3.0 Taurus Wagon GL: Repair "H" hose, now won't start

192,852 miles.

I pushed down on the wiring harness when reattaching the (now) somewhat shorter “H” hose. Thought this could be a problem, so I then ran the “H” hose UNDER the harness (which seemed better). Any chance I could’ve broken a wire in the harness? I didn’t move it very much at all, but those wires have been drying out for 13 years now. The car started right up afterward repairing the hose, but suddenly stopped after idling for about 5-7 minutes … then it wouldn’t start again for at least 15 minutes when it “caught” and idled for about 1 minute. Hasn’t started again since.

Besides the usual P0430 and P1131 codes, I noticed two other codes: P1744 and P0340. Don’t know if they just showed up today or if they’ve been there a while. My guess is it’s the latter because I once saw P1744 about 7+ years ago and it was due to the cooling system not cooling the tranny fluid sufficiently (which is what has been happening again lately with the coolant leaking out of the “H” hose … and the Degas tank before that). Temp gauge has been running past mid-scale at idle … an indication of low fluid, and I’ve been filling as needed to prevent overheating until this weekend when I finally installed a new “T” on the “H” hose (it was leaking at the molded “T”).

P0340 I saw pop up about a year ago during very cold weather. I wouldn’t doubt that the damn magnet on the sensor has once again fallen into the synchro like it did 8+ years ago, but would this cause a no-start condition? I wouldn’t think so…

The car cranks plenty strong. Just won’t “catch” and start. Up until today and the hose job, it had been running fine. Even drove it this morning about 10 miles. Could I have a coincidental fuel pump failure? Seems TOO coincidental, doesn’t it?

I don’t know about a failing cam sensor causing a no start, but I do know if it’s not properly timed could cause starting/running problems. Have you checked for spark, fuel pressure, compression?

No, not yet. I ran out of sunlight. And yeah, I don’t think the CMP has anything to do with it. The sensor is probably history and maybe it took the synchro down with it too like it famously does on these cars, but that’s not going to keep it from starting.

This really seems like its going to be a conincidental fuel-related issue.

Here’s one other thing I forgot to mention that I wanted to add because it might be relevant:

I bought a new car about three weeks ago, and so the Taurus has been relegated to weekend-only duty lately. For several weeks prior, however, it often seemed to be driving itself in the 40-60 band. I could take my foot off the pedal (without cruise engaged) and it would hold speed on any road that was mostly flat. I was thinking I had a stuck throttle that was going to need some attention. Then, since driving it on weekends-only, it had been high-idling at startup.

Could these symptoms mean the fuel pressure regulator was going and has now failed?

I don’t know if a bad cam sensor on your car will prevent it from starting, but they’re cheap and easy to change on most vehicles. Check the wiring to it too. It will run better and get better mileage with the cam sensor working.

…as a side note, a car definitely won’t start with a bad crankshaft sensor, and this may not set a code. The computer doesn’t see the engine as cranking and won’t inject fuel or deliver spark. Something else to check.

Yeah, I’ve already replaced the Camshaft Position Sensor (and synchro underneath) once already (about 6 years ago, or so). Looks like I’ll be doing it again.

How do I check for spark? Just pull one plug wire off at a time and hold near the valve cover? And do I need a fuel pressure gauge to check for fuel or is there an easier way?

Then, if I have EITHER fuel or spark, it’s NOT the crankshaft position sensor, correct?

Otherwise, I just replace the crankshaft sensor on a hunch … or is there a way to test it?

Idle thoughts while I wait until the weekend to get back to the '97 Taurus wagon:

I STILL can’t believe this no-start problem isn’t SOMEHOW related to repairing/re-installing that stupid hose!

I had to remove the throttle linkage bracket from the engine to reach a hose clamp directly below: two bolts to remove the plastic cover, then 2 more bolts to remove the bracket. I didn’t tamper with the throttle wire at all; just laid the bracket with the wire still attached to the side momentarily.

Could THIS have caused a starting issue somehow??? There was also a hose coming from the oil cap to the throttle body accordian hose that I temporarily removed, but it got reconnected with the throttle linkage bracket/cover.

Finally got back to the Taurus today and I’m embarrassed to report that the problem APPEARED to be battery-related!

I have a drum full of Taurus parts from a ‘donor’ sedan I bought a year ago to fix the front-end damage on my wagon. I had pulled out the coil box, the CrankShaft position sensor and others in anticipation of doing some quick substitutions to try to find the problem, but before starting that, I looked down at the battery and it LOOKED very clean to me, but just to make sure, I pulled off each connector and cleaned with baking soda/water mix, re-attached, and P-R-E-S-T-O, the car started right up first try!


1.) There was just a tiny dusting of orangey-ness on the fastening bolt at one end and the crimped wire at the other on the NEG terminal. The inside contacting surface and post were both clean and clear (the POS terminal was clean all-around). The NEG terminal is one of those bulky lead replacement heads from Advance that bolts down on both ends. The original sheet-metal “loop”-style connector corroded off a year or so ago. Should I replace this head with another “loop”-style connector? I chose the replacement I did because I thought it would be easier to install and would give a more positive contact, but maybe it’s more prone to corrosion or “false contacts”???

2.) How can a car crank so strongly, not start, and the solution be the battery terminal(s) … when the terminals appear to be clean??? I always thought battery-related issues were manifested by VERY SLOW CRANK or NO CRANK AT ALL (and either a bad battery or corroded connections or both)! Not something that looked like a fuel-delivery or spark problem.

3.) The repaired “H” hose with the inserted plastic “T” - which was the start of all this - appears to be dry … no more leaks. However, I heard a sizzling sound coming from the cap on the coolant recovery tank (degas). Is this normal? I don’t remember ever hearing this in the past? Could the cap be leaking? It doesn’t APPEAR to be leaking any fluid.

NOTE: I did not spray carb-cleaner into the throttle body to prove it was a fuel-related problem because there was a sticker on the TB saying NOT to do this. Is this because the cleaner would loosen the built-up carbon which would then get sucked into the combustion chamber (possibly fouling something up in there?)