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I have a 1995 Ford Taurus GL V6 3.0L. The car has 56k miles, it was my grandmothers and was only driven about 20k miles in the last 20 years.

The first time I had an issue with this car was when I was just driving around, the check engine light came on and the car seemed to lose power. I would hit the gas but it would not respond accordingly. I managed to get ODB code 159- Mass Air Flow sensor out or range. Sure enough I unplugged the mass air flow sensor while the vehicle was running and it did not die. So I know I need to replace that part.

As time went on, every once in a while I would start the car until one day it would just crank but never start. On the off chance that it would start it would run for a little bit, the check engine light would come on and then it would sputter out.

I took it to a mechanic who is telling me there is a fuel pressure related issue and he is going to be doing more tests. He stated he had to run some gas through the fuel lines for a while to get a bunch of “orange Mountain Dew like” liquid out. He stated he has never seen that before. He also stated it is not the spark plugs. It does seem like there isn’t enough fuel pressure but I’m not a mechanic. I’m still waiting on his diagnosis.

Anyway, has anyone encountered this problem before with this vehicle? Any info would be great. Thank you for reading!
 

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Fuel pressure can be easily measured via the Schroeder valve in the fuel rail. Static pressure should be 39 psi with vac line off the FPR. Has the mechanic checked this?

Tank could be rusted internally and the rust has plugged the filter sock in the tank. Been there before. Drop the tank and have a look inside.
 
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Just quickly read through it. To me it seems the most logical answer is a bad fuel pump, although I was never able to check to see if the fuel pump clicked when I turned the key. I’m just hoping my mechanic doesn’t take me for a ride so I’m trying to gain as much knowledge as I can. Thank you for your reply!
 

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Fuel pressure can be easily measured via the Schroeder valve in the fuel rail. Static pressure should be 39 psi with vac line off the FPR. Has the mechanic checked this?

Tank could be rusted internally and the rust has plugged the filter sock in the tank. Been there before. Drop the tank and have a look inside.
I’m not sure if the mechanic has checked this, as our conversation was brief, but I will ask him when he calls. As for the potentially internally rusted gas tank, this doesn’t mean I would need a new gas tank does it? The mechanic said the “orange liquid” took a few gallons of gas to flush out, but it is clear now. Maybe since the car sat for so long the gas had a negative impact on the fuel system? Forgive my lack of terminology as I know nothing about cars. Thank you for the reply!
 

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Pic of fuel pump from '92 Sable that sat unused for a while. Rust line shows it had water in the bottom of the tank. Pump ran briefly before it got very noisy. I would suspect the pump and bad gas.
-chart-
 

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Pic of fuel pump from '92 Sable that sat unused for a while. Rust line shows it had water in the bottom of the tank. Pump ran briefly before it got very noisy. I would suspect the pump and bad gas.
-chart-
Nice, thanks for the pic! Yea I hope it’s just the fuel pump. I’m not sure if I trust this mechanic 100% as this is the first time I’ve gone there at the recommendation of my neighbor, so I just want to make sure I’ve done my homework. Thank you again for the reply!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have a 1995 Ford Taurus GL V6 3.0L. The car has 56k miles, it was my grandmothers and was only driven about 20k miles in the last 20 years.

The first time I had an issue with this car was when I was just driving around, the check engine light came on and the car seemed to lose power. I would hit the gas but it would not respond accordingly. I managed to get ODB code 159- Mass Air Flow sensor out or range. Sure enough I unplugged the mass air flow sensor while the vehicle was running and it did not die. So I know I need to replace that part.

As time went on, every once in a while I would start the car until one day it would just crank but never start. On the off chance that it would start it would run for a little bit, the check engine light would come on and then it would sputter out.

I took it to a mechanic who is telling me there is a fuel pressure related issue and he is going to be doing more tests. He stated he had to run some gas through the fuel lines for a while to get a bunch of “orange Mountain Dew like” liquid out. He stated he has never seen that before. He also stated it is not the spark plugs. It does seem like there isn’t enough fuel pressure but I’m not a mechanic. I’m still waiting on his diagnosis.

Anyway, has anyone encountered this problem before with this vehicle? Any info would be great. Thank you for reading!
UPDATE: The mechanic contacted me saying that my vehicle needs a new ECU. Apparently he hooked up an ODB1 reader and got no reading. I read another user describing his issues with the same vehicle and it sounds like it’s the right diagnosis. Any thoughts?
 

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The old EEC IV ECUs are very robust and very rarely fail. Major source of failure is fried electrolytic capacitors. After taking the ECU apart (just 4 3 or 4 mm screws to get the cover off) failed caps are obvious and can be easily replaced by anyone with soldering skills.

Just because the ECU wont output codes does not mean it is bad. Could be a wiring issue from the ECU to the EEC IV test plug up at the pass side firewall or his old OBDI scan tool. Try pulling codes the old way by jumping 2 terminals on the EEC TEST plug and counting the flashes the CEL outputs. Instructions on how to do this are all over the web.

When EEC IV ECUs fail very common for the fuel pump and/or the fuel cooling fans to run whenever the key is in the RUN position.

I dont have much faith in your mechanic.
 
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The old EEC IV ECUs are very robust and very rarely fail. Major source of failure is fried electrolytic capacitors. After taking the ECU apart (just 4 3 or 4 mm screws to get the cover off) failed caps are obvious and can be easily replaced by anyone with soldering skills.

Just because the ECU wont output codes does not mean it is bad. Could be a wiring issue from the ECU to the EEC IV test plug up at the pass side firewall or his old OBDI scan tool. Try pulling codes the old way by jumping 2 terminals on the EEC TEST plug and counting the flashes the CEL outputs. Instructions on how to do this are all over the web.

When EEC IV ECUs fail very common for the fuel pump and/or the fuel cooling fans to run whenever the key is in the RUN position.

I dont have much faith in your mechanic.
Thank you for the reply. I previously jumped the two terminals on the EEC Test plug by myself and got the code for “mass air flow sensor out of range.” I believe it was code 159. This was the original reason why I thought the car was stalling and running rough.

As far as my mechanic goes, I don’t disagree with you. He told me he called his uncle to ask him what he thought the issue was and they got a used ECU from a junkyard on an old Taurus that he says he knows is good for $80. I don’t know if they would even do something like solder it, if that was the issue. It’s already been there a week.

I’m not a mechanic and don’t know much about this stuff. I’m just trying to not get ripped off. But from what you stated in your last sentence it does sound like a bad ECU is the problem, given the symptoms. Should I ask to keep the old ECU just in case? Will the other issues (Mass Air Flow sensor, running fans, fuel pump) resolve themselves once this is fixed? Thanks for all the info!
 
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