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Hello everyone, thank you so much for reading my post and if you could help I'd be forever grateful.
Ok, So i have an 02 ford taurus ses dohc. It started bucking at 1st when I'd go to take off from park or a turn and then drive fine every now and then. Then it went to doing it all the time but only when starting out after pushing on the gas petal, a few days later I was on the highway going to work and it seemed to be doing it (like a bucking or jerking thing) then run fine and I was going 65 . On Christmas I was coming back from my sisters and it did that but a light came on that had and exclamation mark in middle. I looked in manual and it was something with the shifting and I couldnt go above 45 I think. Right before I got close to home my check engine light came on. Next morning I turn car on and the exclamation light thingy is gone but engine light on still and I could drive it to get the code read (still doing the revving then bucking thing there). Code read cylinder 6 misfire. The guy there said to get spark plugs and fuel filter. I came home and my son and I changed both. Well, when I got to 6th spark plug I seen a good amount of oil on groves that screw into engine but only on that part no other spot on plug. I called my dad that lives across the us and he said it was a valve cover gasket and I did have a leak somewhere cuz I needed to replace oil 2x a month. So, I fixed that as well. Guess what, still same damn problem! Seems to be worse now because I cant even drive down to mailbox. I was told to replace coil pack and plug wires which I will be doing after work tomorrow but something in my gut is saying it's not that either. I do feel like it has something to do with the fuel. The fuel pump and tank was replaced in 2018 at pepboys. Oh the check engine light is now gone too. When I first got the car last yr it may have had a vaccum problem because when I'd put the break on the oil light and another light would come on and flicker. That is now gone too but I just thought that was a light problem but a co worker said those lights flickering were code for vaccum. This problem whatever it is couldve came from that and now is worse? I do not have the money to take it to a shop. I'm a single mother that works a Walmart. Please if you know what it could be or even live in TN by Knoxville, I would pay what I can or barter cleaning or something. I need this car to run to get to work. I've read so many things it could be. Ugh
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for replying... I did check fluid and that all checked out and it wasnt a triangle but more like a circle like the outside of a nut with exclamation symbol inside. The book didnt say it meant transmission though. I really hope it's not that and from what I did find out online its rarely that and don't have the other symptoms of a slipping transmission. I will have to see if there's other tests I can do to see if it is though just so I can rule it out or it may be that. Idk but thanks again.
 

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The yellow explanation point is a transmission light.

That being said, maybe, maybe the constant bucking has set the light. Idk

Here is a post that talks about related issues for surging or bucking. They resolved Thiers with a coil pack (you had misfire on 6). No yellow explanation point though.

There is also a post within this post, don't miss that link. They talk about other things that can cause bucking further down that thread.


Maybe you could hit a junkyard and get a few of the things they mention just to test. Good luck.

Edit: You might try a new set of spark plug wires or grab some to test from a junkyard. I don't think you mentioned wires but if we are ruling out spark issues...
 

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Pic of '03 DOHC that bucked bad but no code. I took it to Ford garage and they said bad wire on 2 plugs. They replaced wires and it ran OK for a year than it came back. Same issue. Not a true misfire, but arcing on the back bank causes electric issues with the PCM, causes it to fire the wrong cylinder. Dumb me, I replaced the plugs with the same Autolite plugs and same thing. Plug top electrodes are bad fit on the wires. The arcing ruins the plugs and the wires. OK cost me over $300 to find out Autolite plugs are BAD.
-chart-
 

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Pic of '03 DOHC that bucked bad but no code. I took it to Ford garage and they said bad wire on 2 plugs. They replaced wires and it ran OK for a year than it came back. Same issue. Not a true misfire, but arcing on the back bank causes electric issues with the PCM, causes it to fire the wrong cylinder. Dumb me, I replaced the plugs with the same Autolite plugs and same thing. Plug top electrodes are bad fit on the wires. The arcing ruins the plugs and the wires. OK cost me over $300 to find out Autolite plugs are BAD.
-chart-
Interesting. First time I heard a real reason why Autolite plugs are not a great fit.
 

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I'm thinking along the same lines as Chart. What type of replacement plugs were installed? Gap checked? There's been more than a bit of activity under the hood, everything connected okay? No dangling vacuum lines or connectors?
 

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If your transaxle light came on, it should have left a code. For the bucking, it might just be you need a new vehicle speed sensor. Search the forum for VSS before you fear the worst for your trans. That was the problem with my 2000 that was causing occasional shifting issues -- very random and sporadic, but eventually the transaxle light came on and I could get a code.

