Archive for the 'Ford' Category

My 1999 Ford Explorer will not go into reverse gear

Shirley’s question:

My 1999 Ford Explorer will not go into reverse gear. If I put it into reverse, and then quick switch to drive, it will go forwards, but really slowly. Before I end up spending a small fortune doing the transmission over, I was wondering if you’ve seen this before.”


Yes, I have seen that before. Sometimes the transmission has to be removed and the broken parts inside replaced, BUT last year I fixed one like yours without having to pull the transmission off the car. It had a bad valve body, and only the bottom pan of the transmission had to be removed to replace the valve body. So you might check that first.

1982 Ford truck circuit breaker for wipers

William’s question:

Thanks for the quick answer about my 82 Ford truck. I found out that despite what the Haynes manual said, the circuit breaker for the wipers is on the switch, nowhere near the fuse box. As it turns out, the problem is the ignition switch. For now a little jiggle gets them going. It just goes to show you that some things never go by the book. Thanks again. William T.”


Then just go get another ignition switch. On the back side of the switch there’s a small hole you stick a little metal pick in. Then with the key turned to the acc position, the tumbler will pull out and you can put in a new one.

2002 Ford Focus ZX3 DOHC code P0402

Shawna’s question:

Thus far you have helped me out with my little 2002 Ford Focus ZX3 DOHC. Now the engine light is on with the code P0402. I know it has something to do with the EGR Valve or sensor or even a vacuum hose that may have come loose. Am I on the right track here? If so, where are these two items, and how do I check determine if they are bad and which one to change? Thank you, Shawna”


That’s the code for excessive EGR flow.Either you have a hole in a hose or a loose hose, a bad EGR valve, a bad EGR solenoid, or a bad ECM (main computer.) So go to any auto parts store and they can show you where the EGR valve and its hoses are. Hopefully it’s just a hose, because you can’t check out the other stuff without a lot of knowledge and a lot of diagnostic tools. BUT, you or someone you know could try removing the EGR valve on the engine and see if it’s stuck open. Sometimes they do that and cleaning them with some carb cleaner spray can make them work normally again. Good Luck,

Ford E250 Misfires

Walter’s question:

i have seen you, and i have a question for you, i got a problem with a van E250 econoline ford misfiring please could you tell me posible causes, car has new computer,spark plugs,ignition wires,new cat converters,new coil….”


Misfiring can be caused by many factors, most of which you have already replaced. That leaves the possibility of you having bought defective parts (always a possibility as they don’t make things like they used to) OR having a vacuum leak somewhere in the intake system, a bad timing chain, bad valves in the engine, a blown head gasket, OR bad fuel injectors. Fords commonly do get leaky intake manifolds and or manifold gaskets, so start there. And of course, do a compression reading of all the cylinders to see if the engine has just worn out internally and needs rebuilding. If you have access to a good scan tool, check the data and see when the misfiring occurs. Because some of those Ford engines have weak valve springs as they age, and they will only misfire under high rpms when the valves have to open and close really fast. The scan tool will show misfiring ONLY when the rpms are high in this case.

2002 Ford Focus shifting poorly (TPS sensor Code)

Sally’s question:

My 2002 Focus is shifting really poorly. The check engine light was on, so I went to Auto Zone and got the codes free like you’ve suggested to others. The code is for the “throttle position sensor” which they showed me was on the engine. How can this engine part be the problem, it’s my transmission that’s shifting poorly?”


Well, I fixed on a couple weeks ago with the same problem. It was shifting poorly, and had the same code. I replaced the throttle position sensor, and it went back to shifting smooth as silk. Since cars today are very computer controlled, if the computer gets a weird signal from the throttle position sensor, it can make the transmission shift really harshly (realize that the transmission is also computer controlled.) So get yourself a new TPS and you’ll probably be surprised at how smooth it shifts when you’re done.

Ford Focus Coolant Sensor

Shawna Newsom’s question:

The coolant was a 1/2″ below the min. line, so I added enough to bring it up. I haven’t gone for a test drive to see if that takes care of it yet. In the event that it wasn’t just low on coolant, where is the coolant sensor located? (By the way, I work with Leslie, and she gave me your web address! Unfortunately, it was after I complained about my shop bill. The water pump had froze up, and then the fuel pump went out. All one after another!) Thank you for the tips and quick response!”


