Asif Hussain

Ford Explorer Cylinder Misfire

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Ford Explorer Sport Trac, 2010 Model. V6, 4.0Ltr

Problem started with the coolant going to the reservoir and not returning back to the radiator when the vehicle is cooled. First, it started on my trip to salalah in Aug 2018. After driving around 900kms continuously (with enough breaks every 200 kms) with 45 to 50deg outside temperature the engine light came on and felt some hard jerk. We stopped and noted that the coolant reservoir was full and was overflowing with the boiling coolant. We waited till the vehicle cooled down and we shifted the coolant from reservoir to the radiator manually and continued our journey to the nearest town where we found a mechanic. He said, it is because of faulty radiator cap and he replaced it with a 88kpa while the original ford radiator cap is 140kpa as we had no option left. Then, we continued our journey without any issue and drove around 1000 kms in salalah for the next 5days with (18 to 22deg outside temperature). I tried to find the original radiator cap in salalah but I did not find there because ford parts store was closed for Eid holidays.

On our way back to UAE the same problem happened again after driving for almost same distance around 950kms continuously (with enough breaks every 200 kms). We repeated the same procedure of coolant swap what we did earlier and reached home without any issue. Next day i replaced with original radiator cap and the problem was solved for next few months. And engine light error was due to the fuel rail pressure sensor which i replaced and everything was normal. Now the problem occurred again 15days back. Last week during our desert drive the heat gauge raised for first time and at one point it touched to the max. Now it is something serious and require our expert advice and figure out the exact problem and the cause. 

Problems:

1) Coolant is going to reservoir (almost full sometimes and over flows) and not returning to radiator back once vehicle is cooled.

2) White smoke is coming out from exhaust when idle. While moving it disappears. 

3) Water dripping from exhaust in idle

4) Coolant level is going down (may be over flowing from reservoir)

5) Misfires in idle, While moving can’t feel anything. Aslo sometimes misfire stops in idle for some time and starts again.

I have a Chinese OBDII scan tool which connects to smartphone via bluetooth and it read a faulty code P0304 cylinder 4 misfire. 

Note: Checked the coolant no traces of oil found. Checked Engine oil no traces of coolant found.

Steps taken : With my little knowledge i tried all these steps: First thing i did was i swapped the spark plug from cylinder 5 to 4 and 4 to 5 (No luck it misfired) and the OBDII read the same cylinder error. Then i went to used part shop and borrowed 2 sets of plug wires and 2 coils, swapped and checked (No luck it misfired). Finally i did dry compression test and here are the result 

Results         
Cylinder PSI   Cylinder PSI
   3 165       6 170
   2 158       5 160
   1 165       4 168
       

I repeated the test for the 4th cylinder twice again and the PSI shooted up to 205 and 210. And at that point i noted water/coolant coming out from spark plug hole. 

Need some expert advice to figure out the exact problem and cause.

 

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Might just be a faulty water pump but sounds like it has overheated and the head gasket is damaged. 

Next step is to perform a sniff test and check for the presence of hydrocarbons in the coolant reservoir. Can be done by sticking the probe from an exhaust gas analyser into the air space in the tank as long as it doesn’t touch the coolant. 

If this confirms it, head/heads will need to be removed and inspected for flatness along with the block deck. If you’re lucky, it might just be a split gasket which will be visible upon inspection. 

Get a sniff test done and post the results and I can offer better advice after that. 

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52 minutes ago, Barry said:

Might just be a faulty water pump but sounds like it has overheated and the head gasket is damaged. 

Next step is to perform a sniff test and check for the presence of hydrocarbons in the coolant reservoir. Can be done by sticking the probe from an exhaust gas analyser into the air space in the tank as long as it doesn’t touch the coolant. 

If this confirms it, head/heads will need to be removed and inspected for flatness along with the block deck. If you’re lucky, it might just be a split gasket which will be visible upon inspection. 

Get a sniff test done and post the results and I can offer better advice after that. 

