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Thread: Unknown issue with Ford E350 Passenger van. It dies while driving sometimes

  1. #1
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    Default Unknown issue with Ford E350 Passenger van. It dies while driving sometimes

    Hi there,
    I bought a 2007 Ford E 350 Super Duty XLT, a 15 passenger van with 100k last month. Did a full tune up, changed spark plugs, fuel filter and air filter and put about 800 miles on it in a month. Last week, it died while I was going 50 Mph on major highway, I was taking exit so i was slow, but I lost control and it wouldn't start again. If I tried to turn on the ignition, it would make alarm sound like "ti to ti to ti to"
    Towed it to a Ford specialist, and when he checked it a day later, the Van started without problem after; he left it on for a few hours and drove 20 miles and no problem. He said it is a Harness or wiring issue for sure, and when Van goes dead again, he can figure it out but nothing for now. I took the van back and drove it all around personally, put about 80 miles and the problem happened again. It died in the middle, same alarm noise when I tried to turn on. Battery, lights everything works fine. 10 minute later it started again, ran like brand new, and died after driving 2 miles. Next day morning I tried to start and wouldn't start. I towed it to the mechanic on Saturday. When he checked it on Monday, he said van started just how it should. I asked him to drive every day till this happened. He put about 100 miles in last 4 days, and today I went and drove another 150 miles in various driving patterns again and it ran like new.

    I know this problem will happen sooner or later, and I want to avoid this, especially when passengers are in the Van. I don't know, did anything like this happen to you? It is not the fuel filter or fuel pump issue here, but computer, wiring or harness, but just don't know how to solve this. I am thinking to sell it in the Auction nearby and take the ditch of loss and move on. Can you please give me some realistic ideas what to do with this mysterious unknown annoying problem.

    ~Dee

  2. #2
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    Was this "ford specialist" a dealer or some guy who is good at fords? Take it to the dealer, they have a really advanced computer that can read whats wrong with it.

  3. #3

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    Don't forget to check fuel pump.

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    Sounds like it might be overheating or thinks that it is overheating. Try cleaning the outside of the radiator, flushing the radiator, and changing the thermostat.
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    Is the tech checking "start counter since reset" to see if the computer is losing power?

  6. #6

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    Check the fuel pump relay in the power distribution box under the hood. They can go bad.

  7. #7

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    Have the air conditioning compressor checked - a compressor that is going bad can cause the type of symptons you're describing, and (in some cases) it won't show an error code when hooked up to a OBD scan tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by W57thNY View Post
    Have the air conditioning compressor checked - a compressor that is going bad can cause the type of symptons you're describing, and (in some cases) it won't show an error code when hooked up to a OBD scan tool.
    The only time a ODB scanner will pick up a code is when an emissions related issue is occurring. An A/C problem will never throw a code.

    However, you are correct that a bad A/C compressor (with a good belt) can cause an engine to stall.

  9. #9

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    Check the crank position sensor.

    The next time it dies on you, when you are re-cranking the engine check to see if the RPM gauge show any twitches or pulses.
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    Senior Member Bigdan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Events Limousine View Post
    Check the crank position sensor. The next time it dies on you, when you are re-cranking the engine check to see if the RPM gauge show any twitches or pulses.
    Of course, why didnt I think of that? Plus it should show in the data log if the crank and cam sensors lost sync

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limo Insurance King View Post
    The only time a ODB scanner will pick up a code is when an emissions related issue is occurring. An A/C problem will never throw a code.However, you are correct that a bad A/C compressor (with a good belt) can cause an engine to stall.
    The check engine light wont come on but you'd be surprised how many ac related codes there are in the bcm

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    Well, it dies while driving so I don't know if crank has any relation. There are no sings of heating in engine or trans, nor any sign of high pressure in engine. AC compressor is just fine, no problem with any or no signs either. No problem with fuel pump either; tested that for sure. Ford mechanic was a previous Ford dealer with 20 years plus experience; I am not doubting his experience on this. But the problem comes once in a while and goes away and that doesn't give anyone to make all the necessary tests to determine the issue.

    I want to know if anything like this happened to anyone. I just never had a car died while driving and such alarm goes off with tons of signs on the dash board like this. I am going to drive another 200 miles on Monday and again 200 miles on Tuesday to see if this happens again; if it doesn't, it is a problem...

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    Check the condition of your battery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluelimos View Post
    Well, it dies while driving so I don't know if crank has any relation. There are no sings of heating in engine or trans, nor any sign of high pressure in engine. AC compressor is just fine, no problem with any or no signs either. No problem with fuel pump either; tested that for sure. Ford mechanic was a previous Ford dealer with 20 years plus experience; I am not doubting his experience on this. But the problem comes once in a while and goes away and that doesn't give anyone to make all the necessary tests to determine the issue. I want to know if anything like this happened to anyone. I just never had a car died while driving and such alarm goes off with tons of signs on the dash board like this. I am going to drive another 200 miles on Monday and again 200 miles on Tuesday to see if this happens again; if it doesn't, it is a problem...
    Crank sensor tells your computer the timing of the engine so it knows when to fire the spark plugs, no signal no run. You will get alarms when the engine dies oil pressure, ect. If all the lights are coming on i would say one of your control modules is failing or you have a bad ground. Definitely check your battery connections like lgal says, make sure to use a terminal brush and that the terminals are all the way down and tight.

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    I had a bus that recently did something similar... would drive fine and just shut down (lucky it only did it once, 5 minutes after clients were done with bus). I sent it straight to the shop and they continued to have the problem, but it still had no codes or any idication of when it would shut down. He had the bus for 7 days and found the problem (my mechanic ROCKS !!)... the problem was a bad connection in the fuel injection relay in the large fuse box under the hood. He would push the relay one way and the bus would shut down, pull it the other way and it would stay running till he pushed it the other way. I had the exact same problem earlier this year with the A/C on my 120" stretch, bad connection on a relay in engine compartment fuse box, push it one way and compressor would stop, push the other way and it stayed engaged. I fixed that one on the side of the road with a cig butt to keep relay pushed to one side. Later I replaced relay and had same problem, bent the legs of the relay a little and stuck it back in, no problems since on either vehicle.

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