December 12

2009 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, Engine Replacement

Ford Cars


Mark: Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver; Vancouver’s highest rated and favourite auto repair dealer and experts in auto repair. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to try and run a cast that we’ve done a few times on the Ford Explorer Sport Trac engine replacement. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: So this vehicle came to our shop, was running very rough and the engine was running very rough, check engine light was on, very minimal amount of power, the vehicle would barely run to be honest it was surprising they could even be driven to our shop. So we proceeded using diagnosis, it was a pretty complicated diagnostic, there’s a number of trouble codes without getting too technical, there’s a number of trouble codes stored in the vehicle computer for a variety of misfires on the right cylinder, in the right engine bank there was also a cam phaser code for the left engine bank which seemed a little odd because problems all seemed to be on the right. It kind of made sense there’d be a camshaft like a valve timing problem could be the issue so we proceeded to do some diagnostic, it was a very long arduous process and in the end we found that the engine needed to be replaced basically due to the fact that the oil pressure in the engine was too low to adequately operate the valve timing phasers and eventually the timing chain would start rattling and the valve timing would go out and that was part of our a lot of our misfire issue.

Mark: So you ended up replacing this motor?

Bernie: We did, we ended up replacing the engine so whenever an engine needs to be replaced we look at options, and it’s always an expensive job. For used engines, good used engine which are sometimes a good idea, in the end we settled on a rebuilt engine from, directly from Ford was a factory rebuilt engine and a really nice engine, we were very impressed with it, overall it comes with the oil pan bolted on, complete valve covers, all new sensors, really deluxe package and quite a treat. A lot times you get a rebuilt engine, it doesn’t come with the oil pan, you have to change a whole bunch of things over and this one was very complete, so it worked really well. I’ve got a few photos to share and just a couple of things here, so basically here is our view of the top of the engine, it’s a 4.6 litre, it’s an overhead cam engine with variable valve timing, 3 valve motor, not much to see other than a lot of plastic which is typical for modern engines. As far as diagnostics and I mentioned that it was a bit of a tricky diagnosis on this vehicle, some of the tools that we use, one of lab scope and so this is a lab scope pattern, there’s a yellow and a green trace you can see on the scope and this is, this shows the cam timing of the two different cam phasers and it’s something we use to figure out what’s going on with the engine, whether valve timing’s out. In this particular photo everything’s, this picture everything’s good at the moment but it changed as time went by and we could verify a lot of things but it’s a time consuming process but it tells us a lot of good accurate information and finally there’s our Ford engine. This is the new engine sitting waiting to be put in, actually the other thing that’s really neat about it is actually it comes filled with oil and a new oil filter as well which is pretty awesome so that’s the new engine right out of the crate and yeah, so there’s our photos, so I’ll go back to us.

Mark: So what do you think caused the engine’s demise?

Bernie: Bad maintenance, yeah this engine came in was way over due for an oil change. The oil was hideous and it did have 200,000 kilometers on it to be fair but that’s still, for a vehicle that’s been well maintained, it’s had all its oil changes, done at the right time, 200,000 kilometers is really nothing so I’d say it’s bad maintenance absolutely was the cause.

Mark: So once you put the new motor in how did everything run?

Bernie: Well it ran very smoothly and we got it on a road test in the parking lot and it still had no power which was kind of disappointing, you think, oh the new engines going to fix everything but what else happened because the owner had driven it for so long with the engine misfiring it actually melted the catalytic converters and caused a blockage in the exhaust system so we had another issue to deal with. We replaced the catalytic converters and then it was fine, so the lesson here is when your check engine light is on, it’s blinking do not run the engine for very long, drive it like, drive it gently as possible and get it fixed. When the check engine light comes on and it’s just on solid, it’s not often a big deal but when it’s blinking that’s a serious issue and you know that catalytic converter job on most vehicles is another 1,300 bucks on top of the engine so and that’s buying aftermarket conversion, if you went to Ford dealer it would be twice the price, so maintain your car that’s what we always say here.

Mark: So if you’re looking for a car maintenance in Vancouver these are the guys to call, Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 or check out their website Thanks Bernie.

Bernie: Thanks Mark.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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