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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

New member here with a problem with a '98 Taurus with a 3.0 engine ("U" VIN code).

My stepson drove it to a friend's house the other day and the car wouldn't even attempt to start when it was time to come home. It cranks fine.

I hooked a code reader up to it yesterday and saw a code of P0411, but based on the searching I've done on that problem, most vehicles still run.

The service engine light has been on for several months now, but the only code that has shown up is the P0411, as I checked it a couple of months ago as well.

I *think* it's a spark issue. I sprayed starting fluid in the throttle body and cranked it, but the car still didn't attempt to start. It just cranks and cranks.

I would've thought that something this major would've thrown a code. I guess it is plausible that this lone problem is causing the issues though.

Based on the limited research I've done, I've seen problems with the crank position sensor and the ecm. Would it be advisable to throw a crank position sensor on there and see what happens? I don't want to start throwing parts at it if the problem can be pin pointed.

All of the fuses in the engine compartment fuse box are OK. All of the wires on and around the ignition module (for lack of a better term - where the plug wires plug into) are fine.

So based on the limited info I've given, does it seem like a spark or fuel issue? I may try replacing the fuel filter as well.

FWIW, my stepson put $20 worth of gas in the tank that morning. The car started having problems that night. He said it ran fine all day up until the time that it wouldn't start. Could it be the result of bad gas??

Ultimately, what typically causes this to happen if it's a common problem amongst Taurus's?

Any info is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well a crank shaft position sensor nor a fuel filter did the trick. I've done a 180 and now think it's a fuel delivery issue. Here's why:

After all the cranking I've done I pulled a couple of spark plugs and they were bone dry.

I sprayed quite a bit more starting fluid in the throttle body, re attached the air inlet tube, and the car ran for a couple of seconds - seemingly on the fluid.

That's when I decided to replace the fuel filter, but with no luck.

The crank position sensor was replaced before ny amateur fuel delivery diagnostics were performed.

As stated above, the only diagnostic code read is the P0411. Is it safe to narrow it down to either the fuel pump relay or the pump itself? I tapped all of the relays in the fuse box under the hood and kicked the fuel tank. It obviously didn't work.

I understand Fords have a fuel pump reset button on the passenger side somewhere around the glove box area. Would this be of any use to me?

Is there a fuel pressure regulator on these cars? If so, anyone care to elaborate?

Again, any advice is appreciated. I'd like to avoid cheauferring (sp) my step son to his senior prom this weekend. :)
 

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on my 98 wagon the fuel pump reset button is in the right rear in a small storage bin type area,when you turn the ignition on without cranking can you hear the fuel pump prime for 2-3 seconds?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply, Tony.

I've tried listening for the pump once the key is turned on, but with the chiming in the cabin, I can't hear much.

I may need to have a friend listen while I turn the key on.

Another thought: When I replaced the filter last night, upon removing the lines from the old filter fuel did come out, but it didn't "feel" pressurized. It just kind of poured out of the line. Could this be a sign of a bad pump?
 

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Fuel pressure slowly bleeds off after en engine shut down / pump pressurizing the system. If you pulled a line off the filter shortly after the pump should have run (after a recent key on) you should have noticed pressure in the fuel lines when puling the filter.

There is a schraeder valve on the fuel rail to check fuel pressure with a gauge.

Inertia switch (impact pump shutoff switch) is in the trunk behind a trim panel. Should be on the pass side.

Pull the trim panel and remove electrical connector from it. Jumper 12 V from batt (use a long wire, at least 12 ga) to inertia switch connector pump side. If pump doesnt run, you have found your problem. If it does run, look upstream at the pump relay, etc.
 

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Good info Jeff!! +1 for thoughts. I am thinking fuel pump or relay as well from the description of this. Hope your hints help him!!
Be well, stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good suggestion, Shelia.

I'll have to dig up the owner's manual. Regretfully the box cover only labels the relays as "Relay 1", "Relay 2", etc...
 

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If the fuel pump relay is not in the power distribution box underhood, it may be contained in the small latched rectangular-shaped taped black plastic relay box between the battery and left front fender. Theres about 6 replaceable relays inside, but i dont know their identities. Once you find the relay, you can test by simply swapping with another non-critical like-size relay in the box. Yes, it is best to have another person with the fuel door open and cap removed with an ear on the filler pipe while you key the car to the on position. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'd like to thank you all for the advice. It's helped tremendously!

I found which relay controls the fuel pump via the owner's manual as suggested above. Swapped the a/c compressor clutch relay with fuel pump relay and still, the car wouldn't start.

