Bucking/Hesisating, rough idle and loss of "oomph"

Tiny
DEBCOB
  • MEMBER
  • FORD ESCORT
Just bought (from an admittedly dodgy dealer) a 1996 "N" reg Ford Escort Cabaret, 85000 on the clock.
Was fine for the 1st 3 days of owning it, but since doing some excessive mileage, its developed an intermitten fault whereby all of a sudden I can press the throttle but it won't accelerate, and instead will buck and jolt along - almost feels like a blockage in the fuel line.
Most recently (i.E. Last night) I was driving on a UK motorway and when I pushed on the throttle there was very little power behind it at all - didn't behave like a normal 1.6 engine!
I can only describe it felit like wind-resistance, but not a windy day, so not sure what it was. Again, severe bucking and stalling at high and low speeds and when I put the car in neutral before shutting off the engine I noticed the idling revs were surging and dropping quite severely. However, left the car overnight and switched on the engine this morning and it was sweet as a nut!

I'm guessing the intermittent fault has been around for a while as recently the car has had a new fuel pipe (front to back) Lambda sensor tested, idle valve replaced, and next exhaust sections throughout the underside.

Any ideas whats going on? I'm really getting worried!
Thanks >:o)
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2007 AT 7:58 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
M_H_RITZEL
  • EXPERT
Check the fuel filter first, use some throttle body cleaner, there could be a little carbon build up in the throttle body.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2007 AT 9:54 AM
Tiny
DEBCOB
  • MEMBER
Thanks Mike,

I think its definitely an intermittent fault as it played up really severely on Monday night, but then yesterday and today has been absolutely fine with no bucking or hesitation, and the only thing I still notice is there's not as much pull as there should be on accelerating with a 1.6 engine.

Does it still sound like carbon build up though if its intermittent or is there anything else I should be keeping an eye on?

Deb
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Wednesday, August 15th, 2007 AT 2:38 AM
Tiny
M_H_RITZEL
  • EXPERT
The car bogs bown, it does seem so much as a carbon buildup but there is no harm cleaning out the throttle body. Has it just stalled out on you while you were driving it? And if so what was the weather then? How is the fuel filter? The reason I asked was that I wondered about electrical connections. Just check make sure everything is connected tightly. Let me knw what you find out. Ok?
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Wednesday, August 15th, 2007 AT 4:54 PM
Tiny
DEBCOB
  • MEMBER
Hi Mike,

Thanks for your response. As I am not mechanically minded, I took it to my local garage as they were addressing a separate issue (whereby there was a very strong smell of fuel during gear changes in the lower gears)

This was obviously a long-standing fault as paperwork from the previous owner showed the car had recently had a new fuel line front-to-back, and may have been linked to whatever was causing the bucking/hesitation problem.

Well, the garage replaced the tank and an exhaust section and had the car for a week whereby they took it in turns to drive it around for a day and see if the bucking took place. It didn t, so they gave me back the car on Wednesday 22nd. It seemed fine and didn t buck once.
However, over the weekend just gone I had an electrical issue with dirty contacts causing lights to malfunction, and a burnt out part of the alternator cable causing the alternator to fail and I drove 5 miles on battery alone (just made it home!)

I did wonder maybe once the alternator cable had been repaired that maybe that could have had something to do with the bucking and surging issue if it was causing a jump from battery power to engine power quickly, but last night when I was driving home from a night out, the bucking started again and was continuous for about 3 miles in a row.
I was naturally livid with the car having just spent out on a fuel tank, and had the other troubles so I stamped hard on the gas pedal. There was a short hesitation (which I can only akin to fuel starvation for a moment) then the bucking cleared and it was absolutely fine during the drive into work this morning, so quite literally have no idea at all what is the problem at the moment! Does it still sound like carbon build up, or does it sound like there is an intermittent problem somewhere in the throttle mechanism?

All I know is this car is more trouble than its worth :-(
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Tuesday, August 28th, 2007 AT 2:57 AM
Tiny
MXRICK55555
  • MEMBER
Try waiting till it is dark out side start your car pop the hood and look around with the engine at idle you will be lookin for any sign of a spark from either your spark plug wires or any thing that goes down the line to them, you could have a faulty wire or a wire that has had the coating rubbed off if this is that case it will be arcking to ground rather than arcking at the ends of your spark plug. I had this same problem sputtering and cutting out during acceleration thought it could be fuel related but did this before and saved myself some money finding out that it was just a short. Good luck
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Saturday, September 1st, 2007 AT 4:03 PM

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