Shaking and Check Engine Light Blinking
My Ford Freestar has started shaking while idling
and now even when driving. I noticed the RPM
gauge bounces up and down as well. Then just
recently my Check Engine Light has started
blinking. I went to AutoZone for a diagnostic and it
returned codes: P0171, P0316, and P0302. The
technician said he thought I may just need a tune-
up but everything I am reading makes it sound
much more urgent. Just would like to know anyone
else's thoughts before I take it into the shop. I saw
something that said it could be a vacuum hose leak.
Do you think it is possible based on the codes that
were returned? A friend who doesn't really have
experienced looked under the hood and said he
could hear some hissing, but couldn't find a hole.
The P0171 is a lean code that could be caused by a vacuum leak, but that would not cause it to shake and the engine light to blink. The the shake and blink are mostly likely caused by the P0316 and P0302, which is a cylinder 2 misfire. A simple tune up could fix that, it could have a bad coil, or a more serious issue like low compression. I can't I would take it in to have it looked at asap. It is not good to drive it like that. The engine light flashing is a sign that it needs to be serviced immediately.
Sounds like you have a clogged muffler or catalytic converter.
Is it weird that my friend unplugged the battery for a while (to reset it - something he read online), and it's running a lot better now? The check engine light is now off and it's not shaking as badly (just a minor tremor is still present when in drive and shaking when applying brakes). The shop isn't ready for it for a couple days, and I'm wondering if I can/should be driving it. Hate for something more major to be going wrong.
Did you find out what was going on? The same thing is happening to mine!
I own a 2005 Ford Freestar, and also feel the uncertainty of driving this minivan. Recently I have noticed that my minivan started acting up after a few days of heavy rain. Ford is aware of this issue, and for this reason they issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB 06-14-10.) Seems to be that a lot of the issues with this vehicle are related to this problem, water in the ECM. Once the ECM is waterproofed, then you can consider other minor problems like a bad sensor.
Looking for a Used Freestar in your area?
CarGurus has 34 nationwide Freestar listings starting at $3,995.
Search Ford Freestar Questions
Ford Freestar Experts