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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is on a 2001 Taurus with a 3.0L. When I come to a stop light sometimes or through the McDonalds drive thru, the engine will start vibrating pretty bad and the rpms dip down to 500-600 rpms and go up and down. Also, you can smell burning oil when the vent is on when you are sitting still. I don't know whats goin on with the car. It has 132,000 miles on it. Thanks for any help.
 

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Cake monster
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This is on a 2001 Taurus with a 3.0L. When I come to a stop light sometimes or through the McDonalds drive thru, the engine will start vibrating pretty bad and the rpms dip down to 500-600 rpms and go up and down. Also, you can smell burning oil when the vent is on when you are sitting still. I don't know whats goin on with the car. It has 132,000 miles on it. Thanks for any help.
We might need a little more info. Does the temp gauge read anything odd? I wonder if it's overheating. It's probably some sort of misfire, but there's quite a bit that will cause that, from spark plugs to wires to a hot engine to sensor/computer issues. Has the car gotten a good tuneup lightly? Do you have any engine codes? If it started missing, it should probably give you one.

What does it run like on a cold start? Wet day?
 

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Also make sure the rubber grommet the pcv valve sits in is a snug fit. Check all vacuum crankcase emission hose rubber parts. Might be a vacuum routing sticker underhood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The temp is fine. Right where it should be. I dont believe there are any codes being given. Cant really tell though cause her check engine light is always on. At around 79,000 miles she blew a head gasket and ever since then the check engine light is on. When you turn the headlights on, the light goes out so its an electrical problem somewhere. I have a scanner and there isn't any codes.

It doesn't run any different on a cold or wet day. It seems to do the shaking after it warms all the way up.

It actually died twice today on my girlfriend on her way back from class.

The oil looks kinda funny and smells bad. Smells kinda burnt. Its not milky looking but lighter than what it should be. I think I am gonna change it this weekend even though I changed it 1000 miles ago.
 

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Cake monster
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The temp is fine. Right where it should be. I dont believe there are any codes being given. Cant really tell though cause her check engine light is always on. At around 79,000 miles she blew a head gasket and ever since then the check engine light is on. When you turn the headlights on, the light goes out so its an electrical problem somewhere. I have a scanner and there isn't any codes.

It doesn't run any different on a cold or wet day. It seems to do the shaking after it warms all the way up.

It actually died twice today on my girlfriend on her way back from class.

The oil looks kinda funny and smells bad. Smells kinda burnt. Its not milky looking but lighter than what it should be. I think I am gonna change it this weekend even though I changed it 1000 miles ago.
Hrm.

Maybe low compression on a cylinder? I would be kind of worried about it getting lighter, oil should get darker after being used. Who did the head job and do you know of any details on that? Were the heads machined and installed by a professional or by a back yard mechanic? It could easily be something else, electrical, vacuum related, ignition related and god knows what else other than a bad head gasket. I'm just a little worried about the other info you gave.

What about the last tuneup? Has it had one? Did it get done with the headgasket? If all the wires, plugs and ignition components are old, one of them could be the cause. Check the vacuum hoses too like mentioned above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll check this all over christmas break. Ya I agree, it shouldn't be getting lights. Her cousin's dad who is a full time farmer and mechanic on the side did the job so I know nothing about it. It happened before we started dating otherwise I would have done it since I've rebuilt motors before. I know engines but just kinda lost as to why this is happening. I probably go ahead and put new plugs in it over break.

I'll look for vaccum leaks also.

Its hard to do any work here at college cause my garage full of tools is all at home. Its a real pain.
 

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Get hold of a scan tool that can monitor fuel trims. Trims can be fairly out of wack for various reasons and cause problems even with no CEL on.
 

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Cake monster
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I'll check this all over christmas break. Ya I agree, it shouldn't be getting lights. Her cousin's dad who is a full time farmer and mechanic on the side did the job so I know nothing about it. It happened before we started dating otherwise I would have done it since I've rebuilt motors before. I know engines but just kinda lost as to why this is happening. I probably go ahead and put new plugs in it over break.

I'll look for vaccum leaks also.

Its hard to do any work here at college cause my garage full of tools is all at home. Its a real pain.
If the scanner won't turn up anything, then you might need to start doing some manual diagnostics. I assumed it was missing, you would know for sure what the engine is doing during this shaking. Do you have a scanner that can be used while driving around so you can monitor the engine when it starts doing this?

Is the engine noise consistent once it starts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well the car died on her today and she couldn't keep it running. I got there and opened the hood to see that the pcv valve was pushed out of the valve cover and the hose was off. I guessing the engine then was sucking all that extra air in so it made it run lean. Scanned it and I got the code P0171, P0174, and a bunch of P0000. The 171 and 174 was lean on bank 1 and 2 but I think that was caused by the pcv valve not there. I also changed the oil where she parked it. We drove it back to my apartment with no problems and ran great. I am gonna disconnect the battery tomorrow and reset the computer and see if the codes go away. Anyone got any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Also make sure the rubber grommet the pcv valve sits in is a snug fit. Check all vacuum crankcase emission hose rubber parts. Might be a vacuum routing sticker underhood.
You hit the nail on the head except it came all the way out. Also found that the elbow had a hole in it. I wrapped it in electrical tape for now to get by. Seemed to fix it. I will get a new one from the junkyard when I go home this weekend.

I wonder what made the valve come out and knock the hose off also where it attaches to the intake?
 

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Cake monster
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You hit the nail on the head except it came all the way out. Also found that the elbow had a hole in it. I wrapped it in electrical tape for now to get by. Seemed to fix it. I will get a new one from the junkyard when I go home this weekend.

I wonder what made the valve come out and knock the hose off also where it attaches to the intake?
Do you mean the PCV valve popped out? Because right before I sent my Taurus to scrap yard heaven, I changed out the pressure feedback sensor for the egr, when I started taking stuff apart the first thing I noticed was that the PCV vavle had popped itself out, odd thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ya, it actually popped itself out of the valve cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update:

My girlfriend's dad has a buddy thats a mechanic who went through the whole car. Worked on the transmission and did something to the engine but I don't know what. Runs fine now. I think fixing that bad hose helped alot.
 

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Also, make sure pcv valve is good . Check by shaking (should rattle), spray clean with throttle body cleaner or simply replace (cheap).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
PCV valve is good. I haven't checked the throttle body. Do these cars have an idle air control like my ranger?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Maybe it wouldn't hurt if I cleaned it. I did it to my ranger once but didn't notice a difference.
 
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