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So I've had a 2013 Taurus SEL since 2015, and overall it's been a great car (I've literally only had to change the battery since owning it) and I've always felt it was reliable. It's got a bit over 82K miles on it now, and I've had it since about 56k.

However, after the recent two days of artic weather (which I only drove for about 2 hours both days and my car started and ran fine during those days) I've run into an issue that I'm having trouble finding any solid advice about online or through friends.

I drove it yesterday, and it suddenly started kind of surging or pulsating when I'm going between 30 to 45. Not dramatically, but enough to notice it and you can see the needle bouncing up and down between around 1.5 and 2 RPMs. The RPMs flutter up and down and you can feel it while it's doing it, as I said, just not like incredibly bad. It has no acceleration problems and once you get past 45 or if its below 30 the RPMs are fine and the car feels fine. There are no weird sounds from the engine when its doing it, or any other time. I haven't noticed anything leaking, either. The Check Engine light is not on at all.

I first thought that it might be water in the gas from the drastic change in weather (it was like 15 degrees one day, then 65 yesterday) and got some HEET at Walmart. Drove it for another 45 minutes, but it was still doing it. So I took it to Autozone, and they didn't find any codes at all.

I've gotten a lot of different responses, but most of those always involved CEL, stalling, poor acceleration, poor MPG (which might be true but I haven't driven enough to notice yet), etc. So I'm really not sure what is going on with it. Someone recommended that I go get the Transmission fluid changed out, but that's a pricey (about 190 bucks from what I saw) for it not to even need it and not fix the problem.

Just curious if anyone on here has had a similar issue, or might know what could be causing it so that I have a better idea. I hate going to a mechanic clueless, especially if they want to start replacing random parts and it still be an issue. Thanks for your time.
 

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Could it be the IAC (Idle Air Control).


Are the symptoms only apparent when idle, or even when you're driving?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Could it be the IAC (Idle Air Control).


Are the symptoms only apparent when idle, or even when you're driving?
They aren't apparent when idle at all. The car seems fine under 30 MPH and over 45. And idles fine.

It's only happening when I'm driving and going between 30 and 45.
 

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In winter / very cold weather, I always:

Try to keep tank near full of gas. (easier on fuel pump, and less air in tank = less condensation possible)
Use premium fuel with no added ethanol alcohol)
But Add premium gas line antifreeze (the isopropyl alcohol type) as a preventative measure.
Use a good quality full synthetic motor oil (for easier starting / and quicker lubrication on startup / synth oil does not get real thick like tar in extreme cold)

It just sounds like the extreme cold is causing something to bind up and not work properly.

Hopefully, as it warms up those symptoms will "go away".

Try put it in a warm underground garage overnight one time - see if that makes any change.

As for the Transmission Fluid Change for that money - if that has not been done in a while ... do it (eventually) . I think it is worth it.

Oh ya ...

P.S. Change the Air Filter . See if MAF sensor can be cleaned with special spray.

Maybe do some of / or all of ... those general "tune up" things. Plugs and Wires ? Check condition / mileage since last done.


Just try to do all of those "easy" things that would generally get an engine running better / more efficiently.

You may benefit from doing those things anyway ... in the usual ways.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In winter / very cold weather, I always:

Try to keep tank near full of gas. (easier on fuel pump, and less air in tank = less condensation possible)
Use premium fuel with no added ethanol alcohol)
But Add premium gas line antifreeze (the isopropyl alcohol type) as a preventative measure.
Use a good quality full synthetic motor oil (for easier starting / and quicker lubrication on startup / synth oil does not get real thick like tar in extreme cold)

It just sounds like the extreme cold is causing something to bind up and not work properly.

Hopefully, as it warms up those symptoms will "go away".

Try put it in a warm underground garage overnight one time - see if that makes any change.

As for the Transmission Fluid Change for that money - if that has not been done in a while ... do it (eventually) . I think it is worth it.

Oh ya ...

P.S. Change the Air Filter . See if MAF sensor can be cleaned with special spray.

Maybe do some of / or all of ... those general "tune up" things. Plugs and Wires ? Check condition / mileage since last done.


Just try to do all of those "easy" things that would generally get an engine running better / more efficiently.

You may benefit from doing those things anyway ... in the usual ways.
Thanks for the advice. But as I said in the post, I didn't start having the problem until it warmed up. It was 65 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday when the issue first occurred. The car ran fine in the cold before that.
 

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Does it seem as though it's hunting between two gears? It could be that the computer is confused. You can force it to relearn the shift patterns by resetting the computer.
https://www.google.com/search?q=reset car computer disconnect battery#kpvalbx=0
You'll lose presets, clock, phone association and all that fun stuff too. The car may run a little funny and shift a little funny as it "relearns".

Note: I've never done this, but am aware that the car learns how to shift as you drive.
 

