The engine oil pan gasket can develop a leak. Leaking oil may accumulate on the exhaust system resulting in a burning smell. Replacing the gasket should correct this leak.
Problems for specific Ford Taurus years:
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Most reported 2004 Ford Taurus problems
The engine may misfire and/or buck while driving at freeway speeds with no fault code stored in the powertrain control module (PCM). This can be caused by an intermittent fault with the camshaft synchronizer assembly. This condition can be diagnosed by monitoring knock sensor data as per Ford service bulletin #05-22-12. Replacement of the synchronizer assembly will be required to correct this concern.
The magnet for the camshaft position sensor may fall out of its mount and damage the synchronizers. This causes long crank times when starting the engine and may cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate. If this happens, both the magnets and the synchronizers need to be replaced.
If you experience difficulty starting the engine when cold, stalling at idle, or hesitations during acceleration, it may be the idle air bypass valve. This valve helps the vehicle idle steady when the accelerator pedal is not pressed.
While steering, if you hear a clunk or a rattle, or if you experience premature tire wear, this could indicate the inner tie rod ends are loose or worn and will require replacement.