97 V6 137,263 MILES

1997 Ford Taurus

I bought a used car (first mistake) from a friend of a friend (second mistake) and trusted him when he said there was nothing wrong with it (third mistake). I had it for 6 weeks when it started jerking and smoking. A coworker said the smoke was coming from the catalytic converter. Drove it home and it has sat for months. I want to get it running again but dont know what to do. I ran the codes on it and I get PO171 which in the Haynes Repair Manual says " System Adaptive fuel too lean (bank 1). When running the engine is rough and there is a " tick tick tick" sound. My husband thought that it spun a rod and he doesnt want to deal with it right now. But I do. IF I can point him in the right direction I might get my car back. Please help. Thanks Debbie
January 7, 2007.

Funny opening line : lol: The car very well may not have not had any problems that the prior owner was aware of at that time. IT is a used car. But even new ones can come with headaches.

Here are some possibilities for the code: Air Measurement System
MAF sensor (contaminated, damaged, malfunctioning, etc.)
Fuel System
Fuel pressure regulator (leaking, malfunctioning, etc.).
Fuel filter plugged, dirty.
Fuel pump (weak, check valve leaking, etc.).
Leaking/contaminated fuel injectors.
Low fuel pressure or running out of fuel.
EVAP canister purge valve leaking (when canister is " clean" ).
Fuel supply line restricted.
Fuel rail pressure sensor (incorrect reading).
Air Induction System
Air leaks after the MAF.
Vacuum Leaks.
PCV system (leak, valve stuck open, etc.)
Improperly seated engine oil dipstick.
Exhaust System
Exhaust leaks before or near the HO2Ss (exhaust manifold gasket, mating gaskets, etc.).
EGR System
EGR valve tube/gasket leak
EVR solenoid vacuum leak
Secondary Air Injection
Damaged/malfunctioning secondary air injection system (mechanically stuck valve).

I assume this is a 3.0? Tell me the 8th digit of the VIN.

The ticking may be thin oil from it not being changed. Pull the dipstick and smell it and feel the oil. Does it seem thin? Does it smell like raw gas at all?

You can check some of these yourself, w/o bothering hubby. Yet. IT may inspire him : wink: Get the info, and we will go from there. : )

8th digit of VIN is U (3.0) I forgot to mention that when it first broke down my husband did change the cam positioning sensor and found that the drive assembly was broke and he replaced it, but it continued to run rough. Also, the oil light was on before, but tonight when I started the car the oil light flickered, turned off the car, started it again and the oil light went off and has stayed off since. The car was turnied off and on a few times since it went off. Sorry, I should have said this in the first message. Oil is ok, no gas smell. Thanks, I will be sitting near by. : P

Jan 7, 2007.
What about the oil?

For what it matters, I don't do this for donations, but for enjoyment. I wish I could make a living at it like this : D keep in mind a donation is no gaurentee of success, but we'll give a good effort : D

I think you need to enter a number in the box, Like $5000 or $10,000 : lol: You will need to talk to the original owner to find out what has been done to the car, unless he gave you the reciepts. Such as last fuel filter etc.

The guy I bought it from bought it from an auction. He said his mechanic checked it out and there was nothing wrong with it. He told me he buys auction cars to flip for a profit for " fun". Looking back. I shouldn't have bought it. Too late now. The oil is ok, no gas smell. I found out from the VIN that the owner before the guy I bought it from was GEICO Insurance and before that it was ALLSTATE Insurance. So as far as a maintenance record I am out of luck.

Jan 7, 2007.
Well no since in cryin over spilled milk I guess, some lessons can be rough : x

Odd that insurance companies owned it, don't like that sound.

Anyways, it looks like we have a list to get through.

" Pick up a code reader from a parts store, according to TaurusWheel: Get an obdII scanner for your truck, it will pull the abs code from the datalink connector under your dash, the abs module works thru that link. Not only that, it'll work for all your obd needs, everyone should have one, not a whole bunch of money, depending on how complex you want to get. Most people probably spend more in a week on coffee and doughnuts " In the meantime,
Check the snorkel that runs from the airfilter to the throttle body. MAke sure everything is tight so there are no air leaks. Notice there is a sensor that is inline of this snorkel.
These are a common problem with this sensor, sometimes it can be cleaned, so pick up a can of electrical component cleaner while your there. Also pick up an aerosol can of intake manifold cleaner, seafoam is good also. Let me know when we get to that point, or feel free to post anytime : D

After re-reading your original post, Was the smoking converter situation ever resolved?

Hi Debbielynn!
What is the color of the smoke?
Ask your husband to remove the spark plugs and tell us how do they look like?
Is there any noise involve while driving?

Jan 7, 2007.
I did a follow up on another post that had the same codes as you, The reply is as follows: Yes, (Code P0171)

We put vacumn flex line on, replaced air plentum vacumn line under intake, cleaned fuel injection trotttle body system and cleaned mass air flow sensor -
it works fine now.

So I guess we may be on the right path : D

I have printed all information and gave to my husband to work on. Thanks for all your help. Things move slow during the work week. Hopefully this weekend we will have ruled some things out or maybe even solved the problem. If not. I'll be back : P

Jan 10, 2007.