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Old 03-23-2012, 18:26   #1 (permalink)
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2003 Ford Expedition Help

Hi everyone,

I am just going to say right off the bat that I am no mechanic nor am I very knowledgeable about engines.

Anyways, I own a 2003 Ford Expedition 5.4L V8. It has been having some problems lately. The main problem was while idling. When I would stop at a light or something and be waiting my car would begin to jump forward and what not than eventually turn off.

Well, I found out my alternator had gone bad so I got a new one and had it replaced. I had hoped that was going to be the fix but while it seems to have helped a lot the engine still doesn't seem to be running quite right.

The mechanic and I spoke about it for a while and he told me that more than likely it just needed a tune-up but that the engines in these Expeditions are extremely expensive to have tuned-up.

He told me that more than likely the engine coils should be replaced along with the spark plugs. I didn't have the money to have it done at the time so I am planning on having it done here soon.

Getting to my point, he quoted me $80.00 per engine coil and I just did a search online and saw that I could get a full set of eight of them for $90.00. That didn't include labor either for the price of the coil.

So first, I am wondering did he mean something else when he said the coils and spark plugs should probably be replaced? Or was that what he meant? I mean I obviously know that mechanics will mark-up prices on parts but that seemed crazy.

As far as the coils are concerned, if I am going to get them replaced what brand should I go with? And how much do they run each?

Same deal with spark plugs, best brand to go with? And how much each of them cost?

Lastly, if does turn out that I need to have the coils and spark plugs replaced as part of a tune-up what should that run me? Just a rough estimate would be nice?

Thanks so much.
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Old 03-24-2012, 15:58   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 Ford Expedition Help

How many miles are on it ? Is the "Check Engine" light on ? How much does your local Ford dealer charge for a standard tune up? The coils are not normally changed during a typical tune up unless you're getting a misfire DTC code (you would also get a Check Engine light....). Are you the original owner? I would only use Motorcraft or NGK sparkplugs in your Expedition. Avoid Champion or Autolite at any cost.


-Mike
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Old 03-24-2012, 18:15   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 Ford Expedition Help

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Originally Posted by Hamfisted View Post
How many miles are on it ? Is the "Check Engine" light on ? How much does your local Ford dealer charge for a standard tune up? The coils are not normally changed during a typical tune up unless you're getting a misfire DTC code (you would also get a Check Engine light....). Are you the original owner? I would only use Motorcraft or NGK sparkplugs in your Expedition. Avoid Champion or Autolite at any cost.


-Mike
It has a little over 150,000 miles on it.

The "Service Engine Light" has come on but it seems to come on and off.

I haven't called my Ford Dealer to see what they'd charge for a standard tune-up, I guess I should.

I'm not sure if I'm getting a misfire DTC code, to be honest have no idea what that is, but as I said the "Service Engine Soon" light has been coming on.

I'm not the original owner. I bought the car used but I am the second owner and the Carfax on it looked good.

Thanks for the information on the spark plug brands. I will definitely go with one of those two if they are needed.

I think the reason the mechanic said that the coils may need to be changed as part of a tune-up is because of what he felt when he drove it after installing the new alternator. He also said he wasn't certain that he'd when I have a chance to bring it up to him and he'd do some diagnostics to try and figure out what the problem is.

The mechanic, btw, seemed to be very honest and fair with me. He did some extra labor for me free of charge and only charged me $55 for the installation of the alternator which I don't think is terrible. I also read some very good reviews before taking my car to him and he is extremely convenient since he is literally a .25 mile down the road.

Now granted, the engine coils were dreadfully overpriced compared to what I've seen online but I mean I think most mechanics mark-up their parts cost. I may be wrong though.

As far as what I should have done, should I take it up to him and let him do some diagnostics to see what the problem is? Also, if it is the engine coils that are the problem what brand should I go with or does it not really matter all that much?

Thanks again I really appreciate all of the help.
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Old 03-24-2012, 21:31   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2003 Ford Expedition Help

Ok, let him do the diagnostic check on it and see what the real problem is. If the sparkplugs haven't been changed before it could just be the plugs. Also have him change the fuel filter if it hasn't been changed before. It's an easy job. Use a Motorcraft filter (part number FG-1063, you can get at any Advance Auto store...). Good luck.


-Mike
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