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2002 Windstar Fuel Pressure Problem


jchapin
11-19-2005, 08:03 PM
My 2002 Windstar would not start on three separate ocassions. Initial troubleshooting showed that it is due to a lack of fuel pressure in the fuel rail. Further troubleshooting on the 3rd no-start event showed the following:
* The fuel pump and fuel pump relay fuses are OK
* The fuel pump relay is OK
* When the key is turned on the fuel pump relay engages momentarily but the pump never really gets going
* When there is power to the fuel pump it runs normally and the car will start and run normally
* When the key is turned on there is power (12+ volts) to the coil side of the fuel pump relay. Momentarily this circuit is grounded and there is momentary power to the fuel pump. After about 1 second with the key turned on, the fuel pump is not runnning and the engine won't start.

With the key turned on, if a ground is provided to the coil relay circuit, the relay engages, power is provided to the fuel pump and the car starts and runs normally.

The circuit diagram shows that the Powertrain Control Module provides a switched ground for the fuel pump relay coil circuit. This circuit provides a momentary ground when the key is turned on and then switches open, causing the fuel pump relay to switch off power to the fuel pump. Continuity check of the wire from the fuel pump relay to the PCM shows that the wire is OK. Chassis grounds have been inspected and cleaned -- testing after this action showed no improvement.

My questions are: What input to the PCM causes it to open and close the switched ground for the fuel pump relay? What would the risk be if the fuel pump ran continuously when the key was on -- except for accidents where the pump is shut off by the inertia fuel shut off switch? Does this sound like a broken PCM?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

12Ounce
11-19-2005, 09:32 PM
The PCM may itself be losing power.

Investigate the condition of the PCM power relay; it may be failing.

jchapin
11-19-2005, 09:36 PM
The PCM may itself be losing power.

Investigate the condition of the PCM power relay; it may be failing.

We just swapped out the PCM power relay and none of the contacts looked corroded...but it still didn't work.

I should also note that there are no fault codes to help us figure out what the problem is.

~manuel~
11-20-2005, 02:06 AM
My 2002 Windstar would not start on three separate ocassions. Initial troubleshooting showed that it is due to a lack of fuel pressure in the fuel rail. Further troubleshooting on the 3rd no-start event showed the following:
* The fuel pump and fuel pump relay fuses are OK
* The fuel pump relay is OK
* When the key is turned on the fuel pump relay engages momentarily but the pump never really gets going
* When there is power to the fuel pump it runs normally and the car will start and run normally
* When the key is turned on there is power (12+ volts) to the coil side of the fuel pump relay. Momentarily this circuit is grounded and there is momentary power to the fuel pump. After about 1 second with the key turned on, the fuel pump is not runnning and the engine won't start.

With the key turned on, if a ground is provided to the coil relay circuit, the relay engages, power is provided to the fuel pump and the car starts and runs normally.

The circuit diagram shows that the Powertrain Control Module provides a switched ground for the fuel pump relay coil circuit. This circuit provides a momentary ground when the key is turned on and then switches open, causing the fuel pump relay to switch off power to the fuel pump. Continuity check of the wire from the fuel pump relay to the PCM shows that the wire is OK. Chassis grounds have been inspected and cleaned -- testing after this action showed no improvement.

My questions are: What input to the PCM causes it to open and close the switched ground for the fuel pump relay? What would the risk be if the fuel pump ran continuously when the key was on -- except for accidents where the pump is shut off by the inertia fuel shut off switch? Does this sound like a broken PCM?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
i maybe mis understanding you but i think you are describing a normal condition on most fords. when the key is turned to the "ON" position the pcm energizes the relay for a BRIEF instance.like one or two seconds.the pcm has to be recieving a crank signal in order for it to keep the relay energized.therefore you will only have continuous power at the pump when the engine is cranking. you stated a lack of pressure at the rail, but is there zero pressure or low pressure? can you have an assistant look at the pressure gauge when you initially turn the key to the "on" position, have them verify if the gauge shows any pressure at all even if for a brief instance.because a bad pump can cause pressure to bleed back into the tank instantly, and by the time you get out and look at the gauge it will show zero pressure even though there was some pressure if only for an instance.

jchapin
11-20-2005, 09:46 AM
i maybe mis understanding you but i think you are describing a normal condition on most fords. when the key is turned to the "ON" position the pcm energizes the relay for a BRIEF instance.like one or two seconds.the pcm has to be recieving a crank signal in order for it to keep the relay energized.therefore you will only have continuous power at the pump when the engine is cranking. you stated a lack of pressure at the rail, but is there zero pressure or low pressure? can you have an assistant look at the pressure gauge when you initially turn the key to the "on" position, have them verify if the gauge shows any pressure at all even if for a brief instance.because a bad pump can cause pressure to bleed back into the tank instantly, and by the time you get out and look at the gauge it will show zero pressure even though there was some pressure if only for an instance.

