1996 Ford Taurus idles rough and shifts into drive hard when taking off from a stop

Tiny
WOFODAD
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 125,000 MILES
My daughter's 1996 Taurus idles rough and shifts hard into drive when pulling away from a stop or when first put it into gear. She says the gas milage isn't as good as it was, but I don't think she's checked the exact milage. The rebuilt engine has about 22,000 miles on it and did run smoothly until about 7 or 8 months ago. I've replaced the sparkplugs and sparkplug wires, but the ones I took out looked like they were still in very good shape. The sparkplug for the no. 1 cyl. Was very slightly discolored, but I pulled off the wire and there is a strong spark. I had a code for something in the egr system and had a mechanic replace a valve that was a DPL? Or something like that. It looks like it provides pilot pressure to the egr valve. Anyway that got rid of the code, but didn't correct the rough idle. I've looked for vacuum leaks, but I don't see anything loose or hear anything obvious. I hope someone can help steer me in the right direction. Thanks
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Monday, January 31st, 2011 AT 2:23 AM

10 Replies

Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Hello,

You said you check the spark on the #1 cylinder and had a strong spark. Did you check the other wires? Since it has a Coil Pack one or more of the other towers could have a weak spark.

Also check out the link below for more info...

http://www.2carpros.com/articles/engine-misfires-or-runs-rough

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Monday, January 31st, 2011 AT 3:48 AM
Tiny
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I haven't checked the spark of the other cylinders, but the no. 1 was the only one that was slightly discolored and it looked very good when I changed plugs and wires. The rest looked great.
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Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 AT 6:51 AM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
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Ok, if the spark wasn't a Bright Bluish/White then it is weak and not burning the fuel completely causing the misfire. Which means you will need to replace the Coil Pack.
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Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 AT 1:19 PM
Tiny
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I haven't had access to the car to check the spark output yet, hopefully i'll be able to check it this weekend. If the problem isn't the coilpack, what other suggestions do you recommend (other than buy a Chevy! Lol)
Thanks
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Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 AT 6:07 AM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Ok, First don't buy a chevy, Fords keep us in Business, LOL.

Well since you said the #1 plugs was discolored take a look at the plugs conditions at the link below and let me know which condition the plug indicated. You'll need to scroll down the page some to find the pics.

[html]http://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-change-spark-plugs[/html].

The only other possibility would be a failed Injector or Injector Harness.

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Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 AT 2:46 PM
Tiny
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My daughter left her car at the house today and since it was sunny and above 30* I decided to change the coilpack. I doesn't seem to idle any smoother. If the weather not too nasty, I'll pull a couple plugs and compare them to the #1plug. I figured it would generate a code for a faulty injector?
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Saturday, February 5th, 2011 AT 4:30 AM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
On that year it won't generate a code for the injector itself, it will sometime for a cylinder misfire. Then it is still a matter of going through the routine of checking fuel, spark, etc.
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Saturday, February 5th, 2011 AT 2:09 PM
Tiny
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I've not updated in a while, so here it is. I cleaned the throttlebody, added a bottle of injector cleaner and replaced the fuel filter since the last update. A neighbor came over while I was under the hood and I told him about the car's rough idle and what had been done to the car. He's a part time mechanic. I started the car and he say it sounded like there was something knocking on the backside of the engine. He suggested it may have a cam, pushrod problem. I've been hearing that sound, but it was kind of subtle and I didn't think much of it. I know that's a lot to digest, but I hope you can add some advise. I'm going to borrow a compression checker soon, but I'm not sure when I'll get around to checking the compression. We are suppose to have bad weather for the next couple days or so.
Thanks
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Thursday, February 24th, 2011 AT 9:51 AM
Tiny
OBXAUTOMEDIC
  • EXPERT
Ok, one other possibility on the knocking sound and since you say it is subtle, it could be the injectors. As they get older they tend to start making a light ticking or some people say knocking noise.

Once you do the compression test and write down results for each cylinder repeat test with wet test (squirt a little oil into cylinder before testing agian).
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Friday, February 25th, 2011 AT 3:06 AM
Tiny
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Will do. It might be a few days, we are socked in with rain now.
Thanks
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Friday, February 25th, 2011 AT 7:06 AM

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