Mar 172016

1994 Ford Ranger
My truck wont start, I’m not getting fire, changed the cap, rotor coil and ignition control module, still only 1 spark when I turn it over, then nothing


First thought would be broken timing belt. Remove the distributor cap and confirm the rotor is turning when the engine is cranked over.

Mar 152016

2007 Ford Fusion

Assuming both of these cars are in good condition, which would be the better one to buy.

2001 Nissan Sentra
76 thousand miles


2007 Ford Fusion
87 thousand miles

I realize that the Ford Fusion is quite a few years newer than the Nissan, but often times non American makes are the better choice.


A big deciding factor would be price. If they are both the same price, the newer one. If the 2001 is $500 and the 2007 is $5800, I would go with the 2001.  I will say that at one point in my servicing carrier I was astounded to find a Nissan production sticker under the hood of a Ford Windstar. Similar to the Nissan Quest I suppose. So not sure that “American makes” would impact my decision at all.

When all is said and done, I would go with the Newer 2007 Ford Fusion. It is newer, and will retain its resale value longer.

Mar 152016

1997 Ford F150
No heat in car but air is blowing, can you please give me some advice as to what to do, thank you.

Kevin Francis

Number one cause of no heat would be low coolant. Most likely caused form a leak. Pressure test the cooling system and repair any leaks found. Top off coolant and test.

No heat in car

Couple of reasons for a no heat situation. One would be if the blower motor is not blowing. We will assume it is but still has no heat. So you are left with a few causes for no heat in car. One would be if the coolant level was to low. If left unchecked things could worsen and turn into a overheating problem. Repair any leaks found. Another cause would be if the coolant level was full but the thermostat is sticking. Possible restricted or clogged heater core. One more thing to check would be for blockage in the ventilation ducts.

What to Check

  • Check the coolant level in the radiator
  • Check temperature of heater hoses to make sure they are both hot.
  • Check both upper and lower radiator hose temperature. Both should hoses should be hot.

no heat in car

Mar 142016

Radiator Hose
I have been putting water in the coolant reservoir of my 2004 Ford Explorer and because of the cold temperatures the water froze up. And now the upper radiator hose popped off and is frozen. Is my radiator damaged too? I don’t have the money to replace the engine or hose right now. What can I do?

Not a good idea to put straight water in the cooling system. One, it will freeze as you are now aware. And two, the water pump bearings are no longer being lubricated. Radiator should be OK but checking for leaks once it is repaired wouldn’t hurt. You will need to thaw out the engine and drain the cooling system. Reattached the upper hose and secure it with a radiator hose clamp. Refill the cooling system with 50/50 mix coolant.

Radiator Hose


  1. Drain the cooling system.
  2. Recover the A/C refrigerant. For additional information, refer to Air Conditioning.
  3. Remove the cooling fan. For additional information, refer to Radiator Cooling Fan.
  4. Remove the parts in the order indicated in the following illustration and table.

Radiator hose diagram 2004 Ford Explorer
It is OK to apply some lubricant when installing a radiator hose.

  1. To install, reverse the removal procedure.
  2. Fill and bleed the cooling system.
  3. Evacuate, leak check and charge the A/C system.
Feb 092016

Trouble getting heat in my 1998 Ford Taurus
Having trouble getting heat. Replaced thermostat, flushed heater core but not getting any water thru outlet hose.

When having trouble getting heat, after replacing the thermostat and flushing the radiator, my first thought would an air pocket. The cooling system should be bled anytime coolant is drained. This should get any air out of the system. If you are certain the thermostat is opening (both upper and lower radiator hoses will be hot and pressure released) then you might consider a new pressure cap. The thermostat should open between 180 and 220. You can use an infra-red temperature gauge to rule out a bad dash gauge reading. Good idea when having trouble getting heat is to make sure the coolant level is full and the thermostat is working.

How to bleed engine cooling system

  • Select maximum heater temperature and blower motor speed settings. Position control to discharge air at A/C vents in instrument panel (04320) .
  • Start engine and allow to idle. While engine is idling, feel for hot air at A/C vents.
  • CAUTION: If air discharge remains cool and engine coolant temperature gauge does not move, engine coolant level is low in engine and must be filled. Stop engine, allow to cool and fill cooling system as described.
    Start engine and allow to idle until normal operating temperature is reached. Hot air should discharge from A/C vents. The engine coolant temperature gauge should maintain a stabilized reading to within the NORMAL range and the upper radiator hose (8260) should feel hot to the touch.
  • Shut engine off and allow to cool.
  • Check engine for coolant leaks.
  • NOTE: When engine coolant level indicator flashes, approximately 0.946-1.416 liter (1-1.5 qts.) of coolant mixture can be added to the degas bottle after a proper engine coolant system refill.

    Check engine coolant level in degas bottle and fill as necessary.

degas bottle

Rule out the cooling system when having trouble getting heat

Sometimes the cooling system isn’t the problem. Instead the problem may be in the ventilation system. Make sure the cooling system is full and the engine is at operating temperature. Both heater hoses should be too hot to hold on too. This means the heating part of the system is working properly. Concentrate on the mode door actuators and control head.

Jan 102016

Replaced calipers and pads on the rear, replaced caliper on right front. Bled brakes. Pedal went to floor. Replaced master cylinder and bled. Pedal still going to the floor. Any suggestions?


1) The master cylinder should be bench bled before installation. Was this performed?
2) Pedal will go to floor if there is air in the system or if there is a leak.

  • Top off brake fluid level – How to check fluid levels on your car
  • Make sure the brake master cylinder reservoir is full.
  • Bled brakes – see Brake System Bleeding.
  • Now that you are seeing nothing but brake fluid and no air bubbles, top off the fluid level again and pump up the brake pedal.

3) If the brake pedal is still going to the floor after you have already bled them, have someone pump the brake pedal while you look underneath for a spraying brake fluid mess that will eventually form a puddle and drain your brake fluid.


Brake System Bleeding

Special Tools:

  • Scan Tool or Vehicle Communication Module (VCM) and Integrated Diagnostic System (IDS) software with appropriate hardware

WARNING: Use of any brake fluid other than approved DOT 3 will cause permanent damage to brake components and will render the brakes inoperative. Failure to follow these instructions may result in personal injury.

CAUTION: Do not allow the brake master cylinder reservoir to run dry during the bleeding operation. Keep the brake master cylinder reservoir filled with clean, specified brake fluid. Never reuse the brake fluid that has been drained from the hydraulic system.

CAUTION: Brake fluid is harmful to painted and plastic surfaces. If brake fluid is spilled onto a painted or plastic surface, immediately wash it with water.

NOTE: When any part of the hydraulic system has been disconnected for repair or installation of new components, air can get into the system and cause spongy brake pedal action. This requires bleeding of the hydraulic system after it has been correctly connected. The hydraulic system can be bled manually or with pressure bleeding equipment.

Manual Bleeding Brakes

1.Connect the scan tool to the vehicle data link connector (DLC) and follow the scan tool instructions.
2.Clean all dirt from and remove the brake master cylinder filler cap. Fill the brake master cylinder reservoir with clean, specified brake fluid.






3.NOTE: Bleed the brake system in the order displayed on the scan tool.
Attach a rubber drain hose to the bleeder screw and submerge the free end of the tube in a container partially filled with clean, specified brake fluid.








4.Have an assistant hold firm pressure on the brake pedal.
5.Loosen the bleeder screw until a stream of brake fluid comes out. While the assistant maintains pressure on the brake pedal, tighten the bleeder screw.
•Repeat until clear, bubble-free fluid comes out.
•Refill the brake master cylinder reservoir as necessary.

6.Tighten the bleeder screw.
•Tighten to 15 Nm (11 lb-ft).

7.Repeat Steps 3, 4, 5 and 6 for the remaining bleeder screws in the system.


Pressure Bleeding Brakes

1.Clean all dirt from and remove the brake master cylinder filler cap. Fill the brake master cylinder reservoir with clean, specified brake fluid.







2.NOTE: Master cylinder pressure bleeder adapter tools are available from various manufacturers of pressure bleeding equipment. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer when installing the adapter.
Install the bleeder adapter to the brake master cylinder reservoir, and attach the bleeder tank hose to the fitting on the adapter.

3.NOTE: Bleed the longest tube first. Make sure the bleeder tank contains enough specified brake fluid to complete the bleeding operation.
Attach a rubber drain hose to the RH rear bleeder screw, and submerge the free end of the hose in a container partially filled with clean, specified brake fluid.








4.Open the valve on the bleeder tank.
5.Loosen the RH rear bleeder screw. Leave open until clear, bubble-free brake fluid flows, then tighten the RH rear bleeder screw and remove the rubber hose.
•Tighten to 15 Nm (11 lb-ft).

6.Continue bleeding the rear of the system, going in order from the LH rear bleeder screw to the RH front disc brake caliper bleeder screw and ending with the LH front disc brake caliper bleeder screw.
7.Close the bleeder tank valve. Remove the tank hose from the adapter, and remove the adapter.




Brake System Leak Check

1.Make sure the brake master cylinder reservoir is full.

NOTE: Brake fluid is water soluble and it is possible that all evidence of fluid leakage has been washed off if the vehicle has been operated in the rain or snow.

2.Apply the brakes several times and make sure the brake pedal feel is not spongy. If necessary, bleed the system. For additional information, refer to Brake System Bleeding in this section.

3.If the brake reservoir level is going down, inspect the brake components, fittings, tubes and hoses to locate the source of the leak.


– Brake System Troubleshooting


Jan 092016

1997 Ford Expedition
My 1997 Ford Expedition has a Rough idle and code p1726 on OBD II scanner. Need advice on where to look for problem. Power steering has been squealing for 2 weeks and nothing else.


