Pulling my hair out

Tiny
DENISLEE2015
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 FORD ESCAPE
  • 3.0L
  • V6
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 152,000 MILES
Ok backstory I'm cheap I buy cheap pieces of junk fix them drive them for a few years sell them and usually turn a profit this escape makes me want to go the way of the dinosaurs I picked it up for 300 body great condition engine has a miss he swore no body ever tried to fix it it was dark and the notary was about to close so I paid the money thinking id fix and this would be my daily driver fast forward the next morning I pop the hood I notice valve covers are both leaking bolts are loose upper intake plenum bolts are loose random bolts are missing everywhere I think its all good a couple gaskets and shell be good to go so heres the list the misfire was due to a genius having coil on plug wires reversed it misfired for so long the cat all melted so I had to cut exhaust of to get it to even stay running once I had her running with new coil on plugs and spark plugs I noticed it idled horribly up and down in park and neutral and just down in drive or reverse my scanner shows it would idle between 550 and 850 not in gear and between 350 and 500 in gear so I decide to replace a few things since it wasn't throwing codes I did upper and lower intake gaskets both valve cover gaskets iac valve tps sensor cleaned the maf replaced pcv checked for vacuum leaks with carb cleaner couldn't find any fast forward again she does run better about 750 in park or neutral fairly steady but any strain on motor dropps the idle ac running light on putting a window up and most importantly putting in gear my scanner shows around 600 in gear after it levels but when you first throw it in gear it drops to about 200 I would say sometimes it stalls depending if you have heater on or not my oil pressure light flickers in gear I'm assuming because of idle speed being so low and raise in rpms shuts the light off I just gave it an oil change 5w 20 as manual stated I put synthetic in after I gave it an oil change now my valves are ticking fairly loud at idle they quiet when raising rpms to about 1500 fast forward driving to work yesterday I finally got a code misfire cylinder 4 hooked my scanner up fuel injector cylinder 4 dead replaced yesterday major power increase and whe I un plug coil 4 it actually makes a difference in engine performance now so that's good I guess so I'm driving after injector change and I notice it spits and sputters on acceleration for the first minute or so of driving now it does it at start off in first and when trying to give it gas in overdrive it sputters bad so bad you have to floor it to make it upshift but like I said it only does it for about a minute then levels off it thru me another code yesterday cylinder 4 misfire again so I was thinking maybe plug is fouled because of not getting any gas for three days while it was running on 5 cylinders so I swapped it no more sputtering until today its at it again for the first minute of driving it does it also still have low idle and engine oil light flickering and any load on engine tries to kill it unless I give it gas ps ive also tried resetting pcm learned values and reteaching it which did make it stop stalling in gear but it stills idles horribly low


so current symptoms sputtering for 1 minute after intial start usually worse when cold

really low idle in gear dropps to 200 then levels out

any load on engine tries to stall it

ticking coming from front and rear valve covers gets quieter at about 1500 in park

flickering oil light in gear I believe may be due to low idle not sure sometimes flickers in park but only when engine is warmed up

sometimes when cold engine idles nice for about 5 min even in drive around 750 to 800
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 AT 12:14 PM

13 Replies

Tiny
DENISLEE2015
  • MEMBER
I wanted to add something when it sputters when you first started it seems like its struggling to find fuel I do not have a fuel pressure tester so I haven't tested it yet and I do have a new fuel filter but I haven't put it on yet my question is can a clogged fuel filter or a bad fuel pump make your computer only throw a code for cylinder for it is the farthest away from the pump itself but I have no car genius so I don't know about that
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 AT 12:21 PM
Tiny
DENISLEE2015
  • MEMBER
I also haven't done a compression test on that cylinder because I haven't got that old yet and I haven't done and oil pressure test to see if I really AM low on oil pressure at idle my main concern is the low idle in the sputtering
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 AT 12:22 PM
Tiny
DENISLEE2015
  • MEMBER
And the ticking valves after I change the oil
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 AT 12:23 PM
Tiny
DENISLEE2015
  • MEMBER
Also wanted to add that it didn't sputter until I change the new injector when it was running on 5 cylinders and didn't stutter It didn't run that good but it didn't stutter at all and the valves didnt tick until after I change the oil
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 AT 12:25 PM
Tiny
DENISLEE2015
  • MEMBER
Oh and if you're thinking timing I don't know much about timing all I know is that it starts right up within three or four rotations of the engine
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 AT 12:27 PM
Tiny
DENISLEE2015
  • MEMBER
And when I said I had to cut the exhaust off to get it started all I cut off was the rear cat and the muffler the front cat bank 2 melted and sent all of it to debris into the rear cat which clog the whole exhaust so it still has bank to cat and bank 1 cat on there so I don't know if bank to cat might still be clogged if these symptoms fit a clogged cat let me know and I'll cut it off right now
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 AT 12:30 PM
Tiny
DENISLEE2015
  • MEMBER
One last thing when idling the pedal is not very responsive it takes awhile for it to come back down when you hit the gas it's more responsive than it was when I got it but it's still fairly unresponsiveI've already clean the throttle body thoroughly
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 AT 12:35 PM
Tiny
DENISLEE2015
  • MEMBER
By the waythe oil pressure light goes out at about a thousand Rpm
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 AT 12:36 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
If you don't put new isolater bolts on intake it WILL have a vacuum leak. Try a good oil filter like wix, Purolator, napa. If oil pressure still low it will shut your fuel pressure off so bearings may be bad if filter not the problem. Then scan for codes and check fuel pressure with a gauge auto parts rent it. They can scan as well for engine codes.
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 AT 3:57 PM
Tiny
DENISLEE2015
  • MEMBER
Ithas new isolator bolts on it the filter is a Purolator I ran seafoam thru you don't think some sludge could be caught in pickup screen
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 AT 4:38 PM
Tiny
DENISLEE2015
  • MEMBER
And could fuel pressure cause one cylinder to misfire I'm seriously asking the head because most vehicles that I've had misfire they were random misfires when it was a fuel issue but like I said I'm not an expert I have no clue I'm just trying to figure it out I'll get a fuel pressure tester tomorrow I'm pretty sure its not a compression problem because it doesn't have any of the symptoms of a compression problem it has power loss of power I live in Pennsylvania and I can go up a pretty steep hill at 50 miles an hour and no problem I'm really thinking it's something stupid I was wondering if you could tell me what vacuum lines on there are supposed to have vacuum if I pull them off and put my finger on it I do not know much about vacuum lines but I know that I checked a couple of them and the lines coming from the valve covers that go it into a tea that go into the air breather they don't have any vacuum on them the EGR doesn't have vacuum when its idling but I'm not sure if that's supposed to the only ones that I seen that have vacuum or the brake booster and the one that goes from the throttle body to what I'm assuming is some fuel modulator
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 AT 4:56 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
The lines going from the valve cover to air duct /breathers are not vacuum only the pcv is if you are good with a scanner freeze frame it and check your voltages if a sensor is bad can cause that also check grommets for air leaks. I'll send a vacuum diagram in next email because our site has changed and I can't do it on a reply.
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Friday, January 29th, 2016 AT 6:52 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
See pic
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Friday, January 29th, 2016 AT 6:59 AM

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