2nd try on my '93 Ford Taurus problem, first post was blank

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Hi everyone! I'm new here, I just joined CF today.

I don't know much about automechanics, I'm just hoping to learn more here, not to fix my own car but to at least be a smarter consumer. So all the mechanical terms you see below are not be pretending I know stuff, it's me repeating what the supposed experts have said. =)

I just bought a used '93 Ford Taurus with 123,000 miles. It drove GREAT for about 3 or 4 weeks and then the problem began... I was driving at about 35 to 40 mph and the "check engine" light came on and the car just started slowing down even though my foot was on the gas. At about 20 mph I finally realized that my stepping on the gas harder was doing no good and I better get the car out of the road before it stopped completely. I had a hard time pulling it to the side of the road because the power steering had apparently taken a leave of absence too. So with some effort I got it to the road-side and it had slowed to about 10 mph so I braked to stop completely and then the car stalled. I turned the ignition to off. I waited a minute and tried to start it again. It made a cranking noise. Kind of like when you run out of gas and it wants to start, but can't. But I had a full tank. So I sat there in frustration trying to call people and figure out what to do. After about 5 minutes I decided to try it again for the heck of it. I turned the key and it started right up, no problem - no more "check engine" light. And it drove me home no problems.

I hoped and prayed it was a fluke and kept drivng the car nicely until 9 days later it happened again. Same exact thing including the successful start up after a 5 minute wait. So far it's been about 4 days without a re-occurrence.
In the meantime, I took it to Autozone because they do free diagnostic. But they said they couldn't do it without the "check engine" light on. But it only comes on when the car is in the process of braking down. I explained the whole problem and the manager who'd worked there for 11 years told me it sounded like the speed sensor. And said it was an easy part to replace because it was located right on the steering rack under the car. So I paid $20 for it and went across the street to Meineke and asked them if they could replace the speed sensor with the part I brought for some fee. He asked me to wait while he put my car on the lift and checked it out. Ten minutes later he came back and told me that to change the speed sensor they needed to remove all kinds of engine things and it would be at least 2 hours of labor at $93 per hour. So I thanked him, took my part and left.

Does anything in my story set off a bell for someone here that might have a helpful suggestion for me? I'd greatly appreciate it!


posted by  Annmarie

Hi, first of all wecome to CF ,now lets see ,your speed sensor will turn on the check engine light But it will not shut off the motor ,also it is not located on the rack ,its on the tranny,and its is called a VSS vehicle speed sensor,now as to your problem you might change your fuel filter also get a fuel pressure test run on it. It could be that the light is comeing on because the engine is dieing from lack of fuel or fuel pressure. have it checked by a real shop or your local ford dealer. Good luck Slim

posted by  Slimone

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