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I have had my taurus for 10 months. It has Duratec 3.0 and 53k miles. This weekend it started misfiring under accelaration. The check engine light flashed but did not stick. The car idles fine when in Park or Neutral. However, when placed in gear (drive or reverse) it idles rough, misfiring (i think). Are these symptoms typical for a misfire or could it be related to being in gear (transmission)?

Any ideas?
 

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Since the check engine light flashed...run the car over to AutoZone and get them to scan the codes for you (it's free)...further diagnosis won't help much. Harbor Freight sells a decent OBDII/code scanner for around $40 as well.

Although...you could remove the coil pack and check it's condition, along with plugs and wires.
 

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If the check engine light is flashing then it is a misfire.

Putting it in gear puts a higher load on the engine, which in turn puts a higher load on the ignition system. That's why you'll see a misfire at idle in gear but not if it's out of gear.

Check the condition of plugs, wires, coil pack. You can do the water test. Run the engine in the dark, take a spray bottle and spray a good mist over the coil pack and plug wires and look for arcing.
 

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.

Check the condition of plugs, wires, coil pack. You can do the water test. Run the engine in the dark, take a spray bottle and spray a good mist over the coil pack and plug wires and look for arcing.
[/quote]


If the wet down test and "arcing in the dark " test checks out OK. I just solved my wifes "98 Sable Duratec 3.0 cold misfire/ under load misfire by fixing the vacuum leak at the Rubber elbow to PCV valve junction. Rubber hose elbow had swelled over the years (140,000) but i just threw a hose clamp on it with a 1/4 ratchet with two extentions to get it snugged down. Make sure the PCV is seated down on the elbow.

Good Luck,
Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses. I will try the water test tomorrow evening.
 

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Hey Nick-Just one question, why are you such a huge fan of autozone? Do you work there or something? :D :ford:
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Haha, nah I don't work there. They are one of the few auto parts stores guaranteed to have OBD-II code scanning equipment (unless local laws prohibit it) at no cost. Most of the others (like NAPA, Advanced Auto, etc) are a hit/miss.
 

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<div class='quotemain'>
Hey Nick-Just one question, why are you such a huge fan of autozone? Do you work there or something? :D :ford:
[/b]
Haha, nah I don't work there. They are one of the few auto parts stores guaranteed to have OBD-II code scanning equipment (unless local laws prohibit it) at no cost. Most of the others (like NAPA, Advanced Auto, etc) are a hit/miss.
[/b][/quote]


As a former NAPA employee (7yrs as a Parts Pro, 5yrs in commercial sales), I can tell you why most NAPA's shy away from doing diagnostics.
NAPA is, and always has been primarily geared towards selling to commercial customers. Commercial accounts get highly ticked off when they see a parts store doing things for free that they could be making money with. A shop owner will flat tell you, your buisness is to sell parts. Mine is to repair vehicles. For every retail customer that a parts store gives a free diagnostic to, they just cost a repair shop $40 in potential earnings at the least. I have even had commercial accounts refuse to purchase from stores after seeing employees install an alternator on a retail customers car for free in the parking lot. For this reason, most NAPA's had much rather refer a customer to a local repair shop. That way, the repair shop gets the diagnostics money, and the repair. And the store still gets to sell the parts needed. And they don't run the risk of upsetting a commercial customer that does $1,000 or more buisness a week with them.
 

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<div class='quotemain'>
<div class='quotemain'>
Hey Nick-Just one question, why are you such a huge fan of autozone? Do you work there or something? :D :ford:
[/b]
Haha, nah I don't work there. They are one of the few auto parts stores guaranteed to have OBD-II code scanning equipment (unless local laws prohibit it) at no cost. Most of the others (like NAPA, Advanced Auto, etc) are a hit/miss.
[/b][/quote]


