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Wierd Starting Issues 2001 V6 3.8L Mustang

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Old 02-09-2013, 08:15 PM   #1
Hikari_NOS
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Exclamation Wierd Starting Issues 2001 V6 3.8L Mustang

Hello again everyone, I'm back with another issue that I was wondering if anyone has came across before and had solved it. The problem that I'm having is that recently within the last several months, my car dies and then won't start back up. The computer gives a constant tone when trying to start and the theft light starts flashing quickly after said dying. In August of last year, I had the Ford dealership replace the computer, ignition switch, a deteriorated wire, and the instrument cluster, and then they had to reprogram the theft system. It ran fine with no more starting issues until roughly around late October. The symptoms that it has when it dies is the instrument cluster gauges drop all down to zero and the mileage display shows lines straight across, but there still seems to be power going to everything. No lights dimming, stereo remains playing, and wipers can still move at highest setting.

Just today though we've had a new problem pop up that we've not had before, this problem is once again related to starting and the instrument cluster. Upon starting the car again after the fan for the heater/ac stop working as we were driving to the store, it started back up very weakly as if the battery was drained and the instrument cluster gauges maxed out and then went all the way back to zero then slowly went back to normal operating ranges. And if I remember correctly the lights on the instrument cluster and headlights dimmed a little bit as well.
If anyone needs more info about this problem, just let me know. I'll try to help out as much as possible. Tomorrow(Sunday/2-9-2013), I'm taking it to a guy who's supposed to be checking my transmission out, so I may be delayed in response time. But thanks to anyone who gives any ideas or help. I'll really appreciate it cause I really love my stang.

*EDIT*

Okay, so I think me and my husband have fixed the starting issue that I was having, but some extensive driving will be done this weekend to see if that fixed it from dying randomly as well. So far from what I understand from the guy who's worked on ford's for the past 32 years, is that everything that I've got right now is probably all pointing to a bad connection in my electrical system. He told us this past weekend that there was a few things showing on his computer when he tested the car. Here's the list of problems which showed on his computer that I've got coming up now: 1-My brake lights have an open somewhere causing them to give off a light outage, 2-O2 sensors on bank 1 and 2 are both getting low voltage and are giving too lean codes, 3-ABS system is malfunctioning code, but technically I've not had a single issue out of the system. I stop just fine when I need to do so, and this last one has nothing to do with the guy checking my system, 4-Driving to the store and my fan for heating and a/c stopped completely, no slow dying nor any noises coming from it. Just all of a sudden the fan stops as if I turned it off completely.

Things I've done so far to try and fix these problems is cleaning all the electrical connectors next to the pcm and the blower motors connectors. I've recently tried to replace the blower motor resistor to see if that was the problem since the old one was rusted beyond recognition, but that didn't fix the motor not turning back on. Yesterday, we made a jumper wire and grounded it to the dashboard screw, but the fan didn't start up, so we're almost certain that the motor is probably shot. Unless we're doing the grounding for the jumper wire wrong. Does anyone know how to do it properly? You're just supposed to attach one end of the wire to the chasis(on screws, etc.), and then insert the other end inside the black wire on the motor connector, right? I really hate those Chilton/Haynes books. They're almost worthless now.

Anyways, I'll keep everyone up to date with my progress. And whether or not what we've done recently fixed the dying randomly. Thanks again for any help given. I really do appreciate it.
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Last edited by Hikari_NOS; 02-13-2013 at 12:21 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:37 PM   #2
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Honestly, at this point it sounds like you just need to sell the car for whatever you can get for it and move on. This is now the second major problem you've had in a years time. Your car is begging to turn into a money pit and that's not good.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:10 PM   #3
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Actually managed to fix my blower motor for the heater/ac unit. Just had a lot of dust clogging it up. Eh, don't have the money to sell it and buy a new car. Nor the credit score. So we're trying our best to get it fixed as we go. My husband's boss drives them both to work, and that gives me time to do whatever I can with it. It's mainly becoming a project car at this point. My husband knows a bit about electrical so he's been helping me with that aspect.

So far though after cleaning those electrical connectors by the pcm, its been behaving a lot better than before. And it hasn't died again yet. Still waiting to see if what we did had any effect on the dying randomly. It's going to be a big test when we drive to Georgia this weekend to help his mom move.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:08 PM   #4
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Hope you don't get stuck a long way from home in Georgia.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:22 PM   #5
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That makes two of us. lol Anyways if that happens my friend said they would come pick us up and tow us back.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikari_NOS View Post
That makes two of us. lol Anyways if that happens my friend said they would come pick us up and tow us back.
That is good but I wouldn't take the chance..lol
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:38 AM   #7
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Well some good news, made it all the way to Georgia and back. Over 500 miles total and didn't have a single problem since we've cleaned the electrical connectors by the PCM. So either that helped or I got lucky about it dying like it was.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:20 PM   #8
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See my thread "Possible PCM or CCRM issue." I recently solved a similar ( not exact problem ) and my results may help a bit. . . .I haven't posted yet, I just got home, but I'll be posting detailed info within the next 5 - 10 minutes.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:03 PM   #9
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Gotcha thanks I posted on your thread with some info about mine.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:43 PM   #10
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Ok. So far its been over two weeks now and no more dying issues since then. I've tried to recreate the same situation when the dying happened but nothing has come of it. However, there is something new that I'm confused about. I've been told that my O2 sensors can't be the cause of the jerking issues that I've been having lately, but I've also been told that it can be the cause. Does anyone know or think that it can be the cause? I've also been told that it could be my torque converter as well.

