94 Taurus Acting Up Again

My wife's 94 Taurus is acting up again. After sitting for a while it dose not want to crank. I can hear the fuel pump run when you turn on the key and the self test returns memory code 211.(boy I hate am intermitting
problem)
(Profile Ignition Pickup (PIP) circuit fault. Two or more successive erratic Profile Ignition Pickup (PIP) pulses occurred, resulting in a possible engine miss or stall.)
This would indicate an absents of a spark. If I spray starter fluid in the air cleaner inlet hose the engine will start, indicating there is a spark present. Any suggestion on how to check for a spark? other than holding the ignition wire while cranking :>) As for testing the fuel pump pressure at the test port as previous post suggested, were is this test port located?
When Replying Remove "thepin" From Return Address
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Texan wrote:

Timing light, strong strobe. You can leave the wires connected.
Bob

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Texan wrote:

Based on the info the engine does crank, but won't start. If it will start with starter fluid you have spark, but you may not be getting a PIP signal to the PCM and thus not firing the injectors. This could be a bad PIP sensor, TFI module or PCM. The most likely cause is the PIP sensor, but I have seen TFI modules do this. It will be very hard to find the problem without proper test equipment.
--
Sean Hawkes
snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Texan opined in

The engine has a distributor, I assume. Be nice if we knew what engine.
You likely have either a bad dist ignition module (TFI) or pickup in the dist itself.
TFI takes a small tool about 5 bucks, any parts store, while replacing - remove old lube, relube with hi-temp silicone grease.
If that doesnt do it, it's likely the pickup sensor in the dist
As suggested in other responses a timing lite would show up an erratic spark... but depends on familiarity with how they work.
Suggest a used dist from a salvage yard for troubleshooting/replacement parts. DO NOT replace dist itself unless you are familiar and/or have experienced help. just use the parts.
Lube concerns still apply.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Similar thing happened to my 95 Taurus with the 3.0 engine. My son drove the car to his friend's house and the car just died infront of the house. Next day I went there and found that the fuel pump was working, there was no code from the computer, also there was no spark from the spark plugs. I thogut it had to be either the coil or the ignition module. I replaced the coil and the car started right up. I drove the car for about 3 miles and the engine died again. I towed the car to my mechanic and he replaced the ignition module and still got no spark. Next he replaced the whole distributor, but still no spark. We concluded it has to be the computer (Ford calls it the PCM). I bought a used PCM from a junk yard for $100.0. My mechanic installed it and the car started right up. Now the car is running normal. I hope my experience helps.
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.