Let me speak to you from experience. You probably have a slight crack in the cylinder head that causes the mis. When it starts it will seem like you have a fouled plug that gets better after warming up... Anyway, when you stomp on the pedal from a stop the misfire will likely accur as if you have a fuel delivery problem or even a suspect throttle position sensor. After you test them and know that they aren't the problem then pull your hair out or just continue to drive it until it cracks wide open, like mine, and verified the crack/s after removing the head.
All the while, my coolant was dissappearing and I just kept refilling as needed. It seemed to be less during the winter months, coincidental or not.
By the way, as the white smoke finally showed itself, hard-core, (after driving the car for about 3 years with the symptoms and sometimes getting some "smelly" white coolant laced smoke, especially after starting with a few days of sitting) I did a compression test on all the cylinders and they were very good. That did not catch a bad cyl. (Bad head gasket or open gaps in the valves seating). A leak down test might have caught the cracks in the 2 center cylinders.
The cracks went from the valves up to the water jacket holes. Think critically, the cylinders were NOT dead and certainly not a broken or failed head gasket between them.
Just a note of interest, at the end of the line, while I was pouring water/coolant in the radiator and running the car, it was missing like a son of a bitch and shitting out white smoke. As the water from the radiator started to go down(checked it) the car started to run smoother again... Did this check of "refill and inspect" over 3 days to understand the condition and consequense of it.
After one of the boys went to the junk yard to hunt down a new cyl. Head, it took 4 cars to finally find another one that didn't have a cracked head too. By the way, once more, the engine in my escort was a a replacement with only 30,000 on it for the original that had the same problem, and the replacement only lasted for 60,000 added miles from when installed... Good luck, and i'm sure you know what to do.
Sorry, I didn't take pictures to show you the work and also, there was the check engine light and verification of misfire by the code.
I did all the standard replacement intervals with the plugs, wires, .., All necessary routine maint. So those were not suspect to the problem.
Monday, August 31st, 2009 AT 10:41 PM