Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, guys.

I have a 2003 Taurus SES that I'm having some troubles with. I'm really dumb when it comes to diagnosing a problem, which I think is probably what has led me into the situation I'm currently in.

Over the last few weeks, it had been idling really rough. I thought maybe I just needed a tuneup, so I had put it off for a while. Then about a week ago, it started getting really bad and it felt like the engine was nearly dying when I'd stop at a red light, so I'd have to keep it revved up a bit while stopped to keep the car from shaking.

It had also started running very sluggishly around this point in time, not wanting to accelerate quickly (it takes about 30 seconds to go from 0-40MPH, and doesn't change gears at the right time - revving up to about 4-5k RPM before finally changing gears).

Around this time, the engine light would also start flashing (it had been on solid when the problem first arose), and when it started flashing, the air conditioning would stop making cold air. The fans still pushed out air, but it wasn't cool at all.

I figured it would be a good time to replace the spark plugs since I could feel it missing pretty frequently. I swapped out all six plugs, and the old ones looked to be in decent conditions. No significant change in the way the engine runs after changing the plugs.

I also went ahead and replaced the air filter at this point, since it was pretty dirty, and I wanted to just cheaply cover some extra points while I was already working on things.

I took the car over to AutoZone to have them check the engine codes, and I had the following:

P0320
P1131
P0171
P0174
P0301
P0316

The guy at the store said that oxygen sensor could be throwing out that code because I may not be getting enough fuel going to the engine, and suggested I run some injector cleaner through the tank.

I've put two bottles of injector cleaner in the tank. Now, however, it's dying completely, either if it's idling or if I'm actually driving. It seems to stay running if I keep it up to 2500+ RPM or around 3500-4000 RPM while driving, but obviously this is far from ideal.

For some reason, I'm getting incredible gas mileage all of a sudden, so I haven't been able to finish off this tank of gas+cleaner yet, so I don't know if maybe that's going to be an issue.

It's around this point in time that I noticed that the air conditioning no longer makes cold air at all. Before, I would notice it would make cold air if the engine light wasn't blinking, but now if the light is solid or blinking, it still does not make any cold air.

I spoke with my grandfather, and his suggestion was that the engine may not agree with the cleaner in the tank, and that I need to burn through the entire tank before I'll get any sort of results. I'm not sure if there's any truth to that or not, but that's his suggestion.

I took the car to a local mechanic this morning, and the first (and only) thing he did was check the battery. His scanner device said that I need to replace the battery, although the voltage was just fine.

Looking for a second opinion, I took the car to O'Reilly, and had them scan it there. He checked and the alternator's status came out as "fine", although he said the alternator is only putting out 60 amps (I believe it was amps), when it should be putting out 110, so he's not sure why it says it's fine when it's obviously underpowered. He also suggested that this may be what's causing the air conditioning to not function, since it's not able to draw enough power from the alternator.

While I was at the store, I bought some spark plug wires (I didn't replace these at the same time as the plugs, so I figured I should pick some up and do them anyway) and a fuel filter, which I'm about to go out and replace right now. I've replaced all the wires and made sure that they're in the proper firing order, and there's no difference in the way the engine is running right now.

I'm about to head out to try replacing the fuel filter right now, but if there's any advice you guys could possibly offer after reading my book proposal here, I'd be greatly appreciative. I'm trying to do as much of the repair on my own and avoid taking it to a mechanic, so if there's anything you guys can suggest, I'm all ears.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,952 Posts
Hi there, guys.

I have a 2003 Taurus SES that I'm having some troubles with. I'm really dumb when it comes to diagnosing a problem, which I think is probably what has led me into the situation I'm currently in.

Over the last few weeks, it had been idling really rough. I thought maybe I just needed a tuneup, so I had put it off for a while. Then about a week ago, it started getting really bad and it felt like the engine was nearly dying when I'd stop at a red light, so I'd have to keep it revved up a bit while stopped to keep the car from shaking.

