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I've noticed for the past few months that when I start my car in the morning that it has been idling kind of rough and once I put it in gear and start to drive it hesitates, but would go. Once I'd drive it for a 100 feet it was fine. In the past week, it has been a lot worse. When I hit the gas it is like it's struggling to move even if I try to gun it. This morning it did all of these things, and then the check engine light started to flash. It was running really rough. I realize that a flashing check engine light means a misfire. I just took it slow and was about to turn around and go home when the light went out and it started running fine. I realize that I should go and get it checked out, but I'm just curious as to what's actually going on. It seems that in most of the posts I've found the light stayed on. Any ideas/advice would be greatly appreciated!

FYI it's the: 3.0L Flex Fuel V6 OHV 12V FI Engine
 

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Welcome to TCCA.

Your right, the flashing CEL/SES light means a misfire. Why not consider running this puppy by your favorite autoparts store for a no cost computer trouble code scan & post All of the code Numbers found, as you may have more than one problem & the codes can offer up good trouble shooting clues.

Since this vehicle is 11 years old, how many miles on it & where are you on all past & present due scheduled maintenance items, like spark plugs & wires, air & fuel filters & any maintenance, repairs, or modes that have been done.

With the engine off & cold, you might raise the hood & check the plug wires to make sure they're plugged in on both ends.
Then raise the hood & start it at night after it cools off & some dew can settle out & look for arcs & sparks along the plugs & wires.

Some thoughts for consideration, let us know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks. I'll go get it checked first and let you know what they find. It has around 168,000 miles. I got the car in 2009. It has about 168,000 miles on it now. When I got it, it had around 140,000 miles. It was a hand-me-down from my mom. She bought it in 2001, and was good about maintaining it. I haven't changed the plugs since I've had it, so that may be a good place to start after I get the codes read. I've had the fuel pump, the starter, and the exhaust replaced since I've had it. I know there were other things that had been fixed while my mom drove it. The air filter and fuel filter were changed with my last oil change in August. I'm due to have it changed again next month.

Also the last time I got my oil changed they had to add transmission fluid because it was low. It had been running choppy so I knew that was probably the issue there. I have no idea if that is related to what is going on now or not.

I'll keep you all posted though. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay. I got the codes read:

P0301 - Misfire detected in cylinder 1
P0305 - Misfire detected in cylinder 5

I'm going to start with checking/changing the spark plugs and go from there... Any recommendations on brand?
 

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Okay. I got the codes read:

P0301 - Misfire detected in cylinder 1
P0305 - Misfire detected in cylinder 5

I'm going to start with checking/changing the spark plugs and go from there... Any recommendations on brand?
no bosch plugs!!!!!!!! make sure they are platinum, i use motorcraft. autolite is good. just no bosch.
a spray down test of the coil might help.
 

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Okay. I got the codes read:

P0301 - Misfire detected in cylinder 1
P0305 - Misfire detected in cylinder 5

I'm going to start with checking/changing the spark plugs and go from there... Any recommendations on brand?
Good feeback on the trouble codes.

The specified Motorcraft or Autolite finewire iridium enhanced center electrode with platinum pad sidewire plugs are recommended. Autolite has a good rebate on the plugs, check around, some stores may also have them on sale this month. Motorcraft plug wires are of good quality too.
Take a close look at the internal & external condition of the plugs ceramic insulators & electrodes on 1 & 5 & post what you find.

If you have the Vulcan engine with the waste spark coilpack ignition system, plugs 1 & 5 share the same coil in the coilpack, so maybe put the coilpack on your suspect list & do a wetdown test on the coilpack & plug wires with a 5% salt water solution in a spray bottle as has been suggested. If no joy, the coilpack is also known to crack & suffer electrical breakdown underneath, so maybe consider unbolting & raising it while you ground probe it underneath looking for arcs & sparks while idling.
If still no joy, pull that puppy & have your favorite autoparts store do a no cost output bench test on it when you go for the plugs & wires.

More thoughts for consideration, keep us posted on how it goes.
 

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Good feeback on the trouble codes.

The specified Motorcraft or Autolite finewire iridium enhanced center electrode with platinum pad sidewire plugs are recommended. Autolite has a good rebate on the plugs, check around, some stores may also have them on sale this month. Motorcraft plug wires are of good quality too.
Take a close look at the internal & external condition of the plugs ceramic insulators & electrodes on 1 & 5 & post what you find.