Jumpered the battery to the impact pump shutoff switch and heard a faint 'clicking' sound when first connected but no hum of a pump; even when listening thru the filler neck.

I have a fuel pump on order @ Napa and I'll pick it up in the morning. I have everything sans the pump harness disconnected from the tank and the straps loose. The tank is supported with a jack currently. One of the strap bolts was giving me fits so I shot it with penetrating oil and quit for the day. I'll hit it with an impact gun on low torque setting tomorrow.

I'll post the (hopefully positive) results tomorrow.

Wish me luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'd like to thank you all for the advice. It's helped tremendously!

I found which relay controls the fuel pump via the owner's manual as suggested above. Swapped the a/c compressor clutch relay with fuel pump relay and still, the car wouldn't start.

Jumpered the battery to the impact pump shutoff switch and heard a faint 'clicking' sound when first connected but no hum of a pump; even when listening thru the filler neck.

I have a fuel pump on order @ Napa and I'll pick it up in the morning. I have everything sans the pump harness disconnected from the tank and the straps loose. The tank is supported with a jack currently. One of the strap bolts was giving me fits so I shot it with penetrating oil and quit for the day. I'll hit it with an impact gun on low torque setting tomorrow.

I'll post the (hopefully positive) results tomorrow.

Wish me luck!
 

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Good luck! Let us know how everything works out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well.... Regretfully the new fuel pump didn't solve the problem. I can definitely hear the aftermarket pump now as it is quite loud. So I know it's functioning.

The car does try to start now; more so than before. I'm still convinced it's a fuel delivery issue. I even poured gas in the air intake tube and it ran on that gas for a little less than a minute. That is the only time I can get the car to start.

So what gives? Could it be the throttle position sensor, or some other sensor? I would think that it's got to be an electrical issue. I've got a new pump and filter but the car will only start and run on fuel poured into the throttle body. It doesn't seem possible that the injectors would have simultaneously clogged.

What other components would cause this and how do I diagnose them? I'd prefer not to blindly throw parts at it.

Again, your advice has taught me a lot. Any additional help is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I tried an idle air control valve to no avail. I'll be returning it tomorrow.

The fuel pressure regulator seems to be OK. There's no fuel in the vacuum line. Aside from replacing the fuel pressure regulator, I'm out of ideas as to what I should diagnose/replace next.

My research indicates that problems with iac valves, fuel pressure regulators, and camshaft sensors do not create a scenario where the car won't start. They all usually cause rough idling or hard starting.

The only other component in the fuel line is the pulsation damper. A google result says that they rarely go bad.

Am I having a computer issue? My fear is that the ecm is bad...
 

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Have you checked the fuel pressure at the rail with the pump running?
 

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Hello All. Have similar problem. Tried fuel filter, crank sensor, wires, coil pack. A $900 trip to a local Firestone. Allegedly repaired a short to the computer. Ran OK for 3 months. Just in time for the warranty work to expire. After taking it to my friend who did the crank sensor, we saw absolutely no evidence that any wiring repairs had been done. There's the chirping tweet from the suspected cam sensor these cars are so notorious for. I have a sneaking suspicion that it may well be the problem as it must get hotter than normal with the abnormal grinding causing friction and heat. I think it may get to hot to effectively operate because once the vehicle cools down, it starts as if there was never any problem.

Has the same P041 code associated with the EGR, but also a P1131 oxygen sensor running lean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I spoke with an auto technician friend and he seems to think it's still a fuel delivery issue. He's familiar with the brand of pump that I purchased and know their reputation. He was gracious enough to let me borrow a fuel pressure testing kit, BUT the o-ring seal where the tester screws on the schrader valve is missing!

I'll have to wait until I purchase a testing kit of my own to test the pressure.

This made me wonder though.... When we discussed the other issues it could be (iac valve, crank sensor, cam sensor, etc), he said there would have been a faulty code, so I ruled those out as there wasn't one indicating any of those components.

BUT, if the new pump is faulty (and if the old one was faulty), shouldn't there have been a code indicating a lean condition? OR since the car quit suddenly, did the pcm not have a chance to read a lean condition while the car was running? In other words, if the car won't start due to fuel and it ran fine before, does the computer "know" what the issue is? This is what forms my hunch that the pcm may be bad.

That's what's puzzling me still. No codes other than the P0411 when I scanned the other day. I guess I'll know more once I take a fuel pressure reading.

Any input or suggestions are encouraged and appreciated.
 

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You have already proven that it will run if it gets gas. Test your fuel pressure. Start with that.Simple to check. Most auto parts have tool loaners or Harbor Freight for $10.00.

Ed
 
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