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Top 5 Problems Ford E-250 Van 4th Generation 1992 - Present

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Created on: 2020-09-21

This video discusses the top problems with the 4th generation Ford E series van, model years 1992 to present.

Hey friends, it's Len here from 1A Auto. Today we have a 2007, fourth-generation E 250 in the studio. We want to go over some of the top problems, so let's get started.

Okay, friends, so you know me, one of the first things I always like to talk about in my videos is a safety issue. On this particular vehicle, the safety issue comes from the exhaust manifolds. There's going to be a couple of different things that could happen with these manifolds, one of them could be, and it's a very common thing, would be the studs that hold the manifold to the engine itself tend to either rot or just break off, or even the manifold itself gets a crack in it.

The reason why I say that this is a safety issue is mostly the fact that if you have an exhaust leak coming inside the engine compartment, there's a very big possibility that it could seep its way into the passenger compartment, which of course, would be a very big deal, and you might find that you get headaches and even nausea if this happens. So symptoms for this, of course, would be the first thing that I said before, maybe you smell a little bit of exhaust coming from the engine compartment, you really shouldn't, and you definitely shouldn't smell any inside the passenger compartment.

Aside from that, another symptom that you might happen to notice, especially when the engine is cold, not when the engine is warmed up is a ticking noise. The ticking noise is going to come from the manifold area where it connects to the engine. Generally, you're going to be able to find that inside one of the wheel wells. So if your vehicle is nice and cool, maybe you left it sitting out overnight, it's nice and cooled down, jump in it, start it right up. Right as soon as you do that, you need to run from one side of the wheel well to the other wheel well and listen for a little ticking noise. If you hear a ticking noise, that's where you're going to start looking.
Reasons why you might hear a ticking noise would be of course, when the metal is cold, everything's contracted. As soon as it warms up, things tend to expand a little bit and they're gonna take up any little space that you might have whether it's a crack or an issue with the seal due to a broken stud.

Now fixes for this, let's say that you found that exhaust tick, maybe it's on the right side like it is on this particular vehicle. For us, personally, we have two broken studs on this manifold that holds it to the engine. That's obviously a very big deal. If the studs are broken, there's no way that the nuts are going to be able to hold it to the engine. So it's going to create a loose contact and there's going to be exhaust fumes leaking going into the engine compartment.

The best thing to do would be, of course, to remove the manifold completely. You might have to either remove the studs or even drill and tap those studs. If you have to drill and tap them, you want to be very careful because generally, the engine metal is going to be much softer than the bolt/studs that go into it. So when you're drilling, it's a very big possibility that the drill bit could go off at an angle. If you drill into the engine, you could potentially damage the engine or even worse, you might drill into your coolant jacket, which of course means that you're going to have to go ahead and replace that head.

A special tool that you can get if you feel more comfortable with it, it's going to make it so all the stud holes line up and you can get those right out perfectly. If you're going to be replacing two, why not replace them all and of course replace the gasket at the same time. While the manifold's off, it'll only really makes sense to inspect it. A lot of times you might have multiple traumas, maybe you have an issue with the manifold studs, you think that that's the only issue, you go ahead and replace them, replace the gasket, next thing you know, you still have an exhaust leak.

What's going on, Len? You said that you found it. Well, did you check the manifold and see if it has any cracks? A lot of times manifolds will get cracks along some of the seams. Or if you have any bends anywhere, which of course manifolds generally do. Manifolds get very hot due to the exhaust pressures and temperatures that are coming out of your engine. So if the metal expands, because it's hot, and then it contracts very quickly, maybe a splash in a puddle or a little bit of slush in the snow or whatever the case may be, the metal is going to go from hot and expanded to contracted real quick and it might crack, the crack might be a very small hairline crack, you might not even really be able to see it. But if there is a crack, more than likely there's going to be some sort of soot around it, whether it's black, or even maybe a little bit gray.

Now the second problem that I want to talk to you about is the blower motor on these vehicles. No, this isn't the one for this vehicle, but it is something I have in my hand to show you. The blower motor for this particular vehicle is located right behind the battery on the passenger side, right here. The issue that you're going to find with your blower motor, generally speaking, is that it doesn't work at all. Sometimes you might happen to find that it has an issue where it only works on certain speeds. If that's the case, then more than likely, it's just the blower motor resistor. And if you're replacing the blower motor resistor, you would replace the blower motor at the same time.

If your blower motor doesn't work at all, more than likely it's due to a different issue besides the resistor. A lot of times on these particular vehicles, the wiring actually hangs down a little bit too low because maybe it came unsecured or maybe it's just a little bit loose in general, but it'll hang low and it'll rest up against your EGR tube. The EGR is an exhaust gas recirculation valve. Essentially, it's going to get very hot from the temperatures that are coming out of your exhaust and going back into the engine to be reburnt so the tube's gonna get hot. If wires are resting on it, well, of course, what's going to happen? They're going to end up melting. Once the wire melts and has exposed wire, well, of course, that's going to ground out onto that tube. If it grounds out, more than likely it's going to blow your fuse and it's going to be your number 13 fuse on your particular vehicle.