Just today when I was driving it, being in rush hour everyone trying to get home time, I had to give a little more gas than usual to try and make the car move faster and when I did it acted as if it wanted to stay in first gear before finally jerking hard to switch gears. I had just checked the codes the day before when I added some Lucas Oil Transmission Fix to try and help it, and the only code that I was getting my EGR system insufficient flow. After getting home today, I checked again and now I'm getting the P0174 code which says that its "System Too Lean (Bank 2)". I have had the other code, P0171 as well before, but haven't had it since I erased the codes about a year ago.

Thanks for any help given.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:20 PM   #11
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Considering the number of times your Mustang has had serious electrical problems, I agree with the others who recommend replacing the car. I have a 3.8 that has had multiple diffucult electrical problems. The "investment" in fixing things has not returned it to reliability. These problems are are expensive to trouble-shoot and the expense and lack of trust in the car took away the joy of mustang ownership.

My other two 'Stangs are two of the most reliable cars I have owned-you deserve better than you are getting.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:23 AM   #12
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My husband is good with electrical stuff so he's been helping me with the electrical issue, but now it seems like either the torque converter is going bad or the pcm is still having issues. Which may suggest I need to try another. And as far as getting rid of it, I've got no intention on doing so mainly for two reasons. 1- Neither me nor my husband have good enough credit anymore since we fell behind on our debt and are currently trying to get back on track, so we can't even afford a car payment, and 2- We both believe that the amount of money we've put in so far is way less than trying to get a used/new one.

Actually this stang has been pretty reliable. Even though its had its moments, over the past 7 years that I've had the car, its never been in the shop for anything major such as rebuilding the transmission or a new engine. The only time it was in was because of the not wanting to start bit, but ever since we cleaned the electrical connectors, I've not had it die anymore. So I'm thinking I've just got some bad sensors that need to be changed, but I was also wondering if the torque converter can cause jerking when trying to accelerate.

Anyways, I'm seriously thinking we've just about got it fixed. It's just taking time since we don't have any money to really buy what parts we think we need.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:17 AM   #13
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K. So just to let everyone know. I've had quite a few sensors going bad on me, but as I fix them so fixes the problems they were causing. Last week when I took my car in for an electrical diagnosis, they pinpointed the egr dpfe as gone bad again. I had changed that part back in 08, so should it have gone bad that quickly? Or is this the normal life expectancy of one?

At least now my egr code is gone for good again, but I'm still having a occasional hard shifting when in lower gears. Haven't had the check engine light come on again, so I'm completely lost as to what is going on with that. Essentially when driving, mainly when going up hill from a dead or close to dead stop and regardless of how much I press done on the gas, the rpms will rise above 3000 but the speed will just barely rise until suddenly it pretty much pops into gear. I think this is a good way of describing it. I assume that would have something to do with the torque converter or the gears themselves in the transmission, right? Or could this still be electrical sensor issues? It hasn't happened when anyone else has the car, so noone but me, my husband, my mother, and my mother-in-law have actually been able to experience this issue. Makes it difficult when mechanics get a hold of it and it behaves, so to speak, and they say they can't do anything else to check it other than driving it since there isn't a code coming up from the computer about it.

Once again thanks to all who give some insight/suggestions.

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Old 04-12-2013, 10:09 PM   #14
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Wow kinda think the forums have pretty much died for general help.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:37 PM   #15
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It's not that it's died, but trying to diagnose these kinds of things over the internet is often next to impossible. I still stand by my original statement of taking it to a shop and just paying the $50-100 charge to run a full diagnostic and find out all the little things going wrong.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:36 AM   #16
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Yeah was hoping someone had had the issue of the sudden jerk into gear and figured out their cause, then maybe I could suggest that to the mechanic I take my car to. Anyways, they did the diagnostics but when trying to drive it, they could not recreate that problem. I kind of know why they couldn't get it to do it though. It seems to only want to do that from either a dead stop or almost dead stop and it has to be going up hill slightly. Other than that I finally got my egr code to go away. They told me other than what I've told them about the hard jerk into gear when it does do it, the car definitely has an exhaust leak somewhere around the engine bay which is gonna throw my oxygen sensor codes like crazy since the computer thinks those are bad even though they aren't.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:42 PM   #17
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That's a nice looking mustang!!!!! LOL
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
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That's a nice looking mustang!!!!! LOL
Thanks, it'll look better once I finish sanding and repainting the bumper that I got from a parted-out mustang just like it. n_n Also the image you see is what I photoshopped in elements 11. lol
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:55 PM   #19
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Thanks, it'll look better once I finish sanding and repainting the bumper that I got from a parted-out mustang just like it. n_n Also the image you see is what I photoshopped in elements 11. lol
Yes. I can see that it is Photoshop. I take classes too. In my opinion you should change the wheels and hood.
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Yes. I can see that it is Photoshop. I take classes too. In my opinion you should change the wheels and hood.
I haven't taken a class in the past several years. lol Didn't get too far into graphic design since I had to move to Florida with my husband in 2007. Anyways, eh I like my wheels, but I am seriously considering a new hood when I can afford it. Mainly cause it's falling apart in some areas since it's the cheap carbon fiber stuff. Whoever owned the car before me, put almost carbon fiber everything on it. Still working on sanding and painting my bumper, but the weather here hasn't been the most predictable. Been raining too much for me to do anything outside with it.
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:02 AM
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