2002 Ford Taurus • 103,000 miles

Bought a used 2002 Taurus SE 3.0L OHV (U). I have noticed this surging or hesitation when driving. It is also present occasionally when idling in park. No stalling or hard starting what so ever. I am sure it has the original spark plugs and wires still on which I plan to replace very soon. I know this has been asked many times but my symptoms are not the same as the others have. Got any suggestions where to start to look for this issue? I also have a new fuel filter I am going to install as well. I have some ideas but wanted a better opinion on where to start and what order to go in. Don't want to have to spend thousands at the dealer on something I can do myself. Any help in this issue would be wonderful.
Thank you
September 10, 2013.

If the plugs are still original, it is time to replace them. As far as surge at idle, check for vacuum leaks and check the idle air control valve (IAC). The IAC is responsible for maintaining a smooth idle. Since you feel a surge when accelerating, I suggest you start by checking the fuel pump pressure and also make sure the catalytic converter isn't plugged.

Let me know what you find.

Thank you Jacob and Nickolas.
I think I found the problem. The other day when I started the car it was idling rough which it has never done. So I got out and listened close and heard that old familiar spark plug wire grounding out intermittently. I raised the hood and confirmed my suspicions. Got some new wires and plugs and I am in the process of installing them right now. Here is what I found, it is easier to remove the intake plenum to get to the back plugs, I know some say they have changed them with it on but it was easier for me to take it off.
Word of caution for anyone attempting this job at home. Be very careful of the EGR Pressure sensor and disconnecting them. If you have the original sensor the tubes the hoses hook to are very brittle and break easily. I broke both of mine off. Also seem Ford has superseded this part with one that does not have mounting holes which my old one did. Looks like I am going to have to get creative to mount the new one. Also this part Is kind of pricey at about $60 in my opinion. I will follow up if the new plugs and wires fixed my issue.

Sep 12, 2013.
Sounds like you found the issue. Let me know if it fixes the problem.

Jacob and Nickolas,
Here is a list of the work I've done: New plugs and wires
Cleaned the MAF
Replaced the inlet plenum gaskets when I did the plugs
New EGR Differential Pressure Sensor
New cam shaft synchronizer ( did not replace the sensor )
The problem with the at speed surge is still present. More pronounced with the A/C is running
Need some suggestions on where to look now. I am out of ideas. I did notice the the PCV valve is very loose in the hole it sits in but not sure this would cause the issue.
Any ideas and I am all ears.
Thanks in advance.

Oct 2, 2013.
Hi: Sorry to hear this wasn't resolved. You made me think that maybe there is a vacuum leak at the PCV if it is really loose. Is that possible?

It could be possible. The PCV valve comes out very easy which I did not give much though to until recently. The PCV valve should have a snug fit in the valve cover correct? Is the seal or grommet the PCV fits in replaceable? I'll have to check it out tomorrow. Suggestions on how best to check this?


Oct 2, 2013.
Yes, make sure the PCV has a good tight fit. Also, check all vacuum hoses to make sure they are tight, not damaged, and not leaking.

Let me know what you find.