Last night after fiddling with the van all day I decided to try and start it one last time and when I turned the key to "on" the pump engaged and it started right up. I let it run for a couple of minutes and then shut it off. I immediately tried starting it again and the pump did not kick in and the van did not start. The whole reason for stating this it to let you know that the system must of been up to pressure last night.

This morning I checked the pressure in the rail and it read zero. I left the pressure gauge on it and my wife turned the key to "on". I did not hear the pump start up and the gauge read zero the whole time.

By the way it amazes me that other people who don't know me are taking the time to hear my problem and help me try to fix it. I really appreciate everyone's help.

12Ounce
11-20-2005, 10:14 AM
For the $20 it would cost, I sure would like for you to replace the PCM power relay and the fuel pump relay ... with brand NEW ones.

And apply some lubricant to the relay bases.

(Humor an old man.)

~manuel~
11-20-2005, 11:23 AM
For the $20 it would cost, I sure would like for you to replace the PCM power relay and the fuel pump relay ... with brand NEW ones.

And apply some lubricant to the relay bases.

(Humor an old man.)
good call.that way they can be eliminated as the potential problem, and are cheap to replace.

jchapin
11-20-2005, 11:43 AM
For the $20 it would cost, I sure would like for you to replace the PCM power relay and the fuel pump relay ... with brand NEW ones.

And apply some lubricant to the relay bases.

(Humor an old man.)

OK I will replace both relay''s...what lubricant do I apply to the bases?

jchapin
11-20-2005, 01:49 PM
For the $20 it would cost, I sure would like for you to replace the PCM power relay and the fuel pump relay ... with brand NEW ones.

And apply some lubricant to the relay bases.

(Humor an old man.)

I bought two new relays for the fuel pump and PCM. I applied electronic lubricant to the the four terminal that insert into the sockets for both the fuel pump relay and the PCM relay. I also replaced the fuses for the fuel pump, fuel pump relay, PCM and PCM relay just to rule those out. Unfortunately it still does not start.

12Ounce
11-20-2005, 05:48 PM
But it will start if you apply ground to the fuel pump relay ?

12Ounce
11-20-2005, 05:58 PM
Another question: Does the 2002 have a dual,or single, fuel line system?

The future is single-line systems (no return line to tank). My '99 has two-lines. Don't know if any Windstar model year went to single line.

jchapin
11-20-2005, 06:18 PM
But it will start if you apply ground to the fuel pump relay ?

I created 4 extension wires so I could check voltages with the fuel pump relay in place. If I plug in all four wires to the relay and then plug the input and output for the fuel pump power (at the socket) as well as the input for the coil power (at the socket) and then touch the 4th wire to the negative terminal of the battery then it starts every time without hesitation. I have done this about 5 times. But there must be some reason that they run the "ground" wire to the PCM instead of just grounding it.

jchapin
11-20-2005, 06:22 PM
Another question: Does the 2002 have a dual,or single, fuel line system?

The future is single-line systems (no return line to tank). My '99 has two-lines. Don't know if any Windstar model year went to single line.

There are two lines that attach into the fuel rail and both lines lead back to the fuel tank.

12Ounce
11-20-2005, 07:35 PM
I would guess that once the engine starts, the PCM is looking for a signal that proves the engine is continously running (CPK or the like) ... but I'm guessing. You would think this would cause a MIL (CEL).

Tomorrow, when my head clears of cognac, I'll try the shop manual for a clue.

12Ounce
11-21-2005, 05:22 AM
OK. The PCM is supposed to give you a one second start-up period, after which it will maintain the fuel pump if a CKP (CranKshaft Position) sensor signal is received. (Per the Powertrain Control/Emissions Diagnosis Manual.)

Since your car is running OK otherwise, I believe that somehow your PCM is losing this CKP info internally. In other words, the CKP info is used to maintain ignition and fire the injectors ... but lost for the fuel pump drive.

I believe it would be safe enough to just remove the fuel pump relay and insert a jumper to replace the relay contacts.

Also, just for the heck of it ... you might look over the connector to the crankshaft sensor ... easier said than done, as its not easy to reach.

And inspect the harness connection to the PCM. Use some of that lubricant here.

Also, roll back the harness, from the PCM, and make sure the harness has not been damaged against the ac tubing or something else on the firewall. (Mine had.)

jchapin
11-21-2005, 10:31 PM
OK. The PCM is supposed to give you a one second start-up period, after which it will maintain the fuel pump if a CKP (CranKshaft Position) sensor signal is received. (Per the Powertrain Control/Emissions Diagnosis Manual.)

