Electrical / Lighting Systems Malfunction Happens sometimes Not applicable
Q: Have a 1997 Ford Aerostar with the 3.2 engine. The "check engine" light was on about a year ago. I replaced the O2 sensor before the converter and it seemed to solve the problem. Recently, the light comes on for a while and then goes off. The parts store plugged a code reader into the van and said that the gas cap was bad -- they said the seal was bad and letting air into the fuel system, causing some "evaporator valve" to stick. Put on a new gas cap and still have the light coming on for a while and then going out. Any ideas?
A: 1997 Aerostar only came with a 3.0 or a 4.0 engine--symtoms soound like a PFE sensor--they are bad to collect moisture--I would take to a Ford Dealer if it were mine--they are best equiped to handle the problem --you can spend a fortune guessing and they can fix it right the first time.
Q: The engine light stays on, and it just had the motor rebuilt..
When accelerating, it doesn't have pickup like it should.
A: It sounds a lot like a customer complaint.
Whoever rebuilt the engine should be looking after you....
And just a stab in the dark - having been fooled on this one - is the oxygen sensor ruined with antifreeze or silicone in the exhaust??? .....Ed
Drive Train / Driveline Malfunction When driving When warm
Q: Greetings :)
My Van has 225,000, the engine and tranny was replaced but it has a lot of miles since then.
It is the rear wheel drive ext, if this makes any difference I LOVE MY VAN.
Anyway I am lucky a transmission shop checked out my tranny and found all seals are in good shape.Where I am losing the fluid is out of a vent. The transmission fluid oozes out when it goes up hills, making it look like I have a BQ tailgate party.
It shifts fine otherwise aslong as I continue to check the fluid.
What has happened inside the casing??
and as long as I have you interested in my story......heheheh I have the abs,emergency lites on. It continues to stop fine and the emergency is not on. Howcome ??
Thanks alot Sharon
A: If the abs light is on, the computer has "seen" something in the system it did not like. Also the computer could be wrong. Disconnect the negative battery cable for at least one minute and see if the code returns. The transmission is confusing. Assuming that the fluid level is correct, I can think of no good reason for the fluid to come out of the air vent tube. Ed
Electrical / Lighting Systems Other Not applicable Not applicable
Q: I purchased a new CD player to install in my 95 Ford Aerostar Van 4.0 liter. Can you tell me which color of the Aerostar radio wire harness is for:
c. L and R front speakers
d. L and R rear speakers
A: You could probably find that info in your van's Chilton manual (most libraries have these in their reference section if they have them at all), but if you'd rather do it yourself, it's really pretty simple. Go to http://www.crutchfield.com/S-ChN96k5L6My/tech/kb31.html and follow the directions. Use a good multitester (I got mine for $11 at AutoZone) and have a secure chassis ground for the negative probe when you're working (I usually fasten it down with electrical tape). There's a link at the end for the "battery pop test" to find which speaker wires go to which speaker. All you need for that is a AA battery (don't do this test until AFTER you've separated out your "hot" wires). Good luck!
Q: The head gaskets started leaking on my 4.0 V6 rear wheel drive yesterday. No oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil, but TONS of steam leaving the exhaust pipe. What is the best way to change those? Can I do it without removing the engine?
A: No easy way. But you can do it without taking the engine out. Have heads checked. They are probably cracked.
Electrical / Lighting Systems Making Noise When starting Always
Q: WHEN I FIRST START MY ENGINE (ONLY ONCE THE ENGINE IS RUNNING) I HEAR AN INTERMITTENT BEEP COMING FROM THE DASHBOARD (SOUNDS LIKE IT IS ABOVE THE FUSE BLOCK) IT WILL BEEP FOR 4 SETS OF 5 BEEPS. 20 BEEPS IN ALL. IT ALSO WILL DO THIS ON OCCASION IF THE VEHICLE IS RUNNING FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME (HIGHWAY TRAVEL FOR EXAMPLE) IT ISN'T THE SEAT BELT OR KEY BUZZER. IT HAS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT SOUND. ANY IDEAS?
A: Check your oil pressure gauge, if your van has a digital dash it has a buzzer for oil and watertemp. This is only a guess the sending unit maybe bad for oil pressure.
Q: Rough idle when cold, sometimes when warm too. Misses on grades, but not always. Replaced fule lilter already.
