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Ford Taurus Problem - Can Someone Help Out?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Onceabum, Aug 4, 2009.

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  1. Onceabum

    Onceabum TS Member

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    I have a 1990 Taurus with 49K original miles on it. Here is what happens: The needle on the heat gauge keeps going back and forth from Cool to Hot. .I took it in to the Ford Co for repair. They flushed the cooling system and installed a new thermostat. It worked fine for about twenty minutes. I couldn’t get back to them right away so I waited about a month until I took it back for an oil change. Told them I was having the same problem with the gauge. They changed the oil and told me there was no problem with the cooling system.

    I took it in to a local service co. today and had them to put in a new sending unit. Afterward. the guy took it for a trial run and said the needle was no longer moving back and forth. I paid him and drove around town for awhile. The needle still moves, especially when waiting at a traffic light, it moves towards the right. It didn’t get over to Hot, but close. There is plenty of fluid in the system.

    Any vehicle I have owned, the needle usually stayed in one position under normal conditions. Any ideas?

    BB
     
  2. Lead Man

    Lead Man TS Member

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    Check to see if the radiator fan is working. When it starts to move over towards hot get out and raise the hood and see if the fan is operating correctly.

    Not a mechanic but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.
     
  3. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    PM Tron, he is an ex Ford tech. My guess is the fan does not come on or there is a ground wire problem. Do ask Tron though as he is quite knowledgable on Fords
     
  4. birddog1964

    birddog1964 TS Member

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    The Tauruses are bad for the cooling fan motor to go bad like said above, but let it idle in your driveway with the AC off and if you have access to a long screw driver when it starts getting hot tap the motor and see if it comes on if it does it's the motor.

    thanks
    lee
     
  5. wdr-NY

    wdr-NY TS Member

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    The taurus' have a recall that requires a cooling bypass to relieve pressure around the heat exchanger. With only 49k original miles, I would suspect this is the problem. You should check the service bulletins to confirm.

    Walker
     
  6. Citori Shooter

    Citori Shooter TS Member

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    New thermosat could be bad(had it happen in a Chevy),cooling fan and relays for fan as stated above.My best guesses.
     
  7. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Check the electric cooling fan. There was a recall on some of the Taurus models because of a fire risk. There is also a fan relay that could have gone bad. If the fan does not come on when standing still at idle with the A/C off, then that's likely where you need to start. Check for power across the fan when it goes high. If there is power, then the fan itself is the likely culprit. You can test the fan by wiring battery voltage directly accross it with the fan disconnected from the harness. If the fan runs well, you need to look at the wiring, relays, etc. There is an easy way to check the fan circuit for operation, but there is a risk of doing damage if you ground the wrong wire. We used to ground Vref with the Key On and Engine Off and see if the fan runs. That puts the ECU in failsafe mode, during which the fan should run. Vref is the sensor voltage that is provided from the ECU to the sensors for the electronic engine controls. It is usually about five volts and would be present in most three wire sensors like the TP Sensor, Map Sensor, PFE, etc. Disconnecting the 60-pin connector from the ECU on the engine side of the bulkhead forward of the glove box would probably also do the same. You'd be cautioned against disconnecting it, since the processor would lose it's adaptive strategies. That would make it run strange for a week or so while it re-learns. All cautions for ESD sensitive components apply.

    If you have an old Star Tester or know how to put the system into "Self Test Mode", the fan will probably be commanded to run during a brief period of the KOEO test. There may be a code set in the processor, depending on what is wrong with the fan circuit.

    If the vehicle has an accessible data link, the fan might be able to be commanded "on" with an NGS or similar tool. Unfortunately, there were many vehicles from Ford that did not have that capability in 1990. Most were equippped after 1991.

    You could also have other problems, such as a bad water pump, head gasket leaks, etc. You seem to imply that the vehicle does not overheat if moving at a reasonable speed, but runs hot when standing still.

    I did work for Ford (not a dealer) AND I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express too!
     
  8. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    If the age and mileage are correct, there's a good chance the radiator is plugged up. The standard dealer radiator coolant flush won't cure that problem (it's just a maintenance item to prevent it from plugging). Have a real radiator shop take look at it if there are still any around. Is the heater still functional? If not, you're on the right track.
     
  9. Onceabum

    Onceabum TS Member

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    Wow! Thanks for all the info, guys.

    BB
     
  10. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    Test the cooling fans first you can test the fans by turning on the A/C or the defroster that will turn on a cooling fan drive the car stop at lights and see what happens if the cooling fan runs and the problem stop with the gauge you need to chek the fan and the temp switch that turns it on. If that fails then you need to look for a cooling system leak. May only leak under laod
     
  11. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    It's probably a 3.8L with bad head gaskets.....seen a jillion of them. Worst engine EVER made.
     
  12. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    I didn't read anywhere that he is losing coolant to a blown head gasket, but it's easy to check for exhaust gas in the coolant. Don't rule out a damaged impeller on the pump.
     
  13. baflstang

    baflstang Member

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    There is a possibility that there is air trapped in the cooling system. This will cause the gauge to move irratically. I had the same situation with a customers V-6 Mustang. I finally got it full by adding coolant in the "bleeder" port. The radiator cap is actually lower than the highest part (tube) of the cooling system and it is difficult to get the system full. Just my two-cents worth but don't tell O'bammie cause him and Nancy will want to tax my little 'ole two-cents worth.
    Bill Weaver
     
  14. claybuster38

    claybuster38 Member

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    Mr O promissed not to tax you if you made less than $ 250,000 just you wait and see. Marv
     
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