Rough idle in gear after car wash - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Question Rough idle in gear after car wash

Hi I'm new to this forum and I was wondering if you guys could help me out. I have a 1995 Cougar with the 4.6L and 180,000+ miles on it. I ran it through the car wash last week and it has been running rough ever since. It idles smoother in park or neutral but you can tell its still off. When I start it there is a noticeable vibration but that has always been there. It idles in park at 800 rpm with a little surging. As soon as I put it in gear the rpms go way down to 500 and it is erratic, 500-650. It feels like a misfire and shakes the whole car at idle. It feels like it has huge cams in it like an old muscle car. When I give it low to normal throttle, it will sputter and vibrate badly. I can feel it in the seat. If given WOT, it will sputter until about 2500 rpms and then it will take off all the way to redline. But there is still a noticeable loss of power at WOT. At cruising speed on a flat road it seems to be smooth but if i give it any throttle it will sputter. At idle the exhaust sounds like its chugging. Like a puff, puff, puff rhythm and I can smell fuel from the mufflers. There is some white smoke but nothing that isn't normal for Minnesota this time of year. I scanned for codes and it's throwing the P1151 HO2s21 sensor- switches indicates lean.

Things I have done:
New Motorcraft Spark Plugs gapped .054 (Cleaned plug wells and are dry)
New Plug Wires
New PCV valve (15,000 miles)
Intake manifold gasket (15,000)
Air filter (7,000 miles)
Cleaned MAF
Checked resistance on fuel injectors(all .15-.17)
All injectors sound normal
Use fuel injector cleaner every 10,000 miles
Checked resistance on coil packs (each had a bank that was .15~our cars are supposed to be .08?)
Cleaned throttle body
Cleaned battery terminals
Oil and filter changed every 4-5,000 miles (no water in oil)

I'm at a loss of what it could be. I have noticed that the pcv valve hose(the small one on top that makes a U shape) has always whistled when I accelerate but it never was a problem before. Not like this anyway. I am not a mechanic but I do have a lot of tools and can do most jobs. I don't want to take it to the shop because I hate getting screwed and am on a budget. Any suggestions or questions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, it is P1151.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 09:44 PM
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Here's what I can dig up on a P1151:

http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/ford/p1151.php

Sounds like it's time to start chasing possible vacuum leaks, check the fuel pressure regulator, check the O2 sensor wiring, and of course, consider new O2 sensors (I'd do all four - if one's dying from age, the other three are just as old!)

RwP
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 09:47 PM
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what you really did was wash the engine, right? If so, there's possibly an easy explanation for the sputtering.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 09:54 PM
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Same thing used to happen to me, but it was the passenger side. Turned out to be insulation in the O2 harness had melted away and the wires were shorting when they got wet. After about 10 minutes the engine would run smooth again, after the wires dried out.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphP View Post
Here's what I can dig up on a P1151:

http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/ford/p1151.php

Sounds like it's time to start chasing possible vacuum leaks, check the fuel pressure regulator, check the O2 sensor wiring, and of course, consider new O2 sensors (I'd do all four - if one's dying from age, the other three are just as old!)

RwP
I tried checking for vacuum leaks with some carb cleaner but couldn't find any. I did notice what sounded like an air leak from by the egr. I sprayed all around that area and it never changed idle. I'll check vacuum and fuel pressure when I get my hands on a tester. It's hard to get at the o2 sensor wiring for me because of my confined garage space. But I'll try again tomorrow when I replace the sensor.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:35 PM
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I tried checking for vacuum leaks with some carb cleaner but couldn't find any. I did notice what sounded like an air leak from by the egr.
There's been several recent posts on the vacuum tee back there being cracked.