A: Check under hood, while dark, with engine running, for any sparks or flashes coming from ignition system(plugs,wires,cap/rotor,coil). If you see any errant lightning you should change all of the above parts except coil.
If the problem has been going on for awhile and it is in the ignition you should check the coil eletrode for wear and replace if it looks real bad. If the problem is not in the ignition, check vaccum lines for leaks or obvious signs of deteroration, replace if they are bad.
Also check around throttle body to intake manfold for leaks, could be a bad gasket. you can chek for leaks with some water in a squirt bottle or garden hose, if you have a leak the water will be sucked into the vaccum system and you will hear it. If you do have a vaccum leak though you probably would have noticed the vehicle running to hot, although it may not overheat. If these things fail to find or fix the problem you can try running the self diagnostic tests found at
http:dalidesign.com/hbook/eectest.html but keep in mind that a simple problem often makes the computer think that a complicated and costly part is causing a problem. Hope this is helpful to you.
Electrical / Lighting Systems Other When stopped Always
Q: Daytime running lamps quit working. Then they started working when the van in turned off. Lamps go off only when the battery is disconnected. Removal of fuse indicated in owners manual had no effect. Where is the daytime lamp module? What's causing the problem.
A: located by battery on left side black box about
4"x4" with fins on it,unplug it if you want.
Q: A couple of weeks ago I was driving and lost acceleration. There was a knocking sound and the van started shaking, running awful. We put supreme gas in the tank after putting new plugs and fuel filter in it. The tank was at half when we put the supreme in. It ran good until it got down to half a tank the we put regular gas in and it started knocking again after 2 weeks of running good. Mechanics have said that it sounds like bad gas and put some straight alcohol in the tank to get rid of the bad gas but the engine is still knocking.
A: You need "Isopropal Alcohol" (not the "Methal Hydrate" type). Also, if possible, drain the gas tank completely and start with a fresh tank of gas. The engine is not enjoying the other stuff. Ed
Q: Everything was working fine, then after sitting for about half an hour the van would not start. It would try to turn over for about 1-2 seconds and than nothing but click, click, click.
I let it sit for a day and then tried it...same thing.
The clicking seems to be coming from the (I think it's a solinoid???) on the side wall next to the battery.
Is this a starter problem?
A: After only doing it after sitting for a while,it sounds as though the battery isn't holding a charge. If a battery is discharged the solenoid will click repeatedly.
Q: My 1993 Areostar overheats when stopped, but when going it is fine. We had a new radiator put in and also put a new radiator cap, we are thinking now it's the fan clutch is this a good bet or what, please help I'm ready to make this van a home for the fish.
A: The fan clutch is your best bet. Anything else would cause the engine to overheat all of the time.
Heating / Cooling System Upgrade Not applicable Not applicable
Q: Does the rear air use an O-tube or an expansion valve?
A: Check the line between the evaporator and the compressor, if the accumulator is between them then it has an o-tube, If not then check the line between condenser and evaporater for a receiver drier, if so then it is a txv system.
Electrical / Lighting Systems Other Not applicable Always
Q: The dome lights on my aerostar won't turn off. I removed the bulbs from the lamps but the battery still went dead. A friend removed the on/off switch, the one that also turns on the headlights. He tested it with a multimeter and said that it was working fine. He also removed the switches in each of the doors, tested them and they were also good. Any idea on how to fix this problem?
A: you might trace the wires to find what they are shorting on. firstname.lastname@example.org
Drive Train / Driveline Malfunction When driving When warm
Q: As I drive highway speed, the transmission acts like I
put it into neutral, then bangs back into drive. That
happens about once on a 100 mile roundtrip.
Maybe this is unrelated, but the all wheel drive blinks
in cycles of 4. What is going on? Thanks.
A: It sounds like the linkage needs to be adjusted.
Q: On my '91 4WD Areostar, the transmission oil is going into the engine somehow.
It started slowly and now it's going in quite fast.
What can I do to repair this problem?
Thank You for your time.
A: I can't be sure from here... It could be getting in with the engine oil, and the oil pan.....
Or, it could be getting into the intake manifold and burning through the exhaust..... Both are possible.
