CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Taurus cuts out on acceleration

My 1995 Taurus SE check engine comes on shortly after starting, cuts out for two seconds on rapid acceleration, and the check engine lights goes off for ten seconds. I replaced the distributor cap and rotor, the spark plugs, and the air filter. I have tried Techron injector cleaner. It is better but the check engine light is still on and it cuts out as before.

Get the codes read and get back to us, free at many auto parts stores.

Since its a '95 chances are it is an OBD I system and the auto parts stores won’t be able to handle it. Some '95s did have OBDII but I don’t think Fords were among them.

If it is OBD 1 here’s how you can pull the error code(s): http://www.extreme-check-engine-light-codes.com/Ford%20OBD1%20Decoder.htm

But if you find your connector and it looks like this: http://www.obdii.com/connector.html
Then it is OBDII and auto parts stores can handle it.

Either way, if you get a code post the exact code(s) - if OBD1 they are just 2 digit numbers. If OBDII they look like “P1234”

Cigroller is exactly right & this is an OBD-1, but a 95 will have 3 digit codes. You will find the “self test connector” under the hood on the passenger side firewall. Follow the instructions at the link Cigroller provided & post your trouble codes.

Agree, the only way to diagnose this is to start with the check engine code(s). Since injector cleaner had an effect, it is possibly related to the exhaust gas O2 sensor. But that’s just a wild guess. As said above, post the codes and get some opinons here what folks think before just replacing things.

I found the six contact EEC connector and may be able to figure out which one is the signal return but I don’t know where the self-test input is to connect the jump wire to.

It’s a seperate single wire connector right beside the 6 wire connector.

Ford made getting the codes for the do it yourself-er more difficult than GM or Chrysler on these early cars. OBD-I also lacked the diagnostic abilities of OBD-II, so if your check engine light is on, you can be sure it’s more serious than a loose gas cap. Definitely worth reading the codes.

I went to the link suggested by cigroller. It is a little unclear since I can’t tell whether I am to read the flashing light on the dash or on the test light. I hooked up the jumper wire, followed the instructions and the check engine light didn’t flash. I was going to hook up the test light but number four, the self test output, seems to have no wires connected at the number four location.
I wish cigroller lived north of Philadelphia PA so I could visit him!

It’s annoying that the car manufacturers don’t make it easy to read the codes. All they’d have to do it put a test switch in the engine compartment that the home mechanic could swith on, and then the codes would be slowly blinked out on the check-engine light. It would be totally simple to design into the car diagnostics. On my 1990’s Toyota, at least I can get it to blink the codes out, but even then Toyota didn’t put a simple switch to flick. You have to put a jumper wire in a test connector, and make sure it’s the right position by damn! Then you have to whistle a certain tune, turn in a circle, say Abra-cadabra, and hope the codes start to flash on the check engine light! What they put home mechanics through to get the codes is sort of ridiculous in my opinion.

Since your Taurus has a check engine light the only jumper you need is from pin 2 to STI. Turn the key from off to run & you should hear relays clicking followed by the CEL flashing codes. My wifes 95 Taurus was so incredibly reliable that i never had a check engine light to deal with in 150,000 miles. I’d have pulled the codes with my scanner if i had needed to.

I would check my egr valve I am not sure if yours is vaccum or not. Is it is vacuum I would also check vaccum leaks.

I installed the jumper as on cigroller’s diagram and nothing flashes. Can I hook up the jumper wire to another connection without harming anything?

Hooking it up to something else won’t help. You need to jumper it as shown. You should be able to get the “flashes” either by hooking up a test light (connected to batt power) to that #4 output connector OR from the light flashing on the dash. The result will probably not be immediate. The car actually runs through tests first so you might have to wait. I don’t know how long. At the very least it should flash an “11” at you when its done with the self tests.

If you continue to get nothing you may have a wiring issue, either with your jumpering or with the EEC / self-test wiring.

Leroy, do a google search on “Equus 3145 + amazon.com” Read the customer reviews. Pulling codes with the 3145 is very very easy. Unless thres a problem with the PCM or in the wiring

87_Ranger, My EEC Self Test has only wires connected to it. There is no place to plug anything in. It appears that the Equus 3145 has to be plugged into something!

The EEC port should BE a plug.

http://www.superhighoutput.com/tech_view.php?id=5
The equus plugs into that connector

My EEC test is not a plug. It just connects a lot of wires
I replaced the in-line fuel filter this afternoon. It is much improved. The check engine light is still on but it will not cut out for an instant except at high speed and a very rapid acceleration attempt!
With no plug-in available on my Taurus, what is the best guess to solve the acceleration problem and shut off the check engine light without using a small piece of black tape. My guess is to replace the injectors or continue to try to clean the ejectors!

Just took a quick look at my 95 Taurus factory wiring diagrams. Regardless of engine size or model the test port is under the hood passenger side firewall. It’s held in place by a strip of velcro. If it’s not there on yours take the car to a good independent shop for a look see.