Car died at red light

  • 1997 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 121,000 MILES
1997 Ford Taurus- ran fine on a 100 mle trip of normal speeds no heavy traffic. On return trip of 100 miles same driving circumstances, while sitting at a red light car died. Ignition turns hear fuel pump but will not start acts as if its out of gas. Gas tank was at half full. Finally started backfired, sputtered no power and again died. After about 30 min was able to get restarted, power returned to normal no probhlems remining 40 miles. This is third time it has happened.
Do you
have the same problem?
Friday, July 29th, 2011 AT 5:31 PM

1 Reply

All "crank, no start" conditions are approached in the same way. Every engine requires certain functions to be able to run. Some of these functions rely on specific components to work and some components are part of more than one function so it is important to see the whole picture to be able to conclude anything about what may have failed. Also, these functions can ONLY be tested during the failure. Any other time and they will simply test good because the problem isn't present at the moment.
If you approach this in any other way, you are merely guessing and that only serves to replace unnecessary parts and wastes money.

Every engine requires spark, fuel and compression to run. That's what we have to look for.

These are the basics that need to be tested and will give us the info required to isolate a cause.

1) Test for spark at the plug end of the wire using a spark tester. If none found, check for power supply on the + terminal of the coil with the key on.

2) Test for injector pulse using a small bulb called a noid light. If none found, check for power supply at one side of the injector with the key on.

3) Use a fuel pressure gauge to test for correct fuel pressure, also noticing if the pressure holds when key is shut off.

4) If all of these things check good, then you would need to do a complete compression test.

Once you have determined which of these functions has dropped out,
you will know which system is having the problem.
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Friday, July 29th, 2011 AT 5:56 PM

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