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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As you may have read from my earlier post I have a 2004 Mercury Sable that is bucking/missing. What makes this issue worse is it does not happen all the time. This issue has been occurring for about a month now. This started happening when I had my engine detailed at the car wash. I have replaced the spark plugs and the spark plug boots. My Mercury Sable has a COP system. I checked all the coils visually and they appear to have no cracks. The problem seems to occur when it is damp or raining, and when I slightly accelerate. This problem is really noticeable when going uphill and when my de-froster is on. In all other weather conditions the car runs great. I called some auto shops and they said I need to bring the car in while the problem is occurring. I have followed all maintenance recommedations, including changing the fuel filter every year. The car has 93,000 miles.

No check engine light is on. Is there a good scanning tool I could use that would record the problem when it occurs? Would this scan tool find the problem even though the check engine light is not on? I know there are some cheap scan tools out there but I am looking for a decent one for a decent price that will record fuel pressure, spark, etc and let me save the results to my computer.

This is an otherwise great car....I don't want to get rid of it...I want to keep it. I just want to get rid of this pesky problem.

Thanks for all suggestions.
 

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Since you said you had the plugs changed at a car wash detailer, maybe that is the problem. Try getting new plugs from Autozone and replace them.

I dont know if the engine would even start in this case, but are you sure the cables coming out of the cop are going to the right cylinders. Again this is a guess as Im not really a car guy. I did have an ATV with that issue once...that was a case of mis-labeling on my part. It ran but very ******.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I changed the spark plugs myself......I did not have them changed by the car detailer. The plugs and boots were changed after the engine detail.
 

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You didn't by chance use a Bosch platinum type plug did you? Those don't work so hot in our Ford 6s.

Have you replaced the PCV lately with a new Motorcraft unit?

Seafoam it for the heck of it through the vacuum lines
 

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You didn't by chance use a Bosch platinum type plug did you? Those don't work so hot in our Ford 6s.
Thats where i was heading next, I had that issue. I also had another issue where I "misgapped" one plug and it messed with everything, similar to what you are describing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I used Motorcraft plugs...the same plugs that came from the factory. The box said the plugs were pre-gapped but I still checked and gapped the plugs at .0054.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have checked and the PCV valve is supposed to be in the underside of the upper intake manifold. I checked and it was not there. Where it is on my car? (2004 Sable DOHC).
 

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PCV on 04 Tec is easy to see and get to..... look at firewall side head, driver side. It is sticking out horizontally toward the driver side fender. Ribbed hose on it that goes to intake. 04+ does not have the earlier MY problems with collapsed, leaking PCV hose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is there anyway to test the individual coil? Can I use a volt meter or any other tool that will detect the bad coil...even when it is not acting up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How do I test each coil? If I take each coil out I cannot test the coil on the car. The manifold must come off. What is a good way to test these coils under load?
 

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Dunno? Ive always tested my coil packs off the car unless i couldnt find my ohmmeter, which i then ran them to autozone. If they tested out of spec, you knew they were bad. If they tested in spec, no guarantees they wont act up under load. All i have are 98-99 tecs. Almost impossible to access while on the car. Never have fooled with coil on plug (cop). Dunno if some comprehensive scanner could help you out? In the past, if my plugs and wires were good and/or new and the coil tested in spec but i still had a definite misfire in a specific cylinder(s), changing the coil pack has always resolved the problem. Kind of a lucky roll of the dice because i know it could have been injector-related too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How do I find a misfire in a specific cylinder without expensive scanning equipment. I would be willing to buy a decent scanner but can't afford a Snap-On.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have bitten the bullet. Took my car to the dealer to let them find the problem. $95 for a diagnostic fee...but at least I will know which coil it is. I can then replace it myself. Which brand of COPs are good. I will gladly buy Motorcraft if they last a long time. Is NAPA any good? I know to stay away from Autozone or O'Reilys.
 

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Ive always had good luck with the borg-warner coil packs from oreilly or advance auto. Never have had one fail after replacing. Iirc, lifetime warr. at oreilly? Maybe adv. too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The dealer just called me back. They cannot duplicate the problem. Well if I could duplicate the problem I would fix it. I can't believe with the scanners and tools available that they cannot find the problem. They are going to keep the car another day to see if the problem can be duplicated. I hope the problem surfaces. It may be time just to replace all the coils and be done with it. I know its expensive but so is having a diagnosis done with no results. I asked the dealer to stress test the coils. Darn electrical ghosts.
 
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