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  1. #1
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Mechanic Question - Engine goes "Waka waka puf puf waka"

    Kind of a long shot asking here but somebody might know...

    I had this Ford Taurus 1998 that was working OK and being used daily. One day it just didn't start. The starter wasn't moving. When you turn the ignition key nothing happened. Some mechanic wannabi thought it was a good idea to hit the starter repeatedly with a hammer. It didn't fix anything but it did succeed in breaking several internal parts of the starter/solenoid assembly. I took out the starter, got a replacement and installed it. But still nothing was happening when turning the key.

    After lots of troubleshooting, I finally found a big fat cable (named starter cable by the way) that was broken. I replaced it and now the starter is moving. The engine makes "waka waka waka puf puf waka waka" but it doesn't start. It sounds like a gas trimmer that hasn't been used during the whole winter. By now the car has been stopped for months. I just put gas on the thing, verified all fuses, everything looks fine but I can get past "waka waka puf puf waka". I would call a mechanic if I had any money to pay him. Seriously. But I'm broke.

    So... any ideas on how to start a car that was been stopped for months?
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  2. #2
    Riding Heaven's Highways on the grand tour ModoVincere's Avatar
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    take out the plugs, pour a bit of gas in each cylinder, and then get someone else to try to start it.
    1 bronze, 0 silver, 1 gold

  3. #3
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Call Car Talk.
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  4. #4
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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  5. #5
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    Kind of a long shot asking here but somebody might know...

    I had this Ford Taurus 1998 that was working OK and being used daily. One day it just didn't start. The starter wasn't moving. When you turn the ignition key nothing happened. Some mechanic wannabi thought it was a good idea to hit the starter repeatedly with a hammer. It didn't fix anything but it did succeed in breaking several internal parts of the starter/solenoid assembly. I took out the starter, got a replacement and installed it. But still nothing was happening when turning the key.

    After lots of troubleshooting, I finally found a big fat cable (named starter cable by the way) that was broken. I replaced it and now the starter is moving. The engine makes "waka waka waka puf puf waka waka" but it doesn't start. It sounds like a gas trimmer that hasn't been used during the whole winter. By now the car has been stopped for months. I just put gas on the thing, verified all fuses, everything looks fine but I can get past "waka waka puf puf waka". I would call a mechanic if I had any money to pay him. Seriously. But I'm broke.

    So... any ideas on how to start a car that was been stopped for months?
    Did you try putting gas in the car? I know that, at this point, lighting the thing on fire seems like a good idea, but it's not, Ruben.

    Is there smoke coming out of the tail pipe when you try starting it? It could be that your old gas is too nasty to actually start it and that the new gas isn't diluting it enough. It also could be time for new spark plugs. You might want to do that anyway.

  6. #6
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    It could be that the battery is so run down that it's not turning over fast enough.

  7. #7
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    Did you try putting gas in the car? I know that, at this point, lighting the thing on fire seems like a good idea, but it's not, Ruben.

    Is there smoke coming out of the tail pipe when you try starting it? It could be that your old gas is too nasty to actually start it and that the new gas isn't diluting it enough. It also could be time for new spark plugs. You might want to do that anyway.
    Well, the car was almost empty. I bought 15 bucks of gas this morning, best grade with cleaning agents and stuff... pour it on the tank... tank is now half full with new gas. I was working alone on the car. I'll get somebody to help me in the afternoon and check if there's smoke coming out.
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  8. #8
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    Well, the car was almost empty. I bought 15 bucks of gas this morning, best grade with cleaning agents and stuff... pour it on the tank... tank is now half full with new gas. I was working alone on the car. I'll get somebody to help me in the afternoon and check if there's smoke coming out.
    Replace the plugs if there's any black smoke.