Looking at the p1726 code definition and the rough idle I would be curious if the engine smooths out if the accelerator is applied a tiny bit. If it does, you might be able to clean the throat of the throttle body and the edges of the butterfly. This will increase the amount of air able to enter the engine and would in turn increase the amount of fuel. And ultimately increasing the engines idle speed. This is quite common on older cars and trucks.

If the engine seems to run rough no matter where the accelerator is, you may be experiencing an engine misfire. Once the misfire happens often enough the OBD II system will store a code. The code will pinpoint the exact cylinder/s causing the issue.

As for the power steering squealing noise, the first thing to do would be to check the fluid level. If the fluid level is full and the serpentine belt tests OK, replace the power steering pump. If the fluid level is low, repair any leaks and top off before testing.

  • Ford Expedition Code P1726 – Insufficient Engine Speed Decrease During Self Test
Jan 082016

I was having trouble getting my engine to start for a couple days on my 2008 Ford Escape. Sometimes the car had no power at all. Had the battery checked & it’s good. Then the car died completely, no power & I noticed a burnt smell. Found it was coming from fuse box under hood. 125 stud mount amp/fuse–whatever it’s called blew out & some plastic around the bolt area had melted. Got a new 125, asked a mechanic and he said I should be fine once I replaced that. I did & the car has power again but isn’t starting. It doesn’t even turn over. I tried jump starting it since the battery was unhooked for a couple days but still getting the same result. All I can hear is what sounds like the fuel pump powering up or whatever it does–my son said that’s what I’m hearing– but then nothing. Anybody have any suggestions?


Most likely the battery is dead and needs to be recharged before proper testing. If the same results occur with a good battery then test to make sure battery positive is getting to the “S” terminal on the starter while someone holds the key in the “START” position. If not, trace to wiring to find the root cause of the issue. May be as simple as the starter relay sticking.

2008 Ford Escape Starting Wiring Diagram

Jan 062016

Hi my car has gas and all the other fluids in it. The oil light is on, the check fuel cap light is on, the service engine light is on and the battery light is on. It turns over but want crank up

Jan 042016

2003 Ford Thunderbird
Ongoing issue with stumbling/misfiring at lower RPMs or when you step on/goose the gas pedal (for rapid acceleration) while driving – i.e. like when you need to pass on the highway. Idle is smooth overall, but you can hear the occasional misfire.

Most recent repairs were to correct multiple lean codes, first on Bank 1, then a generic lean code. Most severe condition in freeze frame data showed STFT of 33% (LTFT approx. 3%) when ECT 186 degrees, ambient temp 86 degrees, Fuel pressure 55 PSI. My diagnosis was lean misfires due to a vacuum leak. Attempted fixes included: new lower intake manifold gaskets; new injector O-rings, new EGR valve gasket; new Throttle Body gasket; new PCV hose O-rings; inspect, check, re-tighten all vacuum hoses and fittings. Result was total fuel trims dropped significantly (from 33% DTC trip) until engine reached normal operating temp of 220-225 degrees. The trims went from very low both STFT and LTFT and the began to fluctuate sporadically as the engine went from through warm (approx. 175 degrees) to full running temp, then stabilized at about 22-25% (STFT+LTFT). Currently there are no DTCs tripped or pending. Misfires reappeared as the engine got close to and remained at full operating temp. Bank 1 O2S1 waveform is a little squirrely at idle – I assume that is related to the high total fuel trim of around 25%. Bank 2 O2S1 waveform is pretty smooth, total fuel trim is a little lower than Bank 1. There can be sporadic quirkiness to the waveforms on both banks as the engine heats up.

Past repairs to solve various DTCs included: new valve cover gaskets, all new plugs, all new COPs to solve cylinder specific misfire DTC; replacing all four O2 sensors (was getting a Catalyst Efficiency Low on Bank 1 DTC code). The entire Catalyst assembly has been replaced as well because the Bank 1 Cat had been removed (cut out) and reinstalled and was “suspect” in my opinion.

The engine runs fine at cruising speed, and runs fine under hard acceleration – AFTER an initial stumble/hesitation/misfires. Again, it runs fine when cold, cool, and slightly warm. The misfires/stumbling appear at/close to fully warmed up/normal operating temp (lower RPM and when you “stab” the accelerator). I have not yet rechecked for oil in the plug/COP holes since replacing the gaskets, plugs and COPs. Before I replaced everything, it was apparent that individual plugs and/or COPs had been replaced. I have been dealing with these issues over the past two years – although the total mileage is only about 8K in that time span. The car has 105K miles on it. I seem to be chasing DTCs over the past 2 years. I am out of ideas at this point and feel like I am just waiting for the next DTC to chase.

Would be great if you could post the actual code you are having trouble with. A misfire on a Ford has to happen often to set a code and pinpoint the problem cylinder/s. Since it seems to be fine until it warms up, maybe a faulty temperature sending unit.