2001 Ford Taurus, Multiple fuel pump failures


#1

I have been through 7 fuel pumps in the last 9 months. I purchased the car 1 1/2 years ago with 95000mi from an elderly lady, pulled the car fax and it had no issues and had been back to the dealer every 3000 for every scheduled maintenance and minor routine maintenance. It is a 2001 SES DOHC 24valve.

9 months ago, the fuel pump died right next to the Ford dealer. It had been randomly quitting on me after I would shut it off for a month or so. Then I would hear it priming and knew it would start. Finally, it just wouldn’t start after an hour of trying. Of course, the next morning it did.

Took it to Ford, and it wouldn’t do it for them, but they thought it sounded like a fuel pump problem. The next 3 pumps they put in wouldn’t register a full tank and would indicate that I was low on gas about 50-60 miles before it should, and when filling it, would only take 12 gallons of gas in the 18 gal tank.

The dealer checked the amount left in the tank and verified that it was an 18 gal tank ( which I already knew) when changing to #4 and finally agreed with me that something was amiss. They thought that maybe # 4 would be better because it came from a different place in a different box. These were all supposed to be genuine motorcraft parts.

The next 4 pumps registered a full tank and I was getting about 300 miles before the check fuel light would come on and would take 15.5-16 gal of gas to fill, which was normal. The problem was that they all died after about 600-700 miles. The dealer said they talked to Ford and they kept telling them the same things to check which they did and were all okay. Things like resistance connections. The last pump #7 failed early in the day and still wouldn’t start the next day, but did start after getting it towed to Ford. The dealer attempted to order #8, but Ford had put a hold on all the pumps they had in stock. So either they weren’t shipping anymore for me or there was a much widespread problem. They installed a Carquest pump this time. This one doesn’t register the right fuel in it either. Not as bad as 1-3, but I am getting about 35-40 miles less than I should before the check fuel light comes on and it is taking about 14 gal to fill.

Any ideas what Ford may be missing when they change these out that I might pass on? They probably wouldn’t listen anyway as it took the first 3 before they actually measured the fuel still in the tank even though I had been telling them it wasn’t right.

If # 8 works, should I just live with it not showing a full tank, at least it is working. Either way I am afraid to drive the car to anywhere but work and even that is kind of nerve wracking.

At least the pump has been under warranty every time to I get a loaner and they fix for free, but I want it fixed right!

Thanks for any input
Bri


#2

To me, registering too much fuel rather than not enough is just fine. You just fill up somewhat prematurely. I would drive it and see how it goes. If the fuel pump otherwise works fine, then I would declare victory and move on. I assume it is still under warranty for probably 11 more months, or so.


#3

Thanks, if it continues to work, I’ll just ride it out knowing that I have 40+ miles to after the check fuel light comes on


#4

Dont wait for the fuel light. Use your odometer. Fill up every 200 miles would be a good idea.

Some ppls kids…


#5

The up side was that when the last one died, they gave me a 2011 Mustang to drive for 10 days. Sad to give that back


#6

Just curious, but exactly what is dying here; the pump itself, the fuel tank sending unit (part of the pump module), etc?
Have the removed and allegedly faulty pumps actually been tested to verify that they are bad?
Is this entire issue a matter of the dashboard gauge reading?

I’m having a hard time here seeing Ford covering all of these parts under warranty without some real serious questions being asked of the dealer.


#7

When it has come in, with the exception of the last time, the pump has been dead. Turn the key and it is not priming or pressurizing the system, just turning over with no fire. Not sure what if anything they tested at that point. Told me they called Ford and were told to check some wiring resistance, the gauge cluster and several other things, which they did all 7 or 8 times. Each time everything they checked was fine. They were also getting frustrated and baffled on the whole deal. In addition to the head mechanic, they had 2 other experienced mechanics at the dealership look at it to see if they had a different idea as to why this is happening. The sending unit is part of the pump in the tank itself and they changed the filter on the first replacement. The first 3 were a matter of the reading on the dash, the next four were complete failures. Turn the key and no priming or pressurizing the system. Just sit there and turn over. I’m approaching the 500 mile mark now where the last 4 failed. Hoping the carquest pump will make it through the barrier.

I think maybe Ford is covering it under warranty because there was a problem with the pumps. It is either a massive problem with the pumps or they aren’t shipping to my dealer, because they don’t know what is going on.


#8

I rummaged through my schematics and while I have quite a few for late model Fords I do not have one for your particular car.
At this point I have to say that I’m have a near impossible time buying into what you’ve been told and what has been done along with buying into the notion that 7 fuel pumps are indeed faulty.
Add to that the fact that I don’t see FOMOCO buying a bunch of these back under a parts warranty.

At the dealer level (not Ford) I’ve been involved in a few parts failures and I will say that the factory will parts warranty once with no problem, assuming it’s verifiable.
If it happens twice the eyebrows go up and questions are asked. We’re supposed to believe that Ford is buying pumps back en masse without someone at the regional office saying hold on a minute?

If they take one of those allegedly bad pumps, put it under 12 volts on the workbench after being removed, and it doesn’t work then maybe they have a point.

I’m leaning towards an intermittent electrical fault and a possible misdiagnosis and to shorten the length of the post I’ll elaborate in another.