Since your car is running OK otherwise, I believe that somehow your PCM is losing this CKP info internally. In other words, the CKP info is used to maintain ignition and fire the injectors ... but lost for the fuel pump drive.

I believe it would be safe enough to just remove the fuel pump relay and insert a jumper to replace the relay contacts.

Also, just for the heck of it ... you might look over the connector to the crankshaft sensor ... easier said than done, as its not easy to reach.

And inspect the harness connection to the PCM. Use some of that lubricant here.

Also, roll back the harness, from the PCM, and make sure the harness has not been damaged against the ac tubing or something else on the firewall. (Mine had.)

I inspected the wiring and harness but both look clean and I don't see any damage from other firewall items.

In order to rule out the PCM as a problem, a friend suggested that I take it out and hook up a ground to the pin that connects to the ground side of the fuel pump relay. I did this and when I touched this wire to ground the relay would activate every time but the fuel pump only activated some of the time. This makes me think that the pump or wiring to it may be the problem.

Then I went back to the test where I had the fuel pump relay on four posts and grounded the switch to the negative of the battery (previously this had made the pump run every time). This time the relay worked every time but the pump only worked part of the time.

I also went back to the safety solenoid that shuts off power to the pump in case of an accident and checked the voltage there. When the relay is activated and I measured 12 volts there.

Finally, I tried shorting out the 12v across the relay socket to bypass the relay and I still was hit or miss on getting the pump to start. Therefore I think that my problem is the pump.

Does it make sense that if the pump motor were failing that it would be difficult to start however once it was running that it would probably run until you shut off the van? Do you agree that my next step is to remove the pump and see if that is the problem?

12Ounce
11-22-2005, 07:13 AM
Agreed! I think you're zeroing in now.

BTW, I just last week changed the fuel pump/sender in my Winnie. The input screen was too small, I think. Someday I'm gonna try to find a larger one .... for use "next time".

~manuel~
11-23-2005, 02:55 AM
I inspected the wiring and harness but both look clean and I don't see any damage from other firewall items.

In order to rule out the PCM as a problem, a friend suggested that I take it out and hook up a ground to the pin that connects to the ground side of the fuel pump relay. I did this and when I touched this wire to ground the relay would activate every time but the fuel pump only activated some of the time. This makes me think that the pump or wiring to it may be the problem.

Then I went back to the test where I had the fuel pump relay on four posts and grounded the switch to the negative of the battery (previously this had made the pump run every time). This time the relay worked every time but the pump only worked part of the time.

I also went back to the safety solenoid that shuts off power to the pump in case of an accident and checked the voltage there. When the relay is activated and I measured 12 volts there.

Finally, I tried shorting out the 12v across the relay socket to bypass the relay and I still was hit or miss on getting the pump to start. Therefore I think that my problem is the pump.

Does it make sense that if the pump motor were failing that it would be difficult to start however once it was running that it would probably run until you shut off the van? Do you agree that my next step is to remove the pump and see if that is the problem?
usually when the fuel pump check valve is failing, it will cause hard starting, but run ok once the engine starts.

12Ounce
11-23-2005, 08:37 AM
I agree. But the problem may be something in or around the tank.

A break in the harness, contaminated tank and plugged inlet screen, etc, etc. But once in there I wouldn't pass up the chance to change out the pump ... they are only gonna last so long anyway.

jchapin
11-28-2005, 12:29 PM
I agree. But the problem may be something in or around the tank.

A break in the harness, contaminated tank and plugged inlet screen, etc, etc. But once in there I wouldn't pass up the chance to change out the pump ... they are only gonna last so long anyway.

I pulled the tank out yesterday and changed out the pump and so far the van runs fine. I flushed the tank but it had very little debris in it. I did find one "part" floating in the tank that concerned me...it's about the size of a half-dollar. It looks like a small filter. Originally I thought it was an O-ring but it has a thin filter material stretched across it.

It doesn't look like it came off of the pump. Maybe it was accidentally dropped in the tank during ititial production of the van. Or maybe when we put the small hose in to pull gas out of the tank we knocked it loose from the inlet where the gas comes in. When I put my hand inside the tank I could feel the one-way valve at the inlet where the gas pours in but it didn't feel like there was any place for a filter.

I also checked the old pump after pulling it out and it doesn't start when you put 12V across it so that was reassuring that I did in fact find the problem.

