1997 Ford Windstart Check Engine Light

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  #1  
Old 07-03-04, 09:50 PM
MTJ8617
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1997 Ford Windstart Check Engine Light

I have a 1997 Ford Windstar 3.8L with a check engine light on. I took it to Autozone, and they said it was the EGR valve. I changed the EGR valve, and it did not take care of the light. I change the PCV valve, because I was getting oil up inside the PCV tube, and now it won't stay in the head cover. I took it back to Autozone, and they reset the computer, but the light came back on. They read it again, and it said I needed tune-up. I know this is not the problem because I had the platinum spark plug changed twice from some prior work (tune up, and intake gasket and timing belt cover gasket repair). I also checked the DPFE module, and the voltages on it seem to be fine. I think it is the EVR, but I am not sure. I do not want to waste money changing things, that are not the problem. Can anybody help?
 
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Old 07-04-04, 05:30 AM
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If you follow this forum at all, one thing that you will see us say quite often is "Do not let AutoZone diagnose your car" Although it is very helpful for them to read your codes for free, none of them are mechanics or anything even close to one. Our advice always is to post the actual code numbers here for further advice. That being said, let me tell you that the most common EGR failure on these Fords it the PFE sensor. Although it can be tested with a voltmeter and vacuum pump, a scanner is the easiest way. You need to not only just have voltage, but the voltage has to vary the entire range and respond to vacuum/exhaust pressure differentials. The most common thing for them is they freeze at one voltage. although the EVR can go bad, it is rare. You can check it by momentarily grounding the trigger side with the engine idling and either use a vacuum gauge to read the response or simply watch for idle drop when activated.
 
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Old 07-04-04, 07:11 AM
MTJ8617
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1997 Ford Windstar Check Engine Light

I will take the car back to Autozone today, and see what they come up with.

Can anybody tell me where the EVR is located. Is EVR the component the hose from the PCV goes to? It is located on the back center firewall, and its black.

or is the EVR located behind the intake manifold that a very small tube from the EGR valve goes to?


I hope it is the first, because it is much easier to get to.

I have no idea where the PFE Sensor is. I cannot tell from the book diagrams what the thing even looks like.


Thanks for your quick response
 
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Old 07-04-04, 07:51 AM
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Should have two vacuum hoses to it - one for vacuum source and the other running to the egr valve. Check these two hoses closely for damage/leaks; they are a known failure item. Do NOT replace them with Ford oem parts if they are bad; use common vacuum tubing. The oem parts, if I recall, are expensive.
 
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Old 07-04-04, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by MTJ8617
I will take the car back to Autozone today, and see what they come up with.

Can anybody tell me where the EVR is located. Is EVR the component the hose from the PCV goes to? It is located on the back center firewall, and its black.

or is the EVR located behind the intake manifold that a very small tube from the EGR valve goes to?


I hope it is the first, because it is much easier to get to.

I have no idea where the PFE Sensor is. I cannot tell from the book diagrams what the thing even looks like.


Thanks for your quick response
If you don't know what a EVR or a PFE is then how on earth did you check voltages and say it's OK? It really appears that you may be a little over your head here and the only thing AutoZone is going to help you do is empty your wallet on unecessary parts. It may be cheaper in the long run to pay a reputable shop to diagnose the problem for you. It's a fairly complex system for the beginner.
 
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Old 07-04-04, 10:09 AM
MTJ8617
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1997 Ford Windstar Check Engine Light

I think there is only one tiny hose coming from the EGR valve, and it is going to something at the back/top of the engine (rear of air intake manifold).

Here are the codes from Autozone: P0174, P0171, and P1400. they said the P0171 signifies that the engine is running lean. They did not say anything about the other codes.

Thank you again for the quick responses
 
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Old 07-04-04, 10:22 AM
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The PO171 and PO174 both signify engine running lean. One is for the left side and one is for the right side. That could be an indication of a severe vavuum leak (among other things). While the engine is running, listen closely for a hissing sound and try to follow it if you hear one. Those Fords have a lot of problems with rubber elbows at vacuum sources. They suck the corners right in. Most of the time they are in very hard to get at places that sometimes you cannot see and barely touch.
The PO1400 is your EGR code. It indicates the PFE voltage is low. This generally indicates a bad PFE sensor. The PFE is a square sensor with a 3 wire plug and 2 hoses going to the exhaust system. It senses exhaust pressure to regulate the EGR. They have a very high failure rate. You can purchase on at the dealer.
 
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Old 07-04-04, 09:21 PM
MTJ8617
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1997 Ford Windstar check Engine Light

I am going to assume that the PFE is the same thing as the DPFE in my book, and change it. Will this also take care of the lean codes that I was getting? The vacuum codes could stem from the PCV valve popping out of the head cover, or there could be oil in one of my vacuum lines. I will also look at replacing the rubber grommit to see if it stays in better.

I will respond back after I replace the DPFE, and let you know if this takes care of the problem.

Thank you for al your quick responses.
 
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Old 07-05-04, 03:42 AM
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Yes DPFE (differential Pressure Feedback Egr) is the same as a PFE.
No. I don't think the PFE will solve your lean problems. I told you what to look for for that problem. The fact that the PCV is popping out is NOT causing a vacuum leak but it could be an indication that the PCV is not receiving the proper amount of vacuum because of a possible leak upstream.
 
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Old 07-05-04, 04:29 AM
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Before you buy anything else try cleaning the egr port.To do this remove the egr valve and throttle body and scrape all the carbon out I use a coat hanger because it is stiff wire.The throttle body side has shallow groove that needs cleaned also you will see after you remove it.Do not attempt to just remove the egr and clean from just that side it probably won't work.If the port is clogged the dpfe sensor voltage won't change and you get your egr code for low flow.The sensors do fail alot as Desi said but I would clean the port before I laid down any cash for a new one.
 
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Old 07-05-04, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by davo
If the port is clogged the dpfe sensor voltage won't change and you get your egr code for low flow.The sensors do fail alot as Desi said but I would clean the port before I laid down any cash for a new one.
That happens a lot but he is not getting a "low flow" code. He's getting a low voltage code from the PFE. That's measuring exhaust pressure and isn't effected by the EGR passage.
 
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Old 07-05-04, 06:11 PM
MTJ8617
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1997 Ford Windstar Check Engine Light

I changed the DPFE, and the car seems to be running like a charm. I will be sure in the next 300 miles or so. That is as long as I need to run the car before I get it inspected. If the check engine light stays off the entire time than everything is okay.

I checked everywhere for vacuum leaks, and I can't seem to find any. If I continue to have problems, then I am going take all the vacuum lines apart, and make sure I don't have oil up inside of them from the PCV connection. This is where I had a mechanic replace a tube that was bulging with oil.

Thank you very much for all your help
 
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Old 07-05-04, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MTJ8617
I checked everywhere for vacuum leaks, and I can't seem to find any. If I continue to have problems, then I am going take all the vacuum lines apart, and make sure I don't have oil up inside of them from the PCV connection. This is where I had a mechanic replace a tube that was bulging with oil.

Thank you very much for all your help
No, that can't happen. If you had a tube bulging then it had to be made of rubber. Oil will make rubber swell. Any oil drawn in the vacuum hoses will be drawn into the engine and burned. I really think you may have a problem with a vacuum elbow that's under the plenum or in a place your not seeing. Follow all the LARGE vacuum pipes back to their origin with your fingers. When you touch the hole, you'll hear and feel the difference.
 
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