#9

Generally the ECM (computer) provides an electronic ground for the pump relay for about 2 seconds when the key is turned on and the engine is not cranked over by the starter. This ground disappears and reappears when the starter motor is cranking the engine due to a pulse from the ignition module.

There are a number of reasons why this could be an intermitttent fault; corroded pump connector pins, corroded ground terminal for the pump module, intermittent relay, ECM, or ignition module fault, etc, etc.

Do you live in a high road salt area? (Great Lakes region, etc)
Do you know if they’ve ever tried running a hot jumper to the pump when it has allegedly died to see if the car will run fine that way or not?

It would also seem to me that if they’re replacing all or most of these pumps under a parts warranty it should all be logged into the Ford Oasis system. (pushing any FOMOCO questions about this aside for the sake of discussion)
You might drop by another Ford dealer and without mentioning any of what has transpired, ask them if you could see the Oasis report on your car. (You will have to provide the VIN to them.)
I’ve probably been little to no help here but something is not adding up to me.


#10

This one is weird. It almost sounds like someone is leaving a shipping tie on the gas tank level float when they install the pump assembly. That would affix the float in place where it would always show full, and perhaps on the Carquest one it simply rstricts the float’s movement.

Since they’ve apparently checked so much, I wonder of they’ve checked the inertial switch. That’s designed to cut power to the fuel pump in the event of a rollover. If it malfunctions, it could intermittantly cut power to the pump.

The “hot jumper” suggested by OK4450 would be a good diagnostic step. It’d eliminate the possibility of an intermittant short to ground on the power line and also eliminate the inertial switch as a candidate.

Understand that I’m just wildly guessing here. I know nothing about the specific vehicle.


#11

With the fuel pump module on the workbench all they have to do to verify things is to power up the pump (very briefly) with 12 volts and the fuel sender circuit that operates the fuel gauge can be easily checked with a VOM while manually moving the float arm.

You’re right; there is something weird going on here. The part I don’t get is why FOMOCO is (allegedly anyway) doing repeated warranty coverage on multiple pumps.
That’s not the way any car maker I’m familiar with operates.


#12

I’ve tried to talk to someone at the regional office, but they don’t just give that phone # out. I did send and email to the warranty repair department at the regional office and they got right back to me. No help though. Told me to “stick with the dealer, as sometimes these things take several trips to diagnose the problem and they know what they have already done” WHAT! You’re kidding me. If the carquest one craps out on me, I’ll print this thread out and see itf they have checked all these things.


#13

“ok4450” and “the same mountainbike”, I myself have not tried any of the suggestions. When it dies, I call for a tow, get a ride to ford, get pissed off, pick up my loaner and come back in 5 days to pick it up. I’m not ever charged for any of this so I’m not going to try and mess up something even further. Other than simple repairs, my knowledge of cars went out with the carburetor. So other than the limited info they give me, I’m not sure what all they have done and tested.


#14

Car makers won’t say anything to anyone anymore. A couple of years ago I sent several emails to Ford asking about a service procedure.

My question was simply this. "Does Ford Motor Company recommend a flush only during a transmission service or does Ford also recommend a pan drop and filter change to go along with this?"
Pretty bland and apparently harmless question, huh? The Gestapo couldn’t have gotten that question’s answer from them no matter what.

“See your local dealer where they have the technicians with all of the latest equipment and training to take care of all of your service needs”.
I got the same generic response when I asked why should someone rely on a dealer who is doling out absolutely ludicrous technical advice. Blah, blah.

(This did not involve my vehicles nor do I rely on anyone for service. Ford also had no response when I asked if they agreed with the advice the dealer gave about “transmission shuddering is normal when new transmission fluid is installed. It takes a couple of hundred miles to break the new fluid in.” They said this with a straight face. :slight_smile:


#15

As “the same mountainbike” suggested it may be the inertia switch. I had a problem with my '88 Escort several years ago where sometimes the fuel pump wouldn’t turn on and prime the fuel system when the ignition switch was powered on. The most likely times for this to happen were in cold or wet weather, but as soon as the sun would hit the car and the temperature began to rise it would start. After trying everything I could think of, one morning when it wouldn’t start I removed the rubber plug that gave access to the inertia switch and put my hand on it warming it up and the car started right up. I went to a junk yard and got a $5. inertia switch from a junker, put it in and everything has been fine ever since. I’m not sure of this, but I think there’s a spring in the inertia switch and I assume it was contracting in cool/cold weather leaving an open circuit. I remember hearing of several people having the intermittent no start problem with Ford’s in the late '80’s and early 90’s. At this point with having tried replacing the fuel pump so many times I’d try buying a used inertia switch and see if it resolves the no start problem. The gauge not registering the correct amount sounds like either a short going to the gauge or an improperly adjusted float.


#16

“FordMan59” thanks for the info. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to when it won’t start. It has been first thing in the morning when I try to go to work, and then it has been after driving for 5 miles, shut if off and run into the bank. Come out and nothing. It has happened anywhere from January when it is cold to July when it is hot out. If it happens again I was wondering if I set in on fire will my insurance will cover it. ha


#17

You also have a fuel pump relay somewhere that may be working intermittently, but I’m not sure where it’s located on the Taurus. I know on my Escort it is mounted on the same bracket as the ECU.