  9. #9
    Grumpy Member trsidn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
    take out the plugs, pour a bit of gas in each cylinder, and then get someone else to try to start it.
    be sure to stand behind some sort of barrier
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    The Great Kahuna of Hawaii says"Waka,Waka,Puf,Puf"the Waikiki weed

    Ruben,
    Did one of you friends disconnect the spark plugs and put them back on in the wrong firing order.
    Check to see if all vacuum hoses etc.are still connected.
    Call priest to preform exorcism on the engine if ex put a curse on it.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  11. #11
    Burning Matches. ElJamoquio's Avatar
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    Throw some jumper cables 'on' it (attach jumper to anonther vehicle), see if it starts. If so, battery was dead. If not, get back to us.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
    Throw some jumper cables 'on' it (attach jumper to anonther vehicle), see if it starts. If so, battery was dead. If not, get back to us.
    This. If you did have old fuel in the system and put fresh in, it will take some time to get it pumping through. Either put a fresh battery in or get a friend to bring his car over and get a jump off him/her. It could likely take a dozen tries to get it working, keep the jumper cables on until it fires up.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElJamoquio View Post
    Throw some jumper cables 'on' it (attach jumper to anonther vehicle), see if it starts. If so, battery was dead. If not, get back to us.
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  14. #14
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Go to Taurus Car Club of America forum. They know all. Go to Generation 1-4 Taurus & Sable Platform (1986-2007) > Maintenance and Repair.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  15. #15
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    Start with what's the most likely: Battery, alternator, battery cables. Then move to the other stuff.

  16. #16
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    Try jumping it for a while. It sounds like you've already diluted the old fuel enough. At this point, even with crappy plugs it should run, assuming you've moved the fuel through the system. Is that pacific islander ritual you think your car is chanting the sound of the engine running but idling poorly, turning over slowly but not firing, or something else? I also second checking the firing order. Google can help you with that, although I'm not sure if that car is a distributor or solid state ignition.

  17. #17
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    So... any ideas on how to start a car that was been stopped for months?
    I let a car sit for about 20 months, once. Battery was totally dead, of course, but jumper cables started it right up...no problems.

  18. #18
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    If it was going FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP then MV could tell you what to do.
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  19. #19
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    THE CAR EXPLODED

    First I changed the spark plugs, they looked real bad. Put new shiny ones. Car went "waka waka puf waka". No black smoke out the back. So I took out the sparks and poured some gas on the cylinders, put sparks back...."waka waka puf puf puf puf puf puf waka"... better. It almost started.

    And they Ruben had the great idea of repeating the process putting even more gas on the cylinders. Then starter went "kank"... again "kank". I figured I put to much liquid and the cylinder now can't make compression. So, how do I get some gas out of the cylinders? Oh well (that was stupid) I took the sparks out and try to start the engine so the cylinders will turn and the extra gasoline will pour out of the spark plug wholes....

    KABOOMMMMM

    Big ball of fire engulfed the engine.

    I got it extinguished quick, less than 10 seconds. No wire damage or anything. Just my hands charcoal'd a little bit.

    After dealing with the fire, I put sparks back. Keep trying to start it. It seems that the fuel on the line has broken down and the more I try, the more "puf puf" and the less "waka waka".

    I'm gonna put a fresh battery on it. The one I'm using is from the hyunday and it's starting to go "waka waaakkaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaakaaaaaaaaaaaa".
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  20. #20
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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  21. #21
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    I have to confess I felt tempted to let the thing be consume by flames. But I'm so close of closing that chapter that I must continue.
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

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    Aiiiii Ca rumba!
    I can't believe you poured gas in the cylinders.Sure glad I do not live next door to you.

    It still sounds like you have the plug firing order jacked up.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  23. #23
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spry View Post
    Aiiiii Ca rumba!
    I can't believe you poured gas in the cylinders.Sure glad I do not live next door to you.

    It still sounds like you have the plug firing order jacked up.
    No, those are fine. The car has the cables with the exact length of each spark plug, and are labeled... you can't go wrong.

    Gotta go... try to jump start the thing... later
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  24. #24
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Well... jumpstarting didn't work. Cables got too hot for continuous cranking. The car needs a new battery. A *good* one. I can't afford that right now so this will have to wait. It's just a few more waka wakas puf puf from the final waka waka puf puf puf brumm bruuuuuummmm. Oh well.

    Thnx for the tips....
    "Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes

  25. #25
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    Ruben, pull the battery and take it to an auto parts store (like autozone) who can test the battery for a bad cell. If it's not the problem, don't waste money on it.

    I am assuming that the battery currently installed is the correct one for this vehicle...

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