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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to all!

Three months ago, we bought a 2001 Tarus SEL with the Duratec engine. This is our third Taurus, and we still own a '95 with the Vulcan engine.

The 2001 has consumed a quart of oil every 500 miles from the day we got it with 25,000 miles on it. There is blue smoke from the tailpipe on start up and acceleration. The car has been back to the dealership three times for this problem. The first time they did basically nothing, and they changed the PCV valves each of the last two times. Though I have not had it apart myself, they claim there is oil in the intake manifold, and that it must be coming from the crankcase ventilation system.

So now I'm at the "end of my rope" with this and am ready to invoke my rights under the NY State Lemon Law. But before I do, I thought I would see if anyone has heard of this particular problem before. I guess my only other option is to try a different dealer and see if they can figure it out.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated!
 

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Have you had the compression checked?

You could remove the PCV system temporarily or permanently.

You would need to vent the crankcase, though. So, this may not really cure your oil consumption problem. It's a bit of a trick to vent your cc properly without losing any oil, with or without the PCV system. Obviously 1 qt every 500 mi is not good.

The flow of air thru your PCV system goes like this. Starting at the vacuum source, the intake manifold, there is a tube connected to (or near) your throttle body. I believe it comes up into the bottom of the TB, on the engine side of the throttle plate (butterfly valve). That tube is connected to your PCV valve. The PCV valve is "regulating" the airflow with a spring and stopper. The PCV on your tec is not on the valve cover like the pic below. It is in an incredibly stupid spot on the crankcase, under the #6 intake runner. Check here if you need to find the PCV valve.

This valve location is a key point the PCV system. You want to get gasses only into the valve, while leaving oil mist behind to be condensed and returned to the oil pan. There is probably some baffles to try to accomplish this, but I really don't know what it looks like in a Duratec.

I have had some experience with other engines that probably holds true for the Tec as well. The problems I have encountered were due to sludge and other debris clogging up the drains around the baffling. This was turning the baffles into more of a cup that holds oil. And the PCV valve is sitting there like a straw, directly above the cup of oil. Usually just cleaning the baffles will get you working fine again. But on a couple of engines that I have seen (Jeep 4.0L for one), adding some more baffles might have been a good idea.

Now on the other side of the system is a way to get fresh air in. The PCV valve is designed to suck more air thru it than you would expect to get into your crankcase thru blow-by, so you need some more air coming in to the cc. On the 'tec, there are two places it lets the fresh air in, the top of each valve cover. You will see a plastic tube running from each valve cover to the intake tube (between the MAF and TB). These are the frash air inlets. Notice that they are downstream of the MAF, so that any air that goes thru them is "metered". The air eventually gets into the engine to be burned, so the PCM needs to know about it. You may want to remove these tubes occasionally to check for oil there. There should never be any. If there is, your PCV system is not working properly, or you have excessive blow-by.

So, having said all that, I don't really know if I can tell you the solution to your problem. The first thing I would do is confirm that what the dealer told you is correct, that it's losing oil thru the PCV. One member here (SHOZ123 I think) routes his thru a catch can that allows the oil mist to condense. He drains the can every now and then to keep the oil out of his intake. But, that would not solve your problem, you'd just be draining the can a lot.

I find it funny that they just tell you where your problem is, but aren't offering a solution. Did they clean the oil baffles around the PCV valve? Compression test?

Try removing the two fresh air tubes. Plug the holes in the intake tube (where they connected) and leave the valve covers vented to the atmosphere. Now remove the tube between the PCV valve and the TB. Cap the PCV and plug the TB. Now, any air that comes out of the valve covers is due to blow-by. Start the engine and watch the flow. I don't know if I could described the right amount of flow, but maybe you would notice if there is an obvious problem.

Sorry for such a long post.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
eCar, thanks for the reply!

I guess my main frustration is not so much the problem, but the dealer's apparent inability to fix it. I have done auto mechanics since I was 16 (I am now 50), and I would think that all of the possible causes you have described would have been looked at. Before my last visit to the dealer, I told them that if they can't fix the problem, I will return the vehicle and demand a full refund as allowed by law.

On their paper work, they claim to have performed a compression and other tests. They put dye in the oil and claim that the valves and plugs are fouled with oil. They replaced the plugs on the second visit. Yet, they seem unable to fix the problem. And from what I can gather from my own research, this does not appear to be a common problem with the Duratec 3.0. If it wasn't for the claim of oil in the intake manifold, it sure would seem like valve seals to me.

As a "Ford certified pre-owned" vehicle, the car came with a 6 year/75,000 mile powertrain warranty, so I'm not concerned about getting stuck with the costs of a major engine overhaul (yet). However, I was hoping that such a warranty would give me a break from having to fix these kinds of problems myself. And after an untold number of brake jobs, tune-ups, water pumps, power steering pumps, gas tanks, fuel pumps, etc., etc. etc. I have done over the last 34 years, it sure would be nice to just be able to take my car to somebody and have them be able to get the job done.

So I guess the 2001 will go back to Sayville Ford here on Long Island for good, as per the state's lemon law. It's just a matter of demanding what I paid for, and since they cannot deliver, a matter of demanding (and enforcing) my rights.

In the mean time, my '95 with 117,000 miles needs a serpentine belt and some hoses, which I will do this weekend. At least the old Taurus doesn't burn any oil, and after the years of good service it has provided, it certainly does not owe me anything either!
 

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I plug the PVC intake hoses. This creates a vacuum on the crankcase which will seal the rings better and reduce the blowby. I also have a condensation can between the PCV oil separator and the PCV valve. This will condense out the gasses and stop them from getting to the intake manifold.
 
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I had a 1996 taurus lx which went through a quart of oil per 850 miles. Your car seems to be a lot worse. The dealer finally replaced my engine after giving me the run around for SEVEN FUCsadflkjKING months. After they replaced the engine the car's rpm's would drop at idle and almost stall. It never did, and eventually fixed itself about 3 months later. Same goes for the groaning from my right strut tower after they replaced the engine. That went away about 9 months after they replaced the engine. I had told the dealer and other dealers about these problems but they were to stupid to find them and the problems magically fixed themselves later on. However the point I am getting to:

1) Your dealer sucks, they dont want to replace the engine. If you lemon law it, it will force them to do something NOW, rather than you putting up with their b$ or b$ from another dealer. If you choose not to lemon law it, get the service manager, (the head of all the peons at the service dept) involved. Every time you make a visit, make sure you talk to him, make him take time out of his day to deal with your problems.
2) They dont want to replace the engine, if they end up doing it, they will probably do a s***ty job like they did to my car, not to mention they are underpaid on warranty work.
3) Early duratec's (wayy back in 1996) did have problems with oil consumption. Send me a private message with your email and I will email the tsb to you.

Seriously man, I would lemon law this car and run away from fords. Its obvious the dealer near you can't solve any problems, so if you have trouble later on with a different car, you will still have to deal with the same b$. Buy a used Nissan Maxima. I have had better luck with nissan covering out of warranty repairs than having ford cover in warranty repairs.
 

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I'd get rid of it too. As much because of the dealer as anything.

I thing I remember hearing a similar story about Dodge Magnum engines. In Dodge's case, the intake manifold gasket fails causing oil from the lifter valley to get into the combustion chamber. At least I think that's how it went. I'm not sure if an intake gasket would allow oil to get into your intake or not, but it's a thought.

good luck
-jr
 
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