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NicksSticks
NicksSticks, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1402
Experience:  Ford Senior Master, Including Ford Diesel Master
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2003 Ford Taurus: the Coil Pack..fuses..getting fuel..engine turns

Customer Question

ok i have a 2003 Ford Taurus. Its Failing To get a spark to the spark plugs. I had replaced the Coil Pack, Spark Plugs, Spark Plug Wires, and Crankshaft Sensor, i checked all the fuses its getting fuel i smell it when the engine turns and turns. what can be wrong?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 3 years ago.

HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer.

 

  • Does the check engine light come on with the key in the run position?
  • Does the check engine light go off when cranking the engine?
  • What does the theft light do when cranking the engine?
  • Do you have a 12 volt test lamp?
  • This the 3.0L DOHC correct? (you have 3.4L listed for engine)

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The Check engine light comes on when the key is on. i tried to run a computer on it but no codes come back. I tested all the fuses as mentioned. but yes its a 3.0L. when the engine cranks the check engine light goes off.
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 3 years ago.

Ok and the theft lamp?

 

Do you have a 12 volt test lamp and are you comfortable doing some circuit checks with it?

 

 

 

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

At the moment its freezing outside. Otherwise I would. Well here is what happened. Eariler the car was running rough I checked it on my computer but before i could move it to my garage the car just lost power then stalled out. the code that came from the computer before the car stalled out was a misfire in cylinder 2. so this is where now i changed the coil pack. the other one had little cracks/ at the time i changed the spark plugs and wires still no go on the spark to the spark plugs. so i changed the crank sensor. still nothing

Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 3 years ago.
Ok thanks. The crank signal is good, otherwise the check engine light would not go out when cranking. The PCM will not turn off the check engine light until it sees valid rpm input from the crank sensor. The next step is to check for power and ground pulsewidth at the coil connector when cranking the engine. There is one power input and 3 ground driver inputs to the coil pack. The coil pack has 12 volts constant with the key on from the PCM relay. The other 3 wires are the ground driver signal wires from the PCM. There are 3 coils in the coil pack and the PCM pulses a ground to the coils to fire them. This is what needs to be verified next. Let me know if or when you would want to perform these tests and I will guide you through it. It is odd that it had spark (at least to 5 of the cylinders) before you replaced the coil.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
well the thing is that the car failed to start after the car had stalled so i knew the coil went. i repalced it but now i wonder what had happened. because i spent alot on the coil pack itself. but as for the testing part it will be another time.
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 3 years ago.
Ok, Just so you know it is unusual for all 3 coils in the coilpack to fail at once. Usually just one fails and causes the engine to misfire. I can't say I have ever seen one with all of the coils dead. I would suspect that either there is a power or ground signal issue to the coil.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok I just went outside and managed to pull the coil connector off the coil pack so what do i do now?
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 3 years ago.
First with the key on hook the test lamp to battery ground and check for power at the red wire. Then hook the test lamp to battery positive and check the 3 remaining wires while cranking the engine. Each wire should cause the test lamp to flash as the engine is cranking.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
ok I just did, one wire is getting power when the key is turned on. however the other three wires are not getting power when the engine is cranking over.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Make that the first wire is getting power when the key is on the on position however, when the other wires are tested even without cranking and cranking there producing no power through them.
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 3 years ago.

Ok when you said the other 3 are not getting power when cranking I assume you mean there is no flash with the test light connected to battery positive. The other three should not have power they should have a pulsing ground from the PCM when cranking. You had the test lamp on the positive side while cranking correct?

 

If it was checked correctly and there is no ground on all 3 wires then the PCM is not sending the ground pulse from any of the drivers. I doubt all 3 wires have a problem.

 

There are some more checks that need to be done. Using a long screwdriver hold it against the fuel injectors one at a time ( the ones you can access) while cranking the engine. Hold your ear against the handle and see if you can hear the injectors clicking when cranking the engine.

 

Using a voltmeter check for 12 volts at one of the injectors with the key on. One of the wires should equal battery voltage. Now find the DPFE sensor. Back probe the brown / white wire with the key on this wire should have 5 volts with the key on and the connector plugged in to the sensor. Let me know what you find. DPFE picture below. The DPFE is near the ignition coil. It might look different then the picture if it has been changed. It will have the 2 hoses going to it.

 

graphic

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The fuel injectors are kicking on, i can hear them click and can smell fuel at the same time. even when i turn the car on i hear them engage. however i will hve to look around for the part that is pictured to see if it works next.
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 3 years ago.
Ok I am heading to work, will be on and off during the day...you never did let me know what the theft light was doing when cranking
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Oh the theft light it goes off when the engine starts however before i put the key in the theft light is on. Then turns off when i put my key in
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 3 years ago.

