motor relay (located in the Battery Junction Box (BJB) )
  • Battery and battery cables
  • Digital Transmission Range (TR) sensor (automatic transmission-equipped vehicles) (located in the transmission) or Clutch Pedal Position (CPP) switch (manual transmission-equipped vehicles) (located on the clutch pedal)
  • Ignition switch
  • PCM (located in the engine compartment, attached to the BJB )
Nov 022016

2002 Ford Mustang GTEver since my gas gauge hit 1/2 a tank since last fill-up, when my car idles around 500 at a stop light the gauge will fluctuate. I have to put car in neutral to stop is from happening, as well I noticed my MPG is way off on this tank of gas.


If this doesn’t correct itself you may need to replace the fuel level sending unit. The fuel gauge sending unit is attached to the side of the fuel pump module. It is located inside the fuel tank. Removal of the fuel tank is required.

Replace Fuel Pump/ Fuel Gauge Sending Unit 2002 Ford Mustang GT

Oct 312016

1993 Ford Explorer SportMy engine will not idle when cold. It will start and idle rather well if head bolt heater is used to warm engine first. It seems to run real rich. Also loses power on hills. It runs rough at certain speeds on highway.



Sounds like the ECT – Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor may be giving you an issue. First I would pull any existing engine codes. Post any of the codes found below in the comments. This will help narrow down any issue related to the engine. The good news is, this can be done without a scan tool. Do to this I have added a link to explain how to go about doing just that.

Engine Will Not Idle

Idle Speed Adjustment

The engine utilizes sophisticated multi-port fuel injection systems in which an engine control computer utilizes information from various sensors to control idle speed and air fuel mixtures. No periodic adjustments are either necessary or possible on these systems.

Idle Air Control

The Idle Air Control (IAC) valve controls the engine idle speed and dashpot functions. The valve is located on the side of the throttle body.  This valve allows air, determined by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) and controlled by a duty cycle signal, to bypass the throttle plate in order to maintain the proper idle speed. A vacuum leak will disrupt the ability to do its job cause it will be fighting itself.

Oct 312016

1993 Ford Explorer SportWe had the fuel pump replaced and now something keeps draining battery.


First step would be to make sure nothing is left on. This includes the glove box being closed, etc. Best way to check is to wait till it is dark out and look for a light on. Fords are prone for door latch assembly failure that cause the dome light(door open) to stay on. Hard to notice during the day but it will drain a battery fast. None f this would be related to the fuel pump being replaced. Also check the under-hood light being stuck on.

Oct 312016

1998 Ford TaurusFreeze plug leaking between firewall and engine. I live in South Texas where this plug serves no purpose. Considering coating it with a high-hear, waterproof gasket sealer or something similar. Is this a bad idea. If you think it would work what would you recommend I use?


Sealing instead of replacing the plug is fine. If it is a tiny leak why not seal it from the inside out. It is easier to do and will save you time. I recommend Pelletized Bar’s Stop Leak. It isn’t just for radiator leaks. It is designed to seal other coolant leaks as well.

Freeze Plug Leak Fix

With the engine cool, add the contents to the radiator and run the engine. Its that easy. Well worth the try and its under $5. The stop leak even has lubrication for the cooling system components that will prolong there life.

Replace Freeze Plug(Engine Block Plugs)

To remove a large core plug, drill a 12.70 mm (1/2-inch) hole in the center of the plug and remove with Impact Slide Hammer. Clean and inspect the plug bore.

Inspect the plug bore before installation for any damage that would interfere with the proper sealing of the plug. If the bore is damaged, true-up the surface by boring for the next specified oversize plug.

Oversize plugs are identified by the “OS” stamped in the flat located on the cup side of the plug.

Coat the plug and/or bore lightly with an oil resistant (oil galley) Stud and Bearing Mount E0AZ-19554-BA or equivalent meeting Ford specification WSK-M2G349-A1 or Threadlock 262 E2FZ-19554-B or equivalent meeting Ford specification WSK-M2G351-A6. Install the plug following the procedure for cup-type or expansion-type as listed below:


Cup-type core plugs are installed with the flanged edge outward. The maximum diameter is located at the outer edge of the flange. The flange on cup-type plugs flares outward with the largest diameter at the outer (sealing) edge.

When installed, the flanged (trailing) edge must be below the chamfered edge of the bore to effectively seal the plugged bore.


Expansion-type core plugs are installed with the flanged edge inward. The maximum diameter of this plug is located at the base of the flange with the flange flaring inward.

When installed, the trailing (maximum) diameter must be below the chamfered edge of the bore to effectively seal the plugged bore.

When installed, the flanged (trailing) edge must be below the chamfered edge of the bore to effectively seal the plugged bore.

Oct 262016

2005 Ford FreestarWhere is the knock sensor located?


The knock sensor is installed in the lower forward area of the engine block on an OHC V6 engine. The knock sensor is a tuned accelerometer on the engine which converts engine vibration to an electrical signal. The PCM uses this signal to determine the presence of engine knock and to retard spark timing.

Knock Sensor Location

knock sensor location 2004 Ford Freestar

Oct 222016

2003 Ford F-150My Ford F-150 has the electronic ignition and would like to know what or where to tie in a tachometer. I have tried several with no luck. I would appreciate any info you can provide.


Tachometer Installation

  • White wire – connect any +12V that comes on when the lights are turned on
  • Red wire – connect to +12V fuse (only when key is on, radio, lighter)
  • Black wire – ground it to the firewall.
  • Green (tach) wire – goes to PCM

The PCM (Power Control Module) is located on the passenger side firewall, behind the battery. To gain access to the connector, remove the battery. And loosen the fastener that has the connector connected to the PCM. On the connector it has a cover covering the wires connected to the connector, it’s black. Remove the cover.

Once you remove the cover you can see the numbers on each side of the connector. The one you need to locate is pin hole #48, if you already have a wire coming out of #48 just splice to it. BE SURE YOU DOUBLE-CHECK THE PIN #. Because the wrong splice can cause havoc on your wiring system and cause things to fail for unknown reasons. Once you’ve located the right pin hole you need to drill through, be careful as possible. Use a #30 dill bit. Take a paper clip, or safely pin and push the FOD (Foreign Object Debree) out of the pin hole, make sure you get it all because it will be a pain when you put the wire through. Crimp the female connector on the tachometer wire. On the other end open it a little so that the pin doesn’t push the connector and the wire back out. Install the cover back on the connector and fasten the fastener back down on the PCM connector and reinstall the battery (ground first).

D-Sub Connectors – Female

This Process should be similar for all 1997-2003 F-150s, and possibly other years also.