Car Computers and Sensors
Ford Windstar

If the computer on a 96 Ford Winstar will not accept a code and misfire comes and goes when it warms up is your computer going bad or is the repair shop just after your money?


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2016-05-16 03:38:28
2016-05-16 03:38:28

It probably depends on the model. I am told Chevy's usually can be tested (most models), while my 2000 Ford Windstar (according to the Ford dealer) cannot be tested, and that it is PROBABLY the computer, but could also be a fuel injector. He said this model's computer is bad to inaccurately control the injectors causing misfiring. But, I have not changed mine yet because I am still not sure as you are not. However, if your problem is just after it warms up, it is very likely one of three emissions sensors. I would have them checked first. If it is the computer, it will not likely do it only when it warms up, though that may be possible.

Computers don't go bad they either work or they don't. If there are codes logged then they can be read with a scanner which will tell you what the problem is. There are active codes which are in the present time and logged codes which was something that happened before, say yesterday. Auto ECM's can log these codes for example. The engine is misfiring the code will be logged which when read will tell you for example that #1 Spark plug is not firing. Logged codes usually don't cause lights to blink unless the computer's memory is full and then they must be cleared. Codes which are present all the time(Active codes) are for example Air Bag Light blinking, Service engine light...get the drift.

PS some year cars I believe it's pre1994 don't need a scanner to read the code you just count the number of flashes and decypher them using the manual for example 1994 Air bag light 1 bling then 6 quick blinks 1 blink then 6 quick blinks in a sequence that repeats over is I believe a code for a Bad Ground in the air bag system. . You need a good electronic technician.

If you're referring to an engine misfiring. then start with the spark plug wires. when its dark outside start your vehicle open the hood and look for flashes of light coming from the spark plug wires. (make sure it's as dark as possible). Also with the engine off, you can examine them for burns (usually little grayish marks on them).

My wife and I thought we had big problems with our minivan (hesitating/stalling) somebody told me to change the wires and voila, all better.


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Do a proper diagnosis to figure out the cause of the misfire, then repair it.

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Find and repair the cause of a misfire on cylinder #5.see related question below.Find and repair the cause of a misfire on cylinder #5.see related question below.

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One thing for sure is that if you do Not repair it soon, it Can cause the computer to go bad as the excess electricity has to go somewhere. A misfire can be a spark plug, a plug boot, a coil or even a vacuum leak. Take it to a repair shop and have it properly diagnosed.

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