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Questions and Answers

Stalling Topaz

Q. Dear Mr. Ciulla: I took my 1992 Mercury Topaz to Ford Service in March because it stalls repeatedly when the temperature is over about 45° F at any speed or idling. Then it usually starts back up in one to five cranks. The service center did not fix my car because they said they could not reproduce the stalling problem.

I drove it around with the stalling problem for a couple months, then I took it back to Ford Service two weeks ago, thinking that now the weather is warmer it would probably stall for them. It did. They replaced the ignition module. I said "great", Ford will reimburse me for the TFI, and my car is fixed.

Wrong. I drove a few miles around town, and it started stalling again. So I took it back to Ford Service. It has been there five days, and they are telling me it won't stall for them again. Should I leave the car there until it stalls for them? Should I take it somewhere else? What the heck is wrong with it?

It is a 1992 Mercury Topaz, 3.2, 72,000 miles, automatic, I think fuel injected, with P/S, and A/C. Any help you could offer to help me and the Ford techs solve this mystery would be really, really appreciated.


A. There are a few possibilities for the stalling problem. It could be a contaminated Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor. Ford has had a bit of a problem with them. It could also be a bad Coolant Temperature sensor. There was also an idle fluctuation problem with the 1992 to 1994 Tempos and Topaz. There was a TSB, number 97-10-2 issued 05/12/97, that addressed the problem. It involved reprogramming or replacing the ECU. The Ford dealer has a list of applicable calibrations. They should also review TSBs 93-12-6, 93-24-8 and 93-26-6 to eliminate other possible known causes.

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