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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This weekend I trouble shot my P0401 code on my 1997 Ford Taurus LX with 3.0L DOHC.

Based on other posts I originally replaced the DPFE sensor and cleared the code but it came back when the engine warmed up. Today I removed the EGR Valve and used a hand pump to verify that it works, which it did (original valve at 150,000 miles!) (note: you need 2 gaskets). Next I removed the throttle body intake which is very easy to do. While doing so I realized one of the rubber grommets was wet with oil and swelled and therefore was very loose (vacuum leak). During re-assembly I used a hose clamp to keep it on! So I get the TBI off and found the real problem. Oil has been coming up into the TBI or the Exhaust gas recirculation carbon build-up caused the ports in the TBI to become completely clogged.

I shoved paper towels into the intake manifold then sprayed the carbon with break cleaner. Then used a dental pick to pick it out. I ended up cleaning off the TBI gasket and re-using it (local shops didn’t have one in-stock).

Problem seems to be solved! All for just a couple bucks. The original Ford DPFE sensor on my car was evidently fine at +150,000 miles, so try checking the throttle body before replacing the $100 DPFE!


Here you see the TBI and how the ports are completely clogged.
HPIM0392.JPG

HPIM0391.JPG

Here are the ports after I cleaned them out.


HPIM0394.JPG
 

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It's a pretty beefy gasket that I always re-use. Just good&snug with a 5/16" nutdriver usually works for me.
 

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I did that operation too a few years ago. The buidup was almost solid, you won't budge it with air or additives... you need to pick it up.
 

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I just followed your procedure and found exactly the same thing - completely plugged with solid carbon. This is after replacing a non-faulty DPFE, and checking that the EGR valve operates with a vacuum pump. Thank you for posting a solution in the forum. It's rare that solutions are posted; they're usually just loaded with quesitons and problems.
 

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Thank You! I've had problems starting, and the CEL was on. So I plugged in my scanner to see what the problem was. The P0401 code popped up with another, saying banks 1 and 2 were running lean. After many different suggestions, and not enough proven fixes, I was hesitant on buying a DPFE sensor. Well, after searching through the site here, I finally found this post. I took off the TB and found the exact same problem, Carbon build-up! I cleaned it all out, doing the same thing msutliff did, and eureka, problem solved!
 
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