LeSabre97mint
11-28-2005, 12:53 PM
I pulled the tank out yesterday and changed out the pump and so far the van runs fine. I flushed the tank but it had very little debris in it. I did find one "part" floating in the tank that concerned me...it's about the size of a half-dollar. It looks like a small filter. Originally I thought it was an O-ring but it has a thin filter material stretched across it.

It doesn't look like it came off of the pump. Maybe it was accidentally dropped in the tank during ititial production of the van. Or maybe when we put the small hose in to pull gas out of the tank we knocked it loose from the inlet where the gas comes in. When I put my hand inside the tank I could feel the one-way valve at the inlet where the gas pours in but it didn't feel like there was any place for a filter.

I also checked the old pump after pulling it out and it doesn't start when you put 12V across it so that was reassuring that I did in fact find the problem.

JCH


Good job sticking with it and finding trouble! I've been reading this as things progressed. How many miles were on the pump before it failed. Have you taken the pump apart to look at the brushes/com? I bet they're all black and require cleaning. However, the pump housing is a sealed unit. Right?

Regards

Dan

12Ounce
11-28-2005, 03:33 PM
Congrats on "nailing it"!

That piece you describe I think I've seen on the nozzle assembly of some plastic portable gas containers.

As some other posters have suggested, we all should never let the tank gas level fall below 1/4 full ... for the benefit of the pump.

jchapin
11-29-2005, 12:17 PM
JCH


Good job sticking with it and finding trouble! I've been reading this as things progressed. How many miles were on the pump before it failed. Have you taken the pump apart to look at the brushes/com? I bet they're all black and require cleaning. However, the pump housing is a sealed unit. Right?

Regards

Dan

I bought the van used with about 38,000 miles and the pump appeared to be the original one. Currently the van has about 82,000 miles on it. I have not taken the pump apart...I did keep it to dissassemble later but right now it is not a high priority. The pump housing is a sealed unit.

daveck2
11-19-2008, 09:39 PM
Quick question, I have an 01 Windstar and it has been hard to start for about 3 weeks. Basically I have to crank on it for about 5-10 sec before it fires up. Today it wouldn't start period. After charging my run down battery (from all the cranking) I check for presense of fuel pressure at the rail. It squirted out a strong but short stream after the car had set for 1.5 hours.

I tapped the key without cranking to motor to see if the pump was kicking on as described so well below. It was kicking on for the 2-3 sec. So I tapped it key about 4 more times and then tried to crank it. It fired right up.

Do you guys think the pump is just getting weak and that is why it cranked after I "primed" the system?

I have about 9/10 of a tank and hate to have to drop it if It is necessary.

Thanks in advance for any advise

01 Windstop Failures:
Intake bolts:FAIL $150
Heater door flapper: FAIL $55
Both brake light sockets: FAIL $117
Coolant Pipe under intake: FAIL $58
Coolant Pipe to firewall: FAIL $68
Coil Pack: FAIL $58
Power Steering fluid: FAIL $30
Power Door lock: FAIL $74
Power Window Motor: FAIL $78

12Ounce
11-20-2008, 04:22 AM
First, replace with new relays ... those relays that feed the PCM and the fuel pump. These relays should be identified in the glovebox owners manual.

daveck2
01-02-2009, 12:25 PM
Well, I replaced the pump, relay, and fuel filter. The car cranks and starts but still gave problems when it was colder than 40 degrees. I did some thinking and figured the ECM was faked into thinking the motor wasn't turning over, and that's why there were no codes.

Well the first sensor in line that informs the ECM that the motor is turning in the Crank sensor (surprisingly only $20 at Autozone).

I replaced the sensor yesterday since it was really cold out and it wouldn't start, (This way I would know right away if the new part worked). The car started up in less than a second. (before, even when it was warm out, It would take at least 2-3 seconds before the car would start.)

I guess the sensor was affected by the cold, but I still don't know why it would eventually crank up after about 10 min of cranking.

01 Windstop Failures:

Crank Sensor: Intermittent FAIL $20
Fuel pump: $200 (Unnecessary)
Intake bolts:FAIL $150
Heater door flapper: FAIL $55
Both brake light sockets: FAIL $117
Coolant Pipe under intake: FAIL $58
Coolant Pipe to firewall: FAIL $68
Coil Pack: FAIL $58
Power Steering fluid: FAIL $30
Power Door lock: FAIL $74
Power Window Motor: FAIL $78

12Ounce
01-02-2009, 03:40 PM
Did you replace both the pump and the PCM relays?

tomj76
01-02-2009, 04:22 PM
Old thread... diagnosis complete (did not read to the end)
New thread... I think you need to make sure that the hard start is a fuel pressure problem or something else. Check fuel pressure while starting it.

Also, perform the fuel system diagnostic guide available from the Autozone website.

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