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Suddenly about two weeks ago my engine started running very roughly, especially when accelerating (particularly around 40-45 mph, when I think it's shifting to the highest gear), but runs smoothly when I maintain a constant speed, even up to 65 mph.

Engine light came on also.

Please help. I must confess when it comes to cars I'm kind of a chick.
 

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Autozone's analysis

P.S.: Dont buy any replacement parts based on their suggestion, report back here with the code #.
Sheila, sorry it took so long to get back.

Here's from the Autozone printout:
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Troubleshooting: P0352

Definition
Ignition coil primary circuit condition- coil
number 2
Explanation
The ignition coil primary circuit is monitored for
errors.
Probable cause
1.- Ignition coil defective
2.- Secondary ignition-plugs, wires, cap, rotor
3.- Poor electrical connection or circuit fault
4.- Driver circuit fault-ignition module or PCM
--------------------------------------------------------
It generally drives smoothly when I'm maintaining a steady speed, and sputters and lurches sometimes when I accelerate, especially when it's cold or when it's around 45 mph.

Gas mileage has dropped from about 18.8 mpg to 18.1 mpg.

Switching to premium gas has definitely helped, although I realize that's a waste of money.

Any ideas?

Also, how do I determine whether my SE is Vulcan or Duratec?

Thanks in advance,
Bob Waldon
Dallas
 

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Sheila, sorry it took so long to get back.

Here's from the Autozone printout:
-------------------------------------------------------
Troubleshooting: P0352

Definition
Ignition coil primary circuit condition- coil
number 2
Explanation
The ignition coil primary circuit is monitored for
errors.
Probable cause
1.- Ignition coil defective
2.- Secondary ignition-plugs, wires, cap, rotor
3.- Poor electrical connection or circuit fault
4.- Driver circuit fault-ignition module or PCM
--------------------------------------------------------
It generally drives smoothly when I'm maintaining a steady speed, and sputters and lurches sometimes when I accelerate, especially when it's cold or when it's around 45 mph.

Gas mileage has dropped from about 18.8 mpg to 18.1 mpg.

Switching to premium gas has definitely helped, although I realize that's a waste of money.

Any ideas?

Also, how do I determine whether my SE is Vulcan or Duratec?

Thanks in advance,
Bob Waldon
Dallas
All SE were Vulcan. SEL were Duratec until 2006 (I believe). '06 and '07 all models come as Vulcan only.

Premium is not a waste of money, as it does not contain any ethanol (most of the time, at least in Shell gas in Canada), contains more detergents (read makes your engine cleaner) and gives you more mpg.
 

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I'm not familiar with that code, but I'll assume that somehow the ignition module sees that the coil pack's voltage isn't finding its way to ground. If the plugs and wires have never been changed, do it. Autolite or Motorcraft platinum plugs, and Autolite professional or Motorcraft wires are good. If the code is still present, then the coil pack is probably bad.
 

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Premium fuel IS a waste of money in an engine designed for regular fuel. At least here, ALL grades of fuel contain 10% ethanol (E10). All grades of Tier A fuels have sufficient cleaning agents in them. Premium fuel actually contains LESS energy per gallon than regular grade fuel.
 

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^ Bob, does the engine have spark plug wires, if so a vulcan, if not, a tec in 04. I would check/replace plugs, wires (if you have them) and coil. If you have cop (coil on plug), you may just need to replace #2 coil. #2 cylinder is is middle back (firewall bank).
 

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All SE were Vulcan. SEL were Duratec until 2006 (I believe). '06 and '07 all models come as Vulcan only.
My old SE was a 'Tec.
 

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running rough and missling

Let me jump in here instead of starting a new topic... I"m having the same problem with my car running the same. Runs ok when maintaining a steady spead around 40-45, but as soon as I accelarate it really starts to bump and miss badly. Every now and them it seems to kick in and really take's off with a lot of power then drops back down. When driving around town it really pops and misses really bad. When it seems to kick in it can take off real fast from a standing start but then again it drops back down. Most of the time when taking off it will sputter and takes a while to get up to and past 20 mph and up. I have replaced the coil pak twice. The first one I wasn't getting any spark at all from the two middle, # 5 and #2 and the car ran smoother than when I replaced the pak. Now I'm getting spark from all 6 but but it running like I decribed above, which is worst than when I was not getting any sparks at all from 2 and 5. Now the sparks on 2,5, and I think 6 are sparking fairly ok but weaker than the other 3. The other three are jumping strong and bright with a solid 1 inch plus, I can hold the plug wire a good distance above the tower, yes, I took a couple of good shocks in the process, the weaker ones are jumping a little less than an inch and not as bright or as strong and I have to put the plug wire almost at the top of the tower just to get a spark started.. What could be causing that. I think I have fixed all vac leaks and did the carb cleaner spray test and my idle stayed the same all the way around. I also did the smoke test and couldn't find any more leaks. I got another cat converter I changed out the front three plugs with the motor craft plats. I checked the new coil pak for any cracks before I put it on. I have changed the fuel filter, and check the pump is working ok, I now will check all my sensors and do a fuel pressure test. Can anyone out there think of what my problem could be and if you can think of anything else I need to have checked or looked at? I'm taking it in to get the codes read again, yes, the egine light is on. I would have waited to get that done before writing but when I saw this post it fit riight in with the problem I'm having, and I know 4-5 heads are better than 2. Thanks guys for all your help, and to the other guy who is having the same problems I do hope this adds some insight for you. When I first started dealing with this I knew nothing but I have learned a lot with these guys help and doing my own research and mistakes. Great experience...
 

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This one is one me, another senior moment... I just noticed the date on this post is in 2010... I didn't check it before writing...lol. I will make sure it doesn't happen again, I hope...LOL
 

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Now the sparks on 2,5, and I think 6 are sparking fairly ok but weaker than the other 3. The other three are jumping strong and bright with a solid 1 inch plus, I can hold the plug wire a good distance above the tower, yes, I took a couple of good shocks in the process, the weaker ones are jumping a little less than an inch and not as bright or as strong and I have to put the plug wire almost at the top of the tower just to get a spark started.
First of all, make sure you are testing the coil by only removing one lead at at time. Otherwise your stressing the coil.

The reason the spark is different is because of polarity. It's harder for the spark to jump from the flat coil towers to the lead than vice versa. A little less than an inch should still be acceptable.

Report back with the codes when you get them.
 
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