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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I bought a 2005 Taurus 2 years ago, and so far, I have loved it. There have been a few things here and there, but nothing major. I have been surfing this forum, and I wanted to post a fix for something that came up recently. About 6-8 months ago, I noticed that the engine took an unusually long time to crank after it had been sitting a while - especially in the morning. I did all of the normal stuff - replaced plugs and wires, changed the oil, checked the battery (with a voltmeter), installed a new fuel filter, new air filter, and replaced the idle air control valve. Nothing worked.

Finally I jumped on here and read a bunch of posts about the same symptoms. Everyone seemed to be convinced that it was the fuel pump. The thing about my particular issue is that I was not getting low pressure. The pump kicked right on and there was never any other issues except when i went to start it after a long time of sitting. Weird, right?

OK, so I'm going to take a little detour before I explain what I finally did that seems to have completely cured my car. Before I owned the Taurus, I had a 1990 T-Bird SC. It was a beast. I remember on that car that I had to completely depress the brake pedal to start the car. About a year ago, I put new brakes on my Taurus, and I did it by myself with a rigged up one man bleeder kit (not the best way, I know). So, about the time that this starting thing started happening is when I did the brakes. Over the past 6 months or so, besides the starting thing, I noticed that there seemed to be some air left in the brake lines. So, the other night me and a friend re-bled the brakes the correct way, with him checking for air.

I know that all logical mechanical/car knowledge says that one thing has nothing to do with the other. So, what I am about to say might seem crazy to some people, and I would not be surprised if some on this forum call me nuts, BUT the car had still not been driven or started for at least 4 hours. Normally, this would have caused a slow start. But, when I put those wheels back on and started it, it cranked right over. It has been fine for 2 mornings in a row, and every other time since then that I start it after its been sitting. It does exactly what it is supposed to do - no racing engine, no hard cranking, nothing weird at all.

Here's the thing - I can't find any documentation or anything anywhere that says that the ABS system on that model taurus has anything to do with the PCM or starting the car. I have worked on my own cars for years - way before the era of the PCM. I have also had that T-bird, which obviously had to have functioning brakes to start the car. The reason I am posting this is two-fold. First, if you happen to have had your pads replaced and now your car is starting hard in the A.M., you might consider bleeding your system again. Secondly, I was wondering if anyone knew FOR SURE if the ABS controls or sensors down there have anything to do with the PCM or engine control.

Thanks in advance and for all the good help so far,

Josh
 

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I thought ABS just monitored wheel speed, I don't see how it would have issues with air in the lines. It could be vacuum-related, though I'm still trying to figure out how to explain it.
 

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There is no connection between the ABS system and the PCM that would cause those problems. The ABS module and the PCM do communicate via the CAN bus, but this will in no way effect the way the car starts.

There has never been a Ford made in the last 40++ years that required fully pressing the brake pedal to start the car. On a manual tranny, you must fully depress the CLUTCH pedal before the starter will engage, and for the last 20+ years, you have to lightly press the brake to allow the car to shift out of park for auto tranny cars.

As noted above, ABS sensors do one thing.... monitor wheel speed. They dont know or care what the pressure is in the hydraulic system, nor do they know if the system even has fluid in it.

How do you know what the fuel pressure during crank was? Were you monitoring the fuel press PID with a scan tool? Did you have a mechanical gauge hooked to the rail?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, so I was wrong.

I did have a T-bird that had to have the brake pedal depressed to start the car, BUT my issue had nothing to do with that. The hard starts are intermittent and it was just a coincidence that it was starting better after the brake job. So, my next step is to put on a new ignition coil pack. Mine is one of the ones with all of the coils in one piece. I am going to do that this weekend. Will let everyone know how it goes. If this does not solve my issue, I am going to head for the fuel pump.

I really should have known better - I guess it was just wishful thinking.

--Josh
 

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QUOTE (05grannycar @ May 5 2010, 07:49 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=802204
OK, so I was wrong.

I did have a T-bird that had to have the brake pedal depressed to start the car, BUT my issue had nothing to do with that. The hard starts are intermittent and it was just a coincidence that it was starting better after the brake job. So, my next step is to put on a new ignition coil pack. Mine is one of the ones with all of the coils in one piece. I am going to do that this weekend. Will let everyone know how it goes. If this does not solve my issue, I am going to head for the fuel pump.

