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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, I'm a new member and owner of a 1993 Mercury Sable GS W/ a 3.8 L engine. A little backstory as to where I'm at: I purchased this car a few days ago from one of my lawncare customers. This car was a two owner auto with 88k miles on it (mostly highway miles). Unfortunately It had not been run since 2003 and had just been sitting in the carport of their deceased mother's home. I changed the battery, and oil and added 5 gallons of fresh fuel, sprayed a small amount of starting fluid and got her started. For the most part, this car was in great shape; transmission works/shifts smoothly, engine runs well as can be expected considering the fuel tank was half full of old gas. Ac does not work but that was to be expected. Brakes and steering work like new.

Now I thought that the gas tank was empty as I tried to pump the old fuel out from the fill tube to no avail. I actually filled the tank on my way home so the tank has 50% old and new gas. I added a can of seafoam to the fuel and some 104 octane boost to the fuel and a bottle of marvel mystery oil with the oil and filter change. When the car has been run, it'll start like new, but when it's cold, it's a bear to start. At first the starter bendix dosen't seem to enguage but rapid clicking is heard. Then after a few tries, the motor turns over slowly, increasing in speed as the fuel fires off till it starts. A small amount of light colored smoke comes out the exaust, but clears up quickly(no smoke at any other time). Once it starts, the car starts normally every time till it sits for 10 hours or more. Then it's a bear again. I've driven the car aprox 150 miles and burned almost half the fuel in it. and the car runs great except for an occaisional miss and stallout when idleing. The ac does not click on but I havn't had it checked out due to lack of funds but I hope to fix the starting problem first. Any ideas would be most welcome as I'm not a mechanic, but have a decent understanding of the basics and can do many things in a bind.
 

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I would suspect the starter. Any electric motor left sitting outside for years without running is usually not a good one, bearings corrode and rust builds up on rotating/moving parts that should be shiny clean. It's pretty easy to change a Taurus starter yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok Dan, had autozone run checks on starter and entire charging system and all components checked out as ok. The alternater output is a little low but well within tolerances. They did reccomend that I clean the throttle body to see if that will help in the stalling/rough running department, and I'll do so. I feel some of that is the half tank left of 50% good/bad fuel I have left to burn out. Any more Ideas that could help will be welcome.
On the Throttle body cleaning, Should I remove it from the car or is it effective to clean it in place as the Autozone rep suggested?
Thanks, foot
 

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Throttle Plate clean

Ok Dan, had autozone run checks on starter and entire charging system and all components checked out as ok. The alternater output is a little low but well within tolerances. They did reccomend that I clean the throttle body to see if that will help in the stalling/rough running department, and I'll do so. I feel some of that is the half tank left of 50% good/bad fuel I have left to burn out. Any more Ideas that could help will be welcome.
On the Throttle body cleaning, Should I remove it from the car or is it effective to clean it in place as the Autozone rep suggested?
Thanks, foot
I hold it full open, and clean it with a tooth brush and naptha.

Well, I have someone step on the pedal.

Simple, and naptha dries quickly and will not harm your car.

Also clean the idle air control valve with naptha and a Q-tip.

-chart-
 
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