Exhaust problem?


I have a crappy 1995 Ford Escort that, for the past two weeks, shudders and lurches at low speeds. This only happens when I apply the gas pedal after having made a complete stop. When I get above 30mph, the car seems fine. I also have periodically smelled gasoline fumes. At times, it seems hesitant when I idle, so I end up gunning it, causing the car to stall. I took it to a mechanic who drove it around but didn’t detect any problem. He is hesitant to start pulling things apart when my description is so vague. I’ve been told it could be anything from a malfunctioning sensor to the carborator, coil, fuel pump or filter and everything in between. I can’t seem to find anyone who is willing to take a look at it to pinpoint the problem. My gut feeling is it needs a new fuel filter. Could it be anything else? While I would love to chuck the car off the nearest cliff, I am stuck with it for the time being. Any suggestions would be welcome.


From what you describe, and especially when you say you smell gas at times, the fuel system should be looked at.

Since your vehicle is fuel injected, and not carburated, the component to have checked first is the fuel pressure regulator.



Well, I can assure you it’s not the carburetor. It’s fuel injected. It doesn’t have one. If your chosen mechanic said it could be the carb, you really need to find a new and reputable mechanic. This same website also contains the mechanic’s files available here: http://cartalk.com/content/mechx/ There are thousands listed. See if there is a good one in your area.

Does it have a check engine or service engine soon light that stays on? If so, take it to Autozone (or other large chain parts store) to get it scanned for free. It’s an OBD I car, so they will have to count the flashes to figure it out. It’s not rocket science.

Does it have a five speed or automatic trans? A broken motor mount on an automatic can cause a lurching as you describe. So can something as mundane as a vacuum leak.

A dying coil will usually act up at all speeds, not just when taking off.

Yes, your problem could well be the fuel filter, but that’s attached to the fuel pump inside the tank. There mey also be an inline filter, I don’t remember.

If you decide on the cliff remedy, be sure to get out of the car first.


Thank you for your replies. I am a complete dumbass with cars and have no idea what “fuel injected” means but it’s good that someone is correcting my terminology. The car is a 5-speed and the “check engine” light has not beem coming on. The fuel pressure regulator-I’ll mention that to my uncle. I’ll also mention the motor mount and vacuum leak. My uncle cleaned the air filter and put some fuel cleaning stuff in the gas tank, hoping that would help matters. That was least week and although the problem persists, it wasn’t as bad this morning.

“If you decide on the cliff remedy, be sure to get out of the car first”

What happens if I don’t? Will I not be able to go trick-or-treating next week?