It had also started running very sluggishly around this point in time, not wanting to accelerate quickly (it takes about 30 seconds to go from 0-40MPH, and doesn't change gears at the right time - revving up to about 4-5k RPM before finally changing gears).

Around this time, the engine light would also start flashing (it had been on solid when the problem first arose), and when it started flashing, the air conditioning would stop making cold air. The fans still pushed out air, but it wasn't cool at all.

I figured it would be a good time to replace the spark plugs since I could feel it missing pretty frequently. I swapped out all six plugs, and the old ones looked to be in decent conditions. No significant change in the way the engine runs after changing the plugs.

I also went ahead and replaced the air filter at this point, since it was pretty dirty, and I wanted to just cheaply cover some extra points while I was already working on things.

I took the car over to AutoZone to have them check the engine codes, and I had the following:

P0320
P1131
P0171
P0174
P0301
P0316

The guy at the store said that oxygen sensor could be throwing out that code because I may not be getting enough fuel going to the engine, and suggested I run some injector cleaner through the tank.

I've put two bottles of injector cleaner in the tank. Now, however, it's dying completely, either if it's idling or if I'm actually driving. It seems to stay running if I keep it up to 2500+ RPM or around 3500-4000 RPM while driving, but obviously this is far from ideal.

For some reason, I'm getting incredible gas mileage all of a sudden, so I haven't been able to finish off this tank of gas+cleaner yet, so I don't know if maybe that's going to be an issue.

It's around this point in time that I noticed that the air conditioning no longer makes cold air at all. Before, I would notice it would make cold air if the engine light wasn't blinking, but now if the light is solid or blinking, it still does not make any cold air.

I spoke with my grandfather, and his suggestion was that the engine may not agree with the cleaner in the tank, and that I need to burn through the entire tank before I'll get any sort of results. I'm not sure if there's any truth to that or not, but that's his suggestion.

I took the car to a local mechanic this morning, and the first (and only) thing he did was check the battery. His scanner device said that I need to replace the battery, although the voltage was just fine.

Looking for a second opinion, I took the car to O'Reilly, and had them scan it there. He checked and the alternator's status came out as "fine", although he said the alternator is only putting out 60 amps (I believe it was amps), when it should be putting out 110, so he's not sure why it says it's fine when it's obviously underpowered. He also suggested that this may be what's causing the air conditioning to not function, since it's not able to draw enough power from the alternator.

While I was at the store, I bought some spark plug wires (I didn't replace these at the same time as the plugs, so I figured I should pick some up and do them anyway) and a fuel filter, which I'm about to go out and replace right now. I've replaced all the wires and made sure that they're in the proper firing order, and there's no difference in the way the engine is running right now.

I'm about to head out to try replacing the fuel filter right now, but if there's any advice you guys could possibly offer after reading my book proposal here, I'd be greatly appreciative. I'm trying to do as much of the repair on my own and avoid taking it to a mechanic, so if there's anything you guys can suggest, I'm all ears.

Thanks.
Mixed bag of errors. Good idea to do the fuel filter. Plugged filter can cause lean both banks.0171, 0174. That is normal maint.

Sometimes you do the obvious and the others may take care of themselves.

-chart-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Mixed bag of errors. Good idea to do the fuel filter. Plugged filter can cause lean both banks.0171, 0174. That is normal maint.

Sometimes you do the obvious and the others may take care of themselves.

-chart-
Well, I just went ahead and replaced the fuel filter. It doesn't seem to have made any difference at this point. But then again, it looks like the clamp that holds the hose from the gas tank broke off on the filter's end, so that actually fell off while I was driving the car home tonight. Since I couldn't rig it back onto the filter, I just had the thing towed home.

But, after installing the filter in the first place, on the drive home, it continued to die frequently while I was driving, requiring me to put it in neutral and start it back up again. Over the course of five miles, it happened about twenty separate times.

I feel like I can rule out the filter at this point.

My two concerns right now are going to be the alternator and the fuel pump. A friend of mine who I've been talking to about this suggested that possibly the fuel pump is failing to put enough gas down the line, and that I'm mostly running on fumes (which I think may explain why I've been unable to empty the gas tank, since I'm apparently doing most of my driving on fumes).

