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Ford Escort Engine Problems
Last post on Jan 10, 2013 at 3:26 PM
You are in the Ford Escort Wagon
What is this discussion about?
Ford Escort, Engine, Wagon
#146 of 176 Re: 01 Escort random dying problem and rough idle. [denzz]
Nov 12, 2010 (7:42 pm)
If it doesn't do it until the car is warmed up, it is a sensor issue associated with "open loop" versus "closed loop" status. In other words, when the car is cold, it operates in a closed loop status meaning the car runs off preset operating parameters. Once it is warmed up, it goes to open loop, meaning it uses feedback from various sensors, such as the oxygen sensors, to adjust the combustion mixture, timing, etc, to optimize the vehicle's economy and emissions.
If one of those components is not working properly, it will throw the whole system into disarray.
I am curious, when it stalls, is it as simple as working fine to shut off, no other symptoms, or does it run rough, stutter, etc. before hand and then culminate in a stall?
For you rough idling, it may be the knock sensor. I had a Subaru Outback that would do that when first started, but seemed fine once you gave it some gas. I ended up replacing the camshaft, crankshaft, and knock sensors simultaneously (the computer threw a code for the knock sensor and camshaft sensors, if I recall correctly), and that was like getting a new car. It solved an array of problems I was having at the time.
Is your CEL illuminated? If so, beg, borrow, or buy a code reader to get the code list for further diagnosis! You could save yourself a lot of guess-work.
#147 of 176 Re: 01 Escort random dying problem and rough idle. [xwesx]
Nov 12, 2010 (8:20 pm)
My CEL was lit up a couple months back and Autozone will get a code list for you for free so I did that and I believe i had that oxygen sensor show up on there, the light has not been on after i got some things fixed at a mechanic, they said my car was running too lean and fixed my vacuum lines
When my car stalls there is no other symptoms at all, it just simply turns off, no stuttering or anything just straight to off, ALTHOUGH the first couple times this started happening, back when it was turning off once every 4-5 days it would die when i was driving steady and my gas pedal would go in and out of working, and within a few seconds die, it would almost even act as if it downshifted from a high gear 1 time to kinda slow it down and then it would turn off but that has only happened the first 2 or 3 times it did this, everytime since then it does not stutter or anything
And I'm curious is this oxygen sensor and knock sensor easy to replace and or cheap? Maybe something I can do my self after getting the parts from a local auto store? I will have them check my car for a list of codes too but my CEL light is not on so will it show me anything? Or does the light have to be on
#148 of 176 Re: 01 Escort random dying problem and rough idle. [denzz]
Nov 15, 2010 (10:51 am)
Generally, no, sensors are not particularly cheap! For the Escort, though, they are not nearly so expensive as they were for my Subaru. I am planning to put new oxygen sensors on my '98 next spring, and they are about $35 each (there are two of them!) through Amazon. I am not sure about the knock sensor, that one could be about the same or even more. Without checking, I would estimate on the order of $50.
They are certainly a do-it-yourself type of job, but the oxygen sensors can be a real pain since they are in the exhaust stream. The threads can often become corroded / seized, so patience and tenacity are both standard tools for the job. Plus, they are under the engine and a little awkward to reach.
This suggestion may be a long shot, but try cleaning your mass airflow sensor, which is located just after the air cleaner housing, and see if that helps. Be sure to use a sensor-safe cleaner (basically a carburetor cleaner, but it actually says "sensor safe" on the can). The MAS is one of the items that is included in the open loop, but not the closed loop. I had a stalling problem in that Subaru that was resolved by doing that. I was not getting a CEL when this happened.
As for codes without the CEL, yes, you can, but it depends on how recently it happened. I think the system clears itself out after 40 drive cycles with no problems, but there can be "pending" codes that throw in the system if something minor is out of whack one cycle but not the next. Those codes do not light the CEL unless they recur multiple times in a row.
#149 of 176 Re: 01 Escort random dying problem and rough idle. [xwesx]
Nov 19, 2010 (2:05 pm)
I had autozone check my car for codes but nothing showed up, CEL was not on, but just had them check anyways.
I replaced the Idle Air Control Valve today, took it for a test drive to a place about 10 miles away and things seemed to be running smoothly, it still idles a little rough, maybe not as much but it felt better to drive as if maybe I had fixed the problem.
