96 Taurus Conked Out @ drivethru window

1996 Ford Taurus GL Station Wagon, 3.0L OHV(Vulcan) Engine, 185000 miles.

The guy was handing me my food at the drive-thru window when my engine sputtered and died. Tried to restart. Cranked fine, ran briefly but roughly, then stalled again. On subsequent tries engine ran more and more briefly until it would crank but not fire at all. Pushed car away from drive-thru window after climbing out passenger door and spilling coffee. Tried several more times. Would not fire. Had car towed home. Checked for fuel pressure at fuel rail by pressing on Schrader valve. No evident fuel pressure even though I can hear fuel pump hum when I turn the key. Must admit I don’t remember the last time the fuel filter was replaced. Question: Is fuel filter chief suspect at this point? Any other thoughts appreciated.

Yes, after 60,000 miles on a fuel filter, it’s my chief suspect. Let us know what’s what after you change the fuel filter. Don’t forget to bleed the air from the fuel line, by using the Schrader valve, after changing the fuel filter. Remove the fuel line u-clip, etc: http://www.autozone.com/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?fromSearchPage=true&pageId=0900c1528003a715&partName=Fuel+Filter&partId=0900c1528003a715

Well, I would say its definitely not the fuel filter. I replaced the filter but the old one did not seem to be obstructed at all. I was able to easily blow right through it. Still no discernible fuel pressure at the fuel rail. Are ve definitely looking at the fuel pump as the chief suspect at this point?

Fuel pump, or the screen in the fuel tank intake may be clogged with gunk. Sounds like you may have to drop the fuel tank next, unless you can access the fuel pump with the tank in place.

Was the level of fuel in the tank near “empty” as you awaited your fast food?

Fuel tank was and is a little above 1/4 tank. Guage has historically been pretty accurate, so there should be several gallons on the tank. Yes, on the taurus the fuel pump is in the tank… lucky me.

Did you bleed the air from the fuel lines? Did you check for full voltage to the fuel pump with the engine cranking?
Check the direction of flow arrow on the installed fuel filter. http://www.autozone.com/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?fromSearchPage=true&pageId=0900c1528003a715&partName=Fuel+Filter&partId=0900c1528003a715

Did you bleed the air from the fuel lines?

– yes.

Did you check for full voltage to the fuel pump with the engine cranking?

– no, haven’t dropped the tank yet. I can hear pump hum, though, when I turn key to ON. Souynds normal, anyway.

Check the direction of flow arrow on the installed fuel filter.

– checked and it is correct. arrow points toward engine.

Well, this might get me nominated for Bonehead of the Year. It turns out my car was (drum roll, please) out of gas. Guage was reading 1/4 tank and up to that time I pulled into the drive through had been working fine. But it turns out the guage got stuck and car ran out of gas. I put some gas in the car to rule out that very possibiulity, and the thing started and ran. thanks anyway guys for all the help.

Thanks for coming back. I’ve run my car often enough on fumes; and, been lucky that the fuel level gauge didn’t decide, then, to “go on vacation”. Knock on cellulose.

“96 Taurus Conked Out @ drivethru window”

It’s trying to tell you something…probably fuel PUMP, not filter.