My grandfather (who was helping me replace the fuel filter) said that once I put the new filter on and reconnect the inertia switch, I should be able to turn the car on (not the engine, but just enough to play the radio, windows, etc) and hear the fuel pump whirring as it re-pressurizes the fuel system. I didn't hear any sort of noise at all when I turned the key, so if my grandfather is right in saying that I should hear the pump working, then I'm wondering if this would indicate a fuel pump failure.

As for the alternator, I'm wondering if this may possibly be related, or a separate issue. Because of the engine's problems, I'd avoided driving at night, but today I didn't have any choice. On the way home, I noticed the headlights were fluctuating really bad, and the dimming didn't appear to coincide with dropping RPM, the engine missing, or dying, so it appears that there may be a separate electrical issue happening.

I hope this extra information can help lead to any sort of diagnosis. I'm pretty fed up with working on it and replacing things and not having any positive outcome, so I'm probably going to just take it into a shop tomorrow unless there's anything you guys can think of that I can try out.

EDIT: I totally forgot to mention, I found this torn hose while I was looking under the hood tonight. I have no clue what this hose even is, but it's right next to the exhaust manifold.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
I can't really identify that hose but it is obviously a major vacuum leak. Replace that hose and the 171 and 174 and the engine stalling may go away. Disconnect your battery or have your codes reset and start the process again. Don't try to make your problems bigger than they are. Start with the simple and go from there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
Also, todays cars need a good clean voltage for all the electronics and PCM to work properly. Check and clean all electrical connections and also have battery tested. If you still have problems your alternator may be going out.

Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
I keep thinking of things. If you had to start your car that many times your battery may just need a good charge. But anyway the above adice still stands. Good luck and report back.

Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,952 Posts
Well, I just went ahead and replaced the fuel filter. It doesn't seem to have made any difference at this point. But then again, it looks like the clamp that holds the hose from the gas tank broke off on the filter's end, so that actually fell off while I was driving the car home tonight. Since I couldn't rig it back onto the filter, I just had the thing towed home.

But, after installing the filter in the first place, on the drive home, it continued to die frequently while I was driving, requiring me to put it in neutral and start it back up again. Over the course of five miles, it happened about twenty separate times.

I feel like I can rule out the filter at this point.

My two concerns right now are going to be the alternator and the fuel pump. A friend of mine who I've been talking to about this suggested that possibly the fuel pump is failing to put enough gas down the line, and that I'm mostly running on fumes (which I think may explain why I've been unable to empty the gas tank, since I'm apparently doing most of my driving on fumes).

My grandfather (who was helping me replace the fuel filter) said that once I put the new filter on and reconnect the inertia switch, I should be able to turn the car on (not the engine, but just enough to play the radio, windows, etc) and hear the fuel pump whirring as it re-pressurizes the fuel system. I didn't hear any sort of noise at all when I turned the key, so if my grandfather is right in saying that I should hear the pump working, then I'm wondering if this would indicate a fuel pump failure.

As for the alternator, I'm wondering if this may possibly be related, or a separate issue. Because of the engine's problems, I'd avoided driving at night, but today I didn't have any choice. On the way home, I noticed the headlights were fluctuating really bad, and the dimming didn't appear to coincide with dropping RPM, the engine missing, or dying, so it appears that there may be a separate electrical issue happening.

I hope this extra information can help lead to any sort of diagnosis. I'm pretty fed up with working on it and replacing things and not having any positive outcome, so I'm probably going to just take it into a shop tomorrow unless there's anything you guys can think of that I can try out.

EDIT: I totally forgot to mention, I found this torn hose while I was looking under the hood tonight. I have no clue what this hose even is, but it's right next to the exhaust manifold.

That looks like the PCV valve in the valve cover of Vulcan.

Big hose, big leak, easy fix, explains a lot.

Check for other vac hoses. Like roaches, where there is one....

Happy vac hunting.

-chart-
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top