Some of those Focuses have hydraulic fans, and that could be the problem. they are VERY complex. BUT, if you have an electrical cooling fan, the most common problem in that model is actually a bad fan relay. It snaps in above the fan housing, and its kinda, a square piece of plastic with a metal shroud around it and a plug going into it. I’d check that relay first as they go bad all the time. Ford dealers stock tons of them. Then sensor itself is by the thermostat and bolts on there, but they really don’t go bad that often from my experience.

2003 Crown Victoria AC Problem (retired cruiser)

David in VT’s question:

Hi, I have a 2003 Crown Vic (retired cruiser). The AC is ice cold but has a mind of it’s own with regard to when it wants to operate. Some days it will start in 5 minutes, some days 45 minutes. When it refuses to start, I see no voltage on the clutch. When I turn the AC on, the idle will go up. If I unplug the sensor on the tank, the idle will go back down, this I think is telling me there is enough freon?? I always thought a low sensor would only fault if the system was basically empty. I do get ice cold air when it wants to work. I put a cheapo gauge (DIY kit) on the suction line and it reads high with the compressor refusing to run. When it finally starts, it will pull down into the ‘green’ for needs gas sometimes but not always. Kind of confused and considering your video v=ah4OEeCu1KE but not sure about the freon charge…… Oh, and I don’t think it is the WOT relay a I did everything in the driveway today and never touched the pedal. thx”


OK, since it blows freezing cold WHEN it does work, then it’s not low on refrigerant. You have some type of electrical problem, and on a Ford, it could be LOTS of places. The pressure switch on the AC often go bad intermittantly, so bypass the switch and see if it works all the time. Replace the switch if this is the case. BUT, realize that your AC is a complex computer operated system, and anything from the control head in the dash to the wiring to the AC relay to even the thermostatic temperature switch inside the evaporator case can be the problem. That’s why my video shows how to bypass all that computer nonsense and wire power directly to the AC clutch. I just did one on Friday and it blew cold as ice ALL the time when I was done. It took less than half an hour to do. You can easily do this yourself.

2002 Ford Focus cooling fan allways on

Shawna Newson’s question:

What would cause the fan on a 2002 FOrd Focus to kick on after the engine temp gauge gets into the red instead of before?”


First, you may just be low on coolant. The temperature sensor on the cooling system works best when it touches coolant. If the coolant is low, then the sensor won’t work correctly. Second, the sensor itself may just have worn out, and it isn’t kicking in at the correct lower temperature. So check both these possibilities out first.

2003 ford expedition moisture on spark plugs

Carrisa Smith’s question:

” I drive a 2003 ford expedition. We have replaced spark plugs and a mechanic told us somehow we are getting moisture in them. We have cleaned out the converters. The car is misfiring and is getting bad gas milage. Can you help.”


Generally, if you get moisture on your spark plugs, that moisture is antifreeze from your cooling system. This means that either the head gasket on the engine is starting to blow, or the intake manifold gasket is starting to go and coolant is getting sucked into the engine. Unfortunately, you will have to take the engine apart to discover where the problem lies. BUT, here’s a test you can have a mechanic perform. Have them pressure test your cooling system. If the pressure is lost quickly, then the intake manifold leaking could be the problem (assume you don’t see leaks anywhere else when it’s pressurized.) If you don’t lose pressure quickly, then odds are it’s the head gasket that’s starting to blow, as you won’t lose pressure quickly if a head gasket is starting to go. Hopefully it’s the intake, as that’s a MUCH cheaper job than a head gasket. Good Luck,

Ford F550 Super Duty is cutting out and stalling (p1211, p1282, p1280p)

Juan’s question:

” My 02 Ford F550 Super Duty is cutting out and stalling. It sets the following trouble codes: p1211- ipc out of range high or low. p1282- ipc out of range high (over 3500 psi) and p1280- ipc out of range low. what could be causing this?”


That’s actually a pretty common problem in those diesels as they get old. But the solution should be pretty simple. Inside the fuel tank is the fuel sending unit. It has these little plastic pieces with fuel filters inside them. These filters clog up over time. If you remove them and take them apart, you’ll probably find them full of crud. Simply replace them and you should get a smooth running truck again.