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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
99 Taurus Duratec - 148k
original trans/engine
Car is mainly stock except for the bigger 2000+ brakes, tranny cooler, cherrybomb muffler (regular not a can, cause it was $25 vs $110 for a stock replacement)
Ball joints, tie rods, alternator replaced

it gets about 17-21 miles to the gallon, depending on city/highway. I average about 280 to 320 (super best case).

I usually use Mobile Clean 5000 oil with a quart of MMO every 3rd or 4th change. I regularely change trans fuild. I do the regular maintenance like air filer (usually use Fram), plugs (autolites), wires(autozone lifetime and replace every two years or so). It has new cooland due to the metal/rubber hose rusting....

I'm about to do some major maintenance on it and wanted to see if there was anything easy to improve mileage (other then my driving style).

I'm about to do the following this weekend.
Seafoam engine cleaning - brake booster line.
Oil -Mobile Clean 5000
Air Filter - Fram - is this restricting my mileage much?
Plugs - Autolites? anything better to use?
Wires - AutoZone
Thermostat - (parts store? + 2 small holes drilled)
Seaform for about 50 miles then trans flush (self home method like i always do with Walmart brand Mercon V)
Fuel filter -(autozone - it still has origianl on there cause someone told me i had to drop the tank to do it, then i found out it was just in the back on the side)
Seafoam in PS until it quiets down then flush - what fluid should i use here Mercon/Dextron?
Replace PCV valve (autozone flavor)

Possibly take apart intake and clean out MAF with contact cleaner and clean out IAC - maybe even clean out EGR valve?

I think that about does it. Any suggestions? Anythis i'm missing? Trying to get this beast to about 25mpg.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i have some dextron/mercon sitting in my garage from previous card still but if i'm supposed to use merconV then i will. I was just going to put in power steering fluid, but i read many times that its better to use trans fluid.

Something i forgot to add - I will also be checking grounding points and possibly adding some ground straps.
 

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Other than more significant (and expensive) changes, there are a few more that might help:

- Pump up the tires, assuming your tires are in decent shape. Of course, don't exceed the max cold pressure rating on the sidewall. Note that running higher air pressure will put more energy into your dampers, so they'll wear a little faster.

- Use a thinner oil (you didn't state viscosity), but if you do so, you should consider synthetic. (Clean 5000 is a dead dino oil, right?) Then again, with 150K miles on the clock, a wholesale switch to synthetic would probably not be such a hot idea. You'd have to switch over slowly, like 1/2-quart per oil change.

- Weight, but I'm assuming you like the back seat where it is, so besides taking the golf clubs out of the trunk, probably not much opportunity weight-wise ...

Other than that, it comes down to driving style. I know you don't want to change, but the results can be dramatic. Changing style doesn't necessarily mean going slower, just smoother.

Your air filter question: No real effect on fuel economy if your MAF system is functioning correctly. There could be a tiny--like, really tiny--variation in intake pumping losses from one filter to another, but it's infinitesimal as long as the filter is fairly clean/new. I use Motorcraft myself, but Fram's probably just as good.

Have you considered periodic use of a fuel injector cleaner? I like Red Line SI-1.

You can beat 25 mpg--in fact, you can blow right by it in combined city/highway driving--but a style change would likely be in order.
 

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I too was wondering if there are any tricks to getting better fuel economy. I know that on the 5.0 V8's found in broncos and F-150's you can install a hotter coil, gap the plugs a little more, and advance the timing a few degrees to pull 3-4 mpg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
thanks for all the feedback!

I forgot all about the fuel injector cleaning. I've been using some every so often (usually whatever autozone has on sale). I read on here about using laquer thinner and was thingking about doing that.

My previous car was a grand prix and on those forums there, the guys had plans on building a contraptiont that attached to the fuel rails and punctured a can of dedcated pressurized fuel cleaner and then I think you shut off your fuel pump, ran the car dry, and then opened the can and started the car. This ran your car only on the contents of the this can and cleaned the fuel injectors.

I put in a bit of MMO in the tank every few tanks also - not sure if this cleans injectors or just the cylinders?

One thing I'ld like to get some more feedback on is the plugs. I read a bunch on here about different plugs. Is the consensus Autolite Double Platinum??

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
what is the OEM thermostat temp? Autozone tells me 192, advance auto tells me 180. I think 180 is a bit low for stock.

Ohh and to answer the question from before, I use 5w30 oil.
 

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192 deg tstat is the correct one.
 

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thanks for all the feedback!

I forgot all about the fuel injector cleaning. I've been using some every so often (usually whatever autozone has on sale). I read on here about using laquer thinner and was thingking about doing that.

My previous car was a grand prix and on those forums there, the guys had plans on building a contraptiont that attached to the fuel rails and punctured a can of dedcated pressurized fuel cleaner and then I think you shut off your fuel pump, ran the car dry, and then opened the can and started the car. This ran your car only on the contents of the this can and cleaned the fuel injectors.

I put in a bit of MMO in the tank every few tanks also - not sure if this cleans injectors or just the cylinders?

