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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello! Before I even start saying whats wrong I want to thank you for spending your time reading this, none of you owe me a thing and I'm asking for help. Thank you.

I have a 2001 Ford Taurus SES with the "Vulcan" OHV 3.0 Engine.

I bought this car for $300 from my sister who couldn't get it running. She'd bought a new EGR valve because of an ODB II code. There was a hole in a hose I found that the ford dealer called a "Peace Pipe" maybe someone will know what that is. She drove it around with that hole in the hose for months and god knows what it did

Recently, the car lost all power. The CEL light began flashing and it would have to kick up to 4000 rpm to start moving forward so I parked it and began investigating. She claimed it had a tune up but the sparkplugs were original at 158,000 miles. I'm sure you can imagine.

After replacing the sparkplugs and wires the car had power again and could move, but would still hestitate. It would refuse to go over 2k rpm unless I gave her the beans. I decided to see what would happen if I unhooked the battery cable and make the CEL go off.

The car ran like a top! Complete power, shifting like a champ. Then the CEL just started flashing again tonight. Napa was closed so I couldn't pull a code but I plan to tomorrow around 4PM.

So there's the beginning. I'd love and appreciate any input anyone can give me if they have experience this before or are technically informed enough to tell me whats happening!

Thank you for reading. God Bless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry to double post, but I've decided to bribe anyone who tries to help with a dozen chocolate chip cookies. :)
 

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1997 Ford Taurus 3.0L Wagon 226,362 miles
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The only time I've ever gotten a flashing CEL was when a spark plug failed. And when this happen the car lost most of its power. Funny thing was - I could usually drive the car about 2 miles before the failure occurred AND if I kept driving the car the problem would go away in about 2-3 miles. It happened twice and both times it was the #1 plug. Hasn't happened in over two years now. I was thinking (at the time) that I had a gasket leak of some kind around this plug, but now I don't know WHAT to think.
 

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^+1 on needing the code(s). A flashing cel is indicative of a misfire. Usually plug(s), plug wire(s), coil pack, injector(s), etc.
 

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NAPA and Advance Auto parts will read the codes for free.
Sounds like a missfire - it can be one of the new wires (cheap ones can do that) or even a spark coil (that would trigger missfire codes in 2 cylinders).

PS: Vulcan is not SOHC, is OHV (pushrod).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
First I apologize for the delaying of the code posting. For a reason beyond my comprehension the NAPA beside my work does not have a CEL diagnostic scanner. I'm on work restrictions until Dec 12th and had to wait a day for a friend to drive the car up to autozone.

The code was P0303, it was on there 3 times.

When I replaced the stock plug in 3 before, it was covered in gasoline. So 3 has a new spark plug and wire. The only thing I think I could of messed up myself in not using enough deylectric compound.

Again thank you guys for your time.
 

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P0303 is cylinder 3 misfire as I'm sure you know. As for the dielectric grease, remember it does not conduct electricity so you should only put it on the ceramic insulator and the tip of the rubber boot to keep out moisture.

If it's not the grease, my next guess would be the coil. The old spark plug was misfiring from what you saw, so if the new one isn't either you could have a bad coil. That or a massively leaking fuel injector. Do a spark test on #3 and see how it looks.
 

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Try a new coil pack and plugs.

Best case scenario, it works and you won't need to worry about it anymore, worse, well not really worse case, it doesn't work. Either way I'm sure you're long overdue for them anyway, so it will still help.

With such a direct code like a particular cylinder, it's most likely that. If you have more then one missing, it may be a different problem.
 

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Along with the ignition system replacement items posted previously, I would replace the fuel filter as well. Clogged fuel filter will definitely reduce your power as well.

Monsoon
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok so..

If it was the coil I was told that it would be misfiring on at least 2 cyclinders

Can anyone point me to some DIY compression and spark testing?

Again a thanks to everyone who spent time reading this.
 

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pressure test the fuel system at the schrader valve and do a leak down test. this will show a leaky injector. you might have a bad o ring on the injector.
as far as compression test... the ghetto way... pull plugs on a couple cylinders. place fingers above the holes ( not in ) and feel for air. should feel the same. if one is really weak then you have a compression issue. or pick up a compression tester and test the cylinder. ( best way )
 

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#3 plug probably gas-soaked due to not firing (no spark). And no, you dont have to have 2 cylinders throwing misfire codes to have a faulty coil pack. If needed, i would suggest the borg-warner coil pack from advance auto or oreilly.
 

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I personally would go with a Motorcraft coil pack. I'm kind of anal that way. I've got a good Motorcraft spare coil pack for a 1997 Duratec.


Monsoon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Is there any way to test if I need a coil pack or not? Is there a way to tell if I still have a stock one or not? I'm guessing I do since it had stock wires and plugs at 157k miles.

Is there a way to test if the coil pack is giving #3 a spark?
 

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I would remove the coil and carefully inspect it for cracks (esp. on the bottom), chipped towers, corrosion, bulges and general overall damage. Then, run it to autozone and have them run primary and secondary resistance tests on it for free. If tests out of spec., its bad. If it tests in spec., it may still misfire under load. Not a definitive test unless it tests bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'll do that when I go there to rent a compression tester. I wasn't aware autozone did that. Thank you SHeila.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I also noticed that my battery light comes on slightly when I rev the engine and it hesitates. It doesn't hesitate everytime I rev it but when I do the battery light flickers
 
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