Send more info for more info....... Ed
Drive Train / Driveline Malfunction Not applicable When warm
Q: 4.0 litre engine A4LD auto trans. Flywheel replaced in November. Transmission went in January. The flywheel broke again in June and now again. It seems to curl up around the center hole and then shatter. The mechanic where it is taken (a transmison shop) thinks he may have found why this is happening and it's something he never would have thought of. It appears the fan blade is also loose and ready to break and go through the radiator. He thinks that the vibration from the fan may have been severe enough to also cause the flywheel to vibrate and eventually to crack. Does this sound possible? Is there any flywheel breakage common in this vehicle and if so, what would you suggest?
A: I think he may be on to something. Flywheel breakage is not common to these units. Ed
Drive Train / Driveline Other Not applicable Not applicable
Q: I was just recently traveling in my aerostar, when all of a sudden there was a loud sound like a explosion . We we're going 65 mph. Looked at gauges all off and dash lights were on. Assumed that motor had blown. But instaed the rear end had locked up and broke the spider gears, ring gear and pinion. I tore it apart and replaced the gears with used and all new bearings. After doing so it sounds great no noises at all driving or other wise form park to drive or reverse, sounds good. But after having it on jack stands running it a 65 mph. for 60 miles the rear end housing was pretty hot, you could touch it but couldn't leave your hand on it. Can you just tell me if this would be normal? thank you
A: Yup, the air flow while driving is for cooling. Ed
Chassis / Suspension & Steering Other When turning Always
Q: When backing up and turning left the passenger side front end makes a thumping sound and acts like it locks up in 4 wheel drive. We replaced the cv joints tie rods and brake rotors. We have also had it aligned and took out the front drive line and that didn't stop the noise.
Q: My 4.0 auto4wheeler has good oil pressure when it starts then goes low at idel when it warms.
The pressure increases with acelleration. All oil levels are fine, and filter and oil new.
I suspect the oil pump or pick up tube but don't know if the oil pan can be remove with the engine in the car.
A: Start simple before shelling out a lot of money.
Have your guage and oil pressure sending unit checked to make sure you are getting a correct reading.
Try this...on a cool morning, pop the hood, take the oil cap off, crank the car, let it run for a couple of minutes, then look inside the valve cover at the rocker arms.
Are they fairly coated with oil?If so, good.
If at any time you hear a ticking or knocking sound DO NOT DRIVE THE CAR ANY MORE. You need an oil pump or the pick-up cleaned.
Drive Train / Driveline Malfunction When turning Not applicable
Q: The front end seems to bind up, when turning especially. This is also felt while traveling down the road and the all wheel drive light comes on and blinks 9 times. The light will go off usually, when the engine is shut down then restarted. I have checked all the cv joints and ujoints and all are ok.
A: Your van most likely has a allwheel drive problem, take it to your dealer and have your vin # checked for a recall on the transfer case.
Q: Chugging at idle, dies when put into gear and brake is released.Mass airflow sensor has just been replaced.
A: Why was the mass airflow sensor replaced ? This is an air temperature sensing device and would not be in the line of things to cause your problem . Look for an injector that is staying open , vacuum line that is leaking , a gasket anywhere in the air inlet system ( from where the aircleaner connects to the engine block itself ) and any obstruction in the air inlet system . Heard of one person who had a chicken stuck in their air inlet . That engine ran just fine after the chickenectomy was performed .
An engine that dies as you say yours does is lacking one of two things , air , or fuel . To much fuel can cause the chugging . Look for black smoke . Oil causes blue smoke . A throttle linkage problem could cause your problem . Not enough air , or to much air by way of a vacuum leak could also be at fault . By the way , a computer check would not hurt , and may save a bunch of time . Any error codes can be extracted from the computer . If the diagnostic shop will not tell you what the codes are and what they mean , complain to the BBB , shop owner , or , best of all , your states' Attorney General . Nobody likes to say why to the state AG . Helping consumers is part of what the state AG is there for .
Ignition System Won't Start Not applicable Not applicable
Q: The engine turns over but will not start. This happend all of a sudden today. When the ignition is turned on you can hear the fuel pump and there is fuel getting to the engine. I pulled a plug wire to see if there was any spark. There is but it is yelow in color and dosen't look very strong or bright. Up until today it always started on the first try.
A: Coil is probably bad . These can go bad as suddenly as you say it did . Any short that happens between windings will cause the spark to be weak because not enough voltage is being generated .
Electrical / Lighting Systems Other Not applicable Not applicable
Q: Hello, I have put a cd player in my moms van for Mother's day, I cannot get sound out of the rear speakers.
I ckecked the speakers and wiring for color codes, and wired accordingly, but I cannot get sound out of it.
