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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I'm here to ask a question regarding my Mom's car, not my caravan. So please don't boo me but, you guys are so smart, I'm hoping maybe you can help. First off she drives a Ford, (I know, I know, don't boo me). She has a 2004 Ford freestar, 6 cyl. while I was driving it the emissions light started flashing and the car was missing, which eventually got worse. Ran codes, got P301 and P315 pretty sure that was a P not an S. Trying to remember what was written down. Numbers are definitely correct. Cyl. 1 has spark, alll wires and plugs look good, just changed about 2 months ago. So, we changed the emission coil, all good for about a week, changed coil again, coil showed as being defective, only running on 2 cyl. All good for about 2 days doing same thing again. Lights flashing, it's missing. Could we have a bad line of coils from O'Reilly's? Any ideas on what to do next? All help appreciated, as I said before I wouldn't ask a Ford question on here but, It's my Mom. Thanks Electrakat
 

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The CEL is flashing because the misfire is so severe Cat damage may occur.

Code P0301 is a Cylinder Misfire in Cylinder #1.
This code can be caused by numerous things...
Coil/Coil Circuit, Spark Plug, Fuel Injector/Circuit, Vacuum Leak, Crankshaft Position Sensor Circuit, Engine Mechanical Issues.

Code P0315 is the Crankshaft Position Sensor Circuit.

Looks like the two codes may be related.
The P0315 may be caused by the misfire so you start with the code P0301.

I assume you actually checked for spark on cylinder #1?
The easiest way to tell if you have a coil issue is to swap the coil from the cylinder with the misfire to a cylinder with a known good coil and see if the misfire/code moves to that cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes there was spark on cyl !. What does that mean CAT damage may occur? Should she not drive the car back to mechanic friend who is trying to fix car? ABout 15 to 20 miles. When we put coil in it runs great but only for a while. The codes now keep showing bad coil.
 

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If you have spark on cylinder #1 your issue is not ignition related unless the plug is fouled which is a very good possibility.

None of the two codes you posted indicate a faulty ignition coil or coil circuit unless the misfire diagnostics have led you there.

If the vehicle misfire is severe the engine controller knows that no combustion has taken place in that cylinder and raw fuel is being dumped into the exhaust stream and the Catalytic Converter is going to try to clean it up.
In attempting to do this over a prolonged period of time the Cat will overheat and meltdown inside creating other driveabilty issues.

When the CEL starts flashing you should stop driving the vehicle and have it towed to a repair facility especially if you are driving 20 miles.

"But if the check engine light is flashing, you need to take care of this right away. That flashing light is warning you that the catalytic converter is being damaged. Your injectors are working, sending fuel into the cylinders, but the fuel isn’t getting combusted. Instead, the unburned fuel is going right through the cylinders into the exhaust system, where it’s ruining your catalytic converter. And that’s many hundreds of dollars."

"WHY IS IT BAD TO DRIVE MY CAR WHEN MY CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS BLINKING?"

"If you are like most drivers, you may have experienced the frightening moment when you’re confronted with a blinking engine light. Many people realize that “blinking” means “emergency” and get their cars into the shop right away. Others may take awhile to get the light investigated, whether it’s because they do not have the time to take their car in or do not think they can afford a costly repair. This post is going to tell you why it is never a good idea to drive your car while the service light is blinking."
"When the Check Engine or Service Engine Soon light starts blinking (as opposed to staying steadily illuminated), this means that a catalytic converter-damaging condition is occurring. Usually you will be able to feel a noticeable difference in the way your vehicle is running. When this Check Engine or Service Engine Soon light flashes, you should pull over safely and shut the vehicle off as soon as possible. Have the vehicle towed to your trusted repair facility for a diagnosis and repair. Continuing to drive this vehicle in this condition will do more damage and will cost more to repair. Depending on the type and age of vehicle you drive, there can be a huge variance on the replacement cost of a catalytic converter. Some converters may cost over $2000 per converter, and many cars use 2, 3, or even 4 converters."


 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, so I also just talked to turismolover22. I guess were gonna change the crankshaft sensor along with replacing the coil again and see how that goes. Hopefully that solves the problem. Sound right to you?
 

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If you have spark on the misfiring cylinder there is not a problem with the coil.
If there is not spark then...
1)Swap the suspect coil with another cylinder and see if the misfire/no spark condition moves with the coil.

The only way the crank sensor circuit would be the cause of a single cylinder misfire is if the trigger wheel is damaged and missing teeth.
1)Your misfire is probably setting the Crank Position Sensor code.

The Sequence of Diagnostics for all Misfire Codes should be as follows.
1)Using a Spark Tester check for Spark at the Coil/Ignition Wire.
Is Spark Present?
No...Diagnose Ignition System
Yes...Continue
2)Physically check the Spark Plug for Fouling/Damage
(Fouling, Carbon Tracking, Cracks, Foreign Material, Loose or Broken Electrode)
Is the Spark Plug Damaged?
Yes...Replace and Re-Test for Misfire
No...Continue
3)Check the Injector and Injector Control Circuit
a)Check the Connector for Corrosion, Spread, Cracked or Broken Terminals
Repair As Necessary
b)Using a Noid Light check to see that the Injector is being Pulsed.
If the Noid Light does not Flash On/Off Diagnose and Repair the Injector Control Circuit.
c)Using an Injector Tester/Scanner Test the Injector itself
OR
d)Swap the Injector with the Injector from a known good cylinder and see if the misfire moves to that cylinder.
If All is OK...Continue
4)Vacuum Leaks
a)Check for any Vacuum Leaks that may affect the Cylinder with the Misfire
Vacuum Lines(Loose Connections, Cracks, Breaks, Collapsed Line(s))
b)Intake Manifold Sealing
c)Leaking Vacuum Operated Components
5)Check Engine Mechanical
a)Compression Test
b)Cylinder Leakdown Test
c)Cam Timing
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, she had car checked at regular mechanic shop. The only code coming up now is a 430, (I believe), which is hre catalytic convertor. So she probably did some damage driving it home when their was a problem. Anyway, they got the code off, kept and drove car a few days and it's running fine. So, we'll just have to wait and see if the light comes back on eventually. So, no problem with coil that's okay now. Thanks for all help
 
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