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Old 01-20-2013, 01:09 AM   #11
jetrinka
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Is the car still using coolant?

If you can drive it 20 minutes without it overheating then the head and gasket are most likely intact luckily.

As far as testing the spark from the coil take the #4 spark plug wire out of its bore and using some insulated pliers, hold the end of it closely (but not touching) to a metal part of the engine (part of the block, a bolt head, etc. as long as its a good ground) and observe the spark as it arcs to the ground (if any spark is even there). It should be a bright blue color and make a loud snapping sound. If its an orange or yellow color, or no spark at all, and the plugs and wires are new, you likely have a bad coil. Zetec coils are known to crack. Perhaps some leaky coolant from that housing got on it and signed its death warrant.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetrinka View Post
Is the car still using coolant?

If you can drive it 20 minutes without it overheating then the head and gasket are most likely intact luckily.

As far as testing the spark from the coil take the #4 spark plug wire out of its bore and using some insulated pliers, hold the end of it closely (but not touching) to a metal part of the engine (part of the block, a bolt head, etc. as long as its a good ground) and observe the spark as it arcs to the ground (if any spark is even there). It should be a bright blue color and make a loud snapping sound. If its an orange or yellow color, or no spark at all, and the plugs and wires are new, you likely have a bad coil. Zetec coils are known to crack. Perhaps some leaky coolant from that housing got on it and signed its death warrant.
The car does not appear to be using coolant, but I have not run it a whole lot either. It it is, it's very little. The inside under the hood was very moist when it overheated and it had been leaking for weeks prior. Very likely that coolant got all over that coil pack, though for the most part I was refilling with water.

I did put an engine sealant into the crankcase a couple days ago. That may have cured any leaking of the gaskets.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of electricity, so let me make sure I understand what you are telling me.

I'm assuming you are saying that with the car running, pull the #4 wire off the spark plug end and place close to a metal part of the engine while holding with insulated pliers. Is that correct?
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:56 PM   #13
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Yes that is correct. If there is any spark, holding the end of that spark plug wire close to a good ground on the engine will produce an arc that you can see.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:08 PM   #14
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OK, tried that. I did not get anything when I placed the end close to any metal on the engine. Just to double-check, I pulled one of the others. Before I could get it near the engine, I felt a little tingle in my fingers, so I assume that one was working...

I guess I'll replace the coil pack. Will let you know how it goes. Thanks (everyone) for your help so far.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:46 PM   #15
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I got the coil pack today and installed it and that did it. Running as well as it has in the 3 years or so that I've owned it. It does seem to be still leaking a little oil, as there was a little smoke after the test drive. Guess I'll be replacing a gasket soon.

Thank you for your help!

For the sake of those who may have a similar problem, a brief review:

Engine coolant was leaking and engine was overheating.
Ran the car hot too long and started running rough.
Replaced the water outlet housing - Corrected the coolant leak
Still running rough. Had engine light code checked. - Cylinder 4 Misfire.
replaced plugs (did not fix problem)
replaced wires (did not fix problem)
replaced coil pack - Bingo! Running smooth

Had I known how to troubleshoot the thing properly, I could have saved about $55.

Now on to my next problem - Blower not working...
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:49 PM   #16
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Glad you got it solved!
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:59 PM   #17
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Thanks, appreciate your time!
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:52 PM   #18
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These coils very commonly crack, and, as you mentioned, water could have very easily gotten in crack to short coil...........
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:20 AM   #19
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Plz start another thread for the blower issue, we'll see if that can be solved without buying anything you don't need!

BTW, access is pretty easy behind the glovebox & from underneath it. Check for power at the fan connector first - If power there, try 12v. direct to the fan to see if it works at all....

Then we'll give you more hints as needed!
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