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Ford Escort Lacking Power, Missing

Q. Hello, A friend told me I could send you an e-mail and you would help me with my auto problem? I haven't used this service before is there any charge? If this is free, I'd like to submit my question. If there is a charge, let me know how much and I'll most likely go for it anyway (if not too expensive). I am really in need of help!

Ford Escort Lacking Power, Missing

Here goes: The car is a 1995 Ford Escort LX with a 1.9 liter engine, automatic transmission, A/C, P/S and fuel injection. It has about 180,000 miles on it. It usually starts right up and idles fine. When driving, it will start lacking power and sort of feels like it's missing if you try to increase the gas. It will sputter and finally get up to speed.

But when you apply gas it kind of sputters and lacks full power for a few seconds (pushing to the floor it usually will take off nearly normal after a second or two). Oh, when it is driven a bit it seems to get worse. Just had a tune-up and had to take it back as the problem continues. They scanned and said no codes but found a bad TPS and replaced it.

They mentioned they would like to change the wires for $69.00, just to rule that out, but, as they are only six months old, I did not figure that to be the problem (it doesn't feel like it misses at idle). I checked out the wires and they look, feel and seem fine, no "leakage", breaks, apparent stretch damage, no apparent arcing and firmly connected. They really seem perplexed.

I asked about injectors and they didn't seem to think that was it (though they didn't say they checked it). I asked about error codes and they only said that old a model gives limited information anyway. Could fuel filter or pump be the problem? Should I replace the wires anyway? I have put HEET in the gas fill-up (today) just in case of bad gas.

I may try to replace the filter myself, as it probably should be done anyway. Any other things I should be doing? Suggestions? I appreciate any assistance you may be able to provide. If there is any other place I could go for such help, I'd appreciate that info as well.

Thanks so much!
Paul J.
Charlotte, NC

A. You can check the ignition wires with a spray bottle filled with water. Start the engine and let it warm up. Then spray the wires with water and see what happens. You will be able to see and hear any arcing. Doing this at night will make it easier to see any small arcs that may be happening.

And replacing the fuel filter is a damn good idea also. These symptoms could be caused by a partially clogged fuel filter.

My bill for $476,592.47 will be going out in the next mailing.

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