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Q: Lost power driving in traffic

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I have a 2012 Ford F-150 XLT Ecoboost 3.5L V6, automatic transmission, with 47,000 miles. I was merging into traffic with a very short merge area, and traffic was going at speed behind me when I went to accelerate. At this point it felt like I lost power to the engine. Then when I attempted to get more power, the check engine light started blinking and the engine started shaking. This was after a very heavy rainfall and driving for a couple hours, if that helps. I was able to get the car home, but what happened there?

This model year F-150 engine has had a few concerns that relate to the problem you are having. The first step in diagnosis is to verify if problem only happens during wet, damp or humid conditions. YourMechanic will then need to scan the computer power train module for codes. If codes P0304 through P0306 are present with or without P0430 then TSB(Ford Technical Service Bulletin) 13-81 dated August 5th 2013 will have to be performed. This TSB checks the part number for the charge air cooler. If the part number is BL34-9L440-AE, then the TSB does not apply and normal ignition diagnosis applies. Otherwise an air deflector needs to be installed, and if engine code P0430 was present, then the left exhaust catalyst replaced. There is one other TSB that may apply, TSB 14-0180 dated September 26, 2014. It calls for testing the PCM for misfire codes P0300 through P0306 that indicate misfiring of cylinders, which might be due to carbon tracking on spark plugs and the boots for the coils. If any of these codes are present and the TSB 13-81 is completed, then all spark plugs will need to be removed and inspected for carbon tracking on plugs, boots and coils. The TSB calls for replacement of all spark plugs and boots, then clearing codes and road testing to verify the concern was fixed.

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