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1989 Ford Taurus

Car dies going down the road, last year I was towed three times on freeway, once in town. I noticed that before it shuts down the aircondition stops and auto windows won’t work then I go to step on the gas and nothing… it can happen two miles from home or 100 miles from home. after it sits awhile it will start. been to mechanic and he had it for a month and ran it everyday he said and nothing like that happened. I told him I was on a fixed income and I don’t know if that’s why he didn’t dig into it. I have gone to him for years I’m not sure why he did not help me more. thanks…

Don’t these older Fords have problems with the ignition module failing when hot?

If the idiot lights are not coming on when the engine quits a flaky ignition switch would be a good guess. The last ignition switch I replaced on one of my Fords was only $12.00
. Do this yourself-it’s very simple- with the instructions in a Haynes manual & you might get lucky for just a couple of bucks.

If you do this make sure the hole in the new switch lines up with the pin in the steering column

Yeah i’m on my 3rd ignition module on my 87 Ranger with 240K miles. But the module wont effect the power windows or air conditioning.


Considering you’re on your third module, the replacement parts must not be better than the original design?

thanks so much…my nephew from Alaska who owns a tire shop said right away Ignition Module…

Is the Ignition Module easy to replace without a mechanic?

The modules seem to be good for around 110 K. The factory module made it to about 120 K & the truck started to backfire something awful. Replaced the module & at about 230K the engine would die & not start again til it cooled off. Replaced the module again.

Cant complain since the truck has been incredibly reliable & the 2.9 liter V6 loves to rev & with the 5 speed it’s a kick to drive.

The module is simple enough to replace, but did you tell your nephew that the power windows also quit working when the engine dies?

Have you noticed whether or not the idiot lights come on when the engine dies?? If they don’t the ignition switch would be the main suspect.


Have you had a cracked cylinder head?

thank you, I did tell my nephew that the windows didn’t work, and no idiot lights, everything dead. being that I am single it is hard to trust a mechanic, I thought this would be the most honest way to go, thanks again…

Not that I know of have I had a cracked cylinder head. I have had the alternator replaced and a new ignition lock. How about battery cables could that be the problem?

I heard from colleagues that are familiar with Ford . . . including some that worked at a Ford dealer . . . that the 2.9 V6 was known for cracked cylinder heads

Glad to hear you guys escaped that fate

Yeah the 2.9’s don’t like to be overheated. So far no problems with mine.

I think the 1990 and newer had beefed up heads.

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The ignition module cant cause everything to go dead, but a flaky ignition switch sure can.
If this was my car i’d replace the switch.

If you want to do this yourself take a look at the underside of the steering column plastic trim just behind the steering wheel.

Theres probably 2 recessed screws with Philips heads Remove those screws and squeeze the lower half together & remove the upper half. This is probably how it comes apart

The ignition switch sits on top of the column with about 10 wires attached.

you have been a big help, every one thanks…

My parents had a Taurus of similar vintage, and they had to replace the ignition switch a couple of times.

Yeah it could be a problem on the battery side of the ignition switch. If the miserable thing would just die & stay dead it would make this much easier to figure out.

I know, well its dead now cause it has sat so long. need to charge it and get this beast figured out. thanks.