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Old 03-15-2011, 17:51   #1 (permalink)
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confused IMPORTANT: Please give me some advice today

own a 2001 Ford Windstar which is currently at the dealer for two reasons: 1. another recall being done 2. Yesterday on a trip of 2 1/2 hrs the vehicle suddenly started loosing momentum and hesitating/misfiring going up slight inclines at a speed of 65mph. Check engine light came on for about 10 seconds then went off but car continued doing the same thing going up inclines and upon starting after stopping it hesitates and misfires. Dealer said code read PO301 which is misfire. They said it needed a tune up (1 coil and spark plugs) at a cost of $464; and advised me to clean the fuel injectors and throttle body plate at a cost of $150. Along with the $99 diagnostics charge my total would be $714. My question is this an unreasonable charge as my response to the dealer was "holy cow". This seems extremely expensive but then I'm no expert although I did try to change my own spark plugs once only to cross the threads in one of them and have to get it re-threaded. No seriously I have been around a lot of people doing mechanical stuff and know some things but not enough to answer my own question. Can anyone help?
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Old 03-15-2011, 18:16   #2 (permalink)
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Re: IMPORTANT: Please give me some advice today

I haven't worked at a dealer for a long time, so I can't say what the cost would be. The plugs and coil sound like that very well could be the P0301 code. Changing them is more than most people should attempt unless they're pretty good at mechanics. Cleaning the injectors and throttle body can make them run better but you could have them hold off for now and see how things go.
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Old 03-15-2011, 21:48   #3 (permalink)
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Re: IMPORTANT: Please give me some advice today

How many miles on it? How many miles since the fuel filter was replaced?
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Old 03-15-2011, 23:05   #4 (permalink)
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Re: IMPORTANT: Please give me some advice today

78,000 miles on it...don't remember ever changing the fuel filter where is it located?
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:13   #5 (permalink)
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Re: IMPORTANT: Please give me some advice today

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78,000 miles on it...don't remember ever changing the fuel filter where is it located?
The fuel filter is mounted to the frame-rail, below the the driver's door.

There is a 5/16th clamp holding the filter in place, and easily removed hose connectors. There is a tool available, but you don't really need it - simply pinch the connectors to release, push back on to reconnect.

Be prepared for some fuel spilling when you disconnect the hoses - recommend to have rags, small container and even safety glasses.

10 minute job to replace.
The fuel filter is on the driver's side right below the driver's door. You will need a special tool to change it. You will need a fuel line wrench, available at most auto parts stores, and a flathead screw driver. Relieve the fuel presure in the fuel line by connecting a fuel pressure guage to the fuel rail test port (next to the intake manifold) and opening the pressure relief valve. Using the screwdriver, loosen clam on filter, then slide the fuel line wrench in till it pops the the line out. Replace the old filter with a new one, making sure the arrow on the new filter is pointing toward the front of the vehicle. Slide the fuel lines into the new filter. The fuel line will make a snapping sound when it is in place.
It's just underneath the driver's side mounted to the framerail, and beneath the door pillar between the sidedoor and driver's door.
It's a 5/16th clamp holding the filter in place, and easily operated hose connectors. There is a tool available, but you don't really need it - simply pinch the connectors to release, push back on to reconnect.
10 minute job to replace.

Read more:
Answers.com - How do you replace the fuel filter on a Ford Windstar
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:49   #6 (permalink)
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Re: IMPORTANT: Please give me some advice today

so...are you suggesting it could be my fuel filter...even though the PO301 code read misfire on coil on #1 Cylinder at least that's what I was told. Anyone know if that means that the coil is really bad or the spark plug that connects to that coil could be bad. I think if I can't just replace one coil I have to replace the entire coil pack...it comes that way.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:35   #7 (permalink)
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Re: IMPORTANT: Please give me some advice today

That's correct, the coil pack would have to be replaced. P0301 is for a misfire. You should make sure the fuel filter is replaced but it's doubtful that would cause a misfire, hesitation and lack of power, yes.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:35   #8 (permalink)
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Re: IMPORTANT: Please give me some advice today

Dont know how it is over where you are , but over here if you put car into dealership you pay through the nose . Using a good local , independant garage should save quite a bit for the work suggested .
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:48   #9 (permalink)
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Re: IMPORTANT: Please give me some advice today

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Originally Posted by JudyM View Post
so...are you suggesting it could be my fuel filter...even though the PO301 code read misfire on coil on #1 Cylinder at least that's what I was told. Anyone know if that means that the coil is really bad or the spark plug that connects to that coil could be bad. I think if I can't just replace one coil I have to replace the entire coil pack...it comes that way.
Yes start with replacing the Plug...Clear the OBDII Code..If you get the 301 then replace the Coil...But sadly to say it most likely your Coil.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:59   #10 (permalink)
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Re: IMPORTANT: Please give me some advice today

just wanted to thank you guys, and yes I did tell the dealer NO when they asks if I wanted them to go ahead with the work! I learned that lesson long ago, just wanted the diagnostics! Taking van today to a back yard mechanic literally, who was trained in the marines as a mechanic, seems to be a real honest guy wanting to do right by the public...used him on my Volvo in the summer and was impressed with his knowledge, quickness to repair, and prices. I printed out all the valuable information I got on this forum for his reference if he needs it although I did the same when I took him my Volvo and he didn't seem to need it! I took that as a good sign!! Thanks again! I'll be back....!
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