Ok theft system working normally

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
i tested that part i found it below the intake system the sensor is still going good. however there isnt a negative current on the coil pack i tested the new coil pack as well as the old one there both still good except the old one has more current going through it. i just dont know what to do next everyone is pointing at the computer or ECU now
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 3 years ago.
Ok I am going to opt out of this question and open it up to other experts. I really don't understand some of what you are describing. I wanted you to check voltage at the sensor not the sensor itself. I also don't understand negative current flow through the coil - never heard of a coil being measured in current. If you respond to this it just directs the question back to me. If you don't respond then it will stay on the main question page for all the experts to see.
Expert:  NicksSticks replied 3 years ago.

Hi, just like Kenny Z described above, with a test light, put the alligator clip on the battery positive (red one or will see a + sign on the battery) Next, with the coil pack disconnected, put the probe on any of the other 3 wires than the red one, and have an assistant crank, the probe should be touching the contact on the connector, not the wire itself. The light should blink. Test the other 2 while you are at it. If all 3 blink, then its time to check fuel pressure, using a fuel pressure gage, hooked up to the shrader valve of the fuel rail above the injectors (will look like a tire stem) Need to have atleast 45 psi here with key on or cranking to ensure engine is getting good fuel pressure. Thinking tests may have been done incorrectly, so lets double check for a pulse to the negative 3 wires on the coil, even if no flash, check fuel pressure.

Thanks! If fuel pressure bad, fuel pump is likely at fault.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks Nick, Its putting out good psi through the fuel line, now im going to test the coil pack with it disconnected next and this time use the test on the postive side of the battery touching the coil pack wires.
Expert:  NicksSticks replied 3 years ago.
Great let me know what you find, if no blinking on any of the 3 wires, yes pcm (computer) can very well be the problem. and if all 3 wires are not giving a pulse is likely the problem, with no codes set.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
ok there is no blinking what so ever from the three wires. i put the clip on the positive side of the battery and the test itself in the three wires non blinked.
Expert:  NicksSticks replied 3 years ago.

Great! Where getting somewhere now, thank you for your patience. Really quick, any repair done recently prior to the problem happening? Or, has there been a heavy rain/ snow prior to problem happening?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
well, it stalled out of the blue backing out of the driveway. before backing out it said on the computer at the Pronto Autopart store it was misfiring. the computer said Misfire in Cylinder head 2. he said looks like the Coil Pack is going out. I ordered the coil pack, the plugs, and wires. three days ago we repalced them. The old coil pack had some majoy cracks on it. it still didnt produce a spark through the spark plug wires. so we changed the Crankshaft Sensor and its doing it again, we took the spark plugs out and they had alot of fuel on them. So I knew the engine was getting the fuel prior to the psi test via fuel line.
Expert:  NicksSticks replied 3 years ago.
Great information, if happened recently cylinder walls may be washed, Recheck to make sure 100% there is no spark using a spark tester on the wire, of any cylinder. Sometimes a test lamp will not notice a spark. Make sure no fuel is around when doing.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
ok, I just did the test one more time (only had one more spark plug tester) still no spark. so does this point to the PCM or ECU?
Expert:  NicksSticks replied 3 years ago.

It certainly does, recheck to make sure you have no codes in PCM (same a ECU ford terminology calls it a PCM for power train control module), if no codes, and no major repairs done, then yes, PCM sounds to be at fault, due to not being able to transfer the crank sensor information to control the firing (not a fact, but just my thought of the system). I would first definetly follow all wiring from the crank sensor to the pcm visually to see if a harness or wire is broken, if looks good, remove connector at pcm, and check all pins, make sure not corroded. If still looks good, reconnect after being disconnected, and try to start, if still no start, I strongly recommend checking all fuses in the engine compartment and in the car, with a test light with key on. Fuses should have power on both sides with a lamp connected to the negative terminal. If you find one with no power on both sides, disregard. If you find one with power on one side, and not the other, pull it out and visually inspect the fuse. Once all above steps have been taken, a pcm is possible, and should be installed at the dealer. Please request before pcm replacement that all modules be scanned for continuous codes, if still a pass, then yes the pcm is likely at fault. PCM's are usually never at fault, so that is why I recommended all of the above steps to help make sure 99%.

Thanks!

NicksSticks, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1402
Experience: Ford Senior Master, Including Ford Diesel Master
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