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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this doesnt belong here, but if we could give this 24 hours before we ship it to the lounge, much appreciated! [up]

My neighbor passed away a couple weeks back and his wife is looking to sell his 1991 Ford Escort LX Wagon. The price is right and I wouldnt mind having something to drive short distances around town and the wagon part will be great for hauling all the baby supplies that are soon to be staples on my shopping list. That and its a standard tranmission! Which I've missed the last 3 years since I replaced the old 4x4.

The guy was dedicated to taking care of his stuff, so I know there are no worry there. I've test driven it around town and the thing runs like a clock. But today I took it out on the highway and an issue cropped up. I got it up to 65 mph and after about a mile, I noticed a subtle drop in power, kinda like a hesitation. It would happen in pairs, and would re-occur about ever 1/4 - 1/2 mile.

After getting off the highway and performing an errand, I came back home down 95 and the same thing happened. Right before the exit, when I felt it again, I started to take my foot off the accerator and the car started to shutter and I thought it was going to conk out. WHen I gassed up, it picked back up and I got home OK.

At low speeds (under 50) around town, no issues in 30 miles driving. When I got it in the driveway, I put it into neutral and reved her up to 3500 RMPs and held it for 60 secs 3 seperate times and and the engine had no loss of power.

So, any ideas what could be going on? Is this a critical issue like engine problems or something more minor? The car has 136K on it, engine looks clean and oil was fine. Just put a new battery in it.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
 

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i am thinking fule filter or pump.Around town that lil 4 banger sips gas but on the hiway at higher rpms u will see this IMO
 

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My mom has the same car and had a similar problem but not at high speed it was at an itle. There is a vacume hose on top of the valve cover and the rubber turned to mush and would colapse and not let air through. I heard this is a common problem with escorts so check that out and see how it is . Hope that helps.
 

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You might want to ask your question here ...

http://www.ford-forums.com/ford-escort/

I don't know anything about that particular forum, but I go to the Ford truck forum and get lots of good info from people there.

I'm only a shade tree mechanic, so don't go by me ... but it sounds like fuel system, or even electrical or emission system, but not engine.

I would not think it was the fuel pump/filter .... that would cause problems most times you accelerate, and not when you take your foot *off* of the gas.

Good luck.
 

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I almost finished typing a long response to this then had a momentary power failure before I hit "post"

Although this is an old car it still should have EFI and a computer. I would think any of the issues mentioned would turn in the Check Engine Light. That is if it doesn't see a balance between the "O2 sensor" and the "Throttle Position Sensor" and others the alarm should trigger. It is concievable that a sensor is malfunctioning and not triggering the light, but not likely. Someone may have disconnected the light to get it through inspection. Does a check "Check Engine Light come on when you turn on the ignition, but do not start the motor? If not then perhaps the light itself doesn't work because it is disconnected or the bulb is burned out. If there is a check engine light then you need to hook it up to a diagnoatic computer as JH said.

It as also possible that an Escort is enough of a low end vehicle to not be computerized in 1991 it would then not have a CEL, but I doubt it. If it does have a carburator then the suggestions above about fuel starvation and vapor lock are probably the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the ideas and Coot, I posted on that forum you listed. [up]
 

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Sounds to me like its being starved... either for fuel or for air. There are too many things to list but the most common ones have been listed here already... vapor lock, vacuum lines, fuel pump... but I would check something as simple as the air filter too, a really dirty one can cause what you're talking about.
 

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My friend had a similar problem with his Ford and it was a cracked vacuum hose Also check to see when the air mass flow sensor was ever replaced. A diagnostic will tell you specifically.
 

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I had a very similiar problem with my Camry and it turned out to be a spark plug wire. Regardless, as with any used car it should always be checked out by a mechanic before buying. A few dollars up front can save much more in the very near future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi All,

Just a follow up. Finally got the car to the mechanic. Their diagnostic found that one of the spark plugs had worn down to point that the electrode was 1/6 inside the porcelin and the plug wires were the originals. So they replaced the plugs and wires. They also serviced the fuel system.

I can tell the difference in power. But, one thing has me a bit concerned. Now, about 90% of the time when I shift from 1st to 2nd, the car bucks a bit. The first time it did it, I just gunned the engine through it. It wasnt as bad after that, but it still does it. It wasnt doing that when I took it in. Should I be concerned?

The real test will be when I take it out on the highway. I'll let you know what happens.
 
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