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Get a scan tool and run mode 6 testing. See if any misfires occurred. Remember there has to be min number for the check engine light to come on. If you see misfires take it from there. These coils start to go and after time and need to be replaced. I have changed every one of mine but I also have 275K on mine.



You also might have pre-detonation too. try using 93 octane for a tank and see if it helps.
 

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Get a scan tool and run mode 6 testing. See if any misfires occurred. Remember there has to be min number for the check engine light to come on. If you see misfires take it from there. These coils start to go and after time and need to be replaced. I have changed every one of mine but I also have 275K on mine.



You also might have pre-detonation too. try using 93 octane for a tank and see if it helps.
I agree, sounds like plugs and/or COPs. Ya gotta replace the plugs sooner or later anyway so I'd start there. A COP will eventually throw a code but they can fail very slowly. I had a similar problem and fixed it by replacing the plugs and COPs. I really just replaced the back 3 COPs cuz I didn't want to have to remove the upper intake again to get to them.
 

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I don't know if Tauruses got a grip on their screwy transmissions since 2006, but at that exact MPH its shifting into 3rd, when I'm accelerating from exactly 30-45 I get a moderate rev before a shudder, but not fluctuating.

Honestly, a DIY job on the trans change isn't costly, time consuming or difficult. If you've ever changed oil, it's a few more bolts & a can of Brakekleen. Looming trans damage is not worth ignorance, but I'd say you could probably hold off until you've got the funds for a fluid/filter change.

Could definitely be a compression issue, but in my experience, compression problems make themselves known upon starting, or at least taking off.

Have you checked other aspects of the charging system? I had a problem with my 07 where it would suddenly gain super-momentum at exactly 2k RPM. Then, the charge sys. light would start randomly illuminating (that dreaded chime....) before 2k RPM.

Electrical components & shorts are another weak spot for the Taurus (Again..don't know if improvements have been made since 06). Three alternators & four batteries my chug has been through in 50k miles.

All else fails, bring up that Engineering Test Mode & waste a little gas seeing if the computer detects anything haywire & just doesn't want to tell you via a MIL yet.

Good luck!
 

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So I've had a 2013 Taurus SEL since 2015, and overall it's been a great car (I've literally only had to change the battery since owning it) and I've always felt it was reliable. It's got a bit over 82K miles on it now, and I've had it since about 56k.

However, after the recent two days of artic weather (which I only drove for about 2 hours both days and my car started and ran fine during those days) I've run into an issue that I'm having trouble finding any solid advice about online or through friends.

I drove it yesterday, and it suddenly started kind of surging or pulsating when I'm going between 30 to 45. Not dramatically, but enough to notice it and you can see the needle bouncing up and down between around 1.5 and 2 RPMs. The RPMs flutter up and down and you can feel it while it's doing it, as I said, just not like incredibly bad. It has no acceleration problems and once you get past 45 or if its below 30 the RPMs are fine and the car feels fine. There are no weird sounds from the engine when its doing it, or any other time. I haven't noticed anything leaking, either. The Check Engine light is not on at all.

I first thought that it might be water in the gas from the drastic change in weather (it was like 15 degrees one day, then 65 yesterday) and got some HEET at Walmart. Drove it for another 45 minutes, but it was still doing it. So I took it to Autozone, and they didn't find any codes at all.

I've gotten a lot of different responses, but most of those always involved CEL, stalling, poor acceleration, poor MPG (which might be true but I haven't driven enough to notice yet), etc. So I'm really not sure what is going on with it. Someone recommended that I go get the Transmission fluid changed out, but that's a pricey (about 190 bucks from what I saw) for it not to even need it and not fix the problem.

Just curious if anyone on here has had a similar issue, or might know what could be causing it so that I have a better idea. I hate going to a mechanic clueless, especially if they want to start replacing random parts and it still be an issue. Thanks for your time.

Well from what it sounds like, I had the same problems you had. My car was idling fine but in the 35-45 range on lower RPM. I would get consistent fluttering. I was able to fix this by replacing the fuel injector pressure regulator. The ting that sits on top of the engine in the middle. It was a 30 dollar part and was very easy to install. If you're getting error codes like "fuel too rich". Then this is most likely your issue. My engine light didn't come on for this problem until the part had totally failed.
 

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In the past, on other vehicles of mine, I've had issues with vacuum leaks that caused issues with idle or running speed. Not sure if that pertains to your issue but worth considering.
 

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Get a scan tool and run mode 6 testing. See if any misfires occurred. Remember there has to be min number for the check engine light to come on. If you see misfires take it from there. These coils start to go and after time and need to be replaced. I have changed every one of mine but I also have 275K on mine.

I'll second this. I replaced a COP a couple of months ago over similar symptoms to what you describe, but it took a while for it to fail to the point it would throw errors, and even then, it would only throw errors and experience the worst of the symptoms under hard acceleration. My fuel economy was suffering a bit, too.
 
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