I really should have known better - I guess it was just wishful thinking.

--Josh[/b]
Completely understandable. It would have been nice if it actually did correct your problem... Your wallet would have been very grateful! :D
 

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Cycle the key ON and OFF without starting the car 3 times, pausing for 2 seconds or so and then start the car when the problem would normally crop up.

The check valve on the fuel line for these cars like to stick and let the fuel pressure drop to zip, causing the engine to have to crank a bit longer than normal while the fuel pump builds pressure.
 

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I'm not getting the whole picture here. When you say it is hard to start, do you mean that it would keep cranking but not fire do you mean that it won't crank at all. If it keeps cranking but no start, you could have a sticky IAC, maybe fuel injector leaking. If it doesn't crank at all, then you probably have dirty connection to your starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (Millermagic @ May 6 2010, 06:29 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=802414
Have you looked at the fuel filter.[/b]
Yes, I believe this is what is causing the problem. My car is an 05. The fuel filter clips are not standard by any means. I should have known better, but I just assumed that if I bought a new filter at a parts store for my car it would just work. Well, the clips they gave me were wrong, and I kind of jacked up the quick connect trying to get the filter to stay on. Eventually I just settled on zip ties. However, I believe that this lack of a proper connection was causing a very small leak that was allowing my fuel pressure to drop overnight.

Just to clarify - by 'hard starting', this is what I mean. I would turn the key and it would try to engage for several seconds before finally engaging. Then, it would run fine. It would take it a second to kind of even out, but after that it was fine. It never happened after the car had been running. Only after it had been sitting for a while.

I had a couple of choices here. I could get a cheap repair kit from a parts store, but most of the stores don't carry the '05 style clips, so I would end up with a kind of frankenstein hybrid, in which i would just make the old style clips work with my car. Secondly, I could have gotten new fuel lines from Ford. I didn't even bother to look at this one yet, since I was figuring it would be several hundred bucks (at least over $100). What I finally did was the following.

Let me state that this may not turn out to be the best idea, but it seems to be working so far. At first I was thinking teflon tape. But, after reading some posts about tape being bad for the fuel system, I decided not to. Then, I read that #3 aircraft grade gasket maker works good with gasoline. So, that is the route I decided to go. I depressurized my system and unhooked everything from the fuel filter. I brushed on a very thin layer of gasket maker on the filter where it was supposed to seal. I was careful not to put it too close to end of the filter (I kept about 1/4 inch of the filter clean near the end) because I did not want that stuff in my fuel lines. I understand that at this point, what is done is done, and it may be unnavoidable, but at least its not strips of teflon. So far, I have let the car sit for several hours and there is a noticeable difference in starting the car. It is much easier to start with no hesitation. All in all, I am pissed that it is so freakin hard to get the right clips. At the end of the day, I may end up replacing the fuel lines. however, i will drive it until it becomes a problem. Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK, so its not the filter. It did the same thing this morning when I tried to start it. Everything at the filter is sealed and tight, and there is no fuel or anything dripping from it. I still haven't really looked at the fuel pump. Although, I was told that this would be an all at once kind of failure - not an intermittent one.

I think my next step will be the fuel regulator, but from what I am seeing the part is $50-$60. I'm not exactly excited about spending more money to try figure out what is causing this. I might just let it go for a while until it fails to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So, I'm still working on it. Here is what I have done so far:

IAC valve
New motorcraft plugs
new wires
oil change +filter + air filter
Engine Coolant Temperature sensor
Fuel Injector Cleaner
new fuel filter - checked for leaks, there were none
ignition coil pack

I'm feeling a little frustrated now. I have tried cycling my key a couple of times before starting in the morning or after its been sitting. This seems to have no effect. Since the key cycling doesn't seem to be making any difference, I was kind of thinking that it might be a leaky injector or a couple of injectors. Other than that, I thought that maybe it was a PCM issue where they could maybe do a software update or something. I checked with the dealership and the update would be $100. New injectors are $32 a piece. I'm thinking about checking for any leaks by pulling off the fuel rail and turning the key to 'on'. If there aren't any noticeable leaks there, then I might take it to the dealership and let them do the computer thing. I am really at a loss here because it runs really well EXCEPT for when it first starts in the morning or after work.

EDIT: In my last post, I said that I was going to check out the regulator. My fuel regulator is vacuum operated. I pulled of the hose and there is no fuel in it or anything, so I'm guessing it is good. From what I understand, it would fail and then fuel would be in the vacuum line.
 

