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Old 07-21-2005, 20:01   #1 (permalink)
Taxiday
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Summer Heat

I have a 1998 Ford Escort SE, 2.0l 4cyl. It has served me well for more
than six years. However, here in Las Vegas, we are experiencing intense
heat and it seems to have affected my car.
Early one morning, I drove the car with absolutely no problems. At
5:30pm. we left the house to go shopping and within 5 blocks of the house,
the car refused to accelerate; surging for a bit, then dying to idle, and
back to surging. The engine then died but restarted at an idle. I managed
to get the car home.
A mechanic at work suggested that I start with replacing the fuel filter.
We did, the car started fine, and everything seemed to be okay. The next
morning, I drove it to work (about 12 miles) with absolutely no problem.
At 2:30pm, with temps well over 110, I left the yard with no problem but,
within a mile, the same surging started. I managed to get the car home by
letting it accelerate at its own rate - it ran just like normal at 55mph
plus - as long as I didn't try to accelerate too hard.
Next thing was to replace the fuel pump assembly. Again, when cold, ran
just like normal. But, within a mile of the house it did exactly as
before.
I have no idea what else to do.
Could it be that I need to clean and/or replace the injectors? How about
using the injector cleaning fluid?
Or, am I going to have to replace the fuel regulator?
Of course, the Ford dealer is absolutely no help unless I pay $95 just for
a diagnostic.
Any and all help will be deeply appreciated.

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Old 07-22-2005, 06:02   #2 (permalink)
Tom Adkins
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Re: Summer Heat

Taxiday wrote:
> I have a 1998 Ford Escort SE, 2.0l 4cyl. It has served me well for more
> than six years. However, here in Las Vegas, we are experiencing intense
> heat and it seems to have affected my car.
> Early one morning, I drove the car with absolutely no problems. At
> 5:30pm. we left the house to go shopping and within 5 blocks of the house,
> the car refused to accelerate; surging for a bit, then dying to idle, and
> back to surging. The engine then died but restarted at an idle. I managed
> to get the car home.
> A mechanic at work suggested that I start with replacing the fuel filter.
> We did, the car started fine, and everything seemed to be okay. The next
> morning, I drove it to work (about 12 miles) with absolutely no problem.
> At 2:30pm, with temps well over 110, I left the yard with no problem but,
> within a mile, the same surging started. I managed to get the car home by
> letting it accelerate at its own rate - it ran just like normal at 55mph
> plus - as long as I didn't try to accelerate too hard.
> Next thing was to replace the fuel pump assembly. Again, when cold, ran
> just like normal. But, within a mile of the house it did exactly as
> before.
> I have no idea what else to do.
> Could it be that I need to clean and/or replace the injectors? How about
> using the injector cleaning fluid?
> Or, am I going to have to replace the fuel regulator?
> Of course, the Ford dealer is absolutely no help unless I pay $95 just for
> a diagnostic.
> Any and all help will be deeply appreciated.
>


This sounds very much like a failing fuel pump. Modern fuel injectors are " self
cleaning" by design. Rarely do they need to be "cleaned". You need to have someone
check the fuel pressure and see if it drops at higher temps. It may be generally low.
Being nearly 8 years old and in a hot climate (+110..Yikes), it's a distinct possibility.
I thought we were roasting here in Cleveland in the high 90's. I'm not complaining
cuz my butt's going to be freezing in 6 months. Here, we get a rash of fuel pump
failures when the weather turns hot.
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Old 07-23-2005, 16:01   #3 (permalink)
Taxiday
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Re: Summer Heat

I just REPLACED the fuel pump!
When the temperature is below 100 degrees, it runs just fine. It's only
over 100 that it gives me problems.

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Old 07-23-2005, 20:01   #4 (permalink)
Tom Adkins
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Re: Summer Heat

Taxiday wrote:
> I just REPLACED the fuel pump!
> When the temperature is below 100 degrees, it runs just fine. It's only
> over 100 that it gives me problems.
>


The problem is still very likely fuel related. Put a fuel pressure gauge on it when
it is acting up. Start there. The fuel pressure regulator won't cause low fuel
pressure. It
regulates the maximum pressure in the system.
Just because the pump is new doesn't mean it's necessarily functioning correctly.
Check the pump before you dismiss a problem with it. The likelyhood of vapor lock is
minimal. Anything can happen, but it's not supposed to happen on a high pressure
system. I've never seen it happen. You can try cleaning the injectors if you like, but
I seriously doubt it will make a difference.
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