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Ford Taurus Fuel Pump

I have a 2000 Taurus, 104K miles, 3.0 DOHC engine, auto trans.

This situation has happened to me 4 times within the past 7 weeks, and seems to occur at random.

The problem (so far) typically occurs after a short drive (approx 5 miles), and after the car has sat for at least a few hours (as when driving home from work or shopping). I'll stop to pick up my mail at the apartment complex, shutting off the car for about 1-2 minutes. Then as I'm driving away, the engine dies and will crank but not start as if out of fuel. After letting the car sit for about 30 minutes or more, it will start and run normally. I have determined that after the engine dies, the fuel pump is not running, as I cannot hear it run-up when the ignition is turned on. When I do hear the fuel pump run-up, the engine starts fine. I have subsequently replaced the fuel filter and fuel pump relay (in fuse box under hood) and it would seem the only thing left is the fuel pump itself. I took it to a dealer and they were no help, since their diagnostic machine didn't see a fault code. I am hesitant to replace the fuel pump ($600 job!) unless I know for sure that this is the culprit and will solve the problem. Also, this does NOT happen only on very hot days, and the car has always had at least 1/2 tank of fuel when it occurred (these always seem to be suggested causes).

Is there anything else that could cause an intermittent fuel pump failure? It seems to me that if the fuel pump were bad, it would be more obvious and just stop running for good.


  • Update........ Looks like it was the fuel pump after all. Had it replaced several weeks ago and haven't had a problem yet. I don't mind spending the money for a fuel pump, but just wanted to be sure it was the right solution. After determining that there was power going to the fuel pump even when the problem existed, I was pretty sure it must be the pump. My guess is that there's a pressure sensor in the pump that cycles on/off the motor that must have been going bad. Does this sound right to any knowledgeable Ford mechanics out there?

    So...... I'm good to go, and I hope this will help someone else down the road.
    Thanks for everyone's input.
  • My 2001 Ford Taurus has done the exact same thing. I'm having the fuel pump replaced. It is expensive $800. It finally quit working completely just when I dropped it off at the repair shop. Their diagnostic test did show the fuel pump needed replacing.
  • Hopefully you were able to determine the problem quicker than I did. I took the car to two different shops and consulted by phone with another experienced Ford mechanic and nobody was able to correctly diagnose the problem, just make guesses. I finally felt confident when I was able to duplicate the problem at home and confirm that the pump had voltage and no excuse not to run. Now I'd like to understand what in the pump could cause this to happen when the pump seemed to function normally most of the time except for those specific circumstances. What was really frustrating is that I couldn't find anybody who could confirm that it was indeed the fuel pump from their past experience. You'd think this would be a commonly occuring failure that any experienced Ford mechanic would be familiar with, but it was like nobody had ever heard of such a thing. Maybe now the word will spread.

