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I have a 2000 ford mustang 3.8L and the engine seems to produce more power cold then warm. Does this mean its running too lean? I'm short on cash but im trying to figure out what i need to replace to get it to run like it should, my thought was maybe the o2 sensor. Also ive got a nasty exhaust leak at the headers, could this play a part?

Thanks!

James
 

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Most engines feel more "peppy" when they are cold. There is less friction when the block hasn't had a chance to heat up. Can't do much about it, and it is not abnormal, and it doesn't mean there is something wrong with your a/f ratio. Doesn't hurt to check it anyway, but the condition you describe is the condition of almost every engine running in the world today.
 

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Absolutely the exhaust leak can be part of the problem.
Fix it before you do anything else!
 

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You are dealing with two separate issues (which is why you got two very different answers! :shigrin)

1) Every engine runs better cold. More than just friction, cold air is denser, which means that there are more molecules in your combustion chamber, which creates a more powerful explosion, and more power in general. It's Mother Nature's CAI ;) (You should notice your engine is more peppy in wintertime, too - I do! :D)

2) Exhaust leaks (or any leaks!) are not good, regardless of the air temp! :happyhapp Like ar0wan said, get her fixed. :bigthumbsup
 
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