Now if you happen to find a blown fuse, then obviously it's something you're going to have to diagnose. You don't just go ahead and replace the fuse and then expect everything's going to work well because more than likely it won't for very long. The fuse is designed to be the weakest link inside your electrical system. So of course if there's a grounded area where maybe the wire melted, or of course you have an issue with maybe that resistor that's overheating the wiring system or even the blower motor, the fuse is going to be the first thing that pops and it says, "We got a problem and we're not going any further than here." So things to check overall for this would be of course the fuse, the wiring to make sure you don't have any melts anyplace, the resistor, because you want to make sure that that's not damaged or corroded in any way. And of course, that blower motor, make sure it hasn't been overheating or anything like that.

Now the third problem we have for this vehicle comes down to engine misfires. Some of the symptoms that you might notice if you have an engine misfire, of course, will be probably a check engine light on. That's going to, of course, let you know that there's something going on and if you were to pull the code, more than likely, you might come up with a code that says P0301 through maybe P0308. Each number at the very end represents which cylinder that the misfires detected in. So if you had P0301, it's cylinder one. 302, well there you go, cylinder two. With that said, that's going to help you diagnose in which direction you need to go. Not everybody has access to a scanner, though, so a couple of other things that you might happen to notice first symptoms would be maybe skipping or bucking from your engine. Maybe you try to accelerate and the vehicle just kind of [vocalization]. And then maybe it takes off, but it just doesn't seem as fluid and it definitely feels as though something's going on. Maybe you're sitting at a red light and you can feel just kind of the vehicle just shudder every once in a while. It's not that it's cold, it has a misfire, and it needs to be checked out.

So let's talk about a couple of causes of why you might have an engine misfire. On these particular vehicles, the maintenance isn't due for the spark plugs till 100,000 miles. So that's a lot of miles before these spark plugs are due. With that said, a lot of things can break down over that amount of time, not just the spark plug, because yeah, the spark plug can of course break down, especially down by that electrode area. But you might also notice that there's a heat crack in the spark plug porcelain up along the top there, or even the most common culprit for this would have to do with the coil packs.

So talking about the coil pack, it's going to come down to three separate pieces. You have the actual coil itself, which yeah, over time will break down. And of course, it could become an issue, it's less likely though, than if you have an issue with maybe the boot, if you were looking at it, and you saw some issue that looked like this, maybe it's white, or black or discolored in any way. Or even if you were to try to grab your boot, you can't flex it, it's not flexible anymore. Maybe it's dry and brittle and it's even starting to crack. If that's an issue, this little [inaudible] that goes inside there, that goes from the top of your coil, just like this till that spark plug is going to be able to arc out and ground out to your engine instead of going down to the spark plug. So every time this is trying to say, "Hey, go ahead and spark up that combustion chamber down there," it's going to shoot the spark out, it's going to go to its quickest point, which will be right here, and ground out to the engine. So if you replace your spark plugs at 100,000 miles, it really only makes sense to go ahead and replace the boot and of course the spring that's located right underneath it.

Now a coil issue might not be as apparent as ours, where we have this area right here. Other times, it's going to be something that you can't even see. It's gonna have to do with something right inside here and like I said, you can't see it so how are you going to diagnose it? The easiest way for me wouldn't be necessarily to go out and buy myself a new one and just try to replace it. What I might try to do first though, is to maybe go over to the other side of the engine, the other side that I took out my coil from, and swap this one with another one, right. And if you happen to find that after you clear your engine light codes, that misfire moved to the other cylinder that you just move this coil to, well then you know for sure you have an issue with the coil.

If, for some reason, the misfire didn't move and it stayed in the same cylinder, well, then, of course, you have something else going on and that's something that you have to look into, could be the sparkplug, like I said. It could even come down to fuel. Something real quick, I want to mention, if your check engine light's on and flashing, you definitely don't want to continue driving, you need to diagnose it ASAP. You could potentially cause detrimental damage to your engine and in all honesty, you could damage your catalytic converter, both of which are very expensive.

Now the fourth problem on this particular vehicle comes down to the shifter knob. If you were to look at your steering column, you're going to have this big old lever right here and it kind of just wobbles around. This is going to be very common on a lot of vehicles that have their shifter attached to the steering column. Some of the symptoms that you might notice with this aside from just the wobble by your hand right here would also be right up here at the indicator. What you might happen to notice is as I wobble this, it's kind of going in between gears here. In really bad cases, what you might happen to find is you might think you're in drive, but really you're in neutral. Or even maybe you think you're in drive or maybe you're in second. It could go kind of either way and it might be an issue for safety. It's definitely something that you want to look into. Now the causes for this would be located right inside your steering column. You'd have to take a whole bunch of things apart to get to it so I can't really show you.