    Well, I'm just glad to be up and running again.
  • My 2003 taurus ,once in a great while, would not restart after driving about 30min.then, shutting off for a few min and restarting again. After letting car sit for 15 min it will start just fine. I got some advice from a ford mechanic on Just Ask who said the fuel pump was bad and affected by heating up in its norrnal operation. On restart the "overheat" would not let the pump start until cooling down a bit. Hope the new pump will be the fix as this intermittant trouble is driving me up the wall.
  • The problem first occured four weeks ago. After a 10 mile run, stopped for gas. After refueling the car would not start. found a nearby mechanic. He checked the spark and it was good. Next he tested for fuel by depressing the valve stem at the end of the fuel manifold. It was dry. He tried cycling the fuel pump by turning the key on and off. It kicked over for a few seconds. Later after the car sat for about a half an hour it started and ran fine. Now it has happened again. This time after a 2 hour 100 mile run. Engine was off for one minute and would not restart. Waited for 30 minutes and tried it. Now again it started and ran normally.
    1. Is there a check valve in the system that prevents the fuel from draining back into the tank when the pump is off. If it is lkeaky, the heat of the engine could force the fuel out of the fuel manifold and possibly put fumes into the pump making it loose its prime. A waiting period may allow the fumes to dissapate and allow the pume to operate again.
    2. If there is not a check valve then the gears of the pump would perform the same function. If the pump is worn and the fuel leaks around them then the same condition could occur. Can anyone confirm this possibility?
  • Very similar problems as discussed in previous posts. The difference in mine is not resetting. I replaced the pump (NOT a fun job) but after 2 days the same problem came back. Making me wonder if I got a bad pump from Autozone. I didn't test the one I took out when I took it out, but after this problem with the new one I did and it worked. Now granted it was without load but it did run. Was this test valid? If so WHAT is the problem?
  • I had a problem last year with the fuel pump shutting off intermittently, usually after stopping the engine for a short time. I tried everything to avoid changing the pump, but in the end it was the pump after all. I had around 100K miles at the time. If you can find my old post, it explains everything in more detail.
  • wrenchedwrenched Posts: 12
    First of all I am a certified mechanic and did work for a Ford dealership some years ago. I have been trying to address a fuel pressure problem with this 01 Sable. I have tried numerous different things from replacing the pump with a used assembly (by used assembly I mean the pump and module as a unit), to using the original module with a new aftermarket pump, to using the original pump with the different used module I purchased from the local salvage yard. The used unit I purchased has only 40,000 original miles on it. So I have had this pump in and out this car now 4 times trying different things and yes all the voltages check out at the harness. What I resorted to trying was running direct 12 volt power to both units after I re-assembled them and took a five gallon bucket and submerged just the section of the module that holds the pump. What I found on both units was quite amazing ........ something I've never seen before and believe me I've replaced A LOT of fuel pumps. These particular units have what I think is a bleed off valve in the module for excess fuel pressure or this maybe the check valve to prevent fuel from running back into the tank and draining the fuel manifold on the engine. I have not totally solved this problem yet but I am working on it and I will definitely update shortly as I have yet to figure out what makes this little valve tick and exactly what it controls. I know already I can bypass it and create the needed fuel pressure as I have already tested this, and the system still purges pressure as it should. So I am left confused as to why this little valve is even here. I will update soon.
  • wrenchedwrenched Posts: 12
    Well everyone after many hours of work and a lot checks I now have the answer!!! Turns out I was dealing with more than one problem. My "little valve" right off the pump is indeed a anti-drainback valve. Which is the reason why the fuel was bypassing to the tank. So I purchased a complete fuel pump module from the local ford dealer and installed it, only to find out that now I have only 27 lbs. of fuel pressure. After a few hours brainstorming we decided to do a voltage drop test on the pump. Yup you guessed it ......... BAD ground!!!!!! The pump would build 27 lbs of fuel pressure and then shut off. Because this is a non-recirculating system as the pump builds pressure it draws more amperage and of course as we all know the more amperage you draw the bigger the ground you need. To make a long story short the pump would build 27 lbs and quit because it didn't have a good enough ground. Our fix was to run a dedicated ground off the module assembly drill a hole in the floorboard under the rear seat and ground it to the body there where we figured it would not corrode. So the long and short of the deal was the original pump probably went bad due to the poor ground causing the pump to try grounding through itself, hence burns up the pump. Moral of the story is as I like to say the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) method. I should have checked my connections first but since the pumps would run I never thought it would be an electrical connection........... hence everyone make sure you have a good ground it could conceivably be your only problem......make sure you run and auxiliary ground when you test for fuel pressure you can do it right at the pigtail connector. I know I will do that on every one I ever test anymore........ it will eliminate a lot of headaches.