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Check your fuel pressure. That's probably where the issue is, a lazy fuel pump, or a bad pressure regulator. Don't throw parts at it, your only going to get more upset, and burn a hole in your wallet. Another thing to look for would be vaccum leaks, around the UIM is where they usually are, check with starting fluid. The intake runner controls are known to leak on '04+ Vulcan engines.
 

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You said you checked the battery with a voltmeter. That means nothing when it comes to cranking. What I'm getting out of what you're saying is that after sitting a while it takes an excessive amount of cranking and maybe cranks slowly. How old is the battery? If it's been in the car since you got it, which was 2 years ago, maybe just replace it. Of course, you can have it tested first. Batteries have to be load tested and checked for cold cranking amperage. Your local parts store has those 600 dollar testers that work really well. Even though the guys at autozone and advanced may seem a little, um, not very knowledgeable when it comes to cars, and they're not, the battery testers they use are user friendly and highly effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Checked the battery again this morning by hooking up a pair of jumpers to my buddy's car. No dice. It did the same thing it always does, which is crank longer than usual before it fires. Then I got a little medieval. I took the upper intake manifold (plenum) off for the first time since I have had the car. That was not a fun thing to do. I wanted to look at my injectors. The plan was to remove the fuel rail and then turn the car on to see if any fuel dripped out. It didn't work exactly as I had planned. The very last fuel injector on the drivers side front kept popping out as soon as the pressure built up. So, I still don't know if my injectors are good, but at least I know how to take the top part of the engine apart. They really don't make Tauri easy to work on do they? Compared to my V8 Chevy, this thing is a nightmare.

Anyway, I am down to four things (at least in my mind) being the culprit:
1. Bad pump
2. Bad injectors
3. Something with the computer
4. Fuel pressure regulator

Here's the thing - the regulator is $50, so if it was just that, awesome. However, I have disconnected the vacuum line and there is no fuel to be seen anywhere. That leads me to believe that it has not failed.

The other three things are really kind of expensive, so it might have to wait - the pump is $200, the injectors are $200 for a set, and the computer update is $100 at ford. The pump seems to be a prevalent failure point, so I will probably start there. Does anyone see anything that I might be missing? Is there a way that I can tell if it is for sure the pump or for sure the regulator or injectors?
 

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QUOTE (05grannycar @ May 15 2010, 04:56 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=804396
Checked the battery again this morning by hooking up a pair of jumpers to my buddy's car. No dice. It did the same thing it always does, which is crank longer than usual before it fires. Then I got a little medieval. I took the upper intake manifold (plenum) off for the first time since I have had the car. That was not a fun thing to do. I wanted to look at my injectors. The plan was to remove the fuel rail and then turn the car on to see if any fuel dripped out. It didn't work exactly as I had planned. The very last fuel injector on the drivers side front kept popping out as soon as the pressure built up. So, I still don't know if my injectors are good, but at least I know how to take the top part of the engine apart. They really don't make Tauri easy to work on do they? Compared to my V8 Chevy, this thing is a nightmare.

Anyway, I am down to four things (at least in my mind) being the culprit:
1. Bad pump
2. Bad injectors
3. Something with the computer
4. Fuel pressure regulator

Here's the thing - the regulator is $50, so if it was just that, awesome. However, I have disconnected the vacuum line and there is no fuel to be seen anywhere. That leads me to believe that it has not failed.

The other three things are really kind of expensive, so it might have to wait - the pump is $200, the injectors are $200 for a set, and the computer update is $100 at ford. The pump seems to be a prevalent failure point, so I will probably start there. Does anyone see anything that I might be missing? Is there a way that I can tell if it is for sure the pump or for sure the regulator or injectors?[/b]
I think before putting all that into the car, you should check for vac leaks, esp around the intake runner control (the round canister with 2 wire going to it, on pass side of UIM). Use starting fluid when the engine is cool to check for leaks, listen for change in idle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
QUOTE (austex04 @ May 15 2010, 10:17 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=804442
QUOTE (05grannycar @ May 15 2010, 04:56 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=804396
Checked the battery again this morning by hooking up a pair of jumpers to my buddy's car. No dice. It did the same thing it always does, which is crank longer than usual before it fires. Then I got a little medieval. I took the upper intake manifold (plenum) off for the first time since I have had the car. That was not a fun thing to do. I wanted to look at my injectors. The plan was to remove the fuel rail and then turn the car on to see if any fuel dripped out. It didn't work exactly as I had planned. The very last fuel injector on the drivers side front kept popping out as soon as the pressure built up. So, I still don't know if my injectors are good, but at least I know how to take the top part of the engine apart. They really don't make Tauri easy to work on do they? Compared to my V8 Chevy, this thing is a nightmare.

