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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Weird issue with my '01 taurus wagon ses 3.0L vulcan where sometimes the car will start and 2 seconds later, sputter and die. I sat in the garage today and cycled the ignition from ACC to ON and about every 10-15 times, the fuel pump would not prime. If I then cranked the engine, it will start, sputter and die. When the fuel pump doesn't prime and i turn the ignition off and try to cycle it again, it can take anywhere from 2-20 key cycles from ACC to Ign ON before I can hear the pump prime again, and then the car will start and run fine. This is very inconvenient in the grocery store parking lot. Took me 5 minutes today in the parking lot before I finally heard the pump turn on and was able to get home. It's been getting progressively worse. Used to be once a week, now its almost every day this happens.

I've checked the relay under the hood and swapped it with one of the others and still am having this problem. The relay will click on and kick off (prime) during the ignition cycle, even if the fuel pump does not, so that leads me to believe the problem is between the fuse box and the pump. The little switch in the rear panel (inertia switch?) doesn't seem to be tripped.

Also tried banging on the gas tank while the car is cranked over (when the pump isn't working) hoping maybe it would cause the pump to kick on, but that didn't work. Fuel pressure is at a steady 55psi when the pump does work and the car runs just fine. It has never died while driving, only during engine starts HOT or COLD. Any ideas? I've searched a bit on here and also googled it, but not quite finding any solutions.

Sorry for the story, but I know more info is always better than less info.
 

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I would check the fuel pump power draw from the fuse box when you are getting the no start condition.
if you are getting power at the fuse then check before and after the inertia switch.
if you have power before and not after then the inertia switch is the fault.
if you have power after and you cannot hear the fuel pump then pump is bad or bad wires between the pump and inertia switch.

when having the no start condition do a quick spray of starting fluid or gas into the intake and see if it fires. if it doesnt this points to another issue.
if it does it helps confirm the fuel issue.
also do a leak down test of fuel psi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I would check the fuel pump power draw from the fuse box when you are getting the no start condition.
if you are getting power at the fuse then check before and after the inertia switch.
if you have power before and not after then the inertia switch is the fault.
if you have power after and you cannot hear the fuel pump then pump is bad or bad wires between the pump and inertia switch.

when having the no start condition do a quick spray of starting fluid or gas into the intake and see if it fires. if it doesnt this points to another issue.
if it does it helps confirm the fuel issue.
also do a leak down test of fuel psi.
I'll give it a shot and see what happens. I did pull the connector off of the fuel pump harness right next to the fuel filter but wasn't sure which pin to check voltage on (there are 7 pins). 2 for sending unit, 1 pwr, 1 grnd, and 3 for tank pressure sensor?

It's almost as if its a security/theft issue. The car has the big fat key, do these has a chip in them? I bought this car from my aunts towing yard after it passed it's 30 day hold and the owner didn't come claim it. They had to call a locksmith out to have a key cut for it before I could buy it. I haven't owned this car for more than 8 months and don't know a whole lot about them.

As far as starting fluid/leak down. The car holds fuel pressure at 55 psi and runs perfect. It's only when the pump doesn't prime do I know that the car will not start. Once I hear it prime when I turn the key to ON, then i can fire it up and it runs without a problem.

It's driving me nuts! I was doing this in the grocery store lot today for 5 minutes: Acc-->On...(nothing), Acc-->On...(nothing,) Acc-->On... (nothing), Acc-->On, fuel pump bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... now I can crank it and it fires right up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
yes the key is chipped, does the theft light blink with the no start condition?
I haven't checked to see if it blinks when I try to crank it when the pump is acting up, but when i've turned the key to ON and the pump doesn't prime, the idiot lights are on for a few seconds but then turn off like normal, including the theft light. I'll check to see if it blinks when i crank it today. Thanks for the help!


EDIT: Just went out to see if the theft light would come on and after about 20 key cycles, the pump didn't prime, started the car, it died, tried to start it again, it cranked and cranked, but the theft light did not blink. But now I can't get the pump to come back on. I've tried about 50 key cycles and listened for it to prime, but it wont. Gunna let it rest for a bit and try again later. I have no idea what to try next...
Any suggestions?
 

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i would try at the fuel pump. i had that problem a couple of months after. if your getting power when the key is on, than try hooking a car battery up to the fuel pump + and - and see if it works. If not than your gonna need a fuel pump. I have to do that on my old 93 subaru impreza. I also had to do that to some friends jeeps i had to drag to my old shop.
 