In between this piece right here and the steering column itself should have an area where they're supposed to connect and there should be a little plastic bushing in between there. Over time, if you try to shift your vehicle without actually pulling and then pulling it down, you're gonna put a lot of wear and tear on the plastic bushing that's inside there. Other than that, there's a couple of pins that are in there as well and those need to be replaced as well. Usually, you can get it as a serviceable kit. Fixes for this are a little bit difficult. You're gonna want to follow your service procedure, but essentially what you definitely want to make sure you do is always disconnect your battery. You of course have an airbag that's located right inside your steering wheel and you definitely don't want to damage that.
Something else that I would recommend that not everybody necessarily would do is make sure that you tie off your steering wheel so there's no way that it can spin around. Like I said, you have an airbag, so it's going to have a clock spring located back here. If this can spin around, once you take off your steering shaft, you're going to find that you have an airbag issue and you're more than likely going to have a light on your dash. Aside from those two things that I mentioned, of course, you definitely want to make sure that, like I said, you follow your service procedure and follow it to the tee because this is a safety issue, and you definitely don't want your steering coming loose.

The fifth problem for this comes down to transmission fluid leaks. So some of the symptoms for this, of course, may be you find a little puddle of transmission fluid on the ground, that would be a severe case. Other than that, you're at a stop sign or a red light, you go to take off, your engine's RPM goes up or your engine speed goes up, but your vehicle speed doesn't because the transmission is slipping. Other than that, you might happen to notice some jerking or shuddering coming from the transmission as you try to accelerate. These are all very common things, especially if you have low transmission fluid. And if you hear a whining noise coming from your transmission, you know your fluid is low.

Now, to find where your transmission fluid leak is, it's going to be easiest, if you're underneath the vehicle, obviously, you need to be able to see what's going on. If you were to come under here, the most common places that you might find transmission fluid would be around this little boot right here. And then of course, if you were to look behind this plate right here, you're gonna see where your transmission bell housing is. There's gonna be a pump seal that's located inside up towards the forward end here. If it's leaking, the fluid's gonna come down along this, it's gonna sit in here, and it's going to make its way out right through there. All right? Like I said, that's happening internally right inside there, not on the outside of the transmission, obviously.

With that said, if the fluid's leaking down along here, and then, of course, you're driving down the road, it's going to kind of blow back and it might make a big mess. Any fluid that you happen to find that looks like it's blowing back might make you think you have a different transmission leak, such as maybe your pan gasket, but it might actually be the issue, like I said, which would be located right in here. If it's the pump seal, then, of course, you would have to separate the transmission from the engine, and then, of course, replace the seal. You would replace all seals at the same time and more than likely service the transmission at the same time as well.

Other than that, another common place to leak, even though I said that it might not be the culprit, would be the pan gasket itself. Sometimes when these are serviced, the bolts might rather not be torqued properly, or they might just loosen up over time, in which case the gasket isn't going to be able to do its job and you're gonna have fluid that comes out along the pan in between the transmission and the pan itself. Other fairly common places would be right here, the selector shaft seal. That might leak and then come down along your pan, make you think you have a pan gasket leak.

Even on the passenger side of the transmission, you have where your cooler lines go in. Those could come along here, a lot of times they'll get rusted and rotted and you'll have to replace those as well. Moving along towards the rear of the transmission, you're gonna see the tail shaft seal which is located right here. That's where the driveshaft goes right into. If this seal is leaking, you're gonna see fluid coming out all down along here and even through this little weep hole, it's gonna probably make a mess, and you're probably even going to see some dripping onto your exhaust.

Now for fixes for this, what you're going to want to do is locate the leak. Obviously, if you have a major leak, and it's a big old mess under here, it's going to kind of be hard to determine where it's coming from. If that's the case, the best thing you could do, of course, would be to clean it down the best you can, check your fluid level, make sure it's topped off to approximately where it should be and then take it for a nice road test. Maybe go out to the beach or to the mountains or wherever you like to go, just drive maybe a couple hundred miles. Assuming that there's no transmission issues, you'd want to of course bring it back into wherever you can work on it and you're gonna want to take a look.

At that point should be able to see a pretty apparent transmission fluid leak. With all that said, of course, transmission fluid is a chemical in itself. So if you get it on your hands or even in your eyes, it's going to be a major issue. So make sure you have hand and eye protection. Okay, friends, so that's what I got for you on my top problems on this particular vehicle. Every vehicle has its own issues, obviously, or else I probably wouldn't have a job. With that said, I hope you liked the video. If you did, smash on the like button for me. It would mean the world. Go ahead and leave me a comment because I always love to hear from you. Subscribe and ring the bell. That way there you can be kept up with all of our latest content. Thanks.

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