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Old 06-09-2009, 02:07 PM   #1
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Once you know cars you get crazy problems

My wife's van (97 Aerostar, 4.0 AT) for example. I've been working on that thing fairly steady for 3 weeks now. I still haven't gotten to the ball joints, U-joints, or axle bearings. Not to mention the rack is starting to leak a little. Those problems I can solve.

What's bothering me at the moment is this very loud WOOOOO sound after the van is warmed up. Now there is nothing wrong with the way that the van runs except for the DPFE being crapped out. That doesn't seem to be affecting it, and it's had that CEL since I got it last year. What happens is we drive the van, it gets warmed up, then after you park and start it again this deafening WOOOOO sound reverberates throughout the vehicle. When the rear heater core was hooked up, I could swear it was coming from there as well. It's about 80-90 db, around 180-200 hz, and as soon as you hit the accelerator it disappears. It has not appeared while driving then sitting at idle at lights, only after turning the engine off, then starting again. I'm highly suspecting the heater core because it doesn't seem as loud with the rear core disconnected. BTW, I disconnected that because it doesn't get that cold there, and if it were to spring a leak inside the cabin I'd rather not envelope my daughter with coolant steam before mommy figured out what was happening.

Have any of you ever had a heater core do something like this? I'm going to continue experimenting with it- the recent removal of the rear heater hoses gives me a chance to bypass the heater core completely to see if that clears the noise. If not- what the heck else could it be????

IMO it's too loud to be an accessory (all are working well), and it definitely seems to be coming from the area where the heater core, air filter, and fan are located. I even opened the cap on the power steering pump while it was making the sound, but it didn't get any louder. Once again, there is nothing wrong with the way that the van's engine runs. It spins tires and jumps up to 55 faster than the Focus.

Thanks for any assistance, I know it's a weird one, but that's all I seem to get.


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Old 06-09-2009, 02:47 PM   #2
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The IAC on my 4.0L explorer used to do that exact thing. I finally found it by feeling for the vibration the noise creates.
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Old 06-09-2009, 02:47 PM   #3
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'97 Aerostar, was that the last year for them? My Dad drove a mid 90's as the family's main transportation. It ended up a rust bucket, remember the exhaust rusting so bad that about half of it fell off. Have to love NE Ohio.

Also, sorry I have no suggestions as to the problems you are describing
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:31 PM   #4
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The IAC on my 4.0L explorer used to do that exact thing. I finally found it by feeling for the vibration the noise creates.
It didn't cause any low or high idle issues? Mine is not. I'll remove it and check that. It seems like a loud noise for such a small item- but then flutes are not large.


Rambleon- that was the last year. It's also a bastard year for the 4.0 in the Aerostar where it got an upgraded engine with a plastic intake manifold that had been in Explorers and Rangers for 2 years. I believe it was also the first year for a new camshaft with that engine.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:01 PM   #5
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didn't have an issue at all. It was weird. Let me know what you find
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:25 PM   #6
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Does it only do it when the heater is on? Is is the AC condensor de-humidifying the air for the defogger?

I know its way out there, just a suggestion.
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:30 PM   #7
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Guess I'd suspect the blower wheel (squirrel cage) or the air box is cracked. But it's one of those things where you have to be there.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:40 PM   #8
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i'm definitely leaning towards IAC. My '00 Ranger did the same thing...seemed to happen more often with the AC on. Made this wooooooo noise, almost like a low sounding horn. known issue on the ranger's during that year (98-00), maybe more. only did it during idle, and would go away when you touched the pedal, but would come back once the rpm's settled back down.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:35 AM   #9
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Thanks for everyone's help!! I'd have never thought of the IAC being the problem, but I'm leaning to that now. The only reason I thought it was the water pump/heater/cooling system was that the sound was coming from where the heater lines go into the heater core. For those who are not familiar with the layout under the hood of an Aerostar- that's also where the air cleaner is.

I haven't had a chance to check to see if cleaning will resolve the problem as of yet. I have another IAC gasket laying around, but the wife keeps using the van whenever I could work on it. Either that or I'm on FF instead of working on the van-LOL. She's going to have to let me have it soon because I have axle bearings, upper ball joints, upper control arm bushings, possibly drum shoes, alignment and new tires in the next couple of months.

** Edit, I just pulled it off and cleaned it, then put it back on with a gasket. I had no stock gasket (no surprise), and I can't afford a replacement part at the moment. We'll see what happens after she drives it today.

THANKS AGAIN!!
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:58 PM   #10
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A little late to the party, but I would concurr with the IAC needing replacement. On the 2-3 ford 4.6L V-8's I've owner, it would do it only as the rpms dropped, such as when you got off the gas and into the brake inheavy traffic, but I've heard it doing it at idle as well.
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