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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just joined and need help with my 2004 taurus. SES 3.0 24 valve.
I have 174K miles on it. I have an issue that started about a month ago, engine turns over just fine but wont start. If I disconnect the negative battery cable and reconnect it starts right up. Is this a computer problem? anyone else have this happen?
Thanks, Paul
 

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Welcome

is their a check engine light on? if it is please go to the auto parts store and get the codes read usually free of cost and let us know what the codes are. Have you changed the fuel filter is the car up on all maintenance ? how dose the car run other wise?
 

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Next time you try to start it, watch the Check Engine light. The light should light up as soon as you turn the key. But if the crankshaft position sensor is sending good information, the Check Engine light should turn off during cranking. If the light stays on, test the sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
check engine light is fine no bad codes had that checked already. car runs great. turns over just fine but every once in a while will not fire unless I disconnect battery and reconnect. battery has also been checked. could my computer be going bad
 

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Anything is possible But i tend to start simple.Have you checked to see if your getting spark? I have a vulcan and plug wires its easy for me to check for spark. Not sure about your coil on plug set up. im sure someone here has a trick to do so. im leaning toward a fueling issue if your fuel filter is not stopped up. I would say it could be the fuel pump I had a 2005 Gmc Yukon drive perfict till you took it on a road trip and drove it 2 hours and the pump would over heat and shut off as if it ran out of gas and it would restart after 10 minutes and go for another 10 to 15 miles and do the same thing till you parked it over night than you could go 2 hours once agine
 

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Get the battery checked. Fords are known to locksmiths for being horrible to program new keys for if the battery isn't at least 90% charged, or thereabouts. I suspect your problem isn't spark or fuel, but a bad battery playing tricks with the PATS security system. When you clear the computer by disconnecting/reconnecting the battery you start the problem cycle over again. If you have more than one key (I sure hope you do!) try it/them to eliminate or confirm a bad chip in the key you're using.
 

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^^^^^ +1

Watch the THEFT light when cranking with no start and report back exactly what it it does.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info and suggestions, I switched to the spare key and I have had no issues for three days. will update if problem occurs
 

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Great news. Make sure you get a replacement made for that problem key. With two working keys you can always program more yourself. At the very least, get your good one duplicated to a mechanical (non-transponder) blank so that in the awful event you lose all your working keys, you don't have to go to a locksmith or dealer to fit a key. Ford doesn't give out key codes to owners except for at time of original purchase, and fitting a key costs a few hundred dollars. With the mechanical key, all that needs to be done is cut a PATS key and program it for about $50.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Engine turns over wont start

Problem has come back with a vengence. Switching keys worked for a while but now I doubt that was the problem. If car sits over night it starts 1st time. the engine turns over fast not a starter or battery problem and no codes or lights show. it does always start but takes several attempts. A new symptom has started, sometimes when it wont start all of the gauge needles start bouncing even when the key is removed, you can also hear a clicking noise from all gauges. once the car starts the gauges continue to bounce for a few seconds and then they stop and all read normal. could this be servo motors or my computer???
Paul
 

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the engine turns over fast not a starter or battery problem and no codes or lights show.
This is not enough evidence to rule out the battery. How was the battery tested before? It really sounds like you have a bad battery or a loose wire or connection somewhere.

The gauge needles rattling is a calibration thing that happens after the cluster looses power. So this is more evidence of a battery/electrical problem. If I were you I would just try replacing the battery if it's more than a few years old.

One thing you can try is to see if your headlights go out when you crank the car. They should only dim slightly, but if they get really dim or go out then you know something with the battery or connections isn't right.
 

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Well, I would focus on the PATS system next. You never reported whether you had the THEFT light flashing or not when the car wouldn't start.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I turn the ignition far enough for all lights and gauges to come on but not enough to start, once all theft light gas cap light and check engine light go off then i try to start. theft light doesnt come back on once start.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
OK everyone was correct in all of the areas to look and systems affected. I will explain as best I can how this works as it was explained to me. The ford taurus needs an extreme amount of electricity at start up, very high cold cranking amps. Batteries will test ok for volts and a good charge but may be low on cold cranking amps. this will not always show up on all battery checks and may need several tests. If the taurus computer does not receive enough amperage at start up it will cause several unrelated symptoms. Theft system issues ,keys not working, bad fuel pump,pcm relay etc. you could spend a lot of money chasing your tail when all you need is a battery. Thanks for all the advice and suggestions I hope my issue is resolved it has been two days and no recurrence. I will post soon if it comes back. Paul
 

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Old thread, but worthy of resurrection. Had this problem with the wife's 05 this morning. Batt per AutoZone was at 86%. New battery solved problem here too.
 
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