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Mike, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 39198
Experience:  Tech Expert
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1998 Escort Si will not run when left for 40 plus minutes,

Resolved Question:

1998 Escort Si will not run when left for 40 plus minutes, it turns over starts to run but cuts out, Rac said fuel problem, he had to give it gentle throttle to get it to start, never had to give it throttle to start it in 14 years, garage replaced coil, 2 fuel related sensors, and crankshaft sensor fault still persists, also checked out fuel pump, please help want to keep this car on the road.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Hello and Welcome..

My name is ***** ***** Im happy to help / advise you on this...

Before we progress , I could do with knowing if you can, just what the sensors are that you replaced...

Plus - do you have any fault codes at all to give me...?

Are there any other symptoms at all ?

What is the mileage on the car?

What is its service / recent repair history... when was the last engine service carried out??

The more info you can give me, the better I can help you - to inc the answers to the above -

If you can let me know on the above - then I will get back to you ..

I do have to be off for a time now - but will get back to you asap after I hear back from you / later this eve -

Please also give me its Full reg no..

Kind Rgds, MIKE...................................
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Hello again -

Im just following up with you - though I see you have not been able to view my info request as above as yet..

I will be on system over the weekend - so if you can let me have your reply to the above - then I can progress to helping you sort your Escort issues for you -

Best Rgds, MIKE.......................................
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Mike,

Garage has replaced sensor on Crank and 2 sensors relating to fuel, I will ask garage tomorrow and confirm. No fault codes, car too old to be compatible with modern diagnostic equipment. Other symptoms: garage said something about struggling when over 4000 revs, but again will confirm when contact garage tomorrow. Car been off road for 2 months now, I did notice it was not as quick to start (turn over), so I put charger on battery but it was fully charged. Mileage: 96000 approx. I have it serviced every year, it went for years with no problems except having 2 idle valves replaced within a short period of time, but last year it had to have a huge amount of welding done going right back to fuel tank. Reg: S363 RDT. Apologies for not being able to give you correct sensor info, but will ask garage tomorrow so you have as much info as possible, sorry late replying, appreciate your help, if you need anymore info just let me know, it does not matter to me how many questions you ask, just keep asking them so I can get my Escort back on the road. Thanks for your help, be in contact again soon.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Mike, below please find the boy answers to your questions, previous reply contained girl answers:-

Garage has fitted:

Ignition coil with leads

Spark plugs

Camshaft sensor

Crankshaft sensor

Both temperature sensors on engine - ECU and Temp Gauge

Throttle Pontenonmetre - sorry about spelling

Checked fuel pump pressure

Changed fuel filter

Checked Air filter

Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.

Hello Erica -

Thank you for your reply and further info... thats all very helpful with this issue you have - thank you.

I see a couple of things here though that I need to mention / make you aware of that should help you -

I see you have had a lot of things changed - but the comment too, that have obviously been told, that the car is too old to be compatible with modern diagnostic equipment - is just not at all true. Your Si 98 Escort has actually got very good diagnostic capabilities - it runs what is called the EEC IV (4) Pcm - / engine management computer - which is not at all old or outdated -and any "Modern" equipment will deal happily with that ...

If you look at the passenger door area - just forward of the door - to the left of where a passengers feet would go - on the plastic panel you will see a small flap / door - opening that reveals a 16 pin , modern , OBD - On board Diagnostics - diagnostic socket... which is where diag equipment is plugged into to get the readings / fault codes etc as needed.. Ive mentioned all that to make you aware- give you accurate info. ( Just one small point - if the diag socket is not there as above - its either on the drivers side - same area...or, up under the dash - under the steering column area.. it just depends on the exact build of the car you have - but it definitely does have one.. )

It sounds to me to be honest then that the garage you are dealing with, doesn't actually have the equipment to deal with it - so you may need to use another , different garage that has - rather than them just replacing items hoping to hit on the fault - which as you will now know, is an expensive way of doing things.... So it may come to that.

So to the issue your car is suffering with -

Now other than the air and fuel filters - the other parts that have been fitted just don't fit with the symptoms you have at all...

Typically this , what you have, can be caused by either a blocking fuel return ( fuel pipe back to the tank - OR , a blocking fuel tank vent ... this needs to be checked... The actual pipe needs checking along its length - ie - between the engine ( fuel injection system ) and the fuel tank... for any kinks, damage ( that can be caused by work on the car - or jacking the car up - or hitting objects on the road etc.. these do happen )

If thats proven ok - then a tip is to remove the fuel tank cap - filler cap -and try the car. If its ok then - then you know it has a tank breather fault.. that then is needing to be dealt with... that they should know how you to do ok.

