Ford Escort Hard To Start And Stalls

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. 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 sometheing like P0300, and maybe others. Replacement of a fuel injector would be needed if fuel system cleaner did not help the condition on your Ford.

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. If a fuel injector is sticking wide open causing your misfire and hesitation, This could have contaminated the oil and cause an engine tick. Changing the oil is very important so as not cause an internal engine damage on top of the problem you are already having. Fuel injectors also click (they are supposed to) but aren't really noisy enough to notice.

Another possibility is that the timing belt has stretched. This can cause the cold start problems on your Ford Escort as well as some other issues. There is no real easy way to checck that unless you have a mechanic take off the front timing cover, turn the engine by hand to get to top dead center, and then see how close the timing marks are. If the marks do not line up properly, then the timing belt is worn and needs to be replaced.

I basically know the answer just need a confirmation. My neighbor helped me change my starter recently as I am disabled. Anyway the car would still only click and after reading some forums I decided that the battery cables were probably making a bad connection and should just replace the entire 2 cables. He said no and cut off a length of 1 cable and the car starts but he cut off what looks like a fusible link and he said it shouldn't even be on there and was N-rigged.

Yes, if it came like that from the factory, i would put it back the way it was. Cutting the cable seems to me to be the REAL rigging.

If the cables are the problem, which does happen, then i would replace both assemblies. If the cable that was cut had a fusible link on it, then this could be a problem. The link is there to protect a circuit. If It is not there, then if there is ever some sort of electrical short, it would not be able to protect that circuit and that would cause even more problems. To confirm that, you can try wiggling the cables while trying to start it. Or even do a resistance check from one end to the other.

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