92 Taurus started stalling several times and now won't start

Old 03-25-05, 10:18 PM
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92 Taurus started stalling several times and now won't start

Help! My 92 Taurus (3.0 V6 160k+) just a couple of days ago started out of the blue stalling several times before refusing to start.
I had filled it up fully to beat the price increases (although not to the station's pump cut-off level)and did several hrs. of errands. Towards the end of the day the car stalled and wouldn't immediately restart. I waited a few mins. and it started great. I then parked it a few secs. later and restarted it (after it had sat for 15+ mins. more) where it ran fine. I drove a few blocks and coming down an incline it stalled again. I coasted into a gas station, waited a few mins. and restarted. It started fine for a sec. or two then stalled. I repeated and it would only start and stall. It managed to do this once more before stopped starting altogether. I now only cranks really good and that's it!

Here's the codes I pulled via the c/e light:
522-Vehicle not in Park or Neutral during KOEO test
542-Fuel pump secondary circuit failure: ECA to ground (or motor)
These were repeated and then after one blink:

452-Insufficent input from vehicle speed sensor
542-Fuel pump secondary circuit failure: ECA to ground (or motor)
634-MLP sensor voltage out of self-test range
These three were repeated also.

522 & 634 have come up prior to this problem, the only unique one was 542 which the guy at the auto parts store said was probably a loose wire or bad ground.

I've never had this problem before the other day. I was wondering if the fuel filter was just clogged since the problem just seemed to get worse. The fuel pump was replaced just a few years ago and I hear it running when ever the key is turned on as well as when the car was running earlier.
Since the car ran great all day, I also question that bad gas is at fault.
Also, could the fuel pump relay (since it controls more than just the fuel pump) be faulty.

One more item, if the car hasn't been started for over 48 hrs., do I need to relieve the pressure? (if so, how?)

Sorry for the length, I tried to keep this as brief as possible!
Old 03-26-05, 01:53 PM
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Sounds like a fuel pump problem. Check fuel pressure first,(30 - 40 psi.) If you can hear the fuel pump run that's good but it still could be the fuel pump. Sometimes they will turn on but not produce enough pressure. I would replace the fuel filter when I installed a new fuel pump. Usually a fuel filter problem will show up as loss of power.
Old 03-26-05, 07:45 PM
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I'm going to go ahead and replace the filter anyway since it doesn't cost much and wouldn't hurt. I'm kinda on a time limit since the car's at a service station and they run a towing service, too! I don't have $ money for a new pressure gauge (I do have an older combo vacuum/fuel gauge but it doesn't have a fitting for the Schrader valve) right now and no other access to one either. Is their any other test for the fuel pump via voltmeter, etc.?

Also can a fuel pump be replaced with a full tank of gas? If not, any suggestions for what to do with all the gas (I'm an apt. dweller hence no extra space for containers/specialty equip. etc.)?
Old 03-27-05, 06:11 AM
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Just a fuel pressure gauge. And yes the tank will have to be drained. Unless you have a lift and a jack. But you will still have to drain some of the fuel. Go to Wal-mart and buy some gas cans.
Old 03-27-05, 07:48 PM
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OK, here's an update...

I went ahead and replaced the fuel filter and cranked the engine (with no change in results). Now the fuel pump doesn't come on at all. I checked the leads at the inertia switch and had 12v when ignition was on (it stayed that way for a couple of seconds and went to zero like it should), I also could hear a faint click of the relay. I'm wondering if the pump just "died" or did I loosen some wire(s) when trying to remove the filter (which was extremely 'annoying' to remove, by the way), the gas gauge still responds though.

I cleared the previous codes, cranked the engine, and pulled the following codes:

652-TCC solenoid circuit failure
542-Fuel pump secondary circuit failure: ECA to ground (or motor)
these were repeated then I got a single flash 6 times:
I also got a double flash in between each of the codes:
6 flashes, 5 flashes, 2 flashes, 2 flashes then the next code ending with the same 2 flashes.

I don't know what those mean except that maybe the engine has to start and run before proper codes are stored. I'm a newbie to codes.

This leads me to wonder:
1-Is the fuel pump really 'bad' (this is an expensive and time/labor consuming way to not solve a problem)?
2-Is it possibly still the integrated relay module(and a wire loosened from the filter change)?
3-Is it a bad wire/ground after all?
4-Or is it possibly something else unrelated to the fuel circuit causing the 542 code to come up?

If I had a second running vehicle I wouldn't care so much.

To hogfan(or anyone else reading)...how far does the tank need to be drained if I did replace the pump 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, or 99% ?
Also do you think the service station would 'care' if I'm on their lot pumping out a car and dropping it's tank, etc. (esp. when they do full service repairs themselves)?
Old 03-28-05, 04:27 AM
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95% of the time it's a fuel pump problem. 1/4 of a tank of fuel or less. I drain it empty. Lot easier!
Old 03-30-05, 09:44 PM
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Second update...

