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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, this is my first ever post to this site. I am hoping someone here has expereinced the same problem and found a solution to what i am going through.

For the last 3 months, I have noticed very poor acceleration from 40km to 80km. It seems like the car is struggling. I took over my mom's 2002 Taurus 24V DOHC last year with 165,000KM. I had a friend preform a tuneup replacing all plugs and wires along with a downstream 02 sensor that went bad along with a coolant/anti freeze flush. Just following the tune up i noticed a significant increase in mileage with acceleration. This was approx 13 months ago.

Now, my mileage is piss poor along with sluggish acceleration. I am thinking of having the fuel filter replaced along with a "motorvac" fuel line combustion chamber flush. Is this a waste of time and money?

Should i be looking else where to get my mpg up? I replaced all 4 tires along with getting an alignment about 6 months ago. The tire pressure is still good.

Will O2 sensors go bad without a "check engine" light going off?

What should be my next course of action to take to increase my mileage? I am ready to bring my vechile in to have the fuel system flushed, but am not sure if it is a waste of cash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I also noticed that i am blowing a lot of exaust from the tailpipe since it has gotten real cold outside. My wife drove my car yesterday and when she left the house, i did see a considerable amount of exhaust coming from the tailpipe.
 

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What color exhaust? Yes, oxygen sensors can become contaminated with time and cause poor mileage before a limit code is set. Also the MAF hot wires can be cleaned with MAF or electrical contact cleaner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Pool Mileage and slugish acceleration

Curious as to why you changed out downstream o2?
The engine light was on for over a year. 2 codes were present. 1 for a downsteam O2 sensor and a DPEF sensor. Both were replaced at the time of the tuneup.

I believe the smoke had a whitish colour, but i could be mistaken.

I was also told that I need to replace the valve cover gaskets as i am leaking oil. I can smell oil at times burning when it hits the oil shield. Not a plesent odur.

I have a number of problems with this car that i need to fix. It used to run excellent!!
 

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What is a MAF, and what does it do?
Mass Air Flow sensor, it senses air flow into your engine for calculating fuel mix and it can cause all kinds of driveability problems if it gets dirty. It's located in the air intake/throttle body, easy to get to. Easily cleaned with the RIGHT KIND of aerosol cleaner. (Don't use contact cleaner, some leave residue, use a specified MAF cleaner.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Poor Fuel Economy and Acceleration

Whitish exhaust could be the onset of head gasket issues, i know, im starting to sound like Debbie Downer.

More like Buzz Killington... lol

I talked to my step brother who is an apprentace mechanic. In a few weeks, i can bring my car into his shop to get the fuel lines and combustion chambers flushed out along with the MAF sensor and throdle Body intake cleaned for a real cheap price. Hopefully this is the first step into getting my mileage back up to par.

I wasnt aware that code readers show pending faults; i thought codes only appear when the engine light goes off. I will ask him to hook it up to see what the scanner says. Should we be paying attention to any numbers that come up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
low fuel mileage

I live near Detroit Mi, and its real cold here too. The emmissions blown from the tail pipe just seem to be more visable than other vehicles. For example, my wife has a 2001 pontiac sunfire and i notice that there is hardly any visable emmissions when she is driving.

Again, i dont smell any funky odurs, just a strong fuel mixture.
 

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I'd second the idea of replacing the fuel filter, and also checking some of your hoses. My 1994 3.8L Taurus had been having similar acceleration and low mileage problems for some time until the past week or two, when I did a few things: I replaced the fuel filter (the old one was pretty clogged), and I plugged in the crankcase ventilation hose, that had somehow become disconnected from the rocker arm cover, and replaced a rotted hose that connects the vapor canister purge solenoid to a T-connector below the radiator, to which another hose connects that goes to the canister. I got a boost in acceleration from replacing the fuel filter (and I don't have to keep tapping the accelerator as much to keep moving at a fixed speed), and I think a little more boost (but not as much) from dealing with the hoses.

If you replace the fuel filter, test it after it dries out, by placing your lips around one of its fittings and trying to blow through it. If there's a lot of resistance (for comparison, before you install the new fuel filter, try doing the same with it), then it was clogged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fuel Filter

I will be replacing the fuel filter this weekend along with having a fuel system flush. I will also have the MAF sensor cleaned off. Hopefully i can get back up to regular mileage again.

However, I think that I may have a Cat problem. I hear a little bit of rattling under my car.... We will see this weekend if it is a clamp or a Cat issue.
 

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Tinny sounding rattling, especifically at specific speeds / RPMs is often a loose cat heat shield. Easy fix with a very large hose clamp. Loose / damaged cat bricks are more of a dull "thud" sound as they move around inside the housing.

Those fuel system flushes are worthless, IMO, i.e., they are a wallet flush. All gas has cleaners in it already. The A fuels have a little more than the lowest price gas does.

Save yourself some cash and clean the MAF yourself. Very easy to do, and all you need is a can of MAF cleaner from any parts store.
 
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