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CarJunky AutoAdvice

99 Escort 2.0 - bogging/stalling on acceleration

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Question From 97Red150Ext on 99 Escort 2.0 - bogging/stalling on acceleration

The car below is a 1999 Ford Escort 2.0L SOHC

I'll try to give you the whole story from start to today.
I received this car from an uncle, it had been sitting for a year or two in his driveway. When I got it, it ran like crap, had some odbii codes (do not remember them now) and had some transmissions issues.

I changed the coil and the wires, this made the engine run better but not all the way right. Turned out there was a vacuum hose missing that connects from the PCV to the air intake (I think). Replaced that, the engine ran really good. I took the car out and it was run great for awhile but would eventually bog down as if starving for fuel, even stall. I would start it back up and it seemed to be alright again. So I diagnosed things to what I hoped was the fuel pump or the fuel pressure sensor. Well, I got both from a U-pull and replaced them. All seemed right with the car, accepting the shifting.

I took the car to a reputable transmission mechanic. It turned out the solenoids were bad between 1-2 and 3-4 - so basically I was only driving on 1st & 3rd gears. However, I never had a problem with the fuel system again. The car would just shift from 1st to third and run high rpms. Well that was fixed today and the car drove great most the way home.

I was able to stomp on the gas and have the car accelerate,etc. It felt good and things were fine until I stopped to get gas. (I was NOT able to get gas because their network was down - so bad fuel from there was not an issue.) However, as I left to go to another station, the bogging on pressing the pedal started up again and eventually stalled (like in the beginning) With my fuel light was on, I thought it might be low fuel since I was trying to turn.

I got the car started again, but only sputtering and never really gaining power. I turned off the A/C, not sure if this did anything but it seemed to run better (for the moment). I got to a station and put $25.00 worth of mid in 89 octane. This did NOT help. I was able to get the car home since we were only a mile or two away.

I was able to increase my speed but only by very lightly pressing the accelerator pedal, but it would eventually sputter and choke and come close to stalling. It did eventually stall once I got off the main road and tried to stomp on it again.

So, I do NOT think my transmission fix is causing this, because I was able to get it to stall sitting in the driveway by monkeying with the throttle body. Should I try a Fuel Pressure sensor first or Fuel Pump?

Advice please...

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Response From Discretesignals

You should connect a fuel pressure gauge up to the fuel rail and see what the pressure is at when it is acting up.

That system is probably returnless, so pressure should be around 30-55psi.

If there are codes being stored in the engine controller, you should write them down and input them in here.

I don't mind getting some things from salvage yards, but a fuel pump isn't one of them. Who knows how long that pump has been sitting around or what it has been though. If you run out gas, the worst thing you could do is continue cranking on the engine. Without fuel going through the pump the bearings don't get lubed and the pump burns up.

I've seen people replace pumps and they fail soon after because there was junk in the bottom of the gas tank that trashed the new pump. If you have bits of metal or other garbage floating around in the bottom of your tank, you should have the tank cleaned out, so your new pump will have a long service life.

Response From 97Red150Ext

Well, it turns out there were 2 codes sitting in memory - but no CEL.

P0190 - Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor Circuit Malfunction
P0193 - Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor Circuit High Input
Looks like I may need a new one of those. The weird thing in that I had this car screaming up and down a back country road right up until the transmission was fixed. Now, I'm back to a starving car... Driving me nuts already.

Response From 97Red150Ext

I cleared the codes, started the car up and took her for a spin. Ran great, for a bit. Once she came up to temp and I tried to stomp on it, the pedal went to the floor the car barely accelerated. In fact I think it might have slowed down. I didn't keep driving it around but I would imagine that the same thing as the other day would happen. The car would start to bog and stall. I'll have to take back that TPS I bought as I do NOT think it is the culprit any longer. I'll get a fuel pressure gauge and do a road test this weekend. I have a feeling it's the pump. As it heats up it must start to die out?!?! Only thing that makes sense to me at this point.

Any other ideas?

I also checked the voltage per this thread and it was reading 4.69v at the FPSensor.

( link to another site and a hyperlink removed )

Response From Hammer Time

I have a feeling it's the pump. As it heats up it must start to die out?!?! Only thing that makes sense to me at this point.