One thing I'ld like to get some more feedback on is the plugs. I read a bunch on here about different plugs. Is the consensus Autolite Double Platinum??

Thanks
If you plan on connecting a pressurized cannister to the schrader valve on the fuel rail, if it has a return line d/c it and cap it off. This way the cleaner will mix with the gasoline left in the fuel rail and just run the can and rail dry that way. If not all your cleaner will pretty much go back to the fuel tank.
 

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Az & oreilly have chevron techron fuel sys. clnr.(inj. clnr.) bogo. Oreilly & adv. auto have seafoam for $6.99. Sept. ads.
 

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Another thing you could do if you're serious about better fuel economy is buy a ScanGauge-II (www.scangauge.com; also available at some AutoZones). It reads out instantaneous fuel economy (and dozens of other metrics; it'll also read fault codes from your ECU). About $170. Only works on 1996 and newer U.S. cars because it plugs into the OBD-II port, which, by law, is located inside the car within 3 feet of the steering wheel.

It's the favorite tool of the hypermilers (of which I'm not, but the ScanGauge is a useful device). Nice thing is that when you don't really care about fuel economy, you can just turn it off or take it out of the car.
 

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- Use a thinner oil (you didn't state viscosity), but if you do so, you should consider synthetic. (Clean 5000 is a dead dino oil, right?) Then again, with 150K miles on the clock, a wholesale switch to synthetic would probably not be such a hot idea. You'd have to switch over slowly, like 1/2-quart per oil change.

Why would just switching to off the shelf synthetic be not such a hot idea? Most of the base oil in todays motor oil is pretty much the same.
The majority of the difference is in the additive packages and viscosity improvers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Ok i was able to do the following this weekend.

Seafoamed engine
Added Seaform to PS
Changed air filter
Changed oil
Changed fuel filter
Got coolant to about a 60/40 mix (it was way too much water after my coolant system repair-was short on coolant when filling)

Then i ran out of time.

Car runs like crap now when cold. It would do this on cold morning once in a while. It just feels like its misfiring a whole lot and when i put in gear and try to accelerate it amost dies. I think this may be due to seafoam fouling up my plugs (which were already most likely pretty bad).

I will do the rest next weekend - meanwhile i'm going on a 600 mile round trip. It runs great on the highway. Mileage still not good....

Do any of you guys drill small holes in the thermostat in order to let a small amount of coolant keep circulating so the coolant doesn't go from 195 to 30 when the thermostat opens? I did that in the past on most of my gm cars but wondering if people here do this.
 

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I seafoamed my car a couple days ago and now my car runs great. It doesn't almost stall on start up anymore and the idle is much smoother.
 

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Ok i was able to do the following this weekend.

Seafoamed engine
Added Seaform to PS
Changed air filter
Changed oil
Changed fuel filter
Got coolant to about a 60/40 mix (it was way too much water after my coolant system repair-was short on coolant when filling)

Then i ran out of time.

Car runs like crap now when cold. It would do this on cold morning once in a while. It just feels like its misfiring a whole lot and when i put in gear and try to accelerate it amost dies. I think this may be due to seafoam fouling up my plugs (which were already most likely pretty bad).

I will do the rest next weekend - meanwhile i'm going on a 600 mile round trip. It runs great on the highway. Mileage still not good....

Do any of you guys drill small holes in the thermostat in order to let a small amount of coolant keep circulating so the coolant doesn't go from 195 to 30 when the thermostat opens? I did that in the past on most of my gm cars but wondering if people here do this.
While the car is running poorly. Unplug one spark plug wire at a time (care full not to ground yourself out so you don't get shocked) and if nothing happens to the condition of the engine then you have found your cylinder/spark plug/fuel injector/etc that's causing your problem. If you unplug a wire and the car runs worse then that cylinder is fine.
 

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While the car is running poorly. Unplug one spark plug wire at a time (care full not to ground yourself out so you don't get shocked) and if nothing happens to the condition of the engine then you have found your cylinder/spark plug/fuel injector/etc that's causing your problem. If you unplug a wire and the car runs worse then that cylinder is fine.
nothing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
sorry, was out of town. Funny after driving 300 miles on the highway that cold start issue seems to have disappeared. I plan on doing plugs and wires today, so if it acts up after that at all, i'll try your method to narrow it down to what cylinder it is.

What is some other maintenance I should preform on this beast. I got 280 miles before the light went on and put in 13.xx gallons which averaged out to 21 miles/gallon - all highway at about 60-85 mph.

I was thinking of possibly doing o2 sensors but 2 sensors are like 120 dollars and i really dont want to put any more money into the car.
 

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Get on Ebay, and you'll find a SET of oxygen sensors WITH plugs (don't buy the splice ones, they SUCK) for like $50. Also the guy who stated earlier that you had to switch slowly to synthetic oil is wrong. That is an old tale that started when syth first came out and it WOULD cause leaks then. But since then they have put in additives that keep that from happening. I put synthetic in my new engine just the other day and it has NEVER had it at 160k. No leaks, and it loves it. Runs a bit smoother and starts easier.
 
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