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2001 Ford Windstar repeated chugging problems

Twice now (and maybe a third time once I start my van again) we’ve had problems with the van chugging and then the service engine light blinking. Both times it happened in the past, we took it to a mechanic who said it needed a tune-up - new spark plugs, wires, etc.

I’m curious as to why this keeps happening. Mileage is around 105K. It first happened last summer, second time was in December. Now it’s March.

Does anyone have any ideas what could cause this problem to repeat?

Have it scanned for codes at your local Zone and post codes here. The numbers not the description like P0171 just for example. Chances are that a “tune up” isn’t really fixing it but just masking the real problem. Does it start running okay after it’s warmed up?

Right now? No, it doesn’t run ok after being warmed up. It’s obvious that something is wrong - misfiring maybe? I don’t know. I’m not a mechanic.

I talked with our local dealership this morning. I’m taking it in on Friday, and the guy there said it might be the coil pack that’s bad, which would account for the tune-ups not fixing the problem in the long-term. I just looked up coil packs on wikipedia, and it says that bad coil packs can also lead to bad fuel economy, which is another problem we’ve been having for months (though, the last 2 weeks or so, the gas mileage has been great).