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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Been driving this 2001 Ford Taurus for 3 years now. It's taken a lot of work over the years, including a ton of front end work, starter, fuel pump, radiator, and the list goes on. A couple of years back a mechanic knocked the honeycomb out of the catalytic converter, too.

Recently, it's been sputtering when going up long, steep hills. Not every time, only periodically. Gas pedal pressure is the same, the car just sort of... sputters.

It also started idling kind of rough, but only periodically.

A couple of weeks ago, on flat road, it started acting like it didn't want to go over 25 mph. RPMs were pretty high, engine sounded loud. Got it stopped and there was a burning smell and white smoke coming from the driver's side of the engine.

Took it to the mechanic, and they couldn't replicate the problem. Drove fine for them.

Brought it home, drove it for a few days, same thing happened again. This time on a hill. Both times were after the car was running for a while. Both times the car acted as though no amount of gas was going to get it to go over 25-35 mph, engine sounded loud and little rattle-y. Both times white smoke from my engine on the drivers side.

Towed it to the mechanic again. Again, the car is now acting like there is no problem at all. No codes are showing up, coolant level is fine, oil level seems good, thing drives well enough by their measure. The mechanic is stumped, and they cant seem to get the car to do it again. Any suggestions on where to look or what to do? I'm happy to provide any info that might be relevant. Thanks!
 

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Is the engine type OHV or DOHC? From the symptoms if it's an OHV I'd be checking the coil pack, top & bottom, for cracks
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's DOHC, but I'm going to ask them to poke around in that area just the same.
 
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