Car won't start

My wife has a Ford Taurus wagon that is maybe 10 to 12 years old. She bought a Toyota Camry last spring and I started driving the Taurus a few times each month. It always started easily. Around Christmas I
didn't drive the car for around a month and on a cold winter day I tried to start it. The battery was charged and the engine turned over but it wouldn't start. The gas tank is full. I tried again a few more times over the next few weeks and finally the battery went dead.
Last week, I filled the battery with water (it was low) and charged the battery. The car still won't start. I've tried tapping the pas pedal, I've tried NOT tapping the pedal, it just won't start.
It's like it's not getting gas. Maybe the fuel pump froze during the winter. I'd like to pour a little gas in the carburetor and see if it would start but this car has fuel injection.
Before I tow it to a garage, anyone have any suggestions? No I can't trash the car, my wife's 15 year-old son wants to drive it.
-- David Swanger snipped-for-privacy@auburn.edu
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swangdb wrote:

Don't tap the gas; it's not necessary. When you turn the key ON, but not all the way to START, do you hear a little whoosh sound for a second or so? The fuel pump makes a little sound when you first turn on the key that indicates it's pressurizing the line. It only lasts a second or so.
If you don't, the first place I'd look is to see if the inertia switch got triggered somehow. It's located on the right hand rear lower corner pillar reinforcement behind an access door. That's where I'd start.
And by "not starting", I assume the engine is turning over normally with the starter engaged; it's just not catching.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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swangdb wrote:

intake still) and see if it will fire. It could be any bad sensor that inputs to the powertrain control module preventing the injectors from firing and injecting fuel. You need to hook up the OBDII code meter and see what the error code is and look up what sensor is responsible for that. You cannot diagnose a modern car without an analyzer anymore. There is too much useless environmental bullshit on cars now.
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Broderick Crawford wrote:

Yeah, breathing clean air is useless.
Jeff
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swangdb wrote:

Cars still require gas, air and a spark to run.
Unless you've got a plastic bag over the air cleaner, you have air. ;)
If it was my car, I'd probably try one or more of the following to try and narrow it down:
If your car has a test port fitting on your fuel rail - my Trans Am is a schrader valve like a tire, push it and see if you have any gas. If no fuel pressure, it's the pump or the circuitry controlling the pump.
Pull a plug wire, and do the spark test - I use a screwdriver against the block or head or something. You can buy a tool to do this test. No spark = distributor, coil, or electronics.
These two tests may not get the car running, but I have found they can usually narrow it down to which system is dead.
The fuel pump shouldn't freeze (it should be full of gas, not water) but it may have died.
Ray
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What's the voltage on the battery when you aren't trying to start it? What's the voltage on the battery when you are?

So it is, in fact, turning over properly, so the problem has nothing to do with the battery? If that is the case, why did you even mention the battery?

Pull the codes off the computer and see what you got. Check to see if you have fuel at the fuel rail and spark on the plugs.
If you have fuel, spark, and timing, the car will run. With one of those missing, it will not. --scott
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"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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