Car trouble

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Farmer Brownn, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. Farmer Brownn

    Farmer Brownn Member

    Apr 6, 2005
    Sisters work car, 99 Ford Escort. 60K on miles. Sometimes starts perfect. Sometimes starts and dies many times in a row, or just have to crank alot. Then will just fire up and run perfect again. On road runs perfect. Just a start problem. Any ideas on this? Thanks in advance. FB
  2. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2004
    washington/british columbia
    Could be a lot of things, a fuel pump going bad, a bad coil, or relay.
    If its '99 it should show a code, is the dash light on ?
    At 60k its due to snap a timing belt any day now, if its the 1.9 litre you'll just end up putting a new belt on, if its the 1.8 litre it could trash the engine when it breaks.
    They also have a chronic problem of the hardened valve seats cracking, and falling out which does a lot of damage, and will end up ruining the engine too.
    Hate to sound like the voice of doom, but I have lots of experience with a '96 and it regularly has problems.
    Today the idiot light came on and the car surged for a moment but kept running along at highway speed.
    I have no idea what that is yet, but when the better half gets home with it, I'm sure I'll hear all about it !!
    Good luck.

  3. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 4, 2005
    my mother car was doing much the same, and it was a crank shaft sensor (the senson that controls the spark)that was going out, the mechanic drove it for two days before it would malfunction for them,

    at times it would start fine, and then there were times you would crank and crank and crank, and nothing, and then some time it would go after a few cranks,

    If you have help and a spare spark plug, or a test plug, OTC makes a nice one, that has a spring clip for testing the spark of the motor, note there are two types of test plugs, one for normal point and coil systems, and one for the newer high voltage units.

    when it is not starting, use a test plug and see if it is sparking, if it is not sparking you have an electrical problem, if you have a good strong spark, then it is probably in the fuel system problem).

    one other thing is it better when cold, or after driving it for a distance, and then retrying to start it,
    If heat has an effect on it that may indicate some thing starting to break down, like a sensor,

    information like that would give a mechanic a little more help to go on, (some models have oddities that are common to a model and an experienced person will just know what to look for that model or type of car).