Don 't be too quick to jump to conclusions. This is a variable pressure, module controlled duty cycle fuel pump that can have other issues.

Response From 97Red150Ext

Please elaborate! What should I be looking for in that case?

Response From Hammer Time

You need a bidirectional, professional scan tool and a fuel pressure gauge to diagnose it properly.

Response From 97Red150Ext

So basically, I need to take it to a shop? I only have a small Actron (Pocket Reader) and I can get a pressure gauge. Is there anything else that I can do to determine what's going on?

Response From Hammer Time

No, you need to be able to command the computer and read what it is seeing.

Response From 97Red150Ext

No, you need to be able to command the computer and read what it is seeing.
So I need to find a really good reader/scanner? Do you know what make and model would be the best in order to read the information that you are talking about? Thanks...

Response From Hammer Time

If you have an extra $4500, you can get a Snap On. It's not in the same league with your generic code readers.

Response From 97Red150Ext

If you have an extra $4500, you can get a Snap On. It's not in the same league with your generic code readers.

Seriously?!?! If I had an extra $4500.00 I wouldn't even bother tinkering with this car.

So again - find someone who has a $4500.00 tool or take it to a shop? That's all I seem to hear from what you're are saying...

Response From Discretesignals

I'd still watch fuel pressure to see if it is dropping out when the symptoms are showing up. If the pressure is the problem, then you can figure out if it is the fuel pump itself, a wiring problem, pcm, FRP sensor, or FDM causing that.

With the codes popping up it would be a good idea to check the operation of the fuel rail pressure sensor. There is a diagnostic chart for checking the operation of it, but you still need a scan tool to be able to monitor the FRP voltage in the PCM.

Response From Hammer Time

And it all comes down to needing a scan tool to be able to check any of it.

Response From 97Red150Ext

No disrespect meant - but there's not too many shade tree mechanics out there with $4500 tools in their possession. I have a code reader; I have many other "novelty" tools - but to "invest" in tools worth more than the car itself - is well... ass-nine. The car in Excellent Condition only has a trade-in value is worth $2200.

So I don't think I'll be buying a $4500 tool to fix it. So again, I appreciate you taking the time to respond but your non-answers tell me I need a mechanic with professional grade tools to diagnose the issue I'm reporting.

Thank you...

Response From Hammer Time

No disrespect back but the day of the shade tree is over. You aren't equipped to diagnose that problem and you have no alternative but a professional that has invested in the required equipment.

Response From Discretesignals

I agree. The day of shade tree with the newer cars is over when it comes to diagnosing drive-ability or any system that uses an electronic controller that communicates on a data bus.

The most important tools now are access to factory service information and a vehicle compatible scan tool. Not to mention the training and aptitude to be able to use them properly. Every vehicle that we get in the shop that comes in with a drive-ability complaint that has a diagnostic port for communication purposes always gets a scan tool connected to it if that tells you anything.

Response From 97Red150Ext

Oh I agree as well. To me, my most important tool besides my own wit, is that scanner.

However, you could have saved all of us a lot of time if when I suggested taking the car to a shop - you agreed with me then. A simple - "Unless you have XYZ tool - yes a shop would be your best option."

Then we would not have played this cyber tit-for-tat!

I'm new to this forum but not car forums in general - so I do appreciate the amount of "free" help that trained folks give. To take your time after you've put in a shift at your garage is admirable. However, give it to me straight - comes to mind.

Again - thanks for your help. When I get a solution to this problem - I'll be sure that I post it so that there's a closed loop on this.

Response From Hammer Time Top Rated Answer

Everybody responds differently and has different abilities. I could have come right out and just said "take it to a shop" but when I do that, I usually get some real smart ass remarks about being no help. You asked questions. I answered them truthfully. People seem to think that when they are told to take it to a shop, we are just holding back the magic answer. If they only knew how tough it can be for even us.

Response From 97Red150Ext

No problem, brother. No hard feelings on my part. I guess I can see you point about those with thinner skin being put off by an immediate go to the shop.

For me, I've been chasing this issue for some time. This car is NOT my primary driver so I've had the luxury of letting it sit while I contemplate a possible solution. Unfortunately - I thought I had things resolved because it ran decent with proper throttle response. Until I had the transmission fixed, now I'm wondering if I just didn't let it get up to temp enough for the issue to start to reoccur. These types of issues drive me up a wall. And you're right - I'm not in it to start throwing parts at it.

