Two Tricky Fixes
by Pat Goss
This time I got a couple a problems that well they’ll drive ya nuts trying to find 'em.
First is certain Ford vehicles that use this little critter right here it’s called a fuel control module and it controls the fuel pump on these vehicles. Now on pickup trucks this thing is mounted on a cross member back by the spare tire.. some of them are actually almost above the spare tire. So you may not even know it’s there.
You have symptoms of a bad fuel pump, where the car doesn’t start or it intermittently stalls, or something like that. Make sure you find out if you have one of these fuel control modules and if the vehicle does then pull it off and check the backside of it for corrosion such as we see here. These things are mounted directly against the cross member or parts of the body and dirt and salt can get in there, they hold moisture, they corrode the back of it and eventually it falls apart --the vehicle doesn’t run.
Alright now here’s a trick: years ago I figured out that we could put washers on the bolt, longer bolts in there, space it all away and then the dirt doesn’t build up behind it. This one is from Dorman Products and it comes with rubber spacers with it. So if you have to replace it make sure you buy one that has spacers or space it out yourself so the problem doesn’t happen again.
Alright next lots of cars come into my shops with check engine lights and one of the codes that we pull is if the engine is too cold. Well everyone seems to think of thermostats as being relative to engines running too hot, well there are lots things that could cause a thermostat to go bad and the engine run cool. Things like here we have a seal or gasket that went bad and it got trapped between the moving part of the thermostat and the seat on the thermostat held it open-- engine too cold.
Over here we have one where the do-it- yourselfer-- was tight spaces in there, there’s a little trick to it… Well what he did was pull it into place and when he did that he bent it and it couldn’t close. Check engine light: Too cold.
Another thing to keep in mind a lot of these automobiles today have plastic thermostat housing make sure you don’t use these worm drive clamps on anything that’s plastic because they can cause pressure points over time and that can cause hairline cracks and you lose coolant very slowly. Use the spring type that comes with the car, there’s a reason the manufactures use those.
And if you have a question or a comment, drop me a line, right here at MotorWeek.