If you have the Vulcan engine with the waste spark coilpack ignition system, plugs 1 & 5 share the same coil in the coilpack, so maybe put the coilpack on your suspect list & do a wetdown test on the coilpack & plug wires with a 5% salt water solution in a spray bottle as has been suggested. If no joy, the coilpack is also known to crack & suffer electrical breakdown underneath, so maybe consider unbolting & raising it while you ground probe it underneath looking for arcs & sparks while idling.
If still no joy, pull that puppy & have your favorite autoparts store do a no cost output bench test on it when you go for the plugs & wires.

More thoughts for consideration, keep us posted on how it goes.
"Autolite has a good rebate on the plugs, check around, some stores may also"

--------------

I got mine from RockAuto and was happy the rebate came very quickly. Autolite plug quality looks good. Quite a bit of labor to worry avout a few pennys in plug cost. $2 per plug rebate made them about $2.50 each.

Installing them in the DOHC was time consuming but not any real issues. I was concerned about the potential for a stuck plug down in that deep hole, but was not any problem.

Doing a Lin Intech was another story. Took 3 extensions of different lengths, put one on one in the hole as there just is not enough room. Then pulling them out with a magnet on a flex shaft, and separating them one at a time in the depths of space.

Makes me appreciate the Sable. (until you step on the gas for the Intech, then you feel CUBIC INCHES at work) Wheeeee!

Old coot here feels there is no substitute for cubic inches.

Happy plugging.

-chart-
 

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I've noticed for the past few months that when I start my car in the morning that it has been idling kind of rough and once I put it in gear and start to drive it hesitates, but would go. Once I'd drive it for a 100 feet it was fine. In the past week, it has been a lot worse. When I hit the gas it is like it's struggling to move even if I try to gun it. This morning it did all of these things, and then the check engine light started to flash. It was running really rough. I realize that a flashing check engine light means a misfire. I just took it slow and was about to turn around and go home when the light went out and it started running fine. I realize that I should go and get it checked out, but I'm just curious as to what's actually going on. It seems that in most of the posts I've found the light stayed on. Any ideas/advice would be greatly appreciated!

FYI it's the: 3.0L Flex Fuel V6 OHV 12V FI Engine


I have the same problem but I only noticed it when it started getting cold out. I live in Ohio so it's that time of year. But once it warms up the light stops flashing and it drives fine. I'm gonna scan it still and see what it says.
 

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Not sure what engine you have but my Vulcan had the issue like yours. I did the usually troubleshooting and it turned out to be a bad upper intake gasket. Relatively easy fix by replacement. You need to find out what the code is and see if it is a specific cylinder code or random. Could also be a bad coil so inspect it for cracks.
f1384067.jpg
Resized intake.jpg
 

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orlin, when the light stops flashing, does it remain on solid? Cylinder #2 is firewall middle. Cylinder #3 is firewall drivers side. For starters, suspect plugs, wires and/or coil.
 

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Check your spark plug wires. That was the cause of my flashing CEL eons ago. It was Cylinder 1 (passenger rear) for me. AFAIK all 2000 had an aluminum upper intake. Did they switch towards the end of the model year? Please stop driving it with a misfire. There’s a reason that light flashes instead of staying solid: engine damage.
 

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Something like 3 years ago I had taken my car to pepboys after trying to fix it myself and having no luck. It turned out to be a fuel injector wire for cylinder 5. It was occasionally misfiring at first but it eventually got to the point where it was occasionally not misifiring.
 

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orlin, when the light stops flashing, does it remain on solid? Cylinder #2 is firewall middle. Cylinder #3 is firewall drivers side. For starters, suspect plugs, wires and/or coil.
Yes once the car gets to normal Temperature the light stays solid and the car acts fine.
 

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^+1. Don't ignore the misfires. Can lead to expensive cat(s) failure/replacement in short order. Solid light indicates the misfires are still there, just not occurring currently.
 

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^+1. Don't ignore the misfires. Can lead to expensive cat(s) failure/replacement in short order. Solid light indicates the misfires are still there, just not occurring currently.
Most definitely. I'll start with new plugs and go from there. Thanks for the help!
 
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