2001 Ford Windstar Ford Windstar stopping.

Tiny
CHASL
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 FORD WINDSTAR
  • 3.8L
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
I have a 2001 ford windstar se with a 3.8 engine. The car ran poorly and the check engine light suggested a camshaft syncronizer, which I had installed. The car ran perfectly after that, but sometimes the engine would stop as if it was out of gas, I just started it again and it was fine until several trips later, then it would happen again. I replaced the gas filter and checked pressure to the injectors and it was ok, the last time it stopped it would not start. I ran down the battery trying to restart it, so I removed it to charge, so the check light shows nothing. Could the problem be the camshaft syncronizer again?
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Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 AT 12:34 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Do you remember the exact diagnostic fault code number?

The common mistake is fault codes never say to replace a part or that one is bad. They only indicate the circuit or system that needs further diagnosis, or the unacceptable operating condition. First wiring and connector problems must be explored, then you must consider related mechanical problems, such as a loose timing chain or worn tensioner.

When the fault code doesn't set again right away, it is often helpful to have a scanner with record capability with you while driving. When the problem occurs, you press the "record" button to take a snapshot of a few seconds of sensor data. Due to that information passing through the scanner's memory, the recording actually starts a few seconds before you pressed the button. Later, that data can be reviewed slowly to see what took place.
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Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 AT 6:50 PM
Tiny
CHASL
  • MEMBER
Right now my main concern is if the camshaft syncronizer that corrected the bad running problem could cause the car to stop after several trips, then start again and continue running.
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Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 AT 9:01 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Camshaft and crankshaft position sensors often fail by becoming heat-sensitive, then they work again after they cool down for about an hour. It is very rare for a new sensor to do that. Problems with the wiring and connector terminals are better suspects.

On some engines, they will stall if one of those signals goes missing. On others, the engine will keep running when an intermittent signal cuts out, but once stopped, the engine won't restart if the signal is still missing. On still others, there's a 33 percent chance the Engine Computer will randomly pick the right pair of cylinders to fire at start-up. If it picks incorrectly, you must turn the ignition switch all the way back to "off", then try again repeatedly until the computer picks correctly, then the engine will run, but not at its best. That is more of a GM thing.
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Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 AT 9:12 PM

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