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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 2006 Ford Taurus SE 3.0 V6 that I purchased in 2009. Shortly after my purchase, I noted that the vehicle had a revving issue, particularly in idle. Any time that the car is running and is in park or neutral, it idles extremely rough. At night, you can see the lights flickering inside and outside on the vehicle at the same time as the rough idling is taking place. I've had to replace 3 batteries and 2 alternators since the time of purchase. The vehicle has visited three separate mechanics who can not seem to identify the issue, I am at a loss.

My second issue may or may not be related to the first. Last week, old Blue started coughing a bit while starting and within the week I was having to jump it to get it home. My assumption was another battery but after a trip to Autozone determined that the starter, alternator and battery are in perfect working order, I'm left a bit confused. The wild part is that charging it no longer gets it to turnover but hitting the starter with a hammer will cause it to start. Once again, the starter has been tested and works great but the vehicle will only start if I hit the starter with a hammer. Any suggestions?
I am not much of a car man as you might have been able to tell, my mechanic buddy and I are trying to frugally work our way to a solution without ending up in an expensive shop. Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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Hitting the starter with a hammer is typically a sign of a bad starter. But an intermittently bad starter, in your case, I would think.

The batteries and alternators have gone bad? Or did shops replace them for you? That's way too often to be replacing those parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We took the starter off and took it into autozone who tested it and said it did not fail in any area in spite of running the test three separate times. A shop dealt with the other issues, perhaps there is something underlying that is causing this. Regardless, the car sits in the driveway unable to move. Very strange. I can't help but the electrical rough idle issue is causing all of this madness. Then again, I'm not a mechanic.
 

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Does it sputter worse under a load, i.e. A/C on? Also, do you have any rust issues on the underbody of the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No rust issues. It doesn't seem to sputter any extra with the AC on. I'm more concerned with getting this thing started. Could it still be the ignition switch even though hitting the starter will start it?
 

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Get it tested somewhere else. If it starts after a love tap, then I would just replace the starter.

Autozone does not use the best battery testers, and they seem to generate a lot of false passes. Have someone use a carbon pile load tester or at least a Midtronics analyzer.
 

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Get it tested somewhere else. If it starts after a love tap, then I would just replace the starter.

Autozone does not use the best battery testers, and they seem to generate a lot of false passes. Have someone use a carbon pile load tester or at least a Midtronics analyzer.
We took the starter off and took it into autozone who tested it and said it did not fail in any area in spite of running the test three separate times. A shop dealt with the other issues, perhaps there is something underlying that is causing this. Regardless, the car sits in the driveway unable to move. Very strange. I can't help but the electrical rough idle issue is causing all of this madness. Then again, I'm not a mechanic.
d
Rough high idling and missing can be bad alternator. It can cause a bunch of weird symptoms unlike other vehicles I have owned. Ran across this issu with our 2006 Taurus Vulcan. I chant
ged stuff hoping to find component to no avail. Then read an article that was in left field suggesting the alternator. Simple test. While car is running unplug the pair of wires at the alternator. If idle drops down and smooths out you know the problem. Solved all sorts of issues We had. Good luck!
 

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We took the starter off and took it into autozone who tested it and said it did not fail in any area in spite of running the test three separate times. A shop dealt with the other issues, perhaps there is something underlying that is causing this. Regardless, the car sits in the driveway unable to move. Very strange. I can't help but the electrical rough idle issue is causing all of this madness. Then again, I'm not a mechanic.
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I'd replace the starter. Testing at a parts store is hit and miss. I had lifetime warranty AZ starter that failed but tested good but wasn't. Advance tested it as well and said it was good. Took a gamble on a pick and pull starter and that one is still in the car 3 years later. I emailed AZ corporate who helped me meet up with store manager who tested it. It failed miserably and I walked out with a new starter that is still sitting on my shelf.
 

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Have you checked your body grounds? Grounds due some strange things and yours seems to fit that category.
 

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I have a Vulcan and on mine the starter usually fails because it is oil soaked due to the oil filter being directly above starter. Experienced random, intermittent no crank, no start. Seems like on the bench for testing always tests Pass. Also on the rough idle have you checked or cleaned the Idle Air Control Valve? Agree that taking a hammer to the starter usually means a bad starter.
 

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Has anyone checked the starter leads? I bought a 04 SE Vulcan that they claimed wouldn't start and needed a starter and crap. Come to find out someone got rid of one lead for some stupid reason and another had come loose inside the heat shrink tube. Patched it up and drove it away after two years of sitting, needed a lot of odds and ends but has turned out to be a really nice car considering.
 

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I'm pretty sure some 06's have a bug in the PCM that deals with commanded alternator output (or maybe just RPM) at idle, I went through my car with a fine toothed comb and I still noticed slight flickering with the lights at idle even though everything was perfect.

With that said, if you have extremely rough idle then you should be checking the ignition system and for vacuum leaks. Even though the car hasn't coded yet it's a good sign you have a persistent misfire.
 
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