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Old 01-17-2008, 10:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My daughter has a 1996 Taurus GL with automatic transmission. My wife drove it to work a couple of days ago, no problems. Then I tried to take the Taurus to town yesterday, and it kept dying every time I put it in gear?

The battery is brand new. It starts easily and idles smoothly (around 1000 rpm).

But as soon as I put it in gear (reverse or drive), it dies.

It's slightly harder to start after that (like it's flooded a a bit), but always starts right back up and runs smoothly again until I put it in gear.

After several failed attempts, I finally got it in gear long enough to back it into it's parking space. The idle dropped when I put it in gear, but it recovered and drove fine till I parked it. But when I turned it off and tried again, it was right back to stalling when I put it in gear.

My daughter has had the Taurus a little over a year, and it has always started and run beautifully. We've never had any problems like this with it.

We've had temperatures in the upper 20's for a week or so, but it didn't have any problems till yesterday.

Any ideas of what might be causing the problem? I've worked on cars for years, but I don't even know where to start with this one.

Thanks,

Anthony
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd clean the MAF and IAC.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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hey,

It sounds like either your throttle body or MAF sensor needs to be cleaned, failing that I'd say there is something wrong with your spark plugs/wires, but I would first blame the air intake system, as it is apparently idling fine but when she needs some more air she can't get it.

Other than that, I must ask how many miles? Do you have a check engine light (any codes?)?
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
I'd clean the MAF and IAC.
[/b]
Excuse my ignorance, but what are the MAF and IAC?

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Old 01-17-2008, 11:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The Mass Air Flow sensor measures the amount if air entering the car. It has two small heater wires that accumulate dirt that will affect the accuracy of the measurements.

The Idle Air Control valve is a small motorized device that regulates the flow of air into the engine when it is running and controls the idle most of the time. Quick changes in idle speed are done through timing changes though.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Another thing, which is unlikely, I've only seen it once on my friends '92 F-150. Sometimes a a band inside the transmission sticks causing the transmission to try going into first and reverse at the same time. Like I said I've only seen this once and only adding this in as another possibility.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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[quote]
My daughter has a 1996 Taurus GL with automatic transmission. My wife drove it to work a couple of days ago, no problems. Then I tried to take the Taurus to town yesterday, and it kept dying every time I put it in gear?

The battery is brand new. It starts easily and idles smoothly (around 1000 rpm).

But as soon as I put it in gear (reverse or drive), it dies.

It's slightly harder to start after that (like it's flooded a a bit), but always starts right back up and runs smoothly again until I put it in gear.

After several failed attempts, I finally got it in gear long enough to back it into it's parking space. The idle dropped when I put it in gear, but it recovered and drove fine till I parked it. But when I turned it off and tried again, it was right back to stalling when I put it in gear.

My daughter has had the Taurus a little over a year, and it has always started and run beautifully. We've never had any problems like this with it.

We've had temperatures in the upper 20's for a week or so, but it didn't have any problems till yesterday.

Any ideas of what might be causing the problem? I've worked on cars for years, but I don't even know where to start with this one.

Thanks,

Athony



My car was doing the exact same thing as yours.I changed the IAC & problem is solved.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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[quote]
Quote:
My daughter has a 1996 Taurus GL with automatic transmission. My wife drove it to work a couple of days ago, no problems. Then I tried to take the Taurus to town yesterday, and it kept dying every time I put it in gear?

The battery is brand new. It starts easily and idles smoothly (around 1000 rpm).

But as soon as I put it in gear (reverse or drive), it dies.

It's slightly harder to start after that (like it's flooded a a bit), but always starts right back up and runs smoothly again until I put it in gear.

After several failed attempts, I finally got it in gear long enough to back it into it's parking space. The idle dropped when I put it in gear, but it recovered and drove fine till I parked it. But when I turned it off and tried again, it was right back to stalling when I put it in gear.

My daughter has had the Taurus a little over a year, and it has always started and run beautifully. We've never had any problems like this with it.

We've had temperatures in the upper 20's for a week or so, but it didn't have any problems till yesterday.

Any ideas of what might be causing the problem? I've worked on cars for years, but I don't even know where to start with this one.

Thanks,

Athony



My car was doing the exact same thing as yours.I changed the IAC & problem is solved.
another possibility is that the torque converter is shot. If the converter is locked up there is no disengagement between the engine and the transmission.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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To kinda check the IAC, what happens when you turn the AC compressor on, the blower motor on high speed & the lights & rear window defroster on, the idea here is to put some other kind of load on the engine, rather than putting it into gear, so as to exercise the IAC.
If the IAC is working ok, the engines idle speed shouldn't drop with the AC & electrical load on.

If the idle speed does drop with all that load on it, suspect the IAC.
You might try cleaning it with a spray cleaner that says it's formulated for MAF sensors.

If it's not the IAC, then as has been said, it may be the torque converter is locked up. Kinda like leaving a straight drive vehicle in gear when stopping.

Let us know what you find.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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MAF/IAC sounds likely as others have said. Could a clogged/failing fuel filter also cause this type of issue?
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