SE Ping and missfire


gost
03-20-2005, 12:19 AM
Does anyone know if the IAC on a 2000 flex fuel is serviceable and can be cleaned? I have a hesitation at idle that's intermittent and was wondering if the IAC can cause this. The engine also has a slight pinging during acceleration from a dead stop. I have put in all grades of gas and it still does it. Car has 94K on it and has new plugs and the fuel filter and injectors were serviced 10K ago. Any clues? Thanks in advance.

sfontain
03-20-2005, 09:21 AM
Does anyone know if the IAC on a 2000 flex fuel is serviceable and can be cleaned? I have a hesitation at idle that's intermittent and was wondering if the IAC can cause this. The engine also has a slight pinging during acceleration from a dead stop. I have put in all grades of gas and it still does it. Car has 94K on it and has new plugs and the fuel filter and injectors were serviced 10K ago. Any clues? Thanks in advance.

Absolutely. And the only thing you have to take off your IAC are two bolts and a wiring harness. Just as a disclaimer, better results will be had by just replacing the unit, but it is fairly pricey. Since you're taking that apart, you may want to take apart your intake filter box and hose assembly, and (*carefully*) squirt some carb cleaner onto the wires inside your MAF sensor, and also clean out your throttle body and throttle plate.

Since you're approacing the magical 100K mark, I would recommend that you install new spark plugs and wires and a PCV valve, too.

Short of that, you may have a dirty EGR valve or a dying DPFE sensor ("EGR valve sensor").

I have also been told by service advisors at dealerships that these cars really don't idle 100% smoothly, so if the idle is just barely stumbling every now and then, it appears that that is just normal operation.

Good luck, and let us know about your progress.

gost
03-21-2005, 05:49 PM
Thanks for your input sfontain. I will take apart the IAC this weekend. Once I have it apart I am assuming I can clean it with carb cleaner or is there an adjustment that needs to be done? I will as you suggest get to the throttle body and plate and am curious as to what you meant by carefully? Do I not get cleaner on any other surfaces or do you mean that after spraying a wipe down is needed and the wires are delicate so use a soft touch? What and where is the MAF sensor? Pardon my ignorance as I've never done this sort of clean up before on newer cars and don't want to make the problem worse.
I have changed the plugs 4K ago and I should have done the wires as well but $ was tight and those wires cost a bundle, don't know why!
Quirky car this Taurus. Would the pinging possibly be rectified with the above clean out as well? Thanks so much for your advice!

sfontain
03-21-2005, 07:43 PM
The MAF sits between your air filter and your throttle body. I have an '02, so if your car is set up the same as mine, then your MAF is mounted on one side with a simple hose clamp, and on the other side with 4 10mm bolts. When you look inside you will find 2 wires inside. DO NOT touch these wires with anything except cleaner--not your hands, not the spraying straw, nothing. If you do, it's a $200 mistake.

For your throttle body, you can open the throttle by hand and squirt carb or throttle body cleaner in there. You will want to use a fairly substantial amount. This part isn't so delicate as MAF cleaning.

You don't have to wipe down anything after spraying carb cleaner. Just try not to get the cleaner on anything that's very hot, like an exhaust manifold. If you want to be extra careful, you ought not to drive the car for an hour or so before you do this stuff.

And I hate to say it but at 94K and with your problems, you absolutely need to spend the money on the wires. Don't get the cheapest ones, either--you may pay for it later if you do. I won't promise this will fix your problems, but it won't hurt anything, and it's time for this maintenance anyway.

Do some searches on Google or something about cleaning your MAF and throttle body if you like. It'll get you some more info and pictures so it all becomes clearer.