I moved the hoses/wires around that I had moved when changing the filter and as I guessed still no sound from the pump. I'm going to buy another pump but will check the connections & wiring of the old first before even touching the new one!

hogfan (or anyone else reading)-What have you had success in on draining the tank? I plan to siphon it into some gas gans but saw online someplace about the possibility of a rollover valve preventing access with the siphon tube...any thoughts??

(Hate to spend a whole day just trying to figure out how to get gas out only to run out of time and put it all back in again )
Old 03-31-05, 06:13 PM
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try the relay

on the '94 taurus the fuel pump relay is part of the multifunction relay that sits on top of the radiator. it has about thirty wires coming out of it. the pink/black goes to the pump check for a few seconds of battery voltage after turning the key or just wack it a few times and try to start the car.

maybe the '92 is completely different.
Old 03-31-05, 07:44 PM
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Thanks peabees for the suggestion.

maybe the '92 is completely different.
It isn't and I believe I tried and got the results you mentioned on the pk/blk wires but I'm going to try again as well as drop the tank and check all of the wires as much as possible (hadn't tried wacking the relay though since it 'clicked' when the ign. switch was turned on).

The reason I'm a bit cautious of the pump being bad anyway is the way it went completely dead after changing the filter, so some addl. wire checks are next before the pump replacement.

BTW, has anyone reading this post have some thoughts or helpful hints on siphoning the gas, dropping the tank, changing the pump, etc.
(I need to be swift and efficient on this since I'm on 'borrowed' time being at this service station for over a week now.)
Old 04-07-05, 08:55 PM
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Talking Problem Solved!!

Here's the next and final update for this post...

I found the problem. It wasn't exactly the fuel pump but the external connector that had 'gone bad'! The connector was all cracked on the plastic portion causing it to come loose. After removing the pump assembly I noticed that the metal line connecting to the pump itself (not the return line) was loose causing the gas to occasionally seep out, also the red connector to the pump itself was loose. (Thank goodness I bought the whole assembly prior to this rather than just the pump!) All else was fine though. After connecting the pump, raising the tank, etc. I turned the ignition on (didn't actually crank it yet) and heard nothing. After several tries I heard a real faint hum and realized that the pump was so quiet that I thought it wasn't on!!! I then cranked the engine and it started right up!

hogfan-Thanks for the info esp. on emptying the tank!

BTW, my "borrowed" time ended at the gas station forcing me to have the car towed ($$$) home!

The whole procedure wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. For those interested here's the procedure I used (this was with a 16 gal. tank):

1-I first jacked up the car about 6"-8" and removed the vent & filler lines connecting to the tank.
2-I siphoned all the gas through the filler & vent lines at the tank (something blocked the siphon tube in the filler neck) using a handheld vacuum pump to start the flow, this was the slowest part due to the small siphon line used. I continued siphoning until the siphoning would not continue which left me about an 1/8 of a tank left.
3-I placed a jack with a small board on it under the tank for support.
4-I loosened the two tank strap bolts that were holding the tank itself.
5-I then carefully removed the strap bolts one at a time. At this point it's tricky if you're by yourself because the tank will want to slide around. Since the tank's almost empty it wasn't too hard/heavy to hold or move with my hands (the exhaust line keeps the tank from easily dropping down and out of the car so some shifting and manuvering is necessary) .
6-I lowered the jack and carefully removed it and the board.
7-Since the car had not been running for a while there was no pressure to release in the fuel line therefore I disconnected the fuel lines, vacuum hoses and electrical connector (the filter was empty too, so it remained on the car although loosened from its bracket).
8-I carefully slid the tank around (on rags laid on the pavement) and pulled out the rear of the car.
9-I then cleaned the debris around the pump opening, took a block of wood (for no-spark reasons) and removed the lock ring holding the pump.
10-I carefully removed the old pump assembly (& o-ring) noting its position and placed the new o-ring/pump assembly (the tank was clean with no sediment so cleaning was not necessary) into the tank, aligning it with 2 notches on the tank.
11-I used the wood block and a hammer (manual says brass punch can be used) to knock the locking ring tight.
12-I returned the tank back to its dropped down position and reconnected the lines, etc. back again.
13-I carefully slid the tank up onto part of the exhaust line and using it as a support I slid the wood and jack combo back under the other side making sure the support straps are placed in the right areas.
14-I then raised the tank, shifting it until the straps could be bolted up again.
15-After bolting the straps up, I lowered the jack and reconnected the fuel filler/vent lines.
16-Finally, I removed all rags, tools, etc. lowered the jack and started the car, checking for leaks afterward.

This took me a leisurely 6+ hours (incl. lunch) working in an apt. parking lot with no addl. helpers.

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