We made it home (via our friend) after stopping for the 3-day trip permit. After sitting for a minute, we hopped in our ’96 Windstar to go try to figure out what went wrong with the 2000 Windstar. Half-way back to the 2000, I realized that I had forgotten the key in one of the bags we had loaded with stuff when we walked off the highway.
We went to the van anyway. Checked fuses, checked a couple of other things. Drove home in the ’96 to get the key for the 2000.While making this stupid loop, Lance and I decided to push the van off of the highway since it was in a tow zone (as you can see in the picture).
Back at the 2000, I pushed it just over a mile on the shoulder of the highway at less than one mile per hour during rush hour traffic. Thankfully, no officer stopped us. This would have just been one more thing in the day I was not ready to deal with. Off the highway (not one person honked at us!! Yay!) and into a grocery store parking lot. Another bonus: Auto Zone a block away.
Over to Auto Zone in the ’96. Buy a manual for the van to help with trouble shooting and rent a gas pressure tester. Bonus: the manual covers both the ’96 and 2000 Windstar and, since the ’96 check engine light code points to low fuel pressure, we can check both vehicles.
Fuel pressure fine in the 2000. Couldn’t get a reading for the ’96, which is odd since it was the one running out of the two. Next stop: is the 2000 Windstar getting spark.
In older vehicles, way older, there is a coil that is easily accessed and extremely easy to test without any tools. Not so much on our Windstars, After arguing about the ability to test for spark by taking a plug wire with a spark plug in it, holding it close to the fire wall ( or any metal object you’re NOT HOLDING), then turning the engine over to see if you can see a spark from the plug to the firewall, Lance (who didnt want to hold it and wouldn’t let me) rigged the plug and wire neither of us needed to hold it. The van actually started. It sounded horrible so I shut it off right away. Lance put the spark plug back in, checked for a firm connection of all the plug wires, then I tried to start the van, again. It started.
We immediately drove both vans over to the Auto Zone and bought a new set of spark plugs and plug wires. We will be using the ’96 Windstar for the next couple of days so we can get caught up on our work schedule since we had to reschedule some today. Our schedule is clear Friday so you know what we will be doing.
I’m so grateful we figured out what was wrong with our 2000 Windstar and that it was something so minor. I’m also grateful that I have an amazing friend that was close-ish that was willing to come rescue us. Another couple of things on the gratitude list are the fact that we have held on to the ’96 Windstar despite not having been able (so far) to figure out what is making her check engine light stay on and that I know how to work on cars. It really is an invaluable tool. I suggest everyone learn, at the very least, basic automotive repair and own a set of tools for minor, roadside repairs. You never know when it might just save your tushie.
Its been a long day. I’m going to go unplug my brain with a little tv. Have a great night everyone!!!