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93 Ford Escort Wagon loses power when trying to accelerate from 60+mph

This morning on my drive into work I discovered that when trying to accelerate while moving at ~60mph or more the car would shudder and experience a lack of any power at all. If I continued to press down on the accelerator the car would continue to shudder and it would get worse. It felt like an engine stall shudder but constant. If I was below 60mph are tried to accelerate I had no problem, I could continue to accelerate all the way to 70mph, then I would have to slow down for traffic. However after cruising above 60mph and then pressing down on the accelerator I would experience the shuddering. I experienced this issue suddenly with no gradually increasing issues at all.

Car Details
1993 Ford Escort Wagon LX 1.9L SEFI
64K miles
Recently replaced oil, about 2wks ago
Air Filter fine and unobstructed
Car has been getting about 36mpg
Exhaust was replaced about 1 month ago and is unobstructed

Does the Check Engine Light Start flashing when your engine starts to shudder?

Nope, I get nothing from the check engine light.

The Check Engine light won’t flash or might not come on if a misfire occurs. That’s because you’re vehicle is a 1993 and has the OBDI engine management system, and OBDI doesn’t monitor for misfires.

What you might want to check is the fuel pressure. If the fuel pressure is marginal the engine can start to misfire when asked to produce more power.


I’ll see if I can check that but here’s some more info. On my way into work today I kept my hand on the shifter so I could feel what the engine was doing when the care starts to shudder. During the shuddering the vibration to my hand felt steady and normal so I don’t think the engine is dying. Unfortunately I think this seems to point towards the clutch?

Is this a manual transmission? Could the clutch be slipping? Do the rpms increase even though the mph doesn’t?

This is a manual, it is possible the clutch could be slipping, unfortunately though I can’t say for sure whether or not the rpms are increasing, Ford neglected to include a tach in this model… How just going by the vibration feedback I get through the shift nob the rpms are increasing very much if any, the vibration stays pretty steady.

You don’t need a tach to tell if the clutch is slipping…

You should be able to hear of feel the engine revving.

Has the fuel filter ever been changed?

Upon further driving I don’t think the clutch is slipping. The fuel filter hasn’t been changed since I’ve owned the car, about 1year 10k miles.

A dirty fuel filter can cause starvation, especially at highway speeds when trying to accelerate. Try replacing the fuel filter and your problem will probably go away. I think Ford used to recommend 15,000 mile fuel filter changes on this car. The filters are less than 10 bucks on-line and you can do it yourself.

Could be a bad plug/plug wire.

I have similar problem with 93 Escort sedan. Just recently purchased this car it runs GREAT while idling but boggs down when accelerating. thought it could be o2 sensor, changed that but didn’t help. car sat for awhile (6months or so) so thought gas might be bad, drained gas filled with premium to try to run anything left in the line out, didn’t help. Getting 412 and 538 error codes but can’t find info on either code. anyone have any ideas ???