Pinging is usually caused by preignition, meaning that your air/fuel mixture is igniting too soon. Normally, a higher grade of fuel should at least lessen the noise; keep in mind some ticking/clicking is normal with the fuel injectors.

gost
03-21-2005, 09:45 PM
That cleared up a few things, thanks for the clarification. Sounds like a simple enough task. Yes I will get good wires, motorcraft most likely and put dielectric grease on them as I hear that without it a missfire can occur. By the way, I hear that there a few issues with the tranny on that car and I did have a complete service (converter draining, filter etc) done 10K ago at a Ford dealer and the tranny feels fine. My question is wether it makes sense to put a tranny cooler on the system to help keep ugly things from occuring. Should be simple enough. Any thoughts on that. Thanks for all your input, it's very appreciated.

sfontain
03-22-2005, 08:19 AM
I've never done one before, but as I understand it, a transmission cooler isn't designed to make it shift/run particularly more smoothly. I believe the point is longevity. It's good that you are having your transmission serviced, but, yes, if you are keeping the car for much longer, it may be worthwhile to put in a cooler. Even if it gets you a couple thousand miles more out of your transmission, it's probably worth it, as cheap as these coolers are.

gost
03-23-2005, 09:03 PM
Agreed, agreed. I'll post the results of the cleaning after this weekend.
Thanks again!

gost
03-25-2005, 11:44 PM
I took a peek at the IAC and engine bay today so I know what I need to do this weekend to clean everything and I noticed a warning sticker right on the IAC that said not to clean the throttle body interior due to it having a special coating inside or to adjust the IAC stop screw. It did not say anything about cleaning the IAC or the MAF area. Is there something I should be concerned about? Perhaps I'll just clean the IAC and peek at the throttle body to see if it looks dirty. I'm wondering if cleaning the MAF will cause a problem. No mention of that on the sticker. HMMM! What to do? I'll figure it out unless someone from this board has any ideas.

sfontain
03-26-2005, 07:55 AM
I took a peek at the IAC and engine bay today so I know what I need to do this weekend to clean everything and I noticed a warning sticker right on the IAC that said not to clean the throttle body interior due to it having a special coating inside or to adjust the IAC stop screw. It did not say anything about cleaning the IAC or the MAF area. Is there something I should be concerned about? Perhaps I'll just clean the IAC and peek at the throttle body to see if it looks dirty. I'm wondering if cleaning the MAF will cause a problem. No mention of that on the sticker. HMMM! What to do? I'll figure it out unless someone from this board has any ideas.

Yeah these newer ones often have a "special coating" inside the TB. IMHO it's bs but I don't work for Ford. You're not going to hurt anything by just spraying carb or TB cleaner in there; you might avoid taking a toothbrush to it even though some people recommend it--up to you. You don't need do clean it if it's completely clean, but make sure you look *behing* the throttle plate in deciding because that is where the grime usually settles due to the vacuum in the intake. It is completely safe to clean your IAC valve and MAF, but, again, don't touch the MAF wires with anything solid.

mwt
03-26-2005, 08:25 AM
To be on the safe side I would use electrical contact cleaner and not carb cleaner.

Mike
:smokin:

gost
03-26-2005, 12:53 PM
That's what I decided to do as well. Spoke to a few more folks about it. Spray but don't touch and elec cleaner is a safe bet. Thanks for getting back and will post results this weekend.

