2002 Ford Taurus Q&A
2002 Ford Taurus Question: My check engine light just came on this morning.
Many things can cause a lean running condition. It could be a vacuum leak,a bad O2 sensor, low fuel pressure or restricted fuel injector. Look for an obvious vacuum leak. Many automotive repair shops have a machine that generates an inert non flammable low pressure smoke that looks similar to cigar smoke. The intake manifold is sealed off, and smoke is put into the engines intake manifold. The smoke then fills the engines crankcase and if there are any vacuum leaks from gaskets, hoses, or housing smoke emits from the source of the leak. Some mechanics will use propane or aerosol carburetor cleaner, with the engine running they will spray the cleaner or propane around the intake manifold and vacuum hoses. A leak will cause a "lean mixture" condition, when the flammable fuel (carburetor cleaner or propane) comes in contact with the source of the vacuum leak the engine idle speed will raise as the engine has received "fuel". this method of finding a vacuum leak works but is not recommended as it can easily cause a fire. Fuel pressure would have to be checked using a fuel gauge taped to the windscreen during a road test. There is a company that independent auto repair shops get their information from, this same information is available inexpensively for people that work on their own cars.. The information is year make and model specific, covering repair procedures, torque specifications, fluid capacities and specifications, service bulletins, component locations, wiring diagrams ect.... Alldata is very easy to navigate http://bit.ly/AllData_Repair_Manuals_Online May even be useful to look at freeze frame data or live sensor data on a scantool. - patrick mannion
Check for a vacuum leak. The #1 cause of a lean code is just that, a vacuum leak. Check the engine area visually, and also listen for a hissing sound. Some vacuum leaks can be elusive. - dale45
My wife drove it to work so I haven't had a chance to look at it myself yet but I check the oil and coolant once a week and the coolant looked fine last week. She said she turned the heat on high ...