Made it all the way there fine without any stalls, although my dash lights came on as if it died, and went away after 1 or 2 seconds, it was very quick, as if it was dead and instantly came back on mid driving
On my way back home it died about 3 times, all while coasting or slowing down.
2 times it flickered my dash lights and my car was unresponsive for a couple seconds and then everything was fine as if nothing happened (what i would call fake stalls or "ALMOST" stalls)
As I was driving down 1 street around 45 MPH i let off the gas to coast and it felt like it maybe died but none of my dash lights were on, so i pushed the gas in, the gas had no response, it was as if I was pushing the gas in with the car off... after coasting from 45 MPH to about 30-25 MPH my gas pedal was responsive again and everything was normal...
So end point, It felt like it may have fixed it at first, ran a little differently maybe a little "better" but the way it stalls is somewhat different with these partial stalls (i say partial because my car is responsive again and still runs without me having to turn the key off and back on) and it would sometimes feel as if the power and responsiveness of my car was going in and out over the period of a few seconds like it wants to die but tries its hardest to hang on
#150 of 176 Re: 01 Escort random dying problem and rough idle. [denzz]
Nov 19, 2010 (4:54 pm)
Try cleaning that airflow sensor... it look something like this on the car:
Replacement is not cheap (probably about $100 for the sensor only, without housing), so don't replace it unless you have no other choice.
I am still strongly convinced this is a sensor issue and not a mechanical problem. You might be able to run some electrical tests to see what circuitry (relay) is actually causing the engine to cut out (such as an automatic shutdown relay) - that may help narrow down the sensors that could lead to that failure.
#151 of 176 Re: 01 Escort random dying problem and rough idle. [xwesx]
Nov 21, 2010 (8:51 pm)
Okay, well I didn't have the tool to take the actual sensor off the housing, but I sprayed in the tube where u see the wires at the end of the sensor is that good enough or may work partially but not fully? Becuase after i sprayed it down with cleaner and re assembled it, my car seemed to run better and not die, AT least now it does not die for a longer period of driving, i drove double the distance I used to be able to and it died once. the same way it has been, but cleaning that or a mixture of cleaning that and replacing my IAC valve seems to have helped it a lot, but it did still die once after the fact so that means the problem still is there right? i dunno if any of this info helps narrow it down.
And i really appreciate your help thank you.
#152 of 176 Re: 01 Escort random dying problem and rough idle. [denzz]
Nov 22, 2010 (11:49 am)
At this point, I am purely speculating. If those adjustments/changes seemed to help quite a bit, perhaps it is a problem here. Do you know anyone with an Escort like your own (that runs properly)? Perhaps you could "borrow" the MAS on that one and see if it clears up your problem. I hate to recommend replacing it on a whim simply because it is so expensive, but it is also tough to move on to other possibilities when you cannot eliminate possibilities first.
#153 of 176 Re: Motor noise [xwesx]
Nov 29, 2010 (3:06 pm)
Update ,My brother in law said the flywheel may have come loose,so I took the trans. access plate off to see into the flywheel and all seems tight. However it made a cluncking noise when I first engauged the starter so I shut it off,when I went to restart it the starter just turns over not the motor. So I had my wife cranck it and I looked through the access hole and could see the flywheel and torgue converter spinning. But the motor wasn't. Is there a keyway that may have broke or something else.....
#154 of 176 Re: Motor noise [wannarun]
Nov 29, 2010 (6:27 pm)
It would be very unusual for that to happen, but it is not impossible!
The flywheel (flex plate on an automatic) connects to the crankshaft on the engine, usually by way of six bolts that are torqued to ~75 foot-pounds. If the flex plate and torque converter spin freely with the starter and crankshaft does not spin, that connection is now severed for whatever reason. Without splitting the units apart or scoping the area inside that access cover, we cannot know for sure.
What concerns me more is why this would even happen! It may very well be a symptom of a bigger problem. Again, there is no way of knowing until you get in there to see the nature of the damage.
Jan 13, 2011 (6:50 am)
i have a 1991 ford escort 5 speed on floor Gt 1.9 liter in it 4 cylender. I have a problem with it not wanting to start. However u can push start it and it runs fine. Sometimes it will start right back up after u run it a while then sometimes it wont start at all. I know it wont start at all after it cold. When u turn the key on everything comes on it just wont turn over so if anyone has any answers please let me know i need to get my car back on the road i am tired pushing and walking everyhere ty