95 ATX Engine cuts out randomly

Osaka

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So I have a 95 3.2l ATX which has an issue where the engine cuts out randomly. I recently switched the alternator and all lights etc. function well. But sometimes while driving or if I leave it to idle the engine slows down and then just stops, additionally I hear like a random light cheep noise, and a lot of gurgling noises from inside. Kinda thinking fuel issues. Any ideas as to what this may be? Car has 332k on it as well.

**UPDATE 09/06/2022**
Fiddled with the crankshaft sensor, cleaned it up since it was corroded. However, looks like one of the connectors fell out of the plug and now its not starting at all. Current plan might be to find a new sensor? Not entirely sure where to go from here. Pulling the codes once I get a scanner here.
 
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zoomlater

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pull your codes
gurgling noise could be there is air gaps in the coolant as the heater hoses run behind the heater core near the center dash
 

Eric B

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I had similar symptoms on my 93, engine was cutting out while driving. Check your battery connections since you disconnected the battery when you changed the alternator. On my car, I discovered the taper on the battery terminal did not match the taper on the battery post and was not making good contact even though they were tight.
 

Osaka

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These are the codes I pulled:
551 Inlet Air Control CKT Fault
211 Profile Ignition Pickup (PIP) ERRATIC
538 CYL BAL TEST FAIL-THROTTLE MOVEMENT

Additionally I noticed that the engine dies when it reaches the A in NORMAL on the temp gauge. Some people have been suggesting camshaft/crankshaft issues?
 

zoomlater

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code 551 is related to the IMRC solenoid that opens the butterflys, do your butterflys open when the engine revs at 4000 rpm
Code 211 could be a failing crank sensor which will shut your engine off. The crank sensor can fail when coolant leaks from the water pump onto the sensor. Do you know when the last front 60K was done on the car?
code 538 comes up if you did not do the goose test
 

Osaka

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code 551 is related to the IMRC solenoid that opens the butterflys, do your butterflys open when the engine revs at 4000 rpm
Code 211 could be a failing crank sensor which will shut your engine off. The crank sensor can fail when coolant leaks from the water pump onto the sensor. Do you know when the last front 60K was done on the car?
code 538 comes up if you did not do the goose test
I believe it does open at 4000, havent confirmed it yet but the TPS seems to allow full movement on that end.

With code 211, I am not sure when the last front end 60k was done to the vehicle. What would I essentially have to replace in that scenario?

And code 538 disappeared, we did the goose test and its good.
 

zoomlater

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When the car is off, look at the center area of the butterflys, there is a little lever that is in the down position that you can lift up on. When the car is off, the butterflys are open and the lever is down. When you start the car, the lever rotates up and then the butterflys are closed. When you rev the engine above 4000rpm, the lever moves down and then the butterflys open. If your lever does not move when you start your car, you have a vacuum problem or your IMRC has failed. Take a look at this thread.


Replacing the crank sensor is part of the front 60K and some information can be found below, its more involved and some information on parts can be found on the Shosource website

 

Osaka

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When the car is off, look at the center area of the butterflys, there is a little lever that is in the down position that you can lift up on. When the car is off, the butterflys are open and the lever is down. When you start the car, the lever rotates up and then the butterflys are closed. When you rev the engine above 4000rpm, the lever moves down and then the butterflys open. If your lever does not move when you start your car, you have a vacuum problem or your IMRC has failed. Take a look at this thread.


Replacing the crank sensor is part of the front 60K and some information can be found below, its more involved and some information on parts can be found on the Shosource website

Alrighty. Im gonna be checking the butterfly after work and also the crank sensor. Can you explain in idiot steps how to test the crank sensor itself for resistance and voltage with a multimeter? as well as the connector
 

Osaka

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Additionally, im curious how code 221 ties to the crankshaft sensor? and also what to do about code 551
 

zoomlater

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read this thread on to test the crank sensor check the crank sensor


You need to address the 211 PIP code first before the car fails to start. If your crank sensor is starting to fail, it will get worst until it won't start.

Your car will run with the code 551 for now. Eventually you can check and see if your butterflys are opening and closing as previously explained. if the solenoid is bad, it can be replaced.
 

seansho

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So I have a 95 3.2l ATX which has an issue where the engine cuts out randomly. I recently switched the alternator and all lights etc. function well. But sometimes while driving or if I leave it to idle the engine slows down and then just stops, additionally I hear like a random light cheep noise, and a lot of gurgling noises from inside. Kinda thinking fuel issues. Any ideas as to what this may be? Car has 332k on it as well.

**UPDATE 09/06/2022**
Fiddled with the crankshaft sensor, cleaned it up since it was corroded. However, looks like one of the connectors fell out of the plug and now its not starting at all. Current plan might be to find a new sensor? Not entirely sure where to go from here. Pulling the codes once I get a scanner here.
Here is a link for a 94 SHO. I would assume its the same part as your 95. https://www.carparts.com/crankshaft-position-sensor/ford/taurus/1994
 

Osaka

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Update! I am gonna be changing the crank sensor and the water pump out this weekend. Additionally, I noticed while I ran it around a bit that the tachometer slammed to 0 but then went back up, any ideas?
 

luigisho

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Cam sensor if tach went to zero but car stayed running properly(ish). When my crank sensor failed the tach went to zero because it cut the car off while driving on the highway.

How old is the timing belt and front main seal? Everything will be exposed so do whatever you don't feel like digging in there twice to have done. look at the accessory belt condition also.
 

Osaka

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Update:

Changed the cam sensor, seems to be running well so far. When I opened it up, it looked like there was a decent amount of greasy gunk beside the sprocket down there. The belt seems to be in good condition. However, I feel like the front main seal may need to be replaced. Is there any tips on doing so? Also, I am rather limited in my options of tools with where I currently am.
 

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