Get out of still being back in the UK mode and finally get into I'm in Dubai now and shit is different here mode. I searched the entire country 7-8 months back looking for a sniff test and couldn't find one only expensive online kits because I also wanted to be 100% sure I hadn't blown a HG. 

I had even less symptoms of a blown head gasket, no loss of coolant, no misfire, no steamy exhaust, and you could drive for 15-20 minutes and wouldn't even know the HG was gone. Only when you popped the hood you saw the hose pipes bulging like anacondas who had just swallowed a T.Rex, the system was under extreme pressure and the gasket had popped and was pumping exhaust into the cooling system.

Since I had no other symptoms I took a month or two to make sure it was head gasket issue and not something stupid like air trapped in the system or a faulty cap. 

Anyways from the looks of it I does seem to blown HG, other than the sniff test ( good luck with that ) you can take out the spark plus and shove a borescope or flash a strong flash light down a couple of cylinders if you can. If coolant is leaking into cylinder 4 it will be squeeky clean and shiny compared to adjacent cylinders because it is literally being steam cleaned every time you run the engine.

Anyways you made a good pretty detailed symptom report, everything tells me you have a blown head gasket. You can faff around with buying pricey sniff kits or borescopes or just play it by ear. 

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2 minutes ago, desertdude said:

Get out of still being back in the UK mode and finally get into I'm in Dubai now and shit is different here mode. I searched the entire country 7-8 months back looking for a sniff test and couldn't find one only expensive online kits because I also wanted to be 100% sure I hadn't blown a HG. 

I had even less symptoms of a blown head gasket, no loss of coolant, no misfire, no steamy exhaust, and you could drive for 15-20 minutes and wouldn't even know the HG was gone. Only when you popped the hood you saw the hose pipes bulging like anacondas who had just swallowed a T.Rex, the system was under extreme pressure and the gasket had popped and was pumping exhaust into the cooling system.

Since I had no other symptoms I took a month or two to make sure it was head gasket issue and not something stupid like air trapped in the system or a faulty cap. 

Anyways from the looks of it I does seem to blown HG, other than the sniff test ( good luck with that ) you can take out the spark plus and shove a borescope or flash a strong flash light down a couple of cylinders if you can. If coolant is leaking into cylinder 4 it will be squeeky clean and shiny compared to adjacent cylinders because it is literally being steam cleaned every time you run the engine.

Anyways you made a good pretty detailed symptom report, everything tells me you have a blown head gasket. You can faff around with buying pricey sniff kits or borescopes or just play it by ear. 

It’s got fuck all to do with being in UK mode, more to do with being a good technician who diagnoses a problem correctly rather than guessing like some of the retards here. And if you actually bothered to check, you can order sniff test kits online for under 250 dhs so don’t come spreading your uninformed bullshit on technical threads when you know nothing about the subject. 

Hence why I also said you can use an exhaust gas analyser as long as you don’t dip it in the coolant. For stupid people like you who can’t use google to order stuff. 

But sure, you go play it by ear. Skim your heads, strip the block and skim it too. Why not throw in a set of new pistons when you’re at it?

Im trying to give informed advice based on experience and knowledge. If all you know about failed head gaskets is a bubbling header tank then STFU and leave it to someone who knows.

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24 minutes ago, Barry said:

It’s got fuck all to do with being in UK mode, more to do with being a good technician who diagnoses a problem correctly rather than guessing like some of the retards here. And if you actually bothered to check, you can order sniff test kits online for under 250 dhs so don’t come spreading your uninformed bullshit on technical threads when you know nothing about the subject. 

Hence why I also said you can use an exhaust gas analyser as long as you don’t dip it in the coolant. For stupid people like you who can’t use google to order stuff. 

But sure, you go play it by ear. Skim your heads, strip the block and skim it too. Why not throw in a set of new pistons when you’re at it?

Im trying to give informed advice based on experience and knowledge. If all you know about failed head gaskets is a bubbling header tank then STFU and leave it to someone who knows.