I have a friend who has a fuel pressure gauge and another friend who works for a local Ford shop - I'll see if he can bring home that special tool you referred to. I do not like to call on him as I know a lot of our mutual (and less capable) friends do.

Seems it just might be best to let a pro have a go...

Response From Hammer Time

This is not your normal fuel pump system. It has a pressure sensor in the fuel rail that tells the computer the current pressure, It has a tank sensor that measures tank pressure, It has a fuel pump driver module that send a pulse modulated feed to the fuel pump so that it can adjust the pressure to whatever is needed at that moment. The scan tool will show you what the fuel pressure reading is and what the duty cycle of the pump is at the moment. it will also allow you to prompt the driver module to increase the pressure in 10% increments until you reach 100%. Your gauge will verify if those things are actually happening.

Response From 97Red150Ext

Ok - I connected a pressure gauge to the fuel rail - car got up to about 39/40 psi KonEoff. Started it up - pressure drops to about 30-31psi idles about here. The car idled at about 40-ish psi when the vacuum hose was disconnected.

Took the car out for a drop - got it up to temp, eventually the "bogging" started. It didn't stall out-right but I was able to lightly get the car up to speed by pressing lightly on the pedal. Whenever I would "floor" it, she'd choke out and bog as if starving.

I popped the hood, got the gauge out again, the car was idling at 30-ish psi. I was able to flutter things enough to eventually have the engine running at about 20-21psi and when I would hit the throttle hard it would literally drop down to single digits - it was then, that I could get the engine to almost stall out/bog. When I would leave the throttle alone the engine only seemed to crawl up to about 20psi. I shut the car off and then back on again - it jumped up to 40psi on KonEoff, but back down to 30psi when running.

What are the odds that I got another pump from a junk yard that had the same issue as the one I originally pulled out of the car?

Links inserted at other site removed.

Response From Hammer Time

Yep, all that testing and you still don't know what is wrong with the car.

Response From 97Red150Ext

*sigh* yep - pretty much... trying anything I can at this point. Trying to avoid giving it to a shop that might just start throwing parts at it when let's face it - I could do that! I'm not done yet - I'll keep ya'll posted!

Response From Hammer Time

A $75 diagnostic fee is a whole lot cheaper than the parts you will be throwing at it.

Response From 97Red150Ext

Tad more than $75.00 - but here's the gist and closure to this thread!

Ok - so it turns out, I "missed it by that much!" I was on the right trail - it is an electrical problem caused by the *drum roll please* - Fuel Pump Driver Module. There's a module inside the passenger rear door - that has been eating fuel pumps since 1999. Anyways, I know have 2 choices, pay $240 for diagnosis, limp the car back home & repair it myself OR pay the man $600 parts, diagnosis & labor - with him making no money on parts ($136 PDM & $200 on pump).

Either way - there's the culprit and solution!

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Response From Hammer Time

$240 in diagnostics? That's a bit outrageous.

Most shops charge 1 hour for diagnostics and with a scan tool the FPDM would have been diagnosed pretty easily as I was telling you in the first place.

Response From 97Red150Ext

From what I gathered - it took them quite some time to narrow it down to that area - things would run fine until the engine heated up, etc.

It is what it is...

Response From Sidom

Seems a bit high with no tear down but on the other hand intermittents can be tough to track down if it has run before it acts up ( I thought that is what installers were for......)

Glad to hear you got it going,,,,,,,,thx 4 letting us know the fix......

Response From 97Red150Ext

No problem - I know how frustrating it is to find a thread that has tons of detail but no solution. Hopefully someone else will benefit from my pain and suffering (LOL).

Not sure if you read the entire thread but yeah the symptoms would only appear once the car heated up to running temp. I think the IAC or choke system would leave the car to run on it's own and then the Fuel Pump Driver Module would take over and wreak havoc!

Response From 97Red150Ext

Ok - New Fuel Pump Driver Module AND a new Pump & filter and the Escort is running fine!

Thank you all for you input and ideas...

Response From Hammer Time

We don't buy these tools because they are a novelty. They are required to repair these cars. The days of throwing parts at it until it's fixed are over. We have to spend a small fortune to keep up with the technology.