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Steve, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6913
Experience:  30 years working for Ford dealer. Ford Master tech.
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2003 Ford Taurus Fuel Pump Problems

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I have a 2003 Ford Taurus SES with a fuel problem. For nearly a year, the car had an odd bucking problem while driving which was remedied by hitting the gas. This cleared it up immediately. This would occur maybe 5 times per day.

More rarely, I would take the car to a store, turn it off for 5 minutes, then get back in and drive 100 feet and it would die. The car would have to sit for 30 minutes before it could be restarted. It would drive fine after this. This would happen ~once a month.

More recently, the car will not start. The fuel pump makes no noise when the ignition is cycled. After cycling the ignition two or three times, the fuel pump makes it's priming noise and the car will start. The car runs well after this, no bucking, hesitation or running rough. Once the car is turned off again, it will not be restarted (the fuel pump will not prime). CEL P0191 is on the dash. The fuel filter has been changed recently. Any ideas?

Make: Ford
Model: Taurus
Year: 2003
Engine: SES

Already Tried:
Fuel filter changed, verified correct voltage from battery.

Welcome to JustAnswer
The 2003 Taurus had a lot of fuel pump concerns. Usually the fix is to replace the fuel pump in the gas tank. Another thing you could try which would be a cheaper fix and 50 percent chance of working is to replace the fuel pump relay.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
Is the fuel pump relay #30 in the fuse box?

Steve :
The fuel pump relay is located in the fuse box under the hood or in the engine compartment.
I'll have to look up exact location if it is not marked in the fuse box or if you lost your owners manual.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
I believe it is #30, if so, I pulled that relay apart and inspected everything, it was fine.

Steve :
Then I would suspect the fuel pump in the gas tank. Ford had a huge problem with them going bad in the 03 Taurus.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
Was there a recall?

Steve :
Yes there was But I do not believe it covered your ride. If you give me your vin I could see. But time wise the recall is over. It was dated at certain time frame had to be done and that time has passed.
Think it covered 01 to 03? but the time has passed for the recall to be preformed

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
Oh, I see. Is there any chance of convincing a Ford Dealership that I was never informed of a recall and therefore couldn't have gotten it there in a timely manner?

Steve :
LOL good luck with that one.
Reason for a date stamp did not want to fix it.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
hahaha yeah

Steve :
But you could try.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
Actually I had that same type of deal with a Dodge Dakota
They never informed my father of a major front linkage problem.
So I suppose it's worth a shot.

Steve :
Need proper address and if it changed owners the address to send the recall will not work.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
My other question, if this is a failing fuel pump, why would it work fine when the car finally runs?

Steve :
That is the way it works it will be ok and go out due to heat or whenever it whats to stop working. Remember it is a electric motor with brushes. The brushes are probably worn in the motor.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
Is there any way the fuel pressure regulator is on the fritz?

Steve :
The regulator is controlled by the computer. The computer tells the pump how much pressure it needs. Basically it is built into the fuel pump.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
Ahh, gotcha
here is the VIN

Steve :
what you see on the fuel rail is a dampner and a sensor for feedback to the computer for pressure no regulator.
The feedback sensor reason. For code p0191 is because the computer could not get the fuel pump to build up enough fuel pressure.
Reason you have code p0191 is because the fuel pump is bad. It is telling the computer the fuel pump cannot get the pressure it needs to run the car.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
Gotcha. Thank you sir. Did you get the VIN up there?

Steve :
Yes i did. Nope not there probably due to the time frame is over.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
Gotcha, I may try that call-and-make-them-feel-sorry for me option.
last question
if I change the fuel pump on my own, do I just need to change out the motor or the entire assembly?

Steve :
I would change out the entire assembly. Pretty difficult to just try and replace the pump. Order the fuel pump through Ford parts. I use to change them in 15 minutes. pretty easy job
Of course I changed a million of them.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
It involves dropping the fuel tank, right?

Steve :
yes just remove the two straps. The tanks will drop down and you can get the pump out. Remove the hold down ring with a hammer and screwdriver.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
Alrighty, is there a manual or diagram anywhere?

Steve :
I can get you the workshop manual directions but It will not include shortcuts

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
that's fine, anything will help.
It was -3 last night, I need to know what I'm doing before I venture out into that weather. :D

Steve :
click on the blue link below be in a pdf format

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
That's great, Thanks a lot Steve.
Any other tips on replacing the fuel pump?

Steve :
no it is pretty straight forward I remove the fuel line at the filter unhook the connector and remove the two straps leave everything else attached and reach up and replace the pump.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
wonderful, that's everything I need to know.
Thanks again, Steve.

Steve :
The fuel tank will drop down enough to replace the pump. once the straps are removed. Remember to remove the fuel line from the filter otherwise it will break.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
Will do. Could I do this with two ramps and some jackstands?

Steve :
Yes that will work and on the ground will work just make sure the tank is about empty.

JACUSTOMER-d5tnjynf- :
Cool, that works for me.

Steve :
your welcome

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