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Hey everybody, finally found a good Taurus dedicated forum and was hoping you guys could answer some questions and shed light on some issues.

Ok, so here goes a little background info: My Taurus has been sitting in the driveway for about a week and half (no start-up or anything) because my mom has been letting me use her nicer and newer Explorer. Late last night I get a call from my brother asking if I could pick him up from his girlfriend's house. I agree to pick him up and I decide to take the Taurus so that i won't wake my mom by opening the garage.

About half way to her house, the CEL light turns on. I pay no mind to it and keep driving. I get to her house and pick my brother up and then the CEL starts flashing and the car is riding very harshly. It felt like it was misfiring and it was having a very difficult time picking up speed.

Now we get home and I park the Taurus in a different spot on the driveway. As I'm walking down the driveway, I notice a big dark spot on the driveway where the Taurus had been sitting. I checked the dark spot and through smelling and judging the color the way my dad taught me, have concluded that it was oil.

I really have no idea why it's doing this. My dad and I seafoamed and changed the oil about 2K miles back and the car was completely fine a week and a half ago.

Questions:
Usually, what does a flashing CEL mean?

Why was the car riding so harshly?

What are the possible places it could be leaking oil?

Sorry for the long story, I've just been worried about this all night. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Usually, what does a flashing CEL mean?

Why was the car riding so harshly?
The CEL flashing means the engine is misfiring, which is what caused the engine to run so rough and have poor acceleration. If you get the code read it will tell you what cylinder(s) are misfiring. Do not continue driving the car until the misfire is fixed. If you continue driving you run the risk of damaging the catalytic converter from unburned fuel entering it.

What are the possible places it could be leaking oil?
You'll have to take a look at where the oil is coming from. It could the a main seal, valve pan area. You may have to get under the car and see where the leak is coming from. If you cannot determine the source due to too much oil coating things, you can degrease the area and run the engine, once the misfire issue is resolved.
 

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Is it possible that when you changed the oil, the old filter gasket got stuck on the engine and finally let go?
 

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How about your oil drain plug? Did you put a new gasket on it during the oil change and torque it to specs? My car leaks a few drops if I don't have a new gasket each time - and, crank it down.

BTW, the torque specs are different for the Duratech vs. the Vulcan - please refer to the Hayne's manual for the correct torque specs.
 

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When the CEL comes on that means pull over and find out what is wrong! Do Not continue on as if nothing has happened. Stop and check oil and water levels. Look for the obvious and fix or repair it. You did not mention what kind of oil was found under your Taurus, there is a chance it was some other oil than the engine oil; like transmission or power steering oil.
 
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