  • wrenchedwrenched Posts: 12
    Check your ground and read my 2 posts under mercury sable 3.0 "U" code fuel press. prob. it may save you alot of headaches and expense!!
  • vector1vector1 Posts: 1
    I am having a similar problem with a 99 ford taurus. The car will not run. The pump gives nothing. after removing the hose connected to the fuel filter to see if it would give anything or if there was a line restriction. I turned the ignition on and off a few times trying to see if it would cycle some fuel out. Nothing. After extensive electrical tests I found the pump was getting power. Thinking it must be the pump I replaced with a used pump. Still having the same problem I considered I must have got a bad pump. After reading your post I think there could be a similar problem. When turn on the key have 12 volts for about 1 to 2 seconds then drops to 6.8 volts. If you could help me with a few more details on what you did to ground the unit it would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks Vector1
  • wrenchedwrenched Posts: 12
    We drilled a hole in the floor under the back seat and ran a direct ground from the pump to under the rear seat .
  • wrenchedwrenched Posts: 12
    You can test by running a direct ground to the battery but we just ran a seperate one right under the backseat. Drill through floor and ground under seat ...... No corrosion to bother the ground under there.
  • dryflywdryflyw Posts: 1
    The fuel pump in my 1992 Taurus Sedan LX (3.0L) quit working. When I took out the old pump I checked the circuit (voltage and continuity) and it checked out fine so I replaced the pump. When I put the new pump in I lost all voltage from the IRCM to the pump. It is like a relay opens somewhere and does not allow any power to go to the pump. I have remade grounds, checked the auto shutoff switch, and tested both the old and new pumps (they are working fine) but as soon as I electrically connect the pump I lose all power from the IRCM to the pump. The IRCM is fairly new (within the last year).
    Any and all suggestions would be appreciated as I am getting very frustrated.
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    I was a ford tech back in 2000 and I'm pretty sure we had a recall on 2000 Taurus for the fuel pump, I know we replaced a slew of them, Do some research and you may be able to get a refund. (maybe)
  • rtoudalrtoudal Posts: 1
    Hi, I Have A 2000 Taurus 3.0L. It Starts Easily And Runs Excellent At An Idle For As Long As You Want. The Problems Start When It's At Operating Temperature And While Driving. It Will Sometimes Miss Erratically (very Minor). Then Sometimes It Will Miss Severely Or Quit Altogether. Or It May Almost Quit And Catch Again And Run Fine. Sometimes It Is Worse Driving Uphill - But Not Always. Heres What I've Done So Far: Replaced The Spark Plugs And Wires, Checked The Catalytic Converters, The Injectors Have Been Cleaned And Tested At 100%, The Idle Control Has Been Cleaned And Checked, The Fuel Pump Seems To Be Working Fine. What I Need To Know Is Where Do I Find The Ground Wire For The Fuel Pump And Does The Fuel Tank Have To Be Dropped To Get At It?. I Also Need To Know The Fuel Pressure When The Engine Is Started Cold And When At Operating Temperature. If Anyone Has Any Other Ideas As To What The Problem Is Any Help Would Be Appreciated. Thanks, Bob
  • Might be wear in the gear pump gears not reaching 30 psi minimum. If pressure does not pass 30 psi, fuel at idle or while engine off and hot condition, might vapor lock. Fuel must relieve at Fuel Rail regulator, passing back to tank to cool off.
  • Hi, Iam having a electrical problem with my fuel pump, the car is a Ford Taurus 1995 3.0. a family mechanic replaced the constant control relay module after checking the inertia switch in trunk area. This did not correct problem, he said there might be a problem with the fuel pump and he would check on price and availability and get back with me. Iam a a/c mechanic and decided to do some troubleshooting my self. I did a continuity test from the (ccrm) pink wire black strip at disconnected wiring harness thru inertia switch to fuel pump and test was ok. I ran a hot wire from the + post to the outlet side of the inertia switch leading to fuel pump and the fuel pump energized indicating that the fuel pump itself was working. When the ignition switch is on or in crank position voltage is indicated past the inertia whitch but the fuel pump will not energize. Note the ignition switch itself is very wornout.
  • csoriacsoria Posts: 6
    I, found a electrical test to check power to PCM from CCRM only and the electrical check out, tested good. The CCRM test pins at harnes and CCRM module tested good.
  • csoriacsoria Posts: 6
    2nd follow up on my electrical fuel pump problem, Oct 5th i was able to fix this problem, my mechanic was correct about fuel pump problem, what really happend was the wiring was smashed between the fuel tank and the bottom of the car i noticed this when i pulled off the fuel tank and noticed the wire bundle. Also the pig tail harness was over heated and cracked open at connection to fuel tank connector. after removing i applied 12 volts to pump and was able to pump water thru fuel pump i did not do a pressure test or volume test and decided to replace wiring harness $50. i used a unsulated wire connecter for the four wires 24v, ground, and two wires to sending unit and soldered together each pair of wires and used the 4 heat schrenk wire protectors provided with the new pig tail connecter. The new fuel pump and sending unit assembly cost $70. the cost varied from $130. at a local auto parts house to about $70. on the internet, my brand was Airtex i think this is a aftermarket brand Airtex this my be why the wiring harness was damaged. Never the less its fixed now. it took two weekends to complete repair a good estimate is the average time for pulling the tank off and replacing complete fuel pump assemble wiring harness, new fuel filter and reinstalling back into place about one daytime day taking my sweet time. Its better to use four jackstands and small car jack to help with lowering and raising fuel tank. for safety remove battery terminals and fuel from tank.
