I have a 2002 Ford Taurus SEL 24 valve that was 100% flawless up until
this morning when I started her up and she sputtered with the battery
The engine sounded like as if the choke would not release as it has
been cold recently now that it's winter. It was running very rough
and black smoke was spewing out the tailpipe the whole ordeal seemed
so unreal and lasted 5 to 10 minutes. I went ahead and drove around
the block and the car would accelerate up to 5 - 10 mph and then
sputter and stall. At one point the car did stall and I put her in
neutral and started her up again and everything was fine as if nothing
had happened. The engine was running smooth again, all the power was
back and the engine was already nearly heated up.
I called the dealership and they said the car has no choke, everything
is regulated with the powertrain control module. They would check the
codes but I don't think there are any codes as the check engine light
has never turned on.
What is wrong with my car? What kind of trouble am I in now? The car
is still under warranty as it is not anywhere near the 36,000 mile
Could it be a sticking EGR valve? I have a pretty good idea about how
these modern electronic engines work but I'm no expert at it. Gone
are the days of distributers, points, rotors and carburetors.
Unfortunately, this was an obvious anomaly and there probably wont be a code
stored... if there was it would only confirm a too-rich condition.
Suspect you MIGHT have an Engine Coolant temp sensor or wiring to it going
Are you saying the battery lite stayed lit during the bad-run episode, then
went out when you restarted?
Eastward Bound opined in
Yes it went out after I restarted.
I have a VW beetle that does the same thing, it's battery light stays
on sometimes when you start her up and for some reason the idle speed
is too low. The light goes away after you step on the gas which turns
the alternator faster to crank out more juice.
Yesterday the engine on my Taurus sputtered and it sounded as if I had
some dead cylindars as if some of them weren't firing. The car would
not accelerate under load and if you revved the engine in Park the
engine would cut off at a certain RPM level. Black smoke and what
looked like black charred liquid spewed out the tailpipe and made a
mess on the driveway.
I post here to find out what is wrong with the car.
I will have a look at the coolant sensor contacts.
FYI, the engine will be limited to ~3800 rpm when in park or neutral to
protect from over-speeding the engine. The black smoke sounds like the bad
carb on my Pinto - burning way too rich, although mine never spewed out any
I have noticed a few very minor anomalies with my '02 Duratec Taurus, but
have learned to live with them. The most noticeable is the occasional
'sputter', like it's missing a spark every few hundred-thousand rpms or so.
I think I'd set up an appointment with the dealership for a check-up, being
a major driveability issue, unless the problem seems to have gone away.
The question I would ask right now is: Has the problem repeated since then?
Have you put more drive cycles on the car? If all seems well, I'd chalk it
up as a hiccup. If it repeats, work the issue.
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