1997 Ford Escort Wagon. Engine size = 4 cyl. 2.0 L.
Warning lights: SES
Repairs for this problem: Just inspected, new fuel filter & "industrial strength" fuel cleaner
Question: Hard to start, when it does it wants to stall out unless I give it gas. About 2 miles down
the road it clears itself out. SES light flashes then remains solid.

Once in a while bucks during travel. Under the hood, a clicking noise increases simultaneously
as I accelerate. Sounds like it's coming from the fuel injectors/fuel rod/manifold area. I appreciate
any advice.
Sounds to me like your problem is the idle air controller. Among other things it is supposed to
open causing a high idle on start up by allowing more air into the engine. It is also supposed
to control your idle speed after the car is warm so that would also explain why you need to
give it some gas to keep it running. Carbon in this valve and throttle bore, or a faulty valve
may be the cause.

May also be a leaking injector causing a very rick fuel condition. That may explain why it
clears it self up after driving a little. For your SES light go to Autozone and they will read the
codes for you for free. A flashing light means the computer is seeing a solid misfire that has
the potential of causing catalytic converter damage. A scan will probably find a misfire code,
and maybe others.

As for the clicking noise I would imagine it is a lifter. Try changing the oil and perhaps an oil
conditioner like power punch or STP. Fuel injectors also click (they are supposed to) but
aren't really noisy enough to notice.
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Ford Escort Hard To Start