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1998 Ford Windstar minivan 3.8L drives for 20 minutes from cold then stalls.

fordwindstar98fordwindstar98 Idyllwild, CAPosts: 4
edited August 3 in Ford
1998 Ford Windstar minivan 3.8L drives for 20 minutes from cold then stalls. Wait 20 minutes for 5 minutes of drive time, then starts pinging w/power loss increasing.
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Hi! Just bought used 1998 Ford Windstar minivan 3.8L 200k miles, check engine showed 4 weaks later, CAM alignment sensor, diag showed CAM alignment synchronizer, paid mechanic to replace. Pulled out of garage and stuck pedal to metal 4500 RPM. Turned around drove quarter mile sputtered to stop. Stalling loss of power, back to garage, brownish oil high on dipstick, mechanic ordered/installed Blue Devil head gasket sealer. Sat overnight. Engine will run from cold about 15 minutes then stalls out, sputters, hard to start. After 20 min cool down will run for 5 minutes. Drove 60 miles like this! Paid for oil change, tech said "intake manifold/valve cover gaskets appear to be leaking". $125/hour diagnose no time estimate.. internet is free how 'bout it?

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  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,960
    edited August 3
    Yeah, sounds like a major coolant leak issue. If your oil looked like that, and was "high," then there is a lot of coolant contamination in there and likely damage to the engine due to lubrication issues.

    As for the actual running characteristics, I suspect that there are problems with the computer feedback when the car moves into a closed loop situation. When you start the car cold, the engine generally runs from a saved pattern in terms of timing, fuel trim, air trim, etc (this phase is "open loop"). Once it warms to operating temperature, it goes into a "closed loop" where it is receiving feedback from all of the sensors, including oxygen sensors in the exhaust system, mass airflow sensor in the intake, camshaft, crankshaft, and knock sensors. If one or more of these is giving erroneous feedback or no feedback, the car will not run correctly (or, possibly, at all).

    With a coolant leak, you are likely getting some that is fouling the exhaust, which will also quickly foul the oxygen sensors. You must address the coolant leak before it makes any sense at all to address any electronics.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • fordwindstar98fordwindstar98 Idyllwild, CAPosts: 4
    All fluids behaving normally though, no leaks, no warning lights, new oil change all systems say go... cold engine cranks nice sounds nice goes till warm with increasing pinging till power loss/sputtering pull over wait till cool.. repeat!

    Is there some issue with manifold grommets? (saw old post) re:98 windstar
    btw, thanks for ideas!!
  • fordwindstar98fordwindstar98 Idyllwild, CAPosts: 4
    only other material issue is heavy engine vibration.. mech said needed harmonic stabilizer est.$400 inmaterial at this point,.. right?
  • fordwindstar98fordwindstar98 Idyllwild, CAPosts: 4
    update: radiator dry, bought 4 gal coolant oops, now im dead
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,321

    1998 Ford Windstar minivan 3.8L drives for 20 minutes from cold then stalls. Wait 20 minutes for 5 minutes of drive time, then starts pinging w/power loss increasing.
    -----------
    Hi! Just bought used 1998 Ford Windstar minivan 3.8L 200k miles, check engine showed 4 weaks later, CAM alignment sensor, diag showed CAM alignment synchronizer, paid mechanic to replace.

    This is a little hard to follow but here is what I make of it. The Camshaft position sensor sits in the engine just like the distributor used to. It's a common failure and most of the time you buy the sensor and the pedestal (housing) together. This is a fairly easy repair.


    Pulled out of garage and stuck pedal to metal 4500 RPM. Turned around drove quarter mile sputtered to stop. Stalling loss of power, back to garage, brownish oil high on dipstick, mechanic ordered/installed Blue Devil head gasket sealer. Sat overnight.

    Chemical gasket sealer? xwesx said you might need to replace the long block. At this point you need every part of the cooling system as well as the engine block. What might have been repairable before using a sealer like this is now nothing but a liability for anyone that tries. Why did you run this up to 4500 rpm?


    Engine will run from cold about 15 minutes then stalls out, sputters, hard to start. After 20 min cool down will run for 5 minutes. Drove 60 miles like this! Paid for oil change, tech said "intake manifold/valve cover gaskets appear to be leaking". $125/hour diagnose no time estimate.. internet is free how 'bout it?

    The internet can only guess and there are going to be way more wrong guesses than right ones.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 13,960

    The internet can only guess and there are going to be way more wrong guesses than right ones.

    The best voice of wisdom. I can only shake my head at the possibilities. :D

    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
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