Anyway, I am down to four things (at least in my mind) being the culprit:
1. Bad pump
2. Bad injectors
3. Something with the computer
4. Fuel pressure regulator

Here's the thing - the regulator is $50, so if it was just that, awesome. However, I have disconnected the vacuum line and there is no fuel to be seen anywhere. That leads me to believe that it has not failed.

The other three things are really kind of expensive, so it might have to wait - the pump is $200, the injectors are $200 for a set, and the computer update is $100 at ford. The pump seems to be a prevalent failure point, so I will probably start there. Does anyone see anything that I might be missing? Is there a way that I can tell if it is for sure the pump or for sure the regulator or injectors?[/b]
I think before putting all that into the car, you should check for vac leaks, esp around the intake runner control (the round canister with 2 wire going to it, on pass side of UIM). Use starting fluid when the engine is cool to check for leaks, listen for change in idle.
[/b][/quote]

That might be a good place to start. I'll try that today. I'm assuming if the intake runner control is leaking there is a gasket or something I can replace? How would that work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just tested the intake control with starter fluid. There is a little bit of a change in idle speed when i sprayed it. Its not really that noticeable, but I can tell that it is not completely airtight. How would you recommend that I go about fixing this?

EDIT: The change in idle was not really that noticeable. I have a feeling that this is not causing my problem. I sprayed fluid around all of the vacuum connections - not just the IMRC. The IMRC might be responsible for a very minor change in idle that I have noticed also, but I am not overly concerned about this right now. The more I look at it, and the more I read, the more I think it is the fuel pump.

I got under the car last night to look at the tank to see how hard it would be to drop it. It doesn't look too bad. I am a little concerned about what I have been hearing about AIRTEX pumps though. Anyone had any experience with that brand? I was thinking about getting a low mileage used pump out of the same year Taurus as mine. That way at least I know its a Motorcraft pump, unless someone can give me a good review of AIRTEX. Any thoughts?
 

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QUOTE (05grannycar @ May 16 2010, 03:49 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=804602
I just tested the intake control with starter fluid. There is a little bit of a change in idle speed when i sprayed it. Its not really that noticeable, but I can tell that it is not completely airtight. How would you recommend that I go about fixing this?

EDIT: The change in idle was not really that noticeable. I have a feeling that this is not causing my problem. I sprayed fluid around all of the vacuum connections - not just the IMRC. The IMRC might be responsible for a very minor change in idle that I have noticed also, but I am not overly concerned about this right now. The more I look at it, and the more I read, the more I think it is the fuel pump.

I got under the car last night to look at the tank to see how hard it would be to drop it. It doesn't look too bad. I am a little concerned about what I have been hearing about AIRTEX pumps though. Anyone had any experience with that brand? I was thinking about getting a low mileage used pump out of the same year Taurus as mine. That way at least I know its a Motorcraft pump, unless someone can give me a good review of AIRTEX. Any thoughts?[/b]
There's a write up on the leaky intake runner control gasket in the topic finder intake runner control gasket fix. This should be your next step into fixing the problem. This fix will only cost around $10, and about half an hour time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Awesome - the guy said he used a gasket off of an oil filter. Priceless. OK, I will give that a shot. I'll take off the cowl to get to it, and see what happens. Some of his issues did sound awfully familiar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So I used the gasket out of an oil filter as a replacement gasket for the IMRC. Whether or not the hard starts are fixed is yet to be seen, BUT the car accelerates NOTICEABLY better. If nothing else, thank you very much for that. Hopefully, this will solve my extended crank problem too. I wanted to go ahead and share the brand and price of the filter that I used, as it is a little cheaper than the Bosch Premium, and it seems to be working really well.

MicroGuard filter from Oreilley's
MGL9688 - $3.99

1 can of red grease - $3.49

Beating a Mercedes on the entrance ramp - priceless
 
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