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1994 LX 1.9L hesitating

10-15-2010, 05:59 PM
About a month ago my 1994 escort lx 1.9L started to hesitate while accelerating, I ran fuel injector cleaner, and changed the plugs, it ran good for that day. Ever since then it has gotten worse, it will even do it sometimes while in park or when i'm stopped.

Today I put in a new fuel filter, and checked the PCV valve and it is still acting up. Next step is a new air filter and PCV filter and wires. If that doesn't work I'm also thinking that it might be a vacuum hose. Has anyone ever had the same issue or any ideas. Thanks in advance.

10-15-2010, 06:02 PM
Is the check engine light on? How many miles on the spark plugs, spark plug wires, and oxygen sensors?

10-15-2010, 06:06 PM
No check engine light, the spark plugs have less than 200 miles, wires less than 100 and the O2 sensor i'm not sure of.

10-15-2010, 06:10 PM
Motorcraft or Autolite plugs? Do you remember the part number and the gap? Is it possible the oxygen sensors have more than 100,000 miles?

10-15-2010, 06:15 PM
I believe autolite plugs, gap is .6 i think, and the car only has 86,000 but it is possible they were never changed.

10-15-2010, 06:20 PM
Distributor cap, rotor and wires are probably not a bad idea, they're just about due anyway. Does it misfire or just hesitate? Possibly water in the fuel????

10-15-2010, 06:58 PM
i checked the plugs and i had them set wrong, they are supposed to be at .54 but i had them at 6 so i went and bought the bosch platinum where they dont need gapped, new excel wires just to be sure. also a new air filter. so hopefully this will have some effect. it just hesitates, when i go to step on the gas, or even when my foot is on the gas it will buck, and then go and then buck again, even when i'm stopped i can feel it bucking. water in the fuel, dump the tank? or is there an easier method

10-15-2010, 07:32 PM
fuel pump, electric or mechanical?

10-15-2010, 08:02 PM
Might be better off using Autolite APP5144 with a gap of .054" instead of the Bosch. Always check, (and adjust if necessary) the gap. Never trust the manufacturer, who knows, they may have been dropped, ya never know.

The fuel pump is electric, in the fuel tank. Try the plugs and wires first.

Could also be a problem with the ignition coil. The coil "batch fires" cyls 1 & 4 at the same time and 2 & 3 at the same time. I've seen half of the coil quit intermittently before with symptoms similar to what you're describing. Also, while it's at idle, gently tug on each of the 3 wires going into the coil, (not the plug wires). The harness is very short and sometimes stretches the wires when the engine torques on acelleration until they totally break inside the insulation. At a quick glance, the insulation looks fine. In the coil electrical connector, the center wire is common, the outside two are pulsed by the PCM to fire each half of the coil. If the center wire breaks, the coil will not fire any of the plugs. If one of the outer wires break, the engine will run on 2 cylinders.

10-15-2010, 08:18 PM
You need good Air, Fuel, Ignition, Exhaust, for hp.
1-cylinder missing = 25%hp gone!
Don't forget tests -
1) Compression test
2) Fuel pressure test
3) Smoke test for vacuum leaks
4) Catalytic back pressure test

A plugged catalytic converter can cause hesitation, or choke engine out.

10-15-2010, 08:29 PM
Just switched the plugs, from autolite to bosch platinum 2, wires from unknown to excell, air filter, and pcv filter. Car seems to be running fine, for now. In drive it runs good, but reverse and park I can feel a slight hesitation and it also seems like in park it runs at a very low rpm, almost to the point where it sounds like it's going to shut off, I have no tachometer so I cannot' be sure where it is actually idling, is there a idle control switch or is it normal to idle so low.

Hopefully I got this pig stuffed so I can actually enjoy driving the car. Thanks for the help and I will keep everything else that was said in mind, it will probably be worth checking out anyway.

10-15-2010, 08:34 PM
There is an idle air controller on the throttle body but it's not adjustable. If there's a problem with it, a DTC will usually be set and the check engine light will come on.

10-26-2010, 08:40 PM
Could be a small vacuum leak.

10-26-2010, 11:28 PM
And now, another issue. No point in starting a new thread. When I have the car in park, or even in drive with my foot on the gas (i.e. drive through) the temperature gauge will rapidly go to about midpoint and the car will start to stutter, I'm thinking it might be a thermostat but, not really sure. Any ideas?

11-14-2010, 04:12 PM
And now, another issue. No point in starting a new thread. When I have the car in park, or even in drive with my foot on the gas (i.e. drive through) the temperature gauge will rapidly go to about midpoint and the car will start to stutter, I'm thinking it might be a thermostat but, not really sure. Any ideas?

Yep. I still suspect you have a vacuum leak.

11-14-2010, 11:59 PM
Check you MAF sensor. That will cause a lot of the similar issues that you are having

11-16-2010, 04:50 PM
This is an old one.

But ECT is one of the sensors that helps the computer to determine proper air/fuel mixture ratios.

REALLY should run a compression test though. Sounds like it could be headgasket. :(

11-16-2010, 04:55 PM
Young Padawan, Old Master, Moderator, think you could size-down that picture so it doesn't consume half the forum page ? Just a smidge off-topic anyway. Thanks.

05-02-2011, 04:23 PM
Ok, it has been awhile but here is an update.

I checked for a leak in a vacuum line and didn't find anything, checked the plug wires and found no cracks. Now I am thinking that it could either be the O2 sensor or something having to do with the Idle control. :banghead: I'm gonna replace the O2 but hold off on the idle control. Anybody have any other suggestions?

05-02-2011, 06:15 PM
Manual shift. Rapid temperature fluctuations are what I saw with a cracked head. Run a compression test.

Hesitation disappears as you begin to accelerate harder versus cruise ? Hesitation can be the result of a dirty MAF sensor.

I picked up a Motorcraft O2 from RockAuto, $40 shipped.
(cold-weather mileage and cold-engine spark-knock under load
is what prompted it's replacement - suspect heater slowly failed)

It is possible to test these sensors using a volt-meter; though the proper way is to use an oscilloscope.

I see YoungPadawan/OldMaster/Moderator finally got rid of those silly 640 pixel tall banners he applies as "signatures."

05-02-2011, 08:10 PM
Well, while sitting at a red light or stop sign for a minute or two it will start to stutter and if i put it in neutral it will go away, but if I don't it will just shut off. So I don't know. And it's an automatic

05-03-2011, 07:14 AM
Try cleaning the MAF sensor, replacing the air filter and see whether it has any impact.

Either last year or year before last, had a rare hot-engine idle stall; would only stall just after the cooling fan shut-off. The hotter the weather, the worse the idle. (hot air contains less OČ) Dirty MAF sensor was the cause. Behaved just as though there was a vacuum leak. I did find that a section of hose had come off at the (fuel vapor) vacuum purge cannister beneath the air cleaner housing, but it made no difference. Idled smooth as a new engine post MAF cleaning. Kept having to clean it until I figured out that the air filter kept contaminating it. Visually speaking, you can't tell that it's dirty. Looked 100% clean to me. The above made all the difference anyway. Some have reported having to outright replace them. This can be determined through testing. Voltmeter will suffice for testing.

What were the vacuum readings by the way ?

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