Ford Escort, decides on its own when it wants to start

ford
escort

#1

I have a 1999 ford escort that decides when it wants to start and when it doesn’t. Does anyone have any ideas on what it could be? I’ve replaced a lot such as the fuel pump and the fuel pump sending unit, the fuel modulator in the trunk and the computer behind the steering wheel, don’t know where else to look.


#2
First check to see if there are any error codes in the computer.  You can have it done for free at some auto part stores like Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Post back with the codes (Like P0123) not just the words explaining the codes. 

Second if you don't get any codes while you are at the store and buy a spark plug.  Next time it does not want to start remove a wire from a plug and put the new plug on the wire.  Hold the new plug's threads tightly against the engine while someone else tries to start it.  Look for a nice bright blue spark at the end of the plug.   

OH yea, if you are not sitting on your can, that is because you should have been holding on to that plug with a very well insulated tool.  However you did find out that you do have spark.

#3

When it doesn’t start, you need to find out if it’s a fuel problem, or a spark problem. You can get these little pencil shaped test light that you place against a spark plug wire, crank the engine, and watch for the test light to flash. If it flashes, that shows that spark is occurring. If spark is occurring, then, even if there is fuel pressure, the fuel injectors have to spray it into the cylinders. There’s a tester to test the fuel injectors. It called a 'noid light. It’s available at the auto parts store, also.
If you don’t tell us some of the things which are, or are not, happening, who can help you?


#4

I went out this morning to take the car to get the codes checked and it started then died and now won’t start back up again. I will try and get to auto zone and get one of the pencil things to check the spark plugs. The guy who was working on my car said that he had the fuel injectors tested and that they were okay but I guess I can have them check again to make sure. I will check on the noid light too. Thank you for all of the information, if I get to the parts store I will let you know what they said. Something else I’ve noticed over the past few days, if I smell gas when I open the car door it usually starts but if I don’t smell gas it doesn’t start.


#5

When you open the door, you smell gas? Are you opening the car door to get into the car, or to get out of the car? The gasoline could be coming from a lot of places. It could be coming out of the exhaust pipe after the engine has just been cranked. Go around the car, open the hood, and try to locate the source of the gasoline smell.
Maybe, the problem is fuel. Maybe. Crank the engine while holding the gas pedal to the floor. As it starts (if it starts), ease up on the gas. If it starts, this indicates the engine is being flooded.
If the engine isn’t getting enough fuel, you can add a shot of fuel with a spray can of Starting Fluid …available at the auto parts store.


#6

I am opening the car to get into it to go somewhere. It hasn’t started but once today and that was this morning. I will try it again later and see if I can locate the smell if its starts. I’m trying to find someone that has the computer to do the codes check since it won’t start for me to take it anywhere.


#7

Okay, it still hasn’t started but I did run the codes and nothing is coming up. I’m going to get that tester for the spark plugs tomorrow when I have a ride to the store and I can’t tell where the gas smell is coming from either. What I do know is that the fuel pump and sending unit is right under my back seat so could that be why I smell gas?


#8

Okay, I finally got it to start today and I drove it but it died on me. But I did get it started again but it did the same thing and then once again and I finally got it home. Okay I did the codes thing and it showed nothing but someone today told me that it sounded like the fuel pump is shutting itself off and not coming back on. So here are a few of the things that I did trying to get it to start: 1) I messed with the emergency shut off valve for the gas, just the wires because I didn’t find an actual switch 2) I messed with the wires going to the fuel pump module in my trunk and then 3) I took it out of park and put it in drive then slammed it back into park and after all of that it actually started and I brought it home. Any suggestions on what would be causing the fuel pump to shut off?


#9

There are a few other replies to the original message but I just realized that I was suppose to reply to your messages not make new ones, Sorry. So here is whats been going on: I finally got it to start today and I drove it but it died on me. But I did get it started again but it did the same thing and then once again and I finally got it home. Okay I did the codes thing and it showed nothing but someone today told me that it sounded like the fuel pump is shutting itself off and not coming back on. So here are a few of the things that I did trying to get it to start: 1) I messed with the emergency shut off valve for the gas, just the wires because I didn’t find an actual switch 2) I messed with the wires going to the fuel pump module in my trunk and then 3) I took it out of park and put it in drive then slammed it back into park and after all of that it actually started and I brought it home. Any suggestions on what would be causing the fuel pump to shut off?