Yeah, I had the same problem happen to me on my old 89 GT scort. There was no Fuel Cutoff light though, so I was freakin out for a while until I figured out what it was. More than likely you went over a bump, hit something, or something was thrown up by a tire in a manner that struck something just right to trip your shutoff switch. This shuts down the fuel supply to the engine, so in an accident you wouldnt have hot fuel pumping all over everything and causing a fire/explosion. Your switch is located in the back of the car. I dont know which model you have or if it's a hatchback, wagon, etc. Look in the trunk area on the passenger side near the strut tower. There may be a little access door in the plastic panel that you can remove and access the switch. If not, you have to remove the plastic trim panel against the side wall of the passenger side of the trunk area. You will see a box mounted inside or behind the panel. There should be a red switch on the top that you can push down. It may only be a little button, and push it down firmly. It may return to the same position, but it should now work. You may also have to crank the engine a bit to get the fuel flowing again. If for some reason there is no button, then check to make sure the electrical connections/wires are all plugged into the switch. Hopefully this is your simple yet frustrating solution. I had it happen during a 5 hr drive at 2am in the country. I hit a dead animal just right (small animal) and everything shut down. Lots of electricity, but no fuel. Towed my car all the way home and came on the net only to find that I needed to push one little button to get her going again!
Ok, are you getting spark but no fuel or fuel but no spark? When you turn the ignition to on, but not start, do you hear the fuel pump turn on? What happens when you try to start the car... any noises, vibrations, anything? Could be a fuel pump gone bad, a relay somewhere, maybe even a fuse. It really seems like it's the inertia switch though, but maybe something else is causing that to trip. You might want to have the fault codes run.
Fellow Ford owners,
In response to the discussion about fuel cutout problems there seems to be two different types of fuel cutout problems with escorts. There is the inertia switch problem and the "startup/cranking but no fuel pumping" problem.
I am actually experiencing the same problem with my car, it won't start up, BUT it is a "fuel cutout" problem (the dash board light is illuminated), but it isn't the inertia switch.
So far I have replaced the ECC computer, the fuel pump, the fuel filter and have messed with the neutral safety switch (which is sometimes the cause of it's failure to start, you have to press the clutch ALL the way down) and I am still quite bewildered as to what the problem is.
I took it to professional mechanics and they said the only problem that they could detect was the ECC, but now that is replaced, I can possibly figure out what the problem is. It seems that there is a short in a relay or electrical problem of some sort because it sometimes starts (randomly) and other times it just cranks (spark and no fuel).
If anyone else out there is experiencing this problem perhaps we can compare notes and try to determine the source of this mysterious problem.
man, this happened to me today. i bought my 93 escort for $800 a month or so ago and have been very happy with it..until i was pulling into a parking lot and the power steering turned off which told me my car died. i had enough power to make it into a parking spot and tired to start..but nope. my first thought was i snapped my timing belt which is due to be changed. i was somewhat relieved when i realized that wasn't the problem by seeing the fuel cutout light on. relay clicks, pump makes noise, when i try to start and it won't turn over and i stop cranking, the pump still pumps for a second after. after trying to start it, you can smell gas. it just won't turn over..i don't want to replace a bunch of things i don't need to replace. the cutoff switch was pushed down..it's the first thing i checked after i saw the light come on. it's gotta be a simple enough problem to fix..everything seems fine. how do i know if i'm getting sparks though..?
There is another known problem with Fords, and particularly Escorts. I thought it was an issue with a limited number of years in the generation 1 scorts, but I could be wrong, so you would be well advised to check it out... there is even a class action lawsuit against Ford for this problem. There is something called a "TFI", but I don't recall what it stands for. Some ignition module. It gets too hot ant it burns out, so to speak. When this happens you get all the fuel your engine can handle, the power to run the starter, and everything seems fine, but the engine doesnt kick over and start. This is because the spark is never coming from the plugs and thus there is nothing to ignite the fuel in the cylinders. A simple enough way to test this would be to check for a spark. You can do it in the dark by pulling a wire out and looking, or use a simple circuit tester. If your pump is working, you eventually smell fuel in the engine compartment, and your starter motor is engaging, then I cant think of anything else except lack of spark that could be causing your problem... unless it's a serious problem inside of your engine, but I doubt that is the case.
yes, it also seems to me that it's an ignition problem. the only thing that made me question that is the fuel cutout light. if it's getting fuel, i don't know why that light would come on. i'd think there's a sensor somewhere along the fuel system to cause that light to go on when it's not detecting an adequate amount..course if the fuel was being restricted, i don't see how i could be smelling it after trying to start the motor. i'll check for a spark tomorrow..i should have done it tonight but i was too lazy dig through and find a plug socket:p (or do i just need to hold the cap close to metal?) anyway, thanks for the input.
broken friggin timing belt!! luckilly my escort has a no interference engine..so hopefully it lives up to it's name and my valves aren't all smashed in..i've spent about 10 minutes total cranking the engine trying to get it to start!
I was going to add that the fuel cutout light is utterly useless. When I've tripped the cutoff, the light did not come on. However, when I had a problem with my ignition switch (electrical in nature) it did come on, so you never really know. Do you have the GT? I have this too, and hope to heck that the non-interference engine lives up to it's promises if the belt goes. Also, you said you have a 93 and got it for only $800... where do you live and what the heck is wrong with it. If it is in good shape mechanically, there isnt rust, and it is under 120,000 miles, thats a good deal. I have a 91 and paid more than that.
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