Ford Taurus/Sable Fuel Trouble Shooting 1996 to 1999
Ford made what is called the third generation Ford Taurus from 1996 to 1999 It made both the DOHC engine and the SOHC engine. With the SOHC 3.0L EFI 6cyl the most common.
When dealing with fuel problems with any vehicle care must be given when handling gas from potential fires and burns, or chemical burns of the eyes nose or mouth. The gas in a fuel injected vehicle is under high pressure and can spray out at high pressure when disconnecting or testing parts.
Releasing fuel pressure is usually done by removing the fuel pump relay or fuse starting the car and letting the gas in the line be used up. The car will run for a few seconds then stop. Sometimes this is not an option such as the car is not running in this case releasing the pressure at the fuel rail with the proper fuel pressure gauge.
The fuel system within the Ford Taurus is made up of the fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel injectors, and fuses/relays. Each of these units should be checked when troubleshooting a Taurus fuel problem.
The fuel system starts after the key is in the on position by turning on the fuel pump which feeds through a filter removing any debris and fed into the cars combustion chambers through the injectors. If any problem happens with the car with any of these components or components that control them then the vehicle will not start.
Checking for leaks should be done before any work. Any gas leaking from a line or other component will lead to fuel pressure drop and the system to not work correctly.
Eliminating each component from working or not working is important to narrow down the problem. Once one component is eliminated then the next component can be tested.
Checking for computer codes is always very helpful when troubleshooting any problem with a car. A OBD-II scanner tool will be needed to test these codes. The connection is made at the Data Link Connection is under the dash to the left of the steering column. Not all scanner tools are created the same will have different operating procedures. Many times fuel problems will not leave a code.
Checking for Fuel Pressure
Checking for pressure at the Fuel Rail is the best test to see if the fuel pump is pumping correctly this is done with a fuel pressure gauge. A fuel pressure gauge can be rented from auto stores such as AutoZone which will return your money after use. Call around to the auto stores in your area to see if they carry one or have one available.
The Fuel rail connection is done at the fuel rail which is located at the top of the engine. The connection itself is at the left of the fuel rail which has a Schroeder valve which looks much like a bicycle or tire valve stem with a cap. The pressure can vary but should be between 35 and 45 depending on the engine idle.
The Fuses and Relays
The fuse and relay that are for the fuel pump are located under the hood in the power distribution box.
Once the distribution box is opened the fuses and relay will be located within. The fuse should be a 20 amp fuse and the relay a F57B-14B192-AA. The picture below shows these in red.
Looking closely two other relays are the same, the one to the left is the PCM relay and the one to the bottom is the AC fan clutch relay. The AC Fan Clutch relay can be swapped with the fuel Pump relay if needed. The PCM relay cannot be swapped as this is needed for the cars computer.
Continuity with a volt meter can be used on the fuse or simply changed.
The Fuel Filter
Be sure there is no fuel pressure when changing the fuel filter as fuel could come out under pressure causing harm.
The fuel filter will be located on the passenger side of the car on the frame. It is in front of the rear passenger tire. It is held in place with two plastics retainers that simply slide out, one on both ends. Once the plastic retainers are removed the lines are simply pulled out of the fuel filter.
When inserting the new filter be sure the flow is correct there should be a IN and a OUT on the filter, coming in from the fuel pump and out to the engine.
The Fuel Pump
The fuel pump is located in the gas tank which requires the removal of the gas tank. Since this is a job that requires a lot of work and is not simple, be sure all other things have been gone over and are not the problem.
Removing any pressure from the gas line is necessary before beginning.
The fuel pump is located in the fuel tank, so removing the fuel tank is necessary. Also draining the fuel tank will make the job much easier then dealing with the full tank.
Jack the car up and place it on stands giving lots of room to move around.
Next disconnect the hoses going into the gas tank some will have clips others clamps.
Two straps will have to be undone and removed. Position a jack under the tank since any gas inside will make it heavy and fall quickly.
Once the tank is dropped down connectors going to the fuel pump will need to be removed and the tank should come out and be placed on the ground.
A ring will need to be turned counter clock wise to remove the fuel pump, then it will pull out.
Installation is reverse of removal.
The shut off relay
The shut off relay is located in the trunk on the right side. It has a red button that will pop out when it detects a accident and shut off the fuel pump.
Probe the circuit inside the connector while turning on the Ignition. One of two circuits should show 12V DC signal for 1-2 second when ignition is turning ON. If not, then the car body wiring can be broken.
Fuel Pressure regulator
The Fuel Pressure Regulator regulates the fuel before it is fed into the fuel rail. It is located on the passenger side of the engine.