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Ford Escort Starting Problem

Q. I live in England and I have a problem with my 1990 Ford Escort GL 1.6 liter manual transmission. It has a Webber carburetor. There are two faults but I don't know if they are related. First fault: every now and again in any weather conditions it will stall when coming to a stop, but as soon as you turn the ignition off and then start up again it is fine and runs okay, for maybe another ten minutes or even a week.

Ford Escort Starting Problem

There is no set pattern, but sometimes when it happens and you restart the engine you have to keep the revs up a bit with the gas pedal or it will stall. As I write this I can say this fault has not occurred for at least a week unlike the other fault I mentioned I was going to tell you about.

It has a very weird starting fault that is an intermittent fault that occurs regardless of the weather too. The fault is always happens when the car has been left standing for at least 8 hours since it last run. When you turn the start key the starter turns the engine but it does not fire up, but if you keep turning and turning it over the starter eventually it either dies and turns very slowly or it kicks the engine into life and it starts, causing no fault for the rest of that day but the next morning it will probably start okay but then the day after it won't and so on.

Have you any ideas? I have done the usual checks and changes as I am a qualified auto electrician, but with not too much knowledge about carburetted engines.

A. I don't think it's a carburetor problem. I think it is more likely electrical.

The American version of this car has a carburetor with an electric fuel pump. It is possible the fuel pump is starting to go bad. A fuel pressure test would confirm this if it is the case. Normal fuel pressure is from 5.0 to 6.0 psi.

The next time it acts up, squirt a bit of carburetor cleaner into the carburetor throat and try to start it. If it starts you'll know for sure it's a fuel problem. If it doesn't start, you have an ignition problem. Once you determine that, do the fuel pressure test and determine if the fuel pump is good or not. If not it will, obviously, need to be replaced. If you have good fuel delivery then we have to look at the carburetor as the problem.

I think when you solve the starting problem, you will solve the stalling problem.

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