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I have 03 Taurus with a Vulcan engine. The issue I am having is that 1 in every 96 times I start this vehicle it doesn’t want to. To me it feels like there is no fuel at all. I can’t seem to narrow it down. The conditions seem to be too random. It always has enough gas. It can happen if it was parked level or on an upward angle. Outside temperature doesn’t seem to be a factor.

The last time this happened I was getting ready to leave my parents house which is 150 miles from where I live. I was parked on an 8-10 % upward grade. The car sat for at least 24 hours since it was last used. After the first crank failed, I withdrew the key and sat for about 10 seconds. Then I tried again. This time I turned the key to RUN and waited. I could distinctly hear the fuel pump in the back engage. But the car still didn’t start. After another attempt like this, I put it in Neutral and rolled it to the street. The car finally started after 2 more attempts in the street. The 5th and final attempt it started and it seemed to struggle at that. I decided that it would be best to not make any stops on the way home.

We got home safely. Emptied the car, and allowed it sit for about 5 minutes. Then I proceeded to start the car. I did not turn the key to RUN, and wait. I cranked it right up and it showed absolutely no signs of struggle.

I can say that I have had about 3 hard starts with car like this in the year that I have owned it.
It has 77,000 miles. I got this car with 60,000 miles. The major repairs that I had done was the Synchronizer (with in a week of getting the car). And the mechanic that worked on it proclaimed that it had a brand new transmission in it. I had not docs to prove it, but he pointed to the fact that I looked brand spanking new, not even rebuilt. Since I had not docs to prove that is true, I don’t want to think that it is. Although there was a FORD DEALER modification sticker under the hood. But it was completely illegible. That sticker is since gone after I had the hood replaced. (Minor collision, but only cosmetic damages)

Also I had the Tie-rod end replaced in January, but I can’t see as that would have anything to do with it.

I have searched through the forums here, but none of them seem to match my conditions. It happens very infrequently. There is no check engine light being illuminated. I know that light works.

I am sure that you all require more info that I have presented. But where do I start looking? What other info do you guys need? I think this is an early warning to something, but I don’t know what. I can’t really take it to mechanic as it happens way too infrequently.

I thank you all for an insight into this perplexing conundrum
 

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Discussion Starter #3
QUOTE (OldWagon @ Mar 12 2009, 11:26 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=707877
What about the Theft light -- does it blink rapidly? Another thread talks about a random PATS key failure: http://taurusclub.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=35839

But I think in that case, the car would not even crank over...[/b]
Yes, that is exactly what it sounded like. But alas, I didn't make a mental note if it was flashing in quick succession or not. I think after 5 attempts I would notice if the THEFT light. But then maybe not. I don;t think so.

But, would a good key fail a PATS check 5 times in a row? Isn't this like Gen 2 or 3 of PATS, with every year being more reliable then the previous? Just speculating.
 

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I just finished reading through the topic you recommend. I will have be more aware of my surroundings.

I had no idea the tilt position of the wheel could be the problem. I should have to run some experimental scenarios.


But I am a creature of habit. Mostly. I almost always return the wheel the high tilt position prior to exiting the vehicle.

I have some thick thighs, and it hurts to jam your leg on the wheel. Perhaps I will have to experiment on the tilt position and see it has any effect on starting.

That thread you posted about, was in RE: to 1997 Taurus. Is there anyone with a Gen 4 that has had this problem too?
 

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Sorry, I didn't see the car year in that thread. I was just remembering a similar symptom. My guess is there could be a number of causes (if it was a Gen3 VW Golf, the answer would be the electrical portion of the ignition switch, since that's a common failure... but I don't think that's common on the Taurus.)

A bad or intermittent ground on, say, the coil might cause this, but I have no idea where the the grounding point is, at least on my 2004. It certainly is NOT on the plastic valve cover on which it's mounted...

It does sound as though it's electrical and intermittent electrical problems are hell to diagnose.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
QUOTE
A bad or intermittent ground on, say, the coil might cause this, but I have no idea where the the grounding point is, at least on my 2004. It certainly is NOT on the plastic valve cover on which it's mounted...

It does sound as though it's electrical and intermittent electrical problems are hell to diagnose.[/b]
Update: I still haven't had a repeat of this yet. I have changed the tilt and the rotation of the wheel every time I park the car. IT starts every time. I don't know about you but I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that this car can easily be "over cranked" and that some times I might be to skittish about it.

Is there a guide on fixing the ground connection? Perhaps upgrading the "Big 3" is in order. Just hard to justify since it doesn't happen often.

Still have more searching to do.
Any way, I will be putting in a fresh set of plugs on Saturday. She's at 78350 and I know I have never changed them. I have a more a spring tune-up todo.

I have Maintenance ToDos before our trip to DC for the Cherry blossoms. Although some need to wait until after.

Oil change (way over due)
<strike>Replace Air Filter and Clean MAF Sensor</strike> Done
Change spark Plugs
Replace Fuel Filter (Probably after trip)
Replace / Add Cabin Air filter
Change P/S fluid - After trip
Check PCV valve (just found it actually)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
QUOTE (ab_sood @ Mar 27 2009, 08:39 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=712817
1. Vaccum lock
2. Bad ground[/b]
A vacuum lock? What would that have to do with starting?

Bad ground or intermittent. I am thinking of redoing the grounds to the block, the batt, and the Alt
that might be a summer task
 
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