Be worth doing a search for comments on that. But that sounds like your problem to me from here. Well, one of them *grins*

RwP
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I've been searching the internet for a week now with my symptoms but haven't been able to pinpoint exactly what I should check or test. I thought I'd post all my symptoms on here and see what you guys have to say.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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If there's a tee back there somewhere I'll have to check it this weekend due to it being a PITA to work around that area on these cars.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 11:33 PM
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Like everyones told me search is you friend lol, or you couldve just looked around the 4.6 area. Click on swanny's link

http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=142542
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 12:07 AM
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Did I hear someone say vacuum leak ?

http://www.mn12tech.com/vacuum-hose-replacement.php for help

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the links. I guess I'm not very good at using search because I never found those links. I'll start replacing those hoses.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 12:23 PM
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Well what i do, because the search button doesnt come up with everything. You could try something like this for whatever it is your looking for.

do it in google

Vaccume leak tccoa.com

That will pop up stuff from like 2002 - recent
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBIRD9491 View Post
Well what i do, because the search button doesnt come up with everything. You could try something like this for whatever it is your looking for.

do it in google

Vaccume leak tccoa.com

That will pop up stuff from like 2002 - recent
Advanced search does that as well if one looks at all the search options.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 01:20 PM
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Advanced search does that as well if one looks at all the search options.
True. but i still seem to find more some how through google.
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Ok guys, so I checked again for vacuum leaks again and found none. I replaced the o2 sensor that was throwing the code and that wasn't it. I also checked the connector under there and it was fine. I went to a different parts store and checked the codes again and they came up: P1151, P0302, and P0307. I decided to check each fuel injector by unplugging them one by one. Injectors 2 and 7 made no difference when unplugged so I replaced those since they were also throwing the misfire codes. It still runs the SAME!! Could it possibly be the wiring to the injectors or the pcm?
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 06:38 PM
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Try swapping coil packs. Cylinders 7 and 2 both are fired from the driver's side coil.

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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 06:39 PM
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Absolutely it could be those two things. I would first thoroughly inspect the injector connectors for rust/corrosion and then for continuity to the pcm.
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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The wiring looks a little dirty but I cleaned them up with some electrical cleaner. I'll try swapping the coil packs and checking for continuity to the pcm and update after.
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 08:53 PM
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A 95 could have a failing PCM.
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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 04:29 PM
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maybe you got water in the alternator and shorted something inside?

try running your car with the alternator disconnected to rule that out.

this sounds kinda like what I was chasing with rough idle and sputtering. and I got a P1152 that is related to P1151


The alternator can still charge but if a diode is shorted it can throw off the Pcm and sensors.

Last edited by Nightstar; 03-24-2013 at 05:29 PM.
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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 06:52 PM
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maybe you got water in the alternator and shorted something inside?

try running your car with the alternator disconnected to rule that out.

this sounds kinda like what I was chasing with rough idle and sputtering. and I got a P1152 that is related to P1151


The alternator can still charge but if a diode is shorted it can throw off the Pcm and sensors.
that's what I was thinking IF he also washed the engine, but we don't know
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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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I did not wash the engine. I only ran it through the car wash to get road road salt off the underbody. What would i disconnect on the alternator?
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 01:16 PM
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the main large gauge power cable.
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Disconnected the alternator and no change. Swapped coil packs and still misfiring from cylinders 2 and 7. How do i check if it's the pcm?
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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 07:59 PM
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are the injectors 2 and 7 ticking/pulsing?

if not try and get a test light on the fuel injector plugs and see if anything happens.
one wire should be hot + and other should pulse ground -

check the wiring and connections on the harness real good.

could be a Pcm problem. I can pick one up from pick n pull for $60
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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 08:54 PM
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I had this happen to me about 7 years ago in my 95 Thunderbird 3.8 driving in heavy rain and hit a deep puddle.

After replacing many things, the dealership replaced the mass air flow sensor and they said that was the issue even though the codes did not call for it.

So either I got a lot of new parts, vaccum hoses, plugs, ignition packs and a 900 dollar bill or it was in fact the MAFS.

I do not know if that helps you as I do not know if I got ripped off and they just kept throwing parts at the issue until one or some of them in combination fixed it.

Hope that helps,

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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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All the injectors are pulsing/ticking as they should be. But if i pull the connectors of 2 and 7 there is no change in idle. Any of the others will make it noticeably more rough.
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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 10:16 PM
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I would first check the wiring and connectors before going to the pcm.
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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I check for injector pulse with a noid light and all injectors pulse. So that rules out the pcm?
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