1991 Ford Escort engine runs erratic when cold

Tiny
KOOL_RIDER
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 FORD ESCORT
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 234,400 MILES
I have a '91 Ford Escort, 1.9 L, 4 cyl, fuel injected FWD car that runs very erratic when first started up. It feels like its getting insufficient fuel to run, it coughs, sputters and hiccups under light accelleration and only clears out under hard accelleration. It takes about 15-20 minutes of driving before it starts acting 'normal' again, coughing gone, no sputtering. This has only started doing this recently, as I have not had any problems with it before. I replaced the fuel filter and added a bottle of injector cleaner to the tank, with no better results. Since this is fuel injection I know there is no choke like a carb engine would have. Any ideas?
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Monday, September 13th, 2010 AT 8:32 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Hi kool_rider, Welcome to 2carpros and TY for the donation

Test the engine coolant temperature sensor and clean out the idle air control valve and EGR/PCV valves and clean the MAF sensor with an electronic cleaner CRC, and also test the throttle position sensor-
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Monday, September 13th, 2010 AT 10:48 AM
Tiny
KOOL_RIDER
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I tried what you said, replaced the coolant temperature sensor; removed the idle control valve, cleaned and reinstalled it; checked the EGR/PCV valves; cleaned the MAF sensor and checked the throttle position sensor. It is now running BAD all the time. More on the engine, it has 370,000 km on it, its using oil (burning it) at the rate of 1 L a week. It runs ok with NO throttle and clears out with WIDE OPEN throttle. At light throttle between 60 - 100 km/hr it surges, almost hunts for an up shift, shakes and clunks the car. These are at highway speeds. Its almost undriveable. Could there be a problem with the fuel injection system? Maybe a bad injector or is it the computer?

Thanks,
Clint
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Thursday, September 16th, 2010 AT 8:41 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Inspect the spark plugs could be carboned -up and do a fuel pressure check
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Thursday, September 16th, 2010 AT 4:46 PM
Tiny
KOOL_RIDER
  • MEMBER
I started pulling off spark plug wires, and 2 of them separated at the end from the connector, and I think this was my problem. There was not a positive connection between the core of the wire and the metal end, resulting in erratic plug firing. I installed new spark plugs and wires, and the car now runs great! Thanks for all your advice, I was scratching my head for weeks now wondering what the problem could be, and it turned out to be a really simple solution.

Clint
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Monday, September 20th, 2010 AT 8:29 AM

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