gost
03-27-2005, 11:52 PM
Thought I would post the results. I cleaned the IAC with carb cleaner which was super simple and found it pretty dirty but the cleaner did a decent job without actually scraping crud out with a driver or pick. I sprayed the MAF with a few short bursts of electronic cleaner and set it aside to dry. The inside of the duct looked pretty clean so I did nothing else with it. I checked the throttle body and was hesitant to spray it down because of the warning sticker and decided to spray a lint free rag with cleaner and physical wiped just both sides of the butterfly valve which took off a bit of grime and and did not see an abundance left in the chamber so I left that alone. It's easy to go back to it to do once I find out the deal with this special coating and allowable cleaning procedures. Started the car and it ran fine although start up RPM was the usual 2500 to 2800 then idled fine. So I test drove it to my local parts store to pick up those wires that are overdue and while at it a PCV valve. Pleasant surprise KEM had a 8MM set of Stainless core Mag-Plus wires Pre-lubed for $37 which was a good deal so off I went.
Back in the garage I realize why I had my local mechanic change the rear plugs 2 months ago. What ever idiots designed the layout of the plug and wire location on that engine should have their head examined. I remember that Ford wanted a minimum of $200 to do just the 3 rear plugs and Pep Boy's wanted $ 265 for the same job! Both said the intake plenum comes off or the motor mounts need to be disconnected and the engine tipped forward to do those plugs. I could not get to them but knew they were full of #$%#$ I just did not have skinny arms or long enough tools. My mechanic did it for $40 with skinny arms and a good 45 minutes of feeling around back there. So now the wires, rear only obviously (fronts are a snap), what a pain in the ass. I finally got the old ones out (those wire holding retainers on the valve cover pins get rusty and are a nightmare to remove) and low and behold the #1 wire was chewed up pretty good to where you could see the wire core and clip where it attaches to the plug, basically the plug boot was shredded! AHHHAA! Guess my mechanic did that without noticing it. (he is a honest good guy and friend)
Sure could be part of the problem! With many scrapes cussing and grunting I finally get the new wires on (don't want to do that again in my lifetime) and start her up and take her for a spin and so far she runs perfectly. The hesitation was intermittent so I need to drive it a few day's to see if I tackled the problem.
Just curious but can you or anyone else tell me how you go about changing the plugs along the firewall on that car? I know my mechanic got to them from above and obviously had a hard time with them. I won't need to do it again as I have new platinums in there good for 100K thank god. I've had about 25 cars and SUV's and a dozen motorcycles in my 41 yrs on this planet and I always do my own maintenance and I have never EVER seen such an ass backwards situation to perform a simple standard maintenance task. Ford has nerve charging over $200 to do 3 plugs when their design does not permit an above average mechanic/owner to do it.
Thanks for the help and hope my experience is usefull.

sfontain
03-28-2005, 07:59 AM
Well, at least you got the work taken care of.

I thought the flex fuel engine was just about physically identical to the gasoline Vulcan? Am I mistaken? I just changed the plugs on my gas Vulcan a few weeks ago for the first time and, while it certainly wasn't as easy as on the last 4-cyl. Ford I owned, it wasn't all that bad.

If you could see wire through the insulation, then, yeah, it's definitely time for new wires. It's been my experience, though, that bad wires tend to cause missing under load, not at idle. But, hey, we'll see.

Let us know how it runs.

gost
03-28-2005, 10:55 PM
You must have octopus arms sfontain because I could barely get my arm behind the intake to get to stuff back there or I just wasn't seeing the right angle of attack. You're lucky I guess because my arms look like I wrestled with a thorn bush after the job. Did you get to your wires and plugs from above or underneath the car? The flex fuel is physically identical I'm told so that could'nt cause a problem. It's done now so let's see if the missing is gone. Today it ran like a champ all day and felt just a tad smoother than usual. I'll post an update in a few day's.
Thanks again and be well.

sfontain
03-29-2005, 08:00 AM
You must have octopus arms sfontain because I could barely get my arm behind the intake to get to stuff back there or I just wasn't seeing the right angle of attack. You're lucky I guess because my arms look like I wrestled with a thorn bush after the job. Did you get to your wires and plugs from above or underneath the car? The flex fuel is physically identical I'm told so that could'nt cause a problem. It's done now so let's see if the missing is gone. Today it ran like a champ all day and felt just a tad smoother than usual. I'll post an update in a few day's.
Thanks again and be well.

It was a little annoying, yes, but basically the best you can do is try to get good lighting so you can *see* where you need to grab, then more or less blindly reach in until you can feel what you need. I wouldn't think you would have too much trouble with #1 and #3, even with big arms; you just have to look for alternate attack routes if you get stuck one way. You will absolutely need a socket extension, and I found a U-joint helpful for a couple of stubborn plugs (just be careful not to break your plugs if you try a U-joint).

For the #2 plug... I have reasonably modest forearms, but I still found it easiest to actually work this plug from both sides of the engine. From the driver's side of the car, you will find it easier if you separate your air intake hose from the throttle body--it's only held on by a hose clamp. And you will definitely need pliers or a wire puller to get the #2 wire off because I couldn't even do it with my bare hands the way the angles are in there. I believe I needed the U-joint for this plug, but, again, be very careful not to apply torque the wrong way; don't want to crack the plug.

gost
03-29-2005, 04:50 PM
I hear you. makes sense. I just couldn't get the angles right. Cars running great. It would have definitely hesitated at a light by this time so I think I got it....I hope! Be good and again thanks for advice.

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