Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made the grave mistake of loaning my 2000 LX Vulcan with 147500 miles to my 18 year old daughter so she could go out with her friends. Actually, I don't think that my daughter or her friends have anything to do with the issue, but I have little to report on what actually happened other than "I turned on the air conditioning, then the the lights on the dashboard all lit up and the car slowed down."

Apparently the car stalled about 600 yards into her trip and fortunately was still in our neighborhood. I went to get her and tried to restart. The engine cranks, but will not turn over. The serpentine belt is intact.

I had the A/C compressor and the serpentine belt replaced about a month ago. The car and the A/C had been working perfectly. I am guessing the A/C being turn on may be incidental to the issue.

The car was low on gas and the family was low on funds, so I emptied about a gallon of gas from my can in the garage into the tank. is it possible to clog a fuel filter in a quarter mile?

I know that three things are necessary for the engine to run, air, fuel and fire. The car ran perfectly this afternoon so I believe spark and air are OK. I'm guessing fuel.

You guys are all much smarter than me, though. Give me your ideas.

Guh...I don't need these problems.

Thanks,
allenzachary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update:

I let the car sit for a couple of hours. It started on the first try. But the engine light is on and the car is running VERY rough. If it runs well enough, I'll bring it to Auto Zone in the AM and have them read the codes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Code Read

...or should i say "Code Red?"

Code says there is a failure of electrical nature of the fuel compostition switch (did I mention it's a FLexe Fuel vehicle?). Auto Zone has one for a the dear price of $729.00. Do I actually need to repalce the part or is the a better way of fixing the problem?

Ase always, Thanks
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,720 Posts
What was the exact code?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nuts...i don't have the exact code. I can go back and get it again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK...

There were three separate codes:

P0176 Fuel compensation sensor circuit malfunction
P0304 Cylinder 4 misfire
p172 System too rich bank 1

Before I read the codes, the car was running rough and sputtering. I cleared the codes and the car suddenly ran smoothly.

I drove the car about 50 miles today, when the check engine light re-lit:

This time the code is only P0176. The code reader says "Fuel compensation" but the auto zone computer says "fuel composition" which are two entirely different things. Now that the light is on again, the car is running a little rougher. I don't know whether the code is causing the problem or the problem is causing the code.

What now?

(Oh, and thanks for your help.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
And now the motor is pinging like crazy....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Symptoms

MIL on with P0176 and possible rich or lean codes. Engine may run rough or stall intermittently.
NOTE: This tip only applies to Flex Fuel vehicles that have an inline fuel sensor. Some newer Taurus/Sables have no sensor but do have a flex fuel module instead.
Cause

Flex fuel sensor has failed.
Test Procedure

The flex fuel sensor is used to determine the amount of ethanol mixture in the tank on flex fuel vehicles. This sensor should have battery voltage, ground, and a signal wire. The signal wire will produce a frequency of around 40 to 60 HZ for 100% gasoline and increase in frequency as the ethanol content increases, up to a maximum of about 160HZ for an 85% ethanol mixture.

If the frequency is ever out of these ranges, then the sensor has failed and should be replaced. Be sure to check the fuel system for water contamination and it is a good idea to change the fuel filter at the same time. Use a scan tool to view the FF sensor frequency and use a DVOM or lab scope to verify the PCM is reading the correct signal from the sensor.

Often, the sensor will still read within acceptable parameters, but will be reporting an incorrect fuel mixture to the PCM. Since the PCM uses this info to determine the A/F ratio needed, this can cause the vehicle to run rich or lean depending on how the sensor has failed. If the customer “KNOWS” that no alternative fuels have been used and the FF sensor is reading higher than 60 HZ, then the sensor is at fault and should be replaced. (Be sure to check the tank for water contamination.) Sometimes the tank must be completely drained so a known fuel ratio can be used to determine if the FF sensor is reading correctly.
Correction

Replace FF sensor, Fuel filter, and check for water in the fuel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I suspect that the problem began because I introduced contaminated fuel from a gas can. Oddly, my lawn mower ran great on the same gas.

Does the FF sensor actually need to be replaced if it had to deal with water contaminated fuel? I'm hoping that running a tank or two of uncontaminated fuel through itand changing the fuel filter could fix it up.

Pricing on the flex fuel sensor is upwards of $700.00. Is there another way?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
838 Posts
There are only 2 ways you can fix this on the cheap. One is to find a FFV Taurus and get the module off of it from a junkyard and hope it isn't broken. Two is this: Flex Fuel Replicator
If you go the replicator route, you will NO longer be able to run any fuel but regular gas or 10% (E10) gas which is mostly what is sold now a days anyhow. That sensor is INSANE expensive, and known to fail fairly often. I don't see why they can get away with charging so much for it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So once the sensor begins giving a bad reading, it's means that the sensor is dead?

I put about a gallon of "bad' gas in it. Could that cause temproary mis- readings that will go away once the fuel is no longer contaminated? I ran the tank down to low, then filled it completely. I reset the code again. So far the check engine light had stayed off (so far, knock on wood) and the car seems to be running smoothly.

Coluld this turn out ok?

If I need to replace the sensor, do junkyards (sorry, ahem, auto recyclers) charge through the nose for it? Ive seen the replicator before at the $150 price point. Could I get away with paying less at a junkyard?

Oh, and whatare the consequenses if I ignore the problem?
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top