Reader Question: Austin,
I have a 1999 Ford Windstar LX with 99K. It is a 3.8 V6 with auto trans and twice during the past 5 years the check engine light has come on and the dealer replaced the O-ring seals on the intake manifold including replacing the front valve cover and PVC hose to cure the problem.
Now, the light is on again and a scan shows lean condition on both banks of cylinders. This is the only problem with this car so far.
Is this a defect common to the plastic manifold on this engine? Of course, it is out of warranty and the dealer wants an arm and a leg to replace the seals again.
Your thoughts please.
I am not 100% certain the same issue is happening again. A check engine light can come on for many reasons. A lean condition means there is a lack of fuel, or proper fuel pressure to the engine BUT again, this can mean many things like a weak fuel pump, a restriction in the fuel filter, a dirty throttle body or Mass Air Flow Sensor, worn spark plugs or spark plug wires or faulty oxygen sensors, etc. etc. etc.
You are going to need to investigate the trouble code further to see what it is that is causing the lean condition. Unfortunately, this type of repair or diagnosis is not very easy for the average do it yourself person to do without the proper training and equipment. Therefore, I really cannot say this is a warranty issue or not without more investigating and testing.