  • 29792979 Posts: 3
    where did you connect the wire to- the pump or the pig tail and what color wire did you connect to?
  • I had the same problem with my 98 Taurus as most. Drive it for around 30 minutes, shut it off and it will not restart. If it cools down for about another 30m it will start again. The problem happens only in warm to hot weather. Traced the problem (or so I thought) to the main computer module. It was not sending out an "on" command to the fuel pump relay. Bought an identical refurb module and had it 'flashed" by a local Ford dealer. Problem solved for about 9 months, through the heat of last summer. The problem has resurfaced again with a rise in temps. Does anyone have an update on this nasty problem? Should I replace the fuel pump? Is there any related Ford Bulletin or recall on this?
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    I worked for a large Ford dealer in Indy till the fall of a line mechanic. We had a service bulliten (not recall) on Taurus fuel pumps, and I replaced a slew of them. Run your tank low on fuel and you won't have to drain it. soak mounting bolts with rust buster a few times while your running your fuel low.Check wiring on top of tank and make SURE it's not flatten out or pinched, if it is, repair wiring and route in groove in top of tank. 2 things after you repl pump,keep tank above 1/2 tank to keep pump cool. Replace Ford or Motorcraft pump only
    I still have an in for Ford or Motorcraft parts and can save u some $
    My e-mail address
    [email protected]
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    I worked for a large Ford dealer in Indy till the fall of a line mechanic. We had a service bulliten (not recall) on Taurus fuel pumps, and I replaced a slew of them. Run your tank low on fuel and you won't have to drain it. soak mounting bolts with rust buster a few times while your running your fuel low.Check wiring on top of tank and make SURE it's not flatten out or pinched, if it is, repair wiring and route in groove in top of tank. 2 things after you repl pump,keep tank above 1/2 tank to keep pump cool. Replace Ford or Motorcraft pump only
    I still have an in for Ford or Motorcraft parts and can save u some $
    My e-mail address
    [email protected]
  • kim771kim771 Posts: 2
    Hi! I have a Ford Taurus SES 2002 88,000mi. For the past several months I have had a strange problem but now sometimes the car does not start at all. I drive to work and the car is fine - starts up no problem. I go home for lunch and after about 1/2 hour I start the car again and it idles VERY roughly and has stalled a few times. When I leave work at night, car is absolutely fine. Had a mechanic look at it a while ago and he could not find out why the stall thing is happening when the engine is hot. Just a few days ago, went to start the car and it wouldn't start....tried again a few minutes later and it started. After running, car is fine (shifting a little roughly, though). So a few times since the initial non-starting, the car doesn't seem to want to start when car is hot...I do not think it is the starter or the battery...both were replace November of 2006....but of course it could be! When the car doesn't start, it cranks, but a VERY slow/weak crand and then it will start. Does anyone think this could be a bad/weak fuel pump? Could a starter go bad after just 2 years? Thank you so much for any thoughts/suggestions!
  • oldfordmecholdfordmech Posts: 124
    At fisrt I going to say fuel pump till you got to the cranking slow problem. First have your battery charged then do a load test on the battery with a carbon pile load tester. Find the cap of the battery, load in 1/2 that rating and the volt meter mush show 9.6 volts for 15 sec. If it passes, then go to the starter, with good battery,crank the eng over when hot and rear the batt voltage while cranking voltage should stay above 9.6 volts. A good starter should not draw over 150-175 amps max. After you get that fixed lets see how it runs. and a cheap rebuilt starter may go bad in 2 years.
  • Hey there!
    I'm working on a friends 99 taurus 4 dr.. Towed it 3 hours to my house from his daughters place who had it before it died. My testing shows inertia switch ok( not popped) relays in the black box ok....swapped them around, however, I'm not hearing the fuel relay pull in. "0" pressure at test valve on fuel rail when in "on" or "start" Listened with a stethascope against a long drill bit shoved down the fill pipe to see if I could hear anything...nothing. So what prevents the fuel relay from turing on?? By jumping 30-87 on the relay base turns on the fans but not the fuel pump.I'm going to check grounds and maybe run a separate ground for it and secure it to the floor as recomended previously. I'm not convinced that the problem is the pump. Not till I see good voltage at the pump with a good solid ground. Do you know what colors should be what on the fuel pump harness? I'm thinking I may find crushed wires on the top side of the tank... any ideas??
  • haytimhaytim Posts: 1
    i own the same car for over 3 years now,sure what is happening with you is happening with me,try change the cables that connect the spark plugs but anyway it a normal thing with this car,when cold it starts slow, especially in morning but when hot it starts fine
  • My ford will start by won't stay running! I have to pump the engine to keep it running for a little while, The minute I stop pumping it shuts off. Please advise. Thanks
  • Sounds like low fuel pressure or a bad fuel pressure regulator to me
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