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Rain and my check engine light

(2004 Ford Freestar)
in Westbrook, ME on April 07, 2009
Lately its been raining alot, and when it does my van acts like there is water in the gas tank. When your starting off it acts like it misfires (coughs, sputters and backfires) also the check engine light comes on. .But when it doesn't rain it acts completely fine, with no CEL. I guess I'm wondering what the problem could be
Displaying 11 answers & 8 comments
Popular Answer
on April 29, 2011
Remove the pcm from under the dash , unplug it and dry it out with a hair dryer on low temp, and then leave it in the hot sun 6 to 8 hours , also blow dry the plug connector ,wrap it in plastic bags and secure it near the fire wall on the passenger side , do not put it back under the dash and that problem will be solved , it cost me no money to fix this.
on July 03, 2010
this van has a factory defect. the pcm gets wet. highway safety is investigating this for a possible recall. there is a lot of info on how to fix this on the internet.
on December 06, 2010
Mine was doing this same thing (also an '04). Took it in. They said there were holes in some hoses. They replaced it. The light was off until the first rain - then it started all over again. Then yesterday, without any warning, the transmission goes out while I'm driving through town! Merry Christmas. It only has 88,0000 miles on it.

on January 18, 2011
My 2004 Ford Freestar did the very same thing. I was doing 75mph on a Southern California freeway when it decided not drive any more. Lucky I was only on a freeway to freeway connector with no shoulder and next to a semitruck when it happened or things could have gotten really bad. Oh, yeah, they did.
on November 03, 2010
my 2004 freestar does the same thing, except my check engine light stays on all the time, and flashes when it is raining. The van jerks the entire time that there is any moisture but drives normal when it is dry. We had a crack in the coil paks too and fixed that and it lasted 1 week before messing up again. Once in awhile it stalls out on me or even back fires on occassion. It seems from the research I have down alot of these vans have this problem there was an investigation thru NHTSA but from what I found it was closed with out anything being done or any other owners being notified. I am filing another complaint to try to get this reopened and hope everyone else will to. Ford needs to stand behind their product and fix it.
on December 06, 2010
Mine was doing this same thing (also an '04). Took it in. They said there were holes in some hoses. They replaced it. The light was off until the first rain - then it started all over again. Then yesterday, without any warning, the transmission goes out while I'm driving through town! Merry Christmas. It only has 88,0000 miles on it.
on December 09, 2010
My 2004 Freestar with 102,000 miles on it had the same problem, as long as it was warm and dry, I had no problems. But as soon as it rained or got cold the van would "hesitate" while driving. Finally, the vehicle would not recognize the keys for the PATS system. Had it towed in and the PCM was bad, water had gotten into it after our first snow fall of the season. Ford knows about the problem but will do nothing to fix it. My mechanic is wrapping it in plastic and silicone to protect it. This is costing me over $800. This is the last Ford I will ever purchase - Again Merry Christmas to me, lol
on March 18, 2011
usually the coil pack goes bad on o4 freestar, and they are not expensive to buy approx $ 112.00 and labour is 1.5 hours, I did it myself very easy, I had 243000.00 miles on it and
only had to do was oil changes tune ups, belt and replaced the alternator. The van never left
me stranded. I love my ford freestar.
on November 03, 2009
Go to town hall on and look up 2004 Ford Freestar engine problems and be amazed.
on April 08, 2009
Your coil is possibly gone. I had the same problem, after replaceing the plugs and wires everything remained the same. There was a small chack in the bottom of the coil. Somewhat easy to replace.
on April 13, 2009
I ended up having the freestar put on the computer, It was the plugs and wires.. 122000 miles on original plugs and wires, yeah time to change them puppies
on July 14, 2010

on May 08, 2011
change the coil and wires, I had the same problem, now it runs great.
on June 10, 2011
I know this well it happens to mine too. Water is leaking into the computer because it is not sealed right had it fixed once for 600.00 and now it is starting to do it again.
on November 09, 2011
I spoke with Ford the other day about my 04 Freestar and they told me if the PCM is bad again they have a 12 month 12,000 mile warranty on all Ford parts and labor which means it should cost nothing to repair a second time. My van shuts off every time you hit the brakes and then doesn't want to start. This is especially dangerous when driving 60mph on the interstate and the car in front of you isn't doing the same speed and you have to hit your brakes. Which is what happened to me. We were in the passing lane with no place to go in afternoon traffic. Ford seriously needs to step up and get these vans off the road before someone is killed.
on August 20, 2014
My 2004 Ford Freestar has been doing the same thing. Scary when this goes out: no power steering or brakes and I have 4 kids. I am so frustrated after the whole power train torque converter recall. Mine was out of commisstion prior to the provisions and I was told it would be several months before they had the parts for replacement. They told me it was not a safety issue that cars just go into like neutral and can coast. Well mine went out stopped on a hill at a stop light and I rolled back into traffic. Now this whole wet PCM has my van out of commission again and there are no parts available due to so many being ordered. This is not a normal wear and tear - this is an obvious factory default and I was not happy at paying $1148 to fix it and now they tell me it will be months before I have a vehicle. I bought this from Ford dealer, I service this with a Ford dealer and it is not right that I am left without a vehicle. I have 4 kids two of which have specialty doctors out of town. I feel like the big multi-billion dollar Ford needs to step up and take care of the issues with their products. I have not even been offered a loaner car. I am now resorting to contacting Ford Corporation and thinking I might need to file a grievance. I really don't know what else to do. I cannot afford a new vehicle at this time. I am thinking that if and when I do purchase, it will not be a ford!!!!!
on May 30, 2011
I have same plm as you have. I took this to shop and replacement new wire plug and new plug and it still same. they keep charge me for 300 dollars. when I done paid it and left. the engine came on and took it to auto zone for the check up. they said plug is split up so now took that back to store. they said need replacment new drive shaft and steer rack pinion anyone please help. they going charge for 850 dollars. please help thanks
on August 31, 2010
had the same problem. my coil pack was cracked
on December 26, 2010
Had the same problem when it rained, replaced the coil and wires. Now the van is running great. Check engine light is out now, all is okay.
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