Also, I've learned from this forum, stick with Motorcraft replacement parts. For the VSS, you can also use BWG who makes the Motorcraft one. I hope you bought Motorcraft for the coil pack - very important.
 

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One other thing you can try (no cost repair) is to disconnect the battery for several minutes to allow the computer to reset. I am not a transmission guy but these electronic devices today do like to create problems that sometimes can be reset with a factory reboot. I believe on the older models like yours the VSS was a high failure item so if the reset does not help, I would go with Blueberries advice.
 

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Hello everyone, thank you so much for reading my post and if you could help I'd be forever grateful.
Ok, So i have an 02 ford taurus ses dohc. It started bucking at 1st when I'd go to take off from park or a turn and then drive fine every now and then. Then it went to doing it all the time but only when starting out after pushing on the gas petal, a few days later I was on the highway going to work and it seemed to be doing it (like a bucking or jerking thing) then run fine and I was going 65 . On Christmas I was coming back from my sisters and it did that but a light came on that had and exclamation mark in middle. I looked in manual and it was something with the shifting and I couldnt go above 45 I think. Right before I got close to home my check engine light came on. Next morning I turn car on and the exclamation light thingy is gone but engine light on still and I could drive it to get the code read (still doing the revving then bucking thing there). Code read cylinder 6 misfire. The guy there said to get spark plugs and fuel filter. I came home and my son and I changed both. Well, when I got to 6th spark plug I seen a good amount of oil on groves that screw into engine but only on that part no other spot on plug. I called my dad that lives across the us and he said it was a valve cover gasket and I did have a leak somewhere cuz I needed to replace oil 2x a month. So, I fixed that as well. Guess what, still same damn problem! Seems to be worse now because I cant even drive down to mailbox. I was told to replace coil pack and plug wires which I will be doing after work tomorrow but something in my gut is saying it's not that either. I do feel like it has something to do with the fuel. The fuel pump and tank was replaced in 2018 at pepboys. Oh the check engine light is now gone too. When I first got the car last yr it may have had a vaccum problem because when I'd put the break on the oil light and another light would come on and flicker. That is now gone too but I just thought that was a light problem but a co worker said those lights flickering were code for vaccum. This problem whatever it is couldve came from that and now is worse? I do not have the money to take it to a shop. I'm a single mother that works a Walmart. Please if you know what it could be or even live in TN by Knoxville, I would pay what I can or barter cleaning or something. I need this car to run to get to work. I've read so many things it could be. Ugh
First there is an arrow that indicates fuel flow for the gas filter. I would check to make sure that is pointing in the correct direction, If i remember it is point to the engine. It should be located underneath the drivers door on the drivers side. it is about 2 1/2 to 3 inch long silver cylinder.
Than I would look to see if the distributer cap is cracked and if the wires are old, cracked and or dry rotted.
Air flow is important so checking and changing the airlifter. There might also be a EGR value that may need to be replaced.
None of these cost a lot but are a pain to track down what's wrong. If you have the manual I would check the maintenance schedule to see what might not have been done.
I hope this helps
John Murphy
 

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First there is an arrow that indicates fuel flow for the gas filter. I would check to make sure that is pointing in the correct direction, If i remember it is point to the engine. It should be located underneath the drivers door on the drivers side. it is about 2 1/2 to 3 inch long silver cylinder.
Than I would look to see if the distributer cap is cracked and if the wires are old, cracked and or dry rotted.
Air flow is important so checking and changing the airlifter. There might also be a EGR value that may need to be replaced.
None of these cost a lot but are a pain to track down what's wrong. If you have the manual I would check the maintenance schedule to see what might not have been done.
I hope this helps
John Murphy
John, the DOHC engine has no distributor cap. ;) Fuel filter is passenger side just forward of the rear tire.
 

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Ive had autolite plugs in my 07 Taurus since i bought it several years and 30k miles ago without any problems. Also used them in my 02 expedition, probably been in there 50 k miles.
You need a code reader or a friend with one...
How old are the plug wires...the coil pack? BWD coil pack is also a good choice...
 

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I've had VSS go bad and not get a code. High RPM and delay up shift from first to second and then wham, hard upshifts. I had to limp home one night by leaving the transmission in drive and not overdrive.
 

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With the bucking, one thing always comes to mind. Throttle body, throttle position sensor.
Your year was during a transitional period where it was still cable but had a throttle position sensor. Before the “revoutionary” drive by wire
Will be a small black sensor on end of the throttle plate shaft. Would be wise to google which pins for the base voltage when car key is on without running. Then try and pivit the sensor to match voltage and tighten down with loctite. If not then at least have negative battery disconnected so will relearn.

Only replace with ford oem. Trust me on that one.
 
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