1997 Ford Taurus Car Slowed down and shut off by itself.

Tiny
JCHANNAJR
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD TAURUS
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
My wife was driving down highway, when car started slowing down on its own. She pulled over and it shut off. It would not restart. The engine would turn over rapidly, but not start.

Prior to this: Noticed in last few days, the car sporadically would not start. Unless I pumped throttle a couple times while starting it up. This was sporadic though, maybe once per day/every two days. Was suspecting possible fuel pump issue.

Also, know there is a cooling system issue. Needs a flush. There was some steam present when the incident occured. But, don't believe this is a symptom of the current problem -- but thought I would mention it.

Here is what I have done/checked.

- No water in oil. Oil is good (Oil and filter 1 mo old)
- Changed Fuel Filter thinking possible clog (needed it)
- When turning car on (before it cranks), can hear fuel pump engage, faintly, but I hear it.
- battery good, connections good.
- Fuel Pump Fuse OK.
- Like an idiot I forgot to depressurize the fuel system before I removed the fuel line coming into the fuel filter, and got a fuel shower. This came out with a bunch of force, so I am assuming the fuel pump IS actually working.

I really need some help trying to find which direction to go in. Am I on the right track checking fuel related issues?
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 AT 10:52 AM

9 Replies

Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
http://www.2carpros.com/video.htm
this page should offer some help and direction
check for spark
if have spark and fuel
need to do a compression test
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 AT 8:46 PM
Tiny
JCHANNAJR
  • MEMBER
Thanks. Helped a few things.

In addition here is what I determined.

There is fuel to the injectors (got another fuel bath)

I visually looked at a spark plug while cranking, and no spark. However, I am going to check for spark using the method I saw on that video page -- Just need to get a tester.

Tried to start with some either. No luck.

So instead of fuel -- it looks like an electrical issue. Am I correct?

NOW, I do want to add this. From trying to start the car. The battery is starting to get low on juice. To me -- it seems like that happened too quickly. I only tried turning it over about 10-15 times tops. Could it be the alternator has gone bad and is not recharging the battery? Thats why it shut down and died and there just isnt enough juice to spark?

I think that IF the alternator is the problem -- I have another issue as well. But it just seems weird the battery would die so quickly.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, May 6th, 2010 AT 1:58 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
On the right track
confirm spark test and suspect module
or sensor

best if you can get an OBDII reader and check for codes
battery is expected to go low with out a charge
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, May 6th, 2010 AT 6:08 PM
Tiny
JCHANNAJR
  • MEMBER
BMRMRFIXIT, thank you for taking the time to help!

I determined I had a bad multimeter - so I walked to Home Depot and got one. I have 12v across battery. Which is not what I expected. But I tried to turn it over and it sounded like juice was back, but wouldn't start. The dying sound could have been just the repetitive attempts to start it up I guess.

I am thinking ignition coil module or crank sensor. I cant work on the car anymore today, but that will be the first place I go in the morning. Unless you have any other suggestions.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, May 6th, 2010 AT 6:27 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Expect the battery to drain down
if possible put it on the charger or have it charged, or try and get a jump

try to get your hand on an OBDII reader
that should help you a lot, now and in the future

codes should indicate to troubled area
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, May 6th, 2010 AT 7:19 PM
Tiny
JCHANNAJR
  • MEMBER
Dont have the funds for a reader right now. Lost my job a few months ago...and working on borrowed funds to fix, and relying on leg travel to auto store (6 miles round trip).

So, here is what I have now. Found the problem(s).

1st problem discovered. Camshaft Positioning Sensor -- destroyed.

2nd problem eith cause of first problem or result of 1st problem I don't know...damaged Camshaft Syncronizer. (some stores call it different names -- I have attached a photo of the part.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/524367_Image2_1.jpg



If you look at that picture -- there is a metal part at the top that parallels the body, where the sensor is attached. I hope that is clear -- but that part was bent.

I am thinking that one of the two parts wore out and destroyed the other. Probably the syncronizer. They are original parts.

So -- I replaced the syncronizer and the sensor. Theoretically -- I figured problem would be solved.

Reality -- still same problem. I am wondering:

1. Did it maybe throw an error to the computer and the computer is preventing the car from starting (maybe damage control?) I don't know -- I am not a mechanic -- and don't know if the computer would do such a thing. Like maybe the error needs to be cleared before the car will do anything.

2. There is yet another problem that I am not seeing.

I double and triple checked fuses -- attempted a jump start...and no improvement. Now it does sound like normal when you try and start it with a jump (it needed juice.) but it still just turns and doesn't start up.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 5:44 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Camshaft Synchronize is what we call it too

should have no effect on the spark

very common for the cam sensor to fail and in result the sync fail

disconnecting the battery should reset the PCM (computer )

at the coil have 4 wires
check for power with key on
should have power at the white/LT blue wire

PCM pulse yellow /black, red and white
if so have a bad coil
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 9:17 PM
Tiny
JCHANNAJR
  • MEMBER
I checked the coil earlier -- resistance checks (within/close to specs), and all showed OK. And I did have voltage to it.

You have any other ideas? I really don't want to take this to a garage.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 AT 10:23 AM
Tiny
JCHANNAJR
  • MEMBER
Checking the coil -- here are my readings.

Primary Resistance:
SPECS:.5 ohm

My test:.9 ohm

Secondary Resistance
SPECS: 13,600 ohms

My test:
Coil 1: 13,310 ohms
Coil 2: 13,260 ohms
Coil 3: 13,440 ohms

I tested for voltage at the cable and got 12V

Correct me if I am wrong -- though not exact -- these readings are within specs.

Also, battery is fully charged exactly 12V. Car sounds like it is on a low battery -- like it needs a jump.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 AT 10:54 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides