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Old 01-10-2012, 12:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2003 Taurus no start

I first noticed a problem a few days ago. The car would start and then almost die and then run fine. Then the starts would not be smooth, engine turns over what sounds like a couple of revolutions and wont start. Let it sit for a few seconds & then would start, but not a smooth continuous start, a start with a "lag" so to speak, then smooth idle. Then no start at all, starter would turn car over until engine tried to fire & starter disengages but car does not start. Tried multiple times to start car, and same thing turns over a few revs but does not fire. Now symptoms are same. Car turns over few revs does not fire, but I can only try once and then have to let it sit for a min. or so before engine will crank again. I can turn the key to the start position but nothing happens unless it sits for a minute or two. I have tried switching out fuel relay, and checked all fuses that had fuel in their description in manual, did not help. I cannot hear fuel pump run when key is turned on to run position, but can hear some noise from fuel pump when starter is "bumped", (not held in start position for more than 1 sec.). Noise meaning electric motor noise, but only for 1 sec. at the most. I have tried to jump start, no luck. Starter was replaced by previous owner a couple of months ago. Prev owner does not remember when he last changed fuel filter. I am not sure where to start, it wont start so I can get it somewhere to see if there is a code coming on. The CEL does not come on either. I have only had the car a couple of weeks, so not alot of history between me and car. Any suggestions/ideas greatly appreciated. Thank You in advance!
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Forgot to put mileage on last post: 177,000 miles. Also just tried to start car after sitting for 45 mins and car will not turn over or try to start when key is turned to start position, I have tried both keys the car came with & same result. Also, car lived in seattle area its whole life & now is in central oregon, much colder here at night than previous home.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Since the starter turns every time, we can eliminate the starting circuit. I would check spark plugs first. Why not a new fuel filter, too? Plugs and filters cost little.

Fuel pump needs to run about a second every time you turn the key. I don't see any electrical connection between starter and fuel pump. Can the starter bumping and fuel pump running be just a coincidence?

Run fuel pump 2 or 3 times (ON but not START) before cranking the engine. See if this yields a consistent engine start.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Now the car will not turn over when the key is turned to the start position. Tried taking it out of park and then back in to eliminate any transmission "safety switches". Unhooked battery for 1/2 hour, let it sit, & tried to start it. Nothing. I have 2 keys, and tried both, no results. I dont know if the hard starting problem is related to the "no start" situation I am now in, or 2 problems. Are there any theft systems that may have been triggered due to numerous start attempts? I have to figure out how to get the thing to turn over before I can move on to fuel pump. Regarding fuel pump, I cannot hear any pump noise when car is switched to "on" position. Pump noise when it did try to start earlier, I think may be normal, pump has to run for car to run. I appreciate the help!
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You are correct on the pump noise.

The starting circuit has ignition switch (in the steering column) and starter relay in series. If one of the two is faulty, the starter will not turn. Do dash lights come on? OIL, ABS, BRAKE, TEMP,.......

I know little about the theft system. It's either crank or no crank, as far as I know, nothing to do with number of attempts.

Possibility of battery drain from repeated starting?
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Have you checked the relay under the hood? It and the fan relay are the same, just swap them across and see it that helps.

And check fuse F127 also.

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Old 01-11-2012, 10:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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All the lights come on in the dash, seat belt, cel, etc. when the key is in the run position. Tried a jump start with another vehicle(Ford diesel truck, should have had plenty of juice to turn motor), and a jump start with a portable jump start box. I am pretty confident it is not battery. Checked every fuse. Switched out relays, all to no avail. I did talk to previous owner, (also my father, makes it easy to get hold of him), and talked over problem. He has put 2 or 3 starters in car, can't remember exactly. He says my description of the problems sounds exactly like the problems he was having when starter went out last time. I am going to remove starter and have it bench tested real quick, just to eliminate. I have a strong hunch that this is the problem. If anybody has any more suggestions I would still like to hear them. Thanks Again!
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well, it was the starter after all. The thing died a slow death, which really threw me for a loop. After tapping on the starter & solenoid, the car fired right up. I remembered the tapping trick after I jacked the car up & was taking it off. It would not turn over every time I shut the car off & tried to restart it unless I climbed under it & gave it a couple of whacks. Installed new one & the bull runs like a champ. It sure sounded like a fuel problem when it first started acting up, which is what threw me off. Hopefully this thread will help someone else. Thanks again for the input.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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thanks for the feed back with what the problem was.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Congrats!
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