Ford Escort:

Engine stalls immediately after starting

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# 1  8/19/2010 12:11 AM

Ritchy
Senior Member
Registered: 5/13/2010
Posts: 72

Engine stalls immediately after starting

I have a 1987 Ford Escort, GL model with a 1.9L engine and TBI.

The engine keeps stalling right after starting. I pretty much have to really step on and pump the gas to make it run and keep it from stalling. Then, if I almost fully depress the accelerator, it will keep running. But if I let go a little bit of the accelerator, the engine wants to stop and I have to pump the gas and keep it at very high RPM to keep the engine running.

I just changed the fuel pump and fuel filter. It has new spark plugs with the correct gap. The ignition coil, spark plug wires and fuel pump relay test OK. I checked the output voltage at the fuel pump relay with a test light while the engine was running and it maintains the voltage.

I also inspected the vacuum hoses for a possible leak or disconnected hose but couldn't find anything.

Any idea what could be wrong?

Thanks.

Last edited by Ritchy (8/19/2010 12:14 AM)

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# 2  8/19/2010 4:51 AM

TechHelp2
Administrator
Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1305

Re: Engine stalls immediately after starting

With all the work you did there are some things you can look at.

First would be to scan the computer memory for any trouble codes. If you don't have a scanner you can go to your local Auto Zone Auto Parts store and they should be able to it free of charge. Just check to see if they still do this service.

Repair any codes that come up. If the problem still is happening then go to these steps.

Always check fuel pressure and fuel output volume regardless of what was done, this will eliminate any fuel suspicions

Checking ignition timing and ignition wire position on the cap can cause retarded ignition timing.

If the car has high mileage then the timing belt or timing chain should be checked to see if it slipped a tooth. This will cause the valve timing to be off and cause poor engine performance.

Checking the back pressure in the exhaust should be next. What goes into the engine must go out. If there is an exhaust blockage like a clogged Catalytic Converter, muffler or pipe will cause a high pressure in the exhaust. Removing the Oxygen Sensor and inserting a fitting for a Vacuum/Pressure Gauge can check this out. Exhaust pressure should be less than 2 pounds at 2,000 RPM.

Check to see if the EGR Valve is not stuck open. This will cause the engine to stall but be able to give you high RPM in the engine.

These are a few things to check. If you need more advice then write back and we will look into the problem further.


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# 3  8/19/2010 7:11 PM

Ritchy
Senior Member
Registered: 5/13/2010
Posts: 72

Re: Engine stalls immediately after starting

I'll check on those items and see what I get. Thanks a lot TechHelp2.

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# 4  8/31/2010 6:12 PM

Ritchy
Senior Member
Registered: 5/13/2010
Posts: 72

Re: Engine stalls immediately after starting

It turned out to be the TPS. Thanks for the help.

I have a couple of follow up questions:

When checking the ignition timing with the strobe light, I noticed the mark on the crankshaft pulley keeps fluctuating between two degrees on the scale markings of the timing belt cover, the degree it is supposed to be tuned to and the one next to it. Any idea what might be causing this continuous fluctuation?

Also, when a service manual asks you to check if your VIN is 3 or C, for example, what do they mean? It does not specify if this is the eighth or ninth digit in the VIN. How do I confirm this number or letter in my car's VIN?

Thanks for all the help TechHelp2.

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# 5  8/31/2010 11:13 PM

TechHelp2
Administrator
Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1305

Re: Engine stalls immediately after starting

If it's the engine they are talking about it is the 8th digit of the VIN number.

The fluctuation of the timing mark could be that the timing belt or the belt tensioner on the timing belt are worn and the belt has excessive slack in it.

How many miles on the current timing belt?

When was the timing belt serviced last?


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# 6  9/2/2010 6:46 PM

Ritchy
Senior Member
Registered: 5/13/2010
Posts: 72

Re: Engine stalls immediately after starting

The timing belt has approximately 50k miles in it. I replaced it in 2006 and I believe it still has the original belt tensioner. The belt looks Ok from the outside, no signs of wear, cracks or missing teeth, but I did notice some slack in it, around half of an inch. So that might be the problem.

Do you think it's time to replace the belt tensioner and belt? Thanks.

Last edited by Ritchy (9/2/2010 6:48 PM)

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# 7  9/2/2010 7:46 PM

TechHelp2
Administrator
Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1305

Re: Engine stalls immediately after starting

You can look in your owner's manual under maintenance to be sure, but if I remember the mileage they refer to is 60,000 miles to change the timing belt.


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# 8  9/3/2010 12:46 AM

Ritchy
Senior Member
Registered: 5/13/2010
Posts: 72

Re: Engine stalls immediately after starting

Yes the manual says 60K miles. Thanks.

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