Mechanics

96 T-BIRD PINGING

1996 Ford Windstar

Hi, I have a 96 ford t-bird with a v6. It has about 120K on it. It pings a lot while driving. If I barley press the gas it gets a lot better. Check engine light came on a while back (flashed and then went steady). I checked the manual and it said when the light flashes in one second intervals it means there was severe pinging. I disconected the battery and the engine light went off. When ever the car starts to ping (more when it's hot and going up hill) I just let off the gas and the check engine light does not go back on. I tried a scanner, but got no codes. So I went out and drove it hard while pinging so the light would come back on. I Check the codes and I came up with two. This was a while back and I don't remember them though. I do know that it said system too lean (left bank and the same thing for right bank). I've gotten a lot of opinions on what to fix, but none seem to agree. I tried fuel system cleaners and using 91 octane. There doesn't seem to be any way to adjust the timing. I just bought an o2 sensor (the one that goes on the hot side), but I haven't replaced it yet. Is that pretty easy to do? Do you think that will fix the problem? I've also heard the mass air flow sensor might be bad. I don't have much to spend on the car. I read an earlier post where you guy said " located in the wiring loom that goes to the computer you will find a small connector with a jumper. Removing that jumper will retard the timing approximately 4 degrees. This should stop your pinging and help your gas mileage.&Quot; I don't know a ton about cars. Where is the wiring loom located (driver, passenger, front or back of engine compartment) and where is the connector/jumper in the loom? What does this connector/jumper look like? What exactly is the jumper for? What will be turned off/disconected? Will its removal cause me to fail smog? (Also, I bought a slightly different tire size than recommened for this car. I got 205 75 r15 instead of 205 70 r15. Will this affect the smog test?) Thank you for your time!

P.S. Just checked your code table and the codes were P0171 System too Lean (Bank 1) and P0174 System too Lean (Bank 2)
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Jestkickinback
June 17, 2006.



Scroll to the topic: Relay Problems

Read my answer as pertains to those codes you have

Tiny
TaurusWheel
Jun 17, 2006.
Thanks. So then it probably is the o2 sensor or MAF sensor. What about removing that connector with a jumper in order to retard the timing approximately 4 degrees? Should that be only a last resort? What does removing that jumper do other than retard the timing? Will it still pass smog? I suppose that it won't matter too much if replacing the o2 sensor fixes the problem, but I'm still curious.

Tiny
Jestkickinback
Jun 17, 2006.
Is this ping a recent event? Check over all vacuum, pcv, egr systems to make sure all is well. That connector your're talking about is probably the spout connector, it's used to check base timing on the car. Do not run the car as a matter of course with this spout disconnected, 4 degrees retarded is too much, may overheat the engine. Even cars where the timing could be adjusted, my 94 Taurus, factory says no more then +or- 3 degrees, but without some major issue such as carbon buildup on the pistons, in the intake manifolds, or in the egr system, you shouldn't have to fudge the timing to make it go. Do a compression test, see what psi you're getting. After you've done a thorough check of all the above, also make sure your air intake system is intact.

Tiny
TaurusWheel
Jun 17, 2006.
Unfortunatley the pinging is not a recent event. I know it has probably reaked havok on my engine, but it has been a problem for a year or so. I only drive 8000 mile a year though and don't take too many long trips. When I am going pretty steady it usually doesn't ping much at all (at least not that I can really hear over the usual freeway noise when going 70). But I have learned to barely tap the pedal and use the slow lane when going up a grade. When I try to accelerate when going up hill you really hear it though. It seems strange to me that it doesn't seem to be an issue when the car is cold though. I don't think the engine is running too hot either, since I recently replaced the thermostat. No vacuum leaks, but I'm not sure on the other stuff. I live in an apartment though so I only have the tools that fit in my trunk and I'm not supposed to work on the car in the parking lot so I'm a bit limited. I just attempted to replace the o2 sensor, but I only have the one that goes after the kat and it is difficult to get to. The other one is much easier to get to, but I'm hopeing only one is bad and I gambled on the other one. Thanks for all the help. Hopefully if I can get the o2 sensor in it will help.

Tiny
Jestkickinback
Jun 17, 2006.
Might be worth your while to have the compression checked and check the egr system for any possible carbon buildup issues. I know the dealers offer some type of cleaning.

Tiny
TaurusWheel
Jun 18, 2006.