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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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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

'96 Ford Windstar, Engine Skip

Q: I have a '96 Ford Windstar and it started acting like it was running on only 5 cylinders. I had it checked at AutoZone and sure enough number 2 was misfiring. I did a compression test myself to make sure it wasn't a head or head gasket and the test came back fine. So I put plugs and wires in it. Still no change. The next thing I will try is taking the plug out and turning the engine over to see if it is getting fire ( spark plug arcs ). If that is OK then the only thing left is the injector.. If memory serves me correctly, it only takes 3 things to make a cylinder perform properly... GAS- FIRE - & COMPRESSION....Any suggestions at all that may help.

A: I'm inclined to think that you have a fire/spark problem and when you check for spark you'll likely find that there is none. Your Windstar has a distributorless ignition system. The most common problem we've run into involves the coil pack. What's really strange about your problem is that it has been the #2 cylinder part of the coil pack that has failed on the last two Windstars that have been in our shop with an engine skip. As a quick check, confirm if spark is present at the spark plug. If you have no spark then move back to the coil pack and check for spark. A word of caution! The coil packs of distributorless ignition systems have more than enough kick (electrical power) to double as a defibrillator on steroids. If you get yourself across the wrong part at the right time and you'll be doing the wiggly giggly and have a whole new understanding! Of course if anyone is watching such an event will likely fall down laughing once they figure out you're still alive. They might even ask for an encore once they get their breath back.

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