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Is this the underlying problem or a symptom of something else?

I have a 1999 Ford Expedition that has a knocking and pinging problem. Two different mechanics have narrowed it down to the ignition cable (spark plug wire), but I have replaced the cable three times now over four years and I need to do it again. The replacement normally works for a few months to a year or so depending on the quality of the cable, but then slowly the knocking comes back and gets worse. It also in the early stages only happens on up hill grades and in higher gears, over time the problem becomes more constant but always above the 2nd gear. The vehicle is an automatic. I also have a very slow oil leak I have not fixed on the engine. I mention them in case they help pin point something.

Does anyone have an idea regarding what the root cause of this might be?

  • I think I'd give it a Seafoam treatment first and see if this doesn't clear things up. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 9 '15 at 12:28
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    Some questions: What's happening to the cable? Are they burning by chance? Do you have any cb equipment or an outlandish stereo installed? Have the mechanics checked the current going to and coming out of the distributor? Are the correct plugs installed?????(this is a big one). Could you be getting bad gas frequently? Are other fuses out in the car? I would do this one as a last resort but putting a new comp in it may fix it, and a junkyard comp can run pretty cheap. If your cylinder is gooked the seafoam is a good easy option to try first, I would do it a couple times in a 99 suv – rhill45 Jan 11 '15 at 1:04
  • I will look into the cables to see if they look burned and try double checking the plugs this next weekend too, I iwll also try a foam too. No CB or radio, still factory install. I get gas at random city locations so I would think it would not be such a constant. I will have to ask the mechanic to check the current next ime I am in with him. I will update and let you know what I find from this good list of thoughts. thanks. – Brian H Jan 12 '15 at 20:52
  • what octane fuel are you using? – Edward Evans Jun 9 '18 at 8:43

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