Car dies suddenly while driving

Tiny
JESSE.WILSON
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 FORD WINDSTAR
Electrical problem
2003 Ford Windstar 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 90k miles

I have a 2003 Ford Windstar in which the engine dies suddenly as we are driving.

Details:

The alternator went bad and killed the battery. I replaced both the battery and the alternator. I checked the alternator output with a voltmeter. It read 14.42V. I then drove about 20 miles and the engine died as I was driving about 30mph. I pulled over and was able to restart the engine immediately. I then drove another 2 miles and it happened again. I then drove to the local Ford dealer. They test drove it a couple of times and were not able to diagnose the problem. We picked up the car and my wife drove for about 30 miles and the problem happened again.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance,

Jesse
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Saturday, August 1st, 2009 AT 1:17 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
DUGNJULIE
  • MEMBER
I have had the exact same issue on my 2003, but with 140,000 miles. Changed Battery, then alternator, then dying episodes. Fires right back up if you turn the key off. My dealer had it for 3 days before they could replicate. No codes, recommended changing crankshaft sensor. Did that. No change. About ready to swap out the camshft sensor ($20 part). Hooked up my buddies computer to look for codes. No codes. Ford's at a loss, so am I
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Saturday, August 8th, 2009 AT 6:57 PM
Tiny
JESSE.WILSON
  • MEMBER
Well, it looks like I might have finally fixed the problem. I've driven the car for 100 miles now with no engine stalls.

Details: The dealer had the car for a couple of weeks and supposedly test drove it a lot and was never able to reproduce the problem even though my wife and I experienced the problem every time we drove the car more than 10-15 miles. The one thing they were able to tell us was that the car computer reported some misfiring on several of the spark plugs even though there were no codes reported by the OBD reader. They recommended a full tune up for $330.

I replaced the coil, spark plug wires, and spark plugs for $125. I don't think there was anything wrong with the coil and wires but the spark plugs were shot. The ends were worn down and the spark plug gap was much larger than spec.

This looks like it solved my problem but I can't figure out why it would start misbehaving right after I replaced the battery and alternator. Go figure.

Hope this helps,

Jesse
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Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009 AT 8:46 AM
Tiny
OSICIA
  • MEMBER
Hi folks, I see this is a pretty old thread but I'll tell you what I figured out about my 03 Windstar. Might be helpful to some. I had the exact same problem described by Jessie took the vehicle to the dealer 3 different times and nothing took it to my regular mechanic several different times and nothing. I finally decided to move the wiring harness further away from the ignition module and that cured my problem and that was two hundred thousand + miles ago. And yes I still have the van now at 375000 miles. Hope this helps it fixed mine.

Hope it helps somebody

Jc
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Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 AT 6:06 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hey Jc

Great addition to the thread. Have a good new year!

Best, Ken
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Saturday, December 31st, 2016 AT 2:09 PM
Tiny
OSICIA
  • MEMBER
Thanks Ken, and the best New Year to you and yours.
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Saturday, December 31st, 2016 AT 5:28 PM

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