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1999 - 2003 Ford Windstar TSB 03-16-1

Q. The TSB 03-16-1 concerns lean bank DTC's and says that on the 1999 to 2000 Ford Windstar the LH valve cover MUST be replaced. I note that the LH valve cover is the one that the PCV valve fits into. What exactly was the problem with the old valve cover and what did Ford do to fix it? I'm not currently having any DTC's on my 1999 Windstar, but should I replace the valve cover anyway?

1999 - 2003 Ford Windstar TSB 03-16-1

A. Here is the TSB, in part, you refer to.

Article No.: 03-16-1
Date: 08/18/03

  • Driveability - Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) P0171/P0174 Stored In Memory - Vehicles Equipped With 3.8 Liter Engine

  • Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) - MIL Illuminated With Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) P0171/P0174 Stored In Memory - Vehicles Equipped With 3.8 Liter Engine

1999 to 2003 Windstar

This TSB supersedes articles 03-4-7 and 00-21-8.

Some vehicles may exhibit a check engine light on and lean Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC's) P0171/P0174 (system too lean bank 1 or 2) stored in memory.

Do not replace PCM (Powertrain Control Module), MAF (Mass Air Flow), or HEGOs (Heated Oxygen Sensors), as these parts are not the root cause of the lean codes conditions described. Refer to following Service Procedure for details.

These conditions may be caused by a loose fitting on the fuel pressure regulator vacuum line on the intake manifold end and/or leaking isolator bolts/port gaskets in the lower to upper intake manifold mounting area. This condition is sometimes intermittent and may not be apparent on a warmed-up engine.

If the vacuum line from the intake manifold to the fuel pressure regulator is loose at the manifold (due to oil contamination), replace the vacuum line (9E498) and install a new design LH service valve cover (6582).

1999 - 2003 Ford Windstar TSB 03-16-1

Another vacuum leak source is the gasket (9H486) between the upper and lower intake manifold assemblies caused by a loss of tension at the isolator bolt assemblies (9S479) due to contamination of the rubber grommets from excessive oil pullover.

As far as I can tell, the only difference between the old valve cover and the new valve cover is the old valve cover has a 3/16" diameter hole inside it and the new valve cover doesn't.

Since they don't compare the two valve covers side by side, and I don't have the new valve cover here, that's all I can tell. What difference does it make? I don't know. But I'm sure it must make a significant difference if Ford is willing to pay to replace it.

Should you go ahead and replace it? I believe if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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© 2005 Vincent T. Ciulla

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