Please help me to make my mom enjoy her gift better. Thanks,
A: At the cd player wiring harness, connect a front speaker output to a rear speaker?
Got sound now? Defective cd player...
Q: I have a 1990 Aerostar, and I have changed the head gaskets, my question is: Does the rocker arm bolts have a torque value? and if so how do I get the adjustment for valve lash? Is this a go no go issue with the lifter or do you have similar adjustments to the chevy engines?
A: The rocker arm bolts have a torque value and I am reluctent to guess. You need to look up the procedure for safety. Ed
Heating / Cooling System Other Happens always Always
Q: The fan won't work, we checked the blower switch and that wasn't it. When it first started to stop working, we could open the hood of the van and when we shut it, the blower would start working. now it does not work at all.
Q: My 1990 Ford Areostar just had anew exhaust system installed (both converters and Y pipe)
but, it is still loosing power. I use the highest grade of gas. It runs smoother but it jerks and struggles hard to gain speed. It takes twice as long to even get going. It's struggling to pull. It jerks. It's kind of a umh uhm jerk umh umh jerk ummmmh jerk, jerk
go. I'm thinking it's something to do with the transmission?
Thanks Alot Alfha in Atlanta
A: Alfha, check for black exhaust smoke while driving. This will indicate excessive fuel entering engine. If this is not happening have a transmission technician test drive your vehicle. If the problem is the transmission one test drive will indicate the severity.
Q: When I turn the ignition, I can hear the starter turn. However, for some unknown reason the van just won't start. Could it be the ignition module?? or what can it be that keeps it from starting the engine up...
A: Ignition modules are a common cause of no starts. But we cannot afford to guess. This will eventually burn a hole in your wallet.
Need to check for what is missing. You need timed spark, fuel delivery, and compression to run. Check for spark... then fuel.. What is missing, and go from there.
All Part Groups Making Noise When driving When warm
Q: My Ford Aerostar van is making this loud squeaking noise towards the back brake. The brake shoes are still in good condition. I had the brake dust remove and the drums clean, but the noise continues.
A: This could be a bad U joint if it happens when moving slow.
Q: On my 1990 Ford Areostar auto 4WD the rear breaks stay on after heavy breaking the only way to get them to release is to put it in reverse start backing up and hit the breakes hard again. I have replaced the master cylinder, front calipers, front hoses, rear wheel cylinders, rear brakes shoes, rear break drums. I have cleaned all parts and the breakes work fine as long as you don't have to use heavy breaking.
A: It really is frustrating when " shot gun " repair doesn't work . Your problem was in the rear end , the master cylinder would immediately be ruled out , as would the front calipers and the other stuff you mentioned . It really is a good idea to learn how the various systems in your car operate so that you make the best decision possible .
"Shot gun " repair is always costly and is only marginally successful . Check the springs in your rear brakes . If these are weak then they cannot overcome the residual force left in the cylinders and pull the brake shoes away from the drums . Also make sure that the emergency brake is connected properly .
Q: My van has a dead cylinder miss when it's idling. Under acceleration or steady driving its fine. I have removed the plug wire to the missing cylinder and at idle there's no change, but under acceleration you can now hear and feel it. The cylinder seems to work under load or higher Rpm's. I have also removed the valve cover and found nothing wrong. There is a tapping coming from the engine which gets fairly quite after it heats up. The engine does use a little antifreeze and there isn't any leaks. The compression is all between 145-155psi except for the dead cylinder at about 20-30psi.
A: I know this this sounds like a backyard mechanic trick, but try it. Take a dollar bill to the tail pipe while it is running. If the exhaust is fairly sound see if the dollar gets sucked to the pipe a little, not constant. If it does you have a burned valve and will need to have the heads either replaced or rebuilt. If not check the valves under the valve cover and check if one looks a little lower than the other on the "bad" cylinder. You have two for each. This is called a stuck valve and you will still have to have the heads serviced.
Ignition System Tuning Not applicable Not applicable
Q: I have an '89 Ford Aerostar with a 3.0 liter engine. I am trying to set the ignition timing; however, I can't locate the "spigot connection" to disconnect it. I've timed a lot of cars, but this has baffled me. None of the connections on the distributor look like they can be disconnected without completely disconnecting the distributor.
A: look under the hood near the eec diag connector
Drive Train / Driveline Malfunction When starting Always
Q: I do not move sometimes when I put van in drive. It will work if shifted to reverse and drive several times but leaves me sitting about 1/2 minutes at times.
