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Discussion Starter #1
I really can't remember if I posted a thread for this a while ago, so forgive me if I did!

My 2000 Taurus SE Vulcan, with 47,000km on the clock is acting a little weird, depending on the engine temperature.

When the weather and engine are hot, the car hesitates when accelerating or cruising (40km/h-60km/h) under normal driving conditions. Acceleration is not smooth, and heck the speedo needle even turns in a jerky manner.

Now the weather is cooler (6C-12C) when I leave for work, the engine runs smoothly when cold, with no hesitating. The speedo needle seems to turn much more smoothly than when the engine is hot.

It's only when the engine begins to warm up that it stops running smoothly.

We put some fuel cleaner through a week or so ago, and gave the engine a bit of hard acceleration at 80-100km/h, and things seemed to improve a little bit. But now it's running very un-smoothly (is that a word?) again

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
 

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Try using premium (high octane) gasoline in your next tankful. Run your current tank of gas down, and fill all the way up with some good 91+ octane gas. The higher octane means that it resists detonation more, which could cure your problem. Or at least treat it.
 

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Well, with only 47km on it, it seems strange that the catylitic converter would be clogged but that is what happened to my '95. But it had about 140,000 miles (225,000km). I'll post a pic of what the inside looks like one of these days. I estimate that about 90% of the air flow was clogged. When I left in the morning it ran like a race car. By the time the heater starter working the performance felt like I had a banana in the tail pipe. I posted several questions about it if you search the Maintanace board for banana.

-Jeff
 

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Well, with only 47km on it, it seems strange that the catalytic converter would be clogged but that is what happened to my '95. But it had about 140,000 miles (225,000km). I'll post a pic of what the inside looks like one of these days. I estimate that about 90% of the air flow was clogged. When I left in the morning it ran like a race car. By the time the heater starter working the performance felt like I had a banana in the tail pipe. I posted several questions about it if you search the Maintenance board for banana.

-Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Interesting - it could be that cat converter. The symptoms certainly sound the same. The car has had a lot of work recently to fix a number of things, any one of which may have clogged it. I guess the oxygen sensor in front of the cat could be faulty as well.

I think the cat is still under warranty from Ford Canada, but that's probably on if it's broken and not just clogged. How much would it typically cost to get it diagnosed and de-clogged?

Thanks for your help!

:notworthy:
 

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3-fords1000,

Any pictures of that bad cat yet?

My car is misfiring once it gets hot and I am wondering if it’s a bad cat. It runs fine in the morning but once it warms up the car will misfire and I can't get above 40 mph. Did your car do this? Or did it just run poorly? I used a vacuum gauge to measure manifold pressure at idle and at 2500 rpm but nothing happened out of the unordinary. I was told that if I had a bad cat the vacuum would slowly go down at 2500 rpm. O'Yeah the weird thing my car does, Once it starts to misfire I pull over let it cool down for about 5min and I can restart the car and drive it normally for about another 15 min before the problem will occur again.

Any help appreciated
 

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It could be a problem with your car getting too hot around the valves. It probably won't even show on your temperature guage. My Honda used to be a "cold weather" car; it didn't like the summers here in Texas at all. It would knock with the air conditioner on, while you went up grade. It drove me nuts, since I want everything to run like a top.

My solution was to use colder running plugs. First, I tried the colder plug recommended by Honda for hot weather. They offered some improvement, but the problem was still there. I finally called NGK and found out what the number was for an even colder running plug. It worked great. The alternative was to replace the thermostat; I really didn't want to do that, though, because of what it would do to fuel mileage. Heat can be a major problem with cars, these day, as cooling system capacities are getting smaller and smaller. Make sure you are using 5W-30 engine oil. [Synthetic oils have a higher coefficient of heat and allow engines to run 20 to 30 degrees cooler, so you might consider switching if you don't use them already]. Higher viscosity oils generate more heat and also can't carry it away as quickly as lower viscosity oils. First thing I would do is pull the plugs and make sure they are what Ford specifies and are not damaged. Then, you can go from there.
 

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Originally posted by Johnny K@Sep 29 2004, 11:38 AM
3-fords1000,

Any pictures of that bad cat yet?

My car is misfiring once it gets hot and I am wondering if it’s a bad cat. It runs fine in the morning but once it warms up the car will misfire and I can't get above 40 mph. Did your car do this? Or did it just run poorly? I used a vacuum gauge to measure manifold pressure at idle and at 2500 rpm but nothing happened out of the unordinary. I was told that if I had a bad cat the vacuum would slowly go down at 2500 rpm. O'Yeah the weird thing my car does, Once it starts to misfire I pull over let it cool down for about 5min and I can restart the car and drive it normally for about another 15 min before the problem will occur again.

Any help appreciated
I never had any miss-firing problems, just ran like crap. I'll take some pics this weekend. I just got some sub-frame conectors made so I need to take pics of them as well.

-Jeff
 

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stodge,

Did you ever figure out what was or is wrong with your car? My cats were not the problem with mine and it is doing something very similar to yours. I also found that ambient temperature plays a role in my problem. If its cold out it will run good all day. If the temperature changes 15 degrees F warmer (50 degrees or above) the car will barely make it home on a 40 min trip. If anyone else has suggestions I am all ears.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I took the car in today. The dealership said they found nothing wrong with it and charged me $100 for the privilege of sitting in their cafeteria. :p

They even took it for a test drive and reported no problems with a computer hooked up. So I came home via a quiet 60km/h road and experienced the problem once.

*sigh* Oh well...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Another symptom which I should probably describe.

If I'm cruising at 40-80km/h in overdrive (I think it's only in overdrive), if I try to accelerate, the revs drop slightly (or stay flat), and I get almost zero acceleration although it feels like more fuel is being used (if that makes sense). If I then release the accelerator pedal a bit, and re-press it I get acceleration. Likewise, if I'm going a small incline in overdrive, I can't accelerate. When I press the pedal, the revs drop a bit and nothing happens. I have to release the pedal and hit it hard to force it to change down a gear otherwise the car will slowly lose speed, no matter how much I try.

The mechanic at the dealership said he didn't experience the drop in revs, but I get it everyday.

These symptoms are from memory, so the descriptions may not be 100%. Does this sounds familiar to anyone?

Overall acceleration is very poor as though the engine is choicing or mixing wrong. When I get some money I may take it to a smaller mechanic for a check-up.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Managed to get to the point where I can run a tank of 91 octane. It runs smoother, and economy seems a bit better. I'm still getting the problem in overdrive where the revs drop when I accellerate lightly and not much happens. I've been reading around, and it could be the torque converter isn't unlocking (?).

Was just wondering what kind of acceleration Vulcan owners can get in overdrive at 60km/h before it kicks down a gear?
 
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