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you have to test for power going to the pump. if you are getting power there then the pump is bad. if not getting power there then there is another issue. hot wiring the pump will only work if you dont have power to the pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had done a little bit of testing with a volt meter last night on the pins in the connector and I got a constant 12v reading out of one of them with the key in ON. I thought it was only supposed to supply 12v for a couple seconds to let the pump prime and then go to 0v. Maybe i'm testing the wrong wire, i'll check the colors of them when I get under there today.

I found this info Ford Taurus Fuel Pump - Car Forums - Edmunds and there seems to be different causes from one car to the next. One was a ground issue, another the fuel pump and another being the harness was flattened in between the tank and the floor.
 

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My '02 Vulcan was doing exactly as you describe last year. After getting stalled in traffic I decided to just go ahead and bite the bullet and install a new pump. Is less aggravation in the long run, besides that's what your Car needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well if it comes down to it, i will install a new pump. Did you use a motorcraft pump? I want to check out everything before I decide to throw 3 bills into a pump and have the problem come back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just wanted to update and say that I had a buddy mechanic look at it. Took him all day since it was driving him nuts too, but he came back and said all the wiring checked out so we replaced the pump (last week) and haven't had any problems since. He said that it appeared to be the original pump anyways (10 years old w/ 165k miles on it) so it wasn't a big surprise to him.
 

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Thanks

Just wanted to update and say that I had a buddy mechanic look at it. Took him all day since it was driving him nuts too, but he came back and said all the wiring checked out so we replaced the pump (last week) and haven't had any problems since. He said that it appeared to be the original pump anyways (10 years old w/ 165k miles on it) so it wasn't a big surprise to him.
Thanks for sharing your experiencd.

-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not a problem. I can't recall the number of times I've gone searching for a solution to a problem only to find a thread that wasn't updated with what the original poster did to correct the issue. Hopefully the fuel pump was the issue and it doesn't happen again. I will be back if it happens again :p
 

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1997 Ford Taurus 3.0L Wagon 226,362 miles
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I can't recall the number of times someone asked for advice on what brand of part to install, then installed the part - but didn't say what brand they used.

Just kidding with you.

But seriously - what brand of pump DID you end up installing ... because there are those cheap Chinese pumps for very little money that are loud and seem to fail pretty quickly, and then there are the dealer pumps that are prohibitively expensive. I'm guessing you went somewhere in the middle (maybe a Walbro?).

Just curious what it was because I think I've got a fuel pump job coming up on my '97 GL wagon (about to turn 200,000 miles with the original pump still in there).
 

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Not a problem. I can't recall the number of times I've gone searching for a solution to a problem only to find a thread that wasn't updated with what the original poster did to correct the issue. Hopefully the fuel pump was the issue and it doesn't happen again. I will be back if it happens again :p
Oh yes, it will happen again. In another 165K miles.;)

I know this guy, and he had one quit on a very high mile Taurus. He replaced the pump and tank from his parts car. He took the dead pump apart. According to him, one carbon bush was gone and the spring was rubbing the commutator. Remaining brush hanging on by a thread. So, brushes are a wear item. Things that wear will wear out in time. Not a case of IF but just how many miles/years.

I have had a couple fail, but they got noisy, usually showing rust from water in the tank.

-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I can't recall the number of times someone asked for advice on what brand of part to install, then installed the part - but didn't say what brand they used.

Just kidding with you.

But seriously - what brand of pump DID you end up installing ... because there are those cheap Chinese pumps for very little money that are loud and seem to fail pretty quickly, and then there are the dealer pumps that are prohibitively expensive. I'm guessing you went somewhere in the middle (maybe a Walbro?).

Just curious what it was because I think I've got a fuel pump job coming up on my '97 GL wagon (about to turn 200,000 miles with the original pump still in there).
:D :p Picked up an oem pump from the dealer. I got a discount through my work so it cost only a leg. I was able to keep my arm :p I would have gone with a walbro but i couldn't really wait a couple days to have it shipped. I've had great luck with walbro in the past but unfortunately it was an ASAP fix this time.
 

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Replace your Fuel filter as well when you replace the pump or you may have this issue again, every 30-50K as a general rule.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Replace your Fuel filter as well when you replace the pump or you may have this issue again, every 30-50K as a general rule.
I did the filter at the last oil change, should I change it anyways?
 

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Nope, your good then :) I just wanted to make sure, restricted fuel flow will cause the fuel pump to work harder and it will fail if the fuel filter is clogged up.

Troy.
 
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