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My sick '02 - help?

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Old 22 Jun 2010, 10:26 am
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Default My sick '02 - help?

I already posted about my transmission problem here, but I have a couple of other issues that I wanted to ask about. Right now, she's a sick puppy, and I'm hoping that getting her running well again won't cost my left arm.

1) I'm getting engine code 303 (Misfire detected in cylinder #3.), so I'm going to be replacing the plugs this weekend, planning to use Champion 7570 double platinum. I also read that changing the wires could help, too. I'm quite financially challenged at the moment - how important is it to change the wires now, and if necessary, what wires are recommended?

2) The car started overheating out of the blue on Friday when my son was driving it, while he was sitting in a drive-through, but once he got back on the road, it was fine. He drove it again on Sunday and said it was overheating just while driving. I topped off the radiator and overflow, which were both a bit low, and checked the code - it gave me a 117 (Engine coolant temperature sensor voltage low). I'm at a loss with this one - where is it located? Does this mean it needs to be replaced? Any suggestions would be most welcome. Since I topped it off, it's been better, but still running hotter than usual.

3) When I drive it now, since the overheating issue, I hear a sound that can best be described as a constant whistle. I don't recall hearing it before it began overheating. I realize that doesn't give much info, and I do need to investigate more closely to try to determine where the sound is coming from, but I thought someone here might have thoughts on where to start looking since it might be related to the overheating issue. I'm hoping and praying it's not an indicator of some sort of damage, since apparently my son didn't know not to drive it when it was overheating and kept on going when he had it out Sunday. He didn't go far, but I know it only takes an instant for something to happen when a car's that hot. He knows that now, too.
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Old 22 Jun 2010, 10:33 am
quicksilverdon's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Felton, Delaware
Posts: 20,501
Default Re: My sick '02 - help?

Sorry I can't comment on the tranny issue - except my thought would be linkage cables need adjusting...
1) Wires are very important - the stock wires are crap - almost any other brand is better - I've read of people happy with Autolite - gap plugs at 0.040..
2) - check the engine fan - put on A/C and if fan doesn't come on, that's your problem. You may also now have some air in the system, so closely watch the level.
3) whistle could be a vacuum leak - check hoses for cracks or if any worked loose.

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