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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My '93 Taurus -3.0L 171,000 mi- is very sluggish right off idle. It idles nice and smooth and steady cruises well. It just had a major tune up done to try to fix this problem. (wires, cap, rotor, plugs. PCV valve. cleaned throttle body, fuel filter) I now am seeing the battery light come on when accelerating. It is off at idle and steady cruise. Are these two problems related? Could I have weak spark on acceleration only? The mechanic who did the tune said he checked the alt. output and it was OK. But this was at idle when the engine runs great and the battery light is off. Any theories?? thanks
 

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Alt light at higher RPM is caused by 1) badly slipping serp belt (easy to check) due to bad belt or weak tensioner 2) alt brushes or commutator ring worn out. Low voltage will cause all kinds of running problems, even on the older EEC IV cars.
 

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Sounds more like a slipping belt if it's only happening on acceleration. For the stuble off idle, take the distributor cap off and check the magnetic pickup for damage and the distributor shaft for side wobble. If they're worn, buy a rebuilt distributor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input. The fuel filter was just changed and the distributor was replaced last year after the original gave up its teeth on the drive gear. I will check the belt and tensioner. I guess I can have the altenator tested too.
 

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Belt slip test

Thanks for the input. The fuel filter was just changed and the distributor was replaced last year after the original gave up its teeth on the drive gear. I will check the belt and tensioner. I guess I can have the altenator tested too.
Easy way to test belt slip.
Start the car warm. Lights on bright, air on max, fan on max.

Turn the wheel one full turn either direction and hold it for a few seconds. Then try to turn it the rest of the way to the stop. If it turns ok, the belt is not slipping. Max belt load, holding it heats the belt, worst case for slipping belt. The PS will slip first in most cases, or the crank pulley.

-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What next?

Okay, belt is in good shape as is tensioner. Had the alt. tested and it failed. New alt. put out the battery light, but poor acceleration is still present. I have checked for vacuum leaks and haven't found anything. This car feels like it's running lean. Along with the sluggish acceleration, there is a slight surge at highway speeds and will actually pop and cough when accelerating when cold. No CEL lit. Could the O2 sensor be bad without lighting the CEL? Could a faulty O2 sensor cause a lean mixture? Any ideas?? Thanks
 

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You're right it sounds like its lean when you try and give it gas. Check your fuel pressure...it could be the fuel pump going on you. I had the exact same symptoms on a different car (Volvo). It was drivable. It idled, cruised, and as long as I didn't give it too much "gas" it would accelerate slowly. As soon as I push the accelerator too far, it would start hesitating. Eventually it got real bad and I had to replace it. It also had a hard time starting when it was real (Minnesota) cold out.

My Haynes says fuel pressure depends on year, but it should be at least 30 psi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
cause found

ended up being a plugged cat. front end of the cat was much hotter than rear. replacement solved the problem. for a good chuckle, ask your ford dealer what the list price is on this part. (ford says it's obsolete) I found one online for $220 and you get a couple of bucks back if you return the old one. I know it's probably made in china but I couldn't put a $1400 part on a car worth $400.
 
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