Make sure that when doing the above "test" - with the cap - that its left off over sufficient time - to be sure )

Now if its neither of the above.. and the fuel pressure is as it should be - between 2.5 and 2.9 BAR.. I see you say , they say "its been checked" -- but its no good just checking fuel is there -- at the fuel rail... It has to be checked using a proper gauge to get the readings - ( This will also tell if you have a fault with the fuel return pipe )

If they dont have a fuel gauge for this - again, you need to use a garage that has. Your car has a schraeder valve ( just like a bicycle tyre ) on the fuel rail, that the gauge is designed to plug on to to test the pressure.

I cant stress enough for the need to have a proper pressure test gauge used on this - the fuel pumps on this model were known to give trouble - after a time of running they would lose pressure and the engine typically then would not rev above anything around 3k revs or so up... This fits with your symptoms so this test must be carried out-and - carried out over a period of time - so as to be on test in the time range you mention...40 mins or so. If the pressure is seen to drop down and the car start to struggle - you know you have that fault with the fuel pump . Renewal of the pump is the answer there..

Any problems found with the above tests would lead to the cause of your issues and should then be dealt with as found.

If its all ok as above - then I suspect you have a blocking exhaust... likely the Catalytic converter.. This is a common issue on this model you have....

Again - this can be tested using a proper whats called "back pressure tester" for the exhaust system - that is how that should be tested ideally.

I didnt ask, and should have done - if you have a warning light / engine fault light on the dash when the car is running -

If you do - you will definitely have fault codes in the PCMs fault log that need to be retrieved first - before doing any of the above - as that will direct whoever is doing the job quickly -

If you don't have the light on - its still always worth running a fault code test - it only takes mins... and then see what you have if you have fault codes.

If there are no fault codes, the equipment can be used to electronically carry out the Live Data tests and so on - again, a clever way of fault finding. No, the EEc 4 system is not as advanced as the modern cars when it comes to diagnostics - but again, its quite sufficient to fault find in the above manner.

Ok so Ive endeavoured to give you an overview and direct you as to the way to carry out /have carried out, the way to find whats wrong with you Escort Erica... Ive endeavoured to give a complete overview so that you should find the fault within what Ive mentioned above.
You can print the above out for a garage to work with by all means if you wish - or just note the main points to tell them - but you will need to be using a garage that has the correct equipment. To be honest, a good mobile mechanic that has equipment should be able to sort those issues for you if you cant find a garage locally - but this link HERE may just be of some help t you also in that regard...

Im very pleased to have helped / advised you - If you need anything else at all - by all means get back to me - Im always happy to help more if needed..

>> Meantime >>> Please do click on the "OK/ Excellent ratings" for me - Thank you in advance for that...

You can and are most welcome to get back to me anytime you might need - clicking the OK ratings does not close you out at all..

Kind Rgds, MIKE.

Mike, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 39198
Experience: Tech Expert
Mike and other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Mike, gave your email to garage, they say they have done nearly all the checks and still found nothing including finding the diagnostic which they say had no fault codes, don't know if they have checked correctly - have lost faith in them but found out that they actually took the fuel tank off to do the welding - does that make any difference?

How do I get my Ford darling back on the road?

Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Hello again Erica..

Can I just ask - was it ok in this regard before the welding work was done??

Too - can you ask them if they took a reading of the fuel pressure - if not - ask them to do it and give me the exact reading...

Plus - please ask them if they have replaced the spark plugs AND leads.....

Too - please ask them when the engine OIL was last changed....

Kind Rgds, MIKE.................
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Mike, thank you for getting back to me:

Garage replaced spark plugs - don't know about leads will ask Mon and get back, same with fuel pressure.

Car serviced religiously every 12 months at a different garage but he does not do body work or MOT, so oil should have been changed Jul/Aug 2013.

Pre welding air con ice cold, when they brought car back to me after Welding car leaked a giant pool of water, air con I thought, but not the usual amount of water, 3 times, air con no good after that.

