'97 Windstar rough initial idle at start


Old 02-24-03, 04:30 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Trevor, WI
Posts: 97
'97 Windstar rough initial idle at start

Posting for my father-in-law. This is an '97 Winstar with the 3.8L with 122k. At 80k the van developed a rough idle (intermittent) when it was started. It would chug/miss/sputter at 800 rpm. If you gave it gas slowly it ran smoother above 2000rpm. It does this for a few minutes and then runs good. The van was "tuned up" by a shop at 100k (plugs,wires,air fil, fuel filter, (1) O2 sensor) but continued to run rough when started. I have not noticed any unusual (black/white/blue) exhaust from the tailpipe. I don't believe it's a head gasket, haven't done compression or leak down...

My thought is a leaking injector flooding the manifold, but I haven't tested for a loss of fuel pressure yet. I think the van has another O2 that wasn't replaced but I didn't think it would cause this problem. There is NO service light on. I was posting to get some other opinions/ideas. Also, if I find that the fuel pressure is bleeding off when the van is turned off, is there a way to determine which injector(s) might be leaking.

Thanks for any help,

Steve H.
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Old 02-24-03, 05:54 AM
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You're on the right track---do the tests/investigate what you posted here. They are part of the basics to determine what might be wrong.

Pull any trouble codes even if the light is not on---codes may be stored which will tell you where the problem might be. Also, a coolant leak doesn't have to have smoke to be a problem. It could be the cause of the misfire as well.

122k is borrowed time on a 3.8L, so keep that in the back of your mind too.

Also, you can use autolibrary.org below as a reference for what to test and how.

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