Question about 1996 Ford Taurus

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Car make s "WA, WA, WA dragging start-up" sound (like a hard sounding starter motor) ; other times it makes a clicking sound (like a low battery), but will not start; other times it will make no sound, and will not start. The radio will work, so will the power windows, and all lights, and the inside panel board will light up.

I had these professional checks completed at a shop: Battery - Good and puts out 12.50 volts, 12.00 volts under load, all battery cables cleaned, protective lube put on cleaned battery post. The Starter was removed, and it tested --Good, all wires are cleaned and checked for cracks. The Alternator was tested while on the car -- "running", it tested Good, putting out 13.0 volts. The starter relay was changed out, but proved it was not the problem. The ginition key rebounds well. The car will start in both 'park or nuetural". When it actually starts up, it runs strong, without any other problems. It has been to three shops, and another mechanic has looked at it; all are scratching their heads trying to figure out the problem?

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  • noriega_murr Jun 19, 2009

    All of the items you listed seem to be fine. Is it possible it could be a nuetral safety switch, or the lower electical part of the key ignition switch, or the key ignition mechanical part is not making contact, or partial contact, and thus having a minimal loss of power and this is why the car acts like a draging starter. Please review the origianl post - most of the electical has been reviewed and checked.



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Please check the battery, if that’s not the problem then replace the cam and crank sensors. They are not that much and you can get them at the locale part store. Does it have fuel pressure and spark? Water dripping out the exhaust is condensation and is normal. Bad cam or crank position sensor, bad engine control module, that kind of thing. Test the fuel pressure regulator to see if it is leaking raw fuel into the engine. If that checks out okay, your problem is probably caused by a faulty MAS (mass airflow sensor). For an engine to run, you need three things to happen inside the engine, compression, fuel and ignition, without any one of these components the engine will not run. Follow the repair Engine Configuration with Camshaft Operation
Compression - Engine compression caused by crankshaft rotation and pistons moving up and down inside the engine block. If the timing belt or timing chain fails it will cause the camshaft to become out of correlation with the crankshaft or allow the camshaft to stop rotating. Either of these conditions will cause the engine to lose compression and sometimes cause internal engine damage.
Fuel Delivery System - The fuel system includes: fuel pump, fuel injectors, pressure regulator, fuel filter and pressure lines. This system is used to supply fuel under pressure to the fuel injection system, the lack of fuel pressure or volume will cause the fuel delivery system to fail and the engine to stall or not start.
Ignition Spark Delivery System - The ignition system components include: spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor (if applicable), crankshaft angle sensor, camshaft angle sensor, ignition coil, ignition module, knock sensor and ECM (engine control module). The engine relies on the ignition spark to be delivered to the combustion camber at the correct time. If the ignition spark stops or is delivered at the wrong time the engine will not run or run poorly
Please see this link for your further reference to resolve the issue you’re facing with.

Please do accept this solution and revert for further assistance.


Posted on Jun 19, 2009

  • Rylee Smith
    Rylee Smith Jun 20, 2009


    I believe the problem is your TRS sensor. That is basically a neutral safety switch on the Taurus. The issue could also be the piggy back cable as it is basically a cable that is your positive and negative battery cables but has other connectors piggy backed off that cable.

    The TRS sensor prevents the car from starting in neutral. If it DOES start in neutral that would be an indication that the TRS is bad. There are two types for the Taurus. One is 25 and one is 54 approx. There is nothing to changing them just have the car in neutral and don’t move the switch when you get because is it sent from manufacturer in neutral.

    Please do accept this solution and revert for further assistance.




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