Did not notice any starting problems pre weld but car changed routine, will try to clarify below:

As regards ***** ***** problem: from Aug to Dec and before car had routine of driving 11/12 miles every day then parked for 9 to 10 hours, started/run fine, sometimes would stop off for petrol or to shop - no problems. It was from Jan when routine changed , car not run every day, driven same amount of miles but parked for 2 to 3 hours, it was then that I noticed it was not starting the same - taking longer to fire, only seconds but it was not it's usual pattern, that was when I put the battery on charge, it did not make any difference to the way it started.

Fault first appeared after driving 8 - 10 miles, parked for 3 hours, no problem starting, arrived home, left it running for 10 to 15 mins whilst chatting to a friend, parked it in garage, but did not turn off engine because did not like the way it was parked, so reversed out and it then cut out, it tried to start - it turned - it tried to run, but cut out, thought I had overheated it, so left it a couple of hours, still the same,would not run, left it overnight, started and run 1st turn.

Second time it happened, drove 11 - 12 miles, parked up for 2 hours, no problems starting, drove a couple of miles, parked up for 1 hour or so, started/run first turn but did not like the way it sounded when it started, seemed to take longer, did not sound right, drove 8 or so miles parked for 10 mins or less, no problem with starting/running, drove over the road so to speak, left car for 40 mins or so, would not start/run, engine turned, run for a second if that, then cut out, did not give it throttle because never had to, the more I turned the ignition, the less it ran, and the more it began to struggle..

Hope this has been some help, will get back to you on Mon when I have spoke with garage, in the meantime I cannot thank you enough, will make sure that you receive a 'bonus'.


Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Hello again Erica -

Thank you for your reply and info..

Re the Air con system, it sounds like they have burst a pipe or left something loose and its lost its refrigerant - that will need to be checked - but I suspect that.

As for the starting -without the info that you can get on Monday for me... I will give you something else -- This is a known issue on these models that will cause erratic idle..and erratic bad starting - it could be your whole issue - given the extra info you have given me - I think its worth giving you this info - it has to be checked..

My only concern is that the garage will / are checking these things properly - but all I can do is give you the info - so here it is - it concerns the breather system on the engine - a part of the engine that very often gets neglected---

Known fixes and bulletins

Known fix

Affected vehicles
  • All models.
  • Erratic idle.
  • No trouble code stored in memory.
  • Crankcase breather valve restricted.
RemedyClean or replace crankcase breather valve.

Click on the image below I have uploaded for you - it shows the PCV system for you:



Going back to the sensors - if you can find out exactly what its had that would help... but the suspects for this are - crank sensor... Ect ( engine temp sensor ).. and fuel pressure sensor... but I'll look further at that when you come back with the further info on that..

Speak to you soon then -

Best Rgds. MIKE.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello again Mike, here goes:

They have fitted spark plugs when I asked with leads I got, yes, yes, we have done all that.

Fitted sensors: crankshaft, camshaft, both temp sensors in engine - ECU and temp gauge.

Fuel pressure - has not got equipment to check this correctly but says he thinks it is enough not to be causing he problem. (words fail me).

His friend has one, but guess what, can't find it.

BUT he thinks he has had a small break through - he removed the breather pipe from the fuel tank to the filler pipe and said that the car was a lot better but not perfect - does this lead us anywhere?

Thanks for your time Mike

Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.

Hello again Erica..

Thank you for your message -

Ok - yes - certainly that should be followed up on... If he had checked the fuel pressure / fuel system as we discussed earlier on, he would have come up with this a lot sooner to be honest. One should always do such checks before replacing parts - sensors and so on..

Too - you simply cannot guess - saying I think the pressure looks ok... unless it was just trickling out say, there is absolutely no way to guess / say it looks ok... it has to be properly checked.

However - yes, they need to concentrate on the venting the system to try this avenue -
Its very possible this is the root cause - Once again, let me know how you get on...

Kind Rgds Erica -


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Mike

It's Erica with the red Escort, been back on the road now for just 4 weeks, the garage decided as a last attempt to fit a fuel pump, yes it did the trick. They only charged me for parts, no labour and so it was said that due to the car's age, the other parts probably needed replacing anyway.

I don't think they would have bothered to fix it if I hadn't give them your emails, you shamed them, they had to fix it to safe face.

Thanks very much Mike for all your help and knowledge.


Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Hi there Erica..

Thank you for your mail/ message...

Im very pleased to hear you are back on the road with the Escort... I do remember it ! ;)

Its a shame they took so long for you - but at least you are back ok now..

Im very glad to have helped... You are welcome back anytime..

Best Rgds, MIKE.

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