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1997 Ford Taurus

Bought the car two years ago. Just over 100,000 miles. Over the last 6 months, or so, I’ve had occasion that after the car has been parked (at work–or overnight) it will start and then feel like it’s not getting enough gas–sputtering then die. After I wait about 10 minutes, it will start.

My mechanic is stumped–he ruled out the need for a tune-up w/ evidence it had already been done…their are no computer codes or engine lights. Now when I’m idling in traffic the engine seems to be skipping. Help!

Is this the 3.0L or 3.8L engine?

Did your mechanic check the fuel pressure?

It is the SHO model with an 8 cylander engine-does that answer the question?

Fuel pressure hasn’t been discussed.



Have the mechanic check for mis-firing due to cracked ignition coil(s) … this is usually easily done by misting the coil(s) with water from a spray bottle and looking/listening for the sparks.

I had this happen on a VW Jetta–the coil looked perfectly fine, but when I’d start it on a cold morning or a wet morning it would run like poop for the first few minutes, it would sputter/die if I tried to drive it.

I allowed this to go on for a couple of months, it progressively got worse and required longer “warm up” times before it was OK to drive.

It also didn’t throw any codes or set a check engine light until just before I replaced the coil–it threw mis-fire codes at that point–I was also able to easily see the little sparks jumping from around the coil to the engine metal.

I replaced the coil and brought it into work where I have a high power magnifier for PC board work, I was then able to spot a little tiny hole/crack where the sparks were coming from.

I also had this problem on my 2000 Taurus (durech 3.0) many years ago and was told by the dealer that it was due to corrosion between the coil and plug, they replaced the coil and all was well. That car flashed the check engine light to indicate mis-fire however when the problem was occurring.

Try two things. Prime the fuel pressure by turning the ignition on for a few seconds and then off. Repeat that. Then start it. If that fixes it, you likely have a fuel pump problem of the fuel pressure is bleeding off while the engine is sitting.

Second, give it a little pressure on the accel pedal, enough to crack open the throttle plate a little. This will bypass the idle air control valve and make it irrelevant. If that fixes it you need to clean or replace the idle air control (IAC) valve.

I doubt either of these is the issue. Either could be, however, and they are easy enough to try.