Should I try to get this covered under EPA emissions warranty?

Dealer has said I have to pay. It looks like they have to replace a valve cover. 2003 Windstar 3.8 64,000 miles.

EPA says * Specified major emission control components are covered for the

first 8 years or 80,000 miles of vehicle use.

According to federal law, an emission control or emission related

part, or a specified major emission control component, that fails

because of a defect in materials or workmanship, must be repaired or

replaced by the vehicle manufacturer free of charge as long as the

vehicle has not exceeded the warranty time or mileage limitations for

the failed part.

TSB is http://www…3-16-1-pdf

Here is a description of the difference in valve covers.


Never heard of a Valve cover being covered by emissions warranty.

From the EPA web site:

"There are three specified major emission control components,
covered for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles of vehicle use on 1995
and newer vehicles:

      * Catalytic converters.

      * The electronic emissions control unit or computer (ECU).

      * The onboard emissions diagnostic device or computer (OBD)."

So I think you’re out of luck…

That 8/80 only applies to the catalytic converter and the ECM. You can ask Ford if they would cover this under a Good Will warranty but I sure would not wager any money that they would cover it. Do not get upset if they say no.

The vehicle is an '03 that was likely put into service back into '02. This mean the 8 years is up; quite likely some months back.

It was purchased in Sept. of 03. Thanks looks like you’ve talked me out of an un winnable battle.

You might go online and email Ford customer service on their link. It’s worth a shot and the worst that will happen is that they will say no.
The vehicle is only a few months out of the 8 years and also has very low miles for the year model. If the van was a year or so out and had 150k miles on it then I’d say no way.

In the online form be sure to have the VIN ready, mileage, etc. In the comment section be very polite about the issue while praising the vehicle a little bit. (Don’t overdo that part of it; keep it subtle.)
Ask if they could perform a Good Will warranty and considering the age/mileage and the fact that you’ve even mentioned a GW warranty there’s at least a shot they could approve it.
If they do they will likely send you to the Ford dealer nearest you. (also asked for on the form) Hope that helps and good luck.

Why in the world do you need to replace the valve cover in the first place?
Or do you mean that they need to replace the valve cover gasket because it is leaking?


This is a tough one. If I understand the TSB correctly, it’s directing a valve cover change as being the solution to a condition that’s chronically tripping the Malfunction Indicator Light. It isn’t a recall, so it’s not covered under those groundrules, and it is tripping the MIL light, so it is, effectively, and emissions control failure. Unless it’s corrected you’d be unable to pass an emissions-required OBDII check, if your state requires such. Even if it doesn’t, ignring the light would effectively render your “emissions system warning system (for lack of a better description)” unusable.

I think you have a good case here. I’d pursue it through the Ford chain of command defined in your owner’s manual information. Keep copies of all the shop orders while you argue this.

Let us know how you make out.

If you have the time to spend, give it a shot. It looks to me like it’s the rear cylinder bank that needs the replacement valve cover. It also looks like the engine compartment is so crowded that the engine has to be dropped out of the car or rotated to make the change.

Yes, if the valve cover effects the EMC system and that is the reason you brought it to the dealer is because the vehicle would not pass EMC inspection.

if it is Just leaking and you have no inspection to pass than I would say you pay.

Using your logic I can think of a host of issues that would render the emission system useless (and not actually involve the ECM or cat.) but that is not how the rule is written. 8/80 is limited to cat. ECM. FORD can chose to do be generous or stick to the letter. I think all this involves a failed test also.

The dealer says they can read codes the others cannot. Reference post The dealer fix was replacing plennum seals and isolator bolts to the tune of $569. 8 isolator at $13.39. 6 gasket at $7.49 1 gasket @ $34.63 plus labor.

You’re probably going to need a frannistan and a turbolator as well. As long as you’re paying for it, why not take it to someone who’s not a dealer.

Tell us again (for the first time) what problem led you to take the car to a mechanic in the first place?