Once the van has started to move normally it usually is ok til it is killed and restarted or put in park.
It also stops working if overdrive is used. Total breakdown a few months back and new piece was put on the trans.
The part just before the trans that tells it when to go?? and they didn't get it fixed til the third trip by tow truck.
They said that the gears that mesh with the trans. were the problem.
A: sound like it needs reworking again by someone different this time
I have just had a similar problem with a transmission. When work is done on the inside of a tranny, little metal flakes clog the governor and the car needs to be run in reverse for a distance, 50 yards or so to free it up. Then if it continues, it should be flushed and serviced and with alot of miles a good quality additive like R&K is good to add. Also put a few magnets on the bottom of the pan to try and pull the flakes to the bottom before flushing.
Heating / Cooling System Malfunction When driving When warm
Q: Is there a fan motor available with a higher rpm than the stock fan motor? The air is cool, but the fan motor lacks the power to move it to the back of the van. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
A: I would first inspect the ducting. Especially on the 'air in' side. Leaves, debris, etc. Keep in mind these can restrict flow anywhere along the path.
The motor could aslo be operating at less than peak efficiency... IE- worn, dirty / broken / distorted squirrel cage (or fan blades)
Q: on very hot days, the van will not start. It dosn't even fire. After the van has set for some time (overnight) it will start right up without any problems. Could this have something to do with the spark plug wires or coil?
A: PROBABLY FUEL PUMP.. WHEN THEY GET HOT THEY WON'T WORK... HAVE A PSI TEST DONE WHEN IT'S HOT
Ignition System Won't Start When starting When warm
Q: I have a 1989 Aerostar.The battery goes dead if the cable is left on the battery cable more than a couple of hours. We have checked the alternator and it seems to be good. What can cause this to happen. The battery has also been check for good. Wendy @ email@example.com
A: You probably have a parasitic draw from another component in the vehicle. This could be a number of things and a complete diagnosis is difficult to manage online. However, a simple test to point you to the system affected will be to disconnect the negative cable on the battery. Then take a multimeter with a milliamp function and place the black lead on the cable.Take the red lead and place it on the negative post. Go to the fuse box and individually pull out fuses one at a time. Observe the meter and if any fuse gives a reading of higher than .05 the fault is in that circuit. Also before doing this have you checked the starter for excessive current draw? If you have further questions contact me and I will try to help you.
Q: My Ford 1988 Areostar 3.0L with overdrive surges when going up hills.
I replaced plug wires and all, did a complete tune up and replaced the fuel pump. Also checked all fluids and all.
But I still can't find were this is coming from.
If I put the transmission down into drive, out of the overdrive, it won't surge.
Can you tell me what is going on?
A: maybe the transmission is going out
could also possible be a throttle position sensor which would give you a jerking like a spark plug,very common on the 3.0 engine
Q: VEHICLE STALLS WHEN YOU TAKE FOOT OFF ACCELERATOR. WILL NOT CRANK UNLESS YOU HOLD GAS
PEDAL TO THE FLOOR. ENGINS DIES WHENEVER YOU DON'T GIVE PLENTY OF GAS. MUST RUN WIDE OPEN OR
ENGINE DIES. CRANKS FINE WHEN COLD BUT GETS WORST AS YOU RUN ENGINE.
A: sounds like your fuel pressure regulator is stuck causing high fuel pressure,spec is about 35 psi,ould also have a bad map sensor
Chassis / Suspension & Steering Other Happens always Always
Q: Power steering works sometimes and quits completely other times. Fluid level has no impact on whether it is going to work or not. Will quit for a couple weeks and then magically start working perfectly. Have tapped on that in line valve thing with the two wires going to it but that doesn't make any difference. Had been working fine for a couple weeks and so I topped off the level with ps fluid and it hasn't worked since. Pump is spinning okay. I tried bleeding some fluid by loosening a fitting down on hydraulic cylinder, but didn't make a difference although fluid did squirt out.
A: pump may be getting bad, or your rack may be getting bad
A: Check fuel pressure at fuel rail schrader valve, pressure should be 30 psi at idle.
check integrity of ignition components,spark plugs,wires,distributor cap and rotor.
check for vacumn leaks around intake manifold and all vacumn lines.
if no check engine light on, have on board computer tested for any fault codes.
Check throttle body for sludge build-up