I own a 1997 Ford Taurus which has developed a serious problem. The problem is the car just cuts out at random times. When I was in stop and go traffic, the car would be running fine and then all of a sudden it chugges a few times and then totally cuts out. The lights come on the dash board like when you turn the key to accessory. I first thought that it wasnt getting enough fuel or spark, but the fuel pressure is good and also nothing wrong with spark. Also, this same event has happened going 70+ mph on an interstate, so its not just a slow speed problem.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Can you restart it right away when this happens?
Sometimes, but if it does start up it just cuts out again, I usually have to wait a little while. The first time it happened I let it sit overnight and it was fine the next morning, but when it happened on the interstate I just waited 30 minutes and it was fine for the hour of driving I had left to do.
If at the time fuel and spark are working, of course, they will check good! Intermittent problems are the most difficult to find causes for. There is a tester on the market which is made for this type of problem. It’s called What Quits First (no lie !). [ http://www.lenehanresearch.com/what_quits_first.htm ] Some of your better mechanics / shops will have it, IMHO. It’s attached to the engine, and the vehicle is driven until the stall occurs. The test tool indicates if fuel, ignition, alternator, or fuel injectors quit working. The mechanic then knows which major system to concentrate his troubleshooting on. At $400, it’s too expensive for the average shade tree mechanic.