Diagnosing the cause of the misfire (rough idle) on a 2.3L equipped Ford Mustang or Ranger (Mazda 2300) can seem quite daunting.... since you have 8 spark plugs and two coil packs to deal with.
Not only that, but quite a few things can cause a misfire condition (or misfire trouble codes).
In this tutorial, I'm gonna' present to you the basic causes of a misfire condition (rough idle) and a specific diagnostic strategy that will help you get to the bottom of the issue.
I'm also gonna' show you were you can find the specific test tutorials you'll need. Let's get started...
Here are the contents of this article at a quick glance:
You can find this tutorial in Spanish here: Cómo Probar un Falla en Cilindro (2.3L Ford Ranger y Mustang) (at: autotecnico-online.com).
Whether your specific 2.3L Ford Mustang or Ranger is OBD II equipped or not... a misfiring cylinder simply means that that cylinder is not pulling all of its weight.
In other words: If the engine is misfiring, the engine is simply not firing on all cylinders. Now, since the 2.3L Ford engine is a four cylinder... having just one ‘dead’ cylinder will cause an impact on engine performance and you're gonna' definitely feel it as you're driving down the road or stopped at a traffic signal.
Here are some of the most common symptoms:
Every cylinder, needs to have air, fuel, and spark to work. If any one of these components is missing from the equation, that cylinder will go dead. This means that so many different things can cause a misfire condition (or a rough idle condition). The cause of the misfire can be in any one of the following Systems:
Ignition System: In a nutshell, the ignition system on the 2.3L Ford Mustang or Ranger consists of 2 ignition coil packs, an externally mounted ignition control module (certain years), spark plugs, and spark plug wires. The majority of misfire conditions have their root cause here.
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