As a former NAPA employee (7yrs as a Parts Pro, 5yrs in commercial sales), I can tell you why most NAPA's shy away from doing diagnostics.
NAPA is, and always has been primarily geared towards selling to commercial customers. Commercial accounts get highly ticked off when they see a parts store doing things for free that they could be making money with. A shop owner will flat tell you, your buisness is to sell parts. Mine is to repair vehicles. For every retail customer that a parts store gives a free diagnostic to, they just cost a repair shop $40 in potential earnings at the least. I have even had commercial accounts refuse to purchase from stores after seeing employees install an alternator on a retail customers car for free in the parking lot. For this reason, most NAPA's had much rather refer a customer to a local repair shop. That way, the repair shop gets the diagnostics money, and the repair. And the store still gets to sell the parts needed. And they don't run the risk of upsetting a commercial customer that does $1,000 or more buisness a week with them.
[/b][/quote]

Ya those sleezy "commercial" accounts not only bone you for diagnostic & repair charges...they'll screw you on the part too...for example...you buy a part for say $100 on your own...they get that same part from the same store as you for cheaper than you...and have the nerve to charge you double what you'd pay....that one business practice is why I DIY on anything and everything...if I can't do it...I figure it out...I like $...and just giving it away never feels good to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I went to autozone, clyinder 3 misfire. The spark plug and wire look good, no corrosion or pitting..
 

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I went to autozone, clyinder 3 misfire. The spark plug and wire look good, no corrosion or pitting..
[/b]
Did inspect your coil pack closely for "cracks" or "scars"?? Check out this recent post below...it talks about a misfire and has picture of a coil showing its age...look for similar blemishes on your coil...IT may be your problem and not the plugs or wires.

http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=63548

My coil is forming an almost identical crack, in the SAME spot as the coil in the pic in the above link... :blink:
 

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<div class='quotemain'>
<div class='quotemain'>
<div class='quotemain'>
Hey Nick-Just one question, why are you such a huge fan of autozone? Do you work there or something? :D :ford:
[/b]
Haha, nah I don't work there. They are one of the few auto parts stores guaranteed to have OBD-II code scanning equipment (unless local laws prohibit it) at no cost. Most of the others (like NAPA, Advanced Auto, etc) are a hit/miss.
[/b][/quote]


As a former NAPA employee (7yrs as a Parts Pro, 5yrs in commercial sales), I can tell you why most NAPA's shy away from doing diagnostics.
NAPA is, and always has been primarily geared towards selling to commercial customers. Commercial accounts get highly ticked off when they see a parts store doing things for free that they could be making money with. A shop owner will flat tell you, your buisness is to sell parts. Mine is to repair vehicles. For every retail customer that a parts store gives a free diagnostic to, they just cost a repair shop $40 in potential earnings at the least. I have even had commercial accounts refuse to purchase from stores after seeing employees install an alternator on a retail customers car for free in the parking lot. For this reason, most NAPA's had much rather refer a customer to a local repair shop. That way, the repair shop gets the diagnostics money, and the repair. And the store still gets to sell the parts needed. And they don't run the risk of upsetting a commercial customer that does $1,000 or more buisness a week with them.
[/b][/quote]

Ya those sleezy "commercial" accounts not only bone you for diagnostic & repair charges...they'll screw you on the part too...for example...you buy a part for say $100 on your own...they get that same part from the same store as you for cheaper than you...and have the nerve to charge you double what you'd pay....that one business practice is why I DIY on anything and everything...if I can't do it...I figure it out...I like $...and just giving it away never feels good to me. [/b][/quote]

When you go to a mechanic, you're paying for the expertise of the mechanic, his time to diagnose and repair, and the specialized equipment he needs. Sure, you can buy an alternator cheaper from the parts store directly; but if you knew the alternator was bad already you would've just gone and bought it yourself in the first place.

That's the way the world works. People have to eat, you know.
 

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I never had a problem paying a mechanic for his expertise, diagnostic time, and access to proper tools...but I don't like having to pay close to 100% mark-up on a part purchased at the auto part store that I have access to as well. Also, take in the fact that some auto parts stores give a number of the repair shops a discount a regular sunday mechanic like myself wouldn't get. So not only do you pay a mechanic up to $100/hr. for their ACTUAL service (which I don't mind & think is kinda fair...) but you could end paying a twice as much for materials (which I think kinda rots)...but on the positive note...that desire to save $ got me to learn how to repair cars on my own....and nothing feels better or more gratifying than doing that.
 
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