Wowza somebody got up on the wrong side of bed today, eh! Too much grandads cough medicine over Xmas perhaps?

Anyways when you are trying to do things on a shoe string budget 250dhs and 40-45 day wait for stuff to arrive only to tell you what you already knew can throw a spanner in someone's schedule, specially if that is someone's only ride. 

It's throwing water out the exhaust, misfiring and coolant is disappearing after being fully overheated 9.5 times out of 10 is a blown HG. If the hat fits, wear it. 

P.S :  You're not the only one who knows a thing or two about cars in this place. So don't think you are only one here with "informed" advice. Yeah so it will be appreciated if you think twice before wearing your superiority suit and labeling everyone else as a no nothing grease monkey ;) 

Cheers and Merry Xmas

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Did you actually remove the fuel pump relay when the compression test was done...?

Let me check those numbers with the factory service manual specs will post them here tomorrow when I am at shop

There is a coolent analysis kit which changes color if there is combustion chemistry escaping into the cooling system...it's available at sedana Sharjah but is quite expensive somewhere in the north of 300. I once bought it for diagnosis of a Lc which had a very weird heating issue which was making me confused between radiator , clutch fan,water pump and the head but after using the kit had to pop the head.

Edited by shadow79
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Ok, guys, first and foremost feel free to challenge anyone technically but don't use foul language please, it spoils the whole decorum. We all are grown up and should stick to better language and communication while dealing with technicalities.

Coming back to Asif bhai truck issue, I suspect the same and I have been involved so far with so many self-tests during that drive and seen the symptoms too. Coolant doesn't seem to have any traces of oil and looks crystal clear (visually). Engine oil seems crisp golden without any presence of coolant or water and has no foul smell. Exhaust has no fuel smell while placing the hand for a few seconds. The car has no loss of power yet.

The only thing fishy in the whole diagnostic seems is cylinder 4 throwing the water droplets out, that point to minor head gasket leak. I suspect that HG leak is directly near the exhaust valve and that's why water is resulting in the white smoke at the exhaust and exhaust gas is pushing in the radiator to make air pocket to push coolant to the reservoir. While driving after sometime cylinder temperature is so hot that leaking water droplets cannot produce steam and hence white smoke is disappearing. This is my educated guess.

What desertdude mention to inspect cylinder 4 internal with a flashlight to see the color seems good point as if you can differentiate that appearance with neighboring cylinder then that can confirm the leak. Wait until Saleem can confirm the factory spec for compression results.

@Barry @desertdude @shadow79 @treks is it normal to have faulty (leaking HG) cylinder to have higher compression?

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@Asif Hussain have you done the compression test when the engine was at idle temperature......? It shouldn't be cold readings.

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The head gasket not only seals the cylinders but also seals the oil and coolent in between the head and block so there can be gasket failure yet you might find compression numbers up to company specs... compression test only indicates how well a displacement chamber is sealed if you have the factory numbers to compare them with....and just incase there is a leak in the chamber you can further diagnose it to pin point it to rings or valves by pouring some engine oil in it to seal the Piston sides and get new readings and compare those with dry readings 

If the misfire is continuous then you should check the flow pattern and spray quantity of injectors

P.s if only driving on and off road and being a cloud nine machanic has made you loose your rocker then you really don't have the slightest idea of profanity,rage and inventions of swearing up and down goes through. when working for one too many days and yet sometimes being still on square 1 feels like . Or being in middle of something really delicate and that tool slides through in to the engine bay and you using up all the scheduled time only to find that instead of fixing it .or stripping of that bolt which is placed in that corner of the world where only your 2 finger goes only to feel it's head and a spanner only runs quarter of a inch

This work has turned me swearing like a sailor but I try really hard to be as professional and all ears so I can be remembered with good words and good works

 

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8 hours ago, Gaurav said:

@Asif Hussain have you done the compression test when the engine was at idle temperature......? It shouldn't be cold readings.

I drove around 6kms and performed the test.

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