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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well lets start off with basic problems
-Long over due (by 3,000mi) for a oil change
-Check engine light is on (bank 1 and 2 burning to lean??)
Now the questions
-The steering wheel vibrates while driving
-Car likes to drift and i seem to have more of a struggle to keep it on the road at low speeds (below 70)
-Strange smell though air vents (I think its from not having the oil changed)
-Popping sound in back taking some right hand turns
-Again popping in the back but when speeding up sometimes

ANY help will be appreciated, im trying to keep her running, but i am lacking in maintenance
 

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push your back end up and down to diagnose the problem area, smell is probably a vac leak which could explain why both your banks are running lean, check tires for bald spots (steering vibration) and obvious camber, could need an alignment and new tires plus a balance

an alignment can fix the drifting, vibration problem
an engine running lean means there is not enough fuel in the air/fuel mixture, a vacuum leak can cause an engine to run lean and cause a rough idle
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I should have stated more clearly that i just got a recent aliment change done in August which fixed some of the steering problems, plus i had my under-body checked today to see if any thing is lose or bent (like tire rods) and my school's auto shop said there weren't any thing wrong that they could see.

I will have to check in about the possible vac leak

I will have to check about getting tires balanced

And my ExpertTire dealer says that i have still alot of life in the tires (This was back in August)

And JohnLemon how can you check the back end by pushing it up and down?
 

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you say there is a popping noise coming from the back of the car, assuming its the suspension making the noise, rock the end up and down to see if there is any noise, remove the tire from where the sound is coming from and inspect for worn out or loose parts
 

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Don't know which engine you have, but lean both banks sorta smacks of a vacuum leak & the PCV valve rubber elbow in the 3.0L OHC engine is a known problem part that likes to split on the under side of the bend & cause a hard to see & find vacuum leak.
If your in the habit of over running your oil changes, maybe the PCV valve is mucked up & stuck open. If it's time for a change, replace it & the rubber elbow.

Vapor recovery vacuum lines are also worthy of being on your suspect list too.

Don't know what to make of the smell coming from the air vents, what's it smell like???? Burned oil, raw gas fumes, musty odor?????

Lots of possibilities on the vibration & steering drift, are the tires properly aired up to spec???? Have the wheels been curbed or chuck holed since the alignment, such that they may have thrown a weight, or are bent???? If not, why not consider having alignment rechecked.
More thoughts for pondering, let us know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a 3.0 Vulcan, and is that repair expensive? and also didnt quite catch where this problem happens at.

What are vapor recovery lines? how could they cause a problem?

The smell pawpaw, is like burnt oil from the air vents but mainly at low speeds (below 55mph) when the air/heat system is turned on.

For the tires i over inflated them (my car on the door says 25) at 38psi

Also what is wheels been curbed or chuck holed?

And i have been considering doing re-alignment since its lifetime, i just want to make sure i fixed everything
 

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PCV valve is an inexprnsive part for the Vulcan.


So, the smell is like burned oil, again if the PCV valve is gummed up, or stuck closed, it can cause an excessive crank case & valve cover over pressure condition that can cause seals to weep/leak oil on hot parts, so imo you need to spend some time & money under hood doing some inspections & getting your scheduled maintenance up to date.

Faulty vapor recovery lines or their fit on connectors can cause a vacuum leak & lean codes for both cyl banks. So can a faulty gummed up stuck open PCV valve.

Are you certain about the door sticker saying 25psi for tire infaltion???? Mine says 32psi, with the specified tire size. 38 psi will make it ride hard, beat the heck out of the suspension parts & sure won't do the tire cords any favors either.

On the tires, Curbed means have you bumped a curb, Chuck holed means have you hit any really deep holes in the road since it was aligned????
 

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tire inflation specs are in your glove compartment
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@pawpaw:
I am going to get my car into my school's auto shop either tomorrow or next week since they check and inspect and fix some things for free, so ill mention this possible problem to them also.

Is there a diagram or picture of this valve on the Vulcan so the shop can find it easily?

Also is there the same for vapor recovery lines?

And yes 25psi is what they want, but what confuses me is that on the gas door that say 32psi????? I guess they couldn't make up their mind :lol2:

And yes recently my town was doing reconstuction to its roads, and so they dug out the old road, and it was unlevel at parts with the existing road, long story short--- i hit those a couple times at the speed limit 35 so maybe that could cause chucked holes??? also i live out in the country with A LOT of potholes lol

@JohnLemon
My car is a 4th Gen, so i only have it on the door and gas door
 

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If you hit that raised portion of road at speed, with too much, or too little air, either could cause tire damage, as the vehicle mfgr specifies tire design, size & inflation pressure according to the vehicles weight, load & expected driving service it'll see.
Hitting pot/chuck holes, curbs, or raised portions of roadway sure, won't help alignment, wheels, or tires.

The shop will know what a PCV valve & vapor recovery lines are & where they are located. If you still want more detail, drop by your local libary & check out the various repair manuals they have on your vehicle.

Sounds like you need the alignment shop to check out the tires for internal damage, the wheels for damage & or missing weights & the steering for damaged, worn or misaligned parts. Get the tires aired up to 32 psi & keep a check on them. Do this before the alignment, so the vehicle is sitting like it was designed for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well ill get that all checked up by my school, they are going to hopefully:
-Tighten my transmission pan cause its lose
-Do a wheel balance
-Rotate tires
-Ill have them check on that valve
-Ill see if they can check for damage on the tires and the weights
-Also to see if they can check my steering for damage, worn, or anything misaligned
Hopefully when things get fixed ill have ExpertTire do a re-alignment

Thankfully this is all going to be free unless i have broken or damaged parts

I have to get the oil changed soon, cause it is bothering me that is hasn't been changed yet, the reason for the delay --money--
 

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I second what others said -- inflate the tires to the correct pressure and then evaluate the ride and handling again, in order to get a clearer description of the symptoms. Then ask somebody who knows more than me :)
Being 3000 miles overdue for an oil change is not serious and should not produce a smell or other symptoms. But the engine will be quieter after you change the oil.
 
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