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Old 11-05-2010, 13:18   #1 (permalink)
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2004 Ford Freestar idle problems

A little history first, wife came home from work at night everything was fine. She got in it the next morning and it wouldn't stay started. I contributed it to being really cold (25 degrees) and maybe the fuel line froze since it had under a 1/4 gas in it. Later in the day still had the same problems. Once i kept my foot on the gas for a minute or two and let it go it would stay running but idle really sluggish. Finally the engine light came on and gave codes P0340 (camshaft position censor) and P0511 (idle air control circuit). I replaced both of these along with the fuel filter and it's still doing the same thing. Is it electrical or maybe needs a tuneup? I don't hear any hissing from any hoses so i don't think it's a vacuum issue. I'm at my wits end with it. Not sure if there's a quick check type thing i can try. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-05-2010, 17:23   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 Ford Freestar idle problems

Are you still getting the same codes or different ones. Also, clean the MAF with MAF cleaner.
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Old 11-05-2010, 17:45   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 Ford Freestar idle problems

No codes as of yet but i didn't get them right away last time either. I disconnected the MAF to see if it would idle better and it didn't. I just came in from starting it again. Took about 2-3 minutes of solid throttling it before it would stay running. Turned the Defrosters on and the idle jumped up and down with it almost stalling. Not sure what this is but never heard it before this started happening, sounds like some liquid sloshing around behind the dash when i rev the engine. I can't hear it outside the vehicle though due to engine noise. Very very strange. I always try to fix things myself first, i enjoy it but i think a mechanic would have much better testing equipment.

I'm going to take it on the road tomorrow and see if i can generate more codes and i'll post them here.

I thought i also heard some hissing but i couldn't pin point it. It's very faint and not sure if it's from a hose or just a normal noise. There are so many hoses and some are so hard to reach.

My fuel filter was an absolute mess by the way, very dirty and clogged. This was the first thing i tried to do when this happened. Could it just need new spark plugs and a tune up?
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Old 11-05-2010, 20:14   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 Ford Freestar idle problems

You could pull a couple of easy to get at plugs and see what they look like. They usuall don't cause idle problems though. Maybe the sloshing may be the coolant in the heater core. Check the reistance in the ECT. It can be off and the PCM wouldn't set a code because it thinks the information is right.

Coolant Temperature Sensor
Temp °F Resistance
176°F 3840 Ω
194°F 2800 Ω
212°F 2070 Ω
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Old 03-22-2011, 22:02   #5 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: 2004 Ford Freestar idle problems

I know this post is several months old, and you may have resolved your issue, but I thought I'd go ahead and post this info anyways. Maybe you, or someone else with idle problems, can benefit from it.

I have a 2004 Freestar. My problems span over the last three months. They range from the headlights randomly going out, to the radio turning off, lack of general power, misfires, and now idle problems.

I first thought I was dealing with a problem with the engine or battery not being properly grounded. I cleaned the ground wires and ensured a good connection. Once the misfiring began, I found that the coilpack was bad and replaced it. And the idle problems were very indicative of an idle air control valve issue.

After replacing the idle air control valve ($40), I saw no improvement in the idle issue. I did some research and learned that Ford published TDB 06-14-10 addressing issues with moisture getting into the powertrain control module (PCM). Apparently, moisture in the PCM can cause a variety of issues; including transmission problems, electrical problems, headlights turning off, engine overheating, and idle problems. The TDB is available for free on the internet.

I used the instructions at Ford Freestar Transmission Problems - Car Forums - Edmunds to pull the PCM apart and found moisture on the inside of the 140 pin connectors. I did not find any within the PCM on the circuit board, however, rusty metal components around it indicate that I have had a moisture issue for some time. I used a qtip and a paper towel to wipe off the majority of the moisture. Then I carefully used a hair dryer (on low setting) to dry the connections out completely. It's a time consuming process but caution is necessary. After putting everything back together, The idle issues had vanished. The vehicle also seemed to perform with more power.

This weekend I intend to complete the instruction on the TDB to reduce moisture around the PCM. I also intend on using silicon to seal up a few areas where moisture still has access to the circuit board and connections.

Eliminating moisture from the PCM can reduce many performance issues with the Freestar and save owners a ton of money involved in replacing them.
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Old 03-22-2011, 22:25   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 2004 Ford Freestar idle problems

That's some good information. Thanks for posting and welcome to the forums.
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