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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

94 Ford Ranger, No Power and Surging
Q: I have a ‘94 ranger 3.0 and when it's cold it has no power and it surges. When it's warmed up it still surges in the lower gears but when in overdrive it’s not noticeable. Also when it’s going through gears you can hold the gas pedal in one spot and it just goes like it has plenty of power then it will start surging again. I've put a code reader on it because the check engine light came on for a second then went back off only twice. The only code it has given me is amperage above normal on throttle position sensor and I replaced it with no results. I don't want to start replacing a lot of parts because I really don't know where to begin. I'm also going to do a compression check, but other than that if you can help I would be very thankful because this thing is about to drive me crazy. .....Angelo.

A: Before changing any more computer parts check the fuel pressure. Your vehicle will not run correctly if the fuel pressure is low. Don’t forget about the fuel filter either. A restricted fuel filter will cause a variety of problems with a fuel injected engine. There are a couple of computer sensors on your vehicle that can get pretty dumb and the computer will not know there is a problem. Your vehicle has a device called a Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor. The MAF sensor measures the amount of air entering your engine in grams per-second. The computer uses this information to calculate the fuel needed. The problem we’ve been seeing with these sensors is due to air filter fibers or other debris contaminating the wire used to sense air flow. The biggest offender is the discount air filters. The paper fibers used in these filters breaks free from the filter and just loves to wrap themselves around the MAF sensing wire. The result is clouded information that the computer just doesn’t know about. Nothing is broken so there are no computer codes, you just have a vehicle that doesn’t run right when everything else checks good. A keen eye and some electrical contact cleaner is what’s needed to remove the offending fibers or debris from the MAF‘s sensing wire.

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