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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. '02 Taurus SES. I do alot of driving in my car, and this evening on my way home I started experiencing sputtering. When I'm stopped at a light the idle gets unstable, and when I try to accelerate/go it will dip all the way down to almost zero, but come back up. I stopped at the post office, put it in park, it shut off. anytime I come to a stop i get the sputter and almost cutting off. I have a half tank of gas and oil was changed about 2 weeks ago (the stick is still wet too).

Any ideas?
 

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Hmmm do you hear any unusual noises? Do you have the Vulcan or the Duratec Engine? Grab your vin and plug it into the VIN decoder under the "community" tab at the top.
 

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Seems like a vacuum leak. Do you hear any obvious whistling noises when the hood is raised and the engine is running?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have the Vulcan (thought it was in my info?). I didn't notice any noises under the hood, i wouldnt know what to listen for. when engine running i dont hear anything out of the ordinary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
in the past I usually go thru a "ritual" of things when I first get a car. I usually get a full tune-up, but I havent done this and don't know when this was last done. could bad spark plugs (or wires) do this?
 

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I have a 96 Sable 24v Duratec and I have the same problem. I hope someone figures this out because I have spent nearly a thousand dollars trying to fix this.
 

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I have a 1999 Taurus SE 6 cyl 3.0 and when I got it I didn't know what kind of maintenance had been done on it. It wasn't my primary vehicle at the time so didn't pay much attention to things until I decided to use car instead of motorcycle this last year (am a girl and gotta wear dresses SOMETIME LOL!) Anyhow, I started having some trouble in about the same manner you are speaking of. I had a diagnostics done on it and there were codes spewing at me from all over! I started with the plugs, new wiring, a coil pack, thermastat, water pump, tensioner bar kit, radiator hoses upper and lower, new reservoir (overflow) and radiator flush and new coolant and oil change and new filter as well as air filter. I got all that done and was still having that sputtering and dying down at idle and after about 2 weeks of messing around with everyone and their mother giving me their opinion, I decided to go back and take everything off that I had installed and when I got to the bracket and wires for plugs (those pesky ones that are SO easy to get to in the back!!) I found that my IAC valve had gotten loose and somehow cracked (probably when I was re-installing the new wires as I remember that I wasn't SO gentle with them!). So I replaced the new IAC valve that I gotten from AutoZone for $48.50 including tax and gasket. Now I'm doing fine. But I checked my codes off since I've been doing the work myself and I found that I hadn't checked my fuel filter/pump. It turns out that I have to get a fuel filter, so don't discount that. I'm lucky that I have a Step-Dad who is a service tech for Chevy and has all those nifty do-da diagnostic tools/equipment or I would have been forever on this project. And I recommend that you get acquainted with your vehicle, read the manual and talk to other Taurus owners and the more you know/learn the more you will feel comfortable in doing some of the repairs yourself. A lot of the things I did myself and anyone can, except that I opted to have a mechanic install the water pump and tensioner bar kit as I was not up to that yet. So, this weekend it's a fuel filter and new radiator. I found a place on-line 20 minutes away from my house that will deliver a Silla radiator to my doorstep for $120 and that's great by me! I'm learning new things every day! Good luck to you. By the by, this is the best advice I can give anyone. When you have these things happen and it's a bit disconcerting to you, go to a mechanic or to a parts store (ie Napa or AutoZone) and they have diagnostic equipment and most times will do a test themselves for free or rent you the equipment and you can find out by the codes that read out what your problem is. It is well worth the small fees that some places charge, just to have the peace of mind knowing what you have to deal with. Some people just have a problem and instead of getting a reading they put all kinds of time and money into the car and 9 times out of 10 it's not what was wrong and the problem still persists. Anyway, hope it works out for you. I bought a Maintenance Manual and now I log all the problems and codes I've had with the car and what repairs I've made and the dates. It only cost me $10 and it's pretty handy! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i dropped it off to have it diagnosed, I was told it was the IACV. The fixed it (supposedly), but on the way home I almost got stranded, it's still sputtering. I was sitting at a light, and watched the idle go up and down, and the car was jerking like it wanted to go forward.

Either they didnt fix it or it's something else. This is not encouraging :(
 

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Is your fuel mileage being affected? Also, is the service engine soon light on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is your fuel mileage being affected? Also, is the service engine soon light on?
no lights, but funny you'd mention, it does feel like i'm burning a little more gas than normal. A normal days driving gets me around 20mpg and from full it brings me down between 3/4 and 1/2. my day of driving yesterday took me down to 1/2.

fuel filter or pump?
 

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Possible fuel filter, coil, plugs wires, may have a bad cylinder. Go to a parts store ( ie AutoZone or Napa ) and ask them to run codes for you. Don't sweat the stuff you can't fix, find out what the codes are spewing and THEN start your work. The man above me is correct, you should check your service lights. Which ones are on and at what intervals because you'll need to tell that to a service tech so he can give you some ideas on the trouble you're having. But certainly get a diagnostics/codes. Good Luck! :)
 

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will i still get codes without a CEL?
You may have "pending codes", ones that are about ready to throw a code but haven't triggered the light. Or maybe that is something for CANBUS (newer type of OBDII) cars, 2004+ models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
i just came from the dealership, and was told it's the Mass Air Flow Sensor. these things are pricey, can they be purchased at a junkyard?
 

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Wow the MAF is the issue? Head over to the parts store and pick up some MAF cleaner...do not use any other type, regardless of what the dude or dudeette says behind the counter. CRC makes this product http://www.crcindustries.com/hd/images/MAF-PM-WINNER-72-dpi.jpg

Follow the directions on the can...see if that helps. Cheaper than a new MAF. Otherwise, I would post on here or check with someone on getting a junkyard MAF. Or look on eBay for a used one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I drive my car for work, so I was constrained with time (as far as ebay, rockauto, etc). me and brother went to the junkyard. I didnt find an exact match to my car (no 4th gen actually), i pulled three of them from a 99 and 00 model. got back to my car, and they are different, so I had to buy one new :whine: it's still a whole lot cheaper than the dealer tho. I drove it and it should have sputtered and it hasnt yet. gonna run some errands and see what happens
 

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I drive my car for work, so I was constrained with time (as far as ebay, rockauto, etc). me and brother went to the junkyard. I didnt find an exact match to my car (no 4th gen actually), i pulled three of them from a 99 and 00 model. got back to my car, and they are different, so I had to buy one new :whine: it's still a whole lot cheaper than the dealer tho. I drove it and it should have sputtered and it hasnt yet. gonna run some errands and see what happens
Coulda pulled one from an 03 Vulcan for you extra cheap. Bummer. But hopefully that resolved your issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Coulda pulled one from an 03 Vulcan for you extra cheap. Bummer. But hopefully that resolved your issue.
yea, believe me, my wallet isn't too happy right now. ran some errands, idled in drive on purpose and even got caught by a long train and all was well.
 

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That was me from before and glad you found it was the IAC valve, I thought so, but you know, my step-dad told me that when you replace /repair that part and the fuel filter/pump you should always check your idle and adjust timing. Try that and if not check for new codes. I also learned from Ford GM that sometimes it takes a cycle for the check lights to go out. Good luck:)
 
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