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lamontgomery, Ford Mechanic
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 467
Experience:  14 years experience, 2000-2006 Senior Master, ASE master in Truck and Auto, Level 1 Fire mechanic
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1997 Ford Contour: EGR..position sensor..spark plugs, cables..radiator

Customer Question

My 1997 Ford Contour continues to stall in spite of the fact that I have replace the EGR, MAF, coolant temp sensor, cranshaft position sensor, spark plugs, cables and ignition coil. I also got the radiator check by an specialist and told me it was OK. I noticed that the air filter top housing, as well as the noise suppresor housing that runs perpendicular to the MAF also gets quite hot. The engine when call it tries to stall sometimes (oscilates between 1000 to 2000 rpm and then dies). Also when driving it revs up by itself to almost 3000 rpm and then normalises, then drives OK for a few minutes and then it starts chocking-up and then stalls. When I removed today spark plug #1 I found carbon residual around the edge of the thread.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Steve replied 7 years ago.
Sounds like you are starting to pull your hair out. Start at the basics here and progress as dictated by the result of the tests.
Do a complete compression test dry and wet. This will be a great start or finish. If the pressures are really different from the specs or from each other you have your answer.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What do you mean by a dry and wet test.
Expert:  Steve replied 7 years ago.
Remove all plugs and test compression on all cylinders. Write down the cyl # XXXXX reading for each one. Take some engine oil in a clean pump style oil can and put two squirts in the cyl. Run the comp test and write it down. Do each cyl like this and look at the results.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rodolfo Barnadas <>
Date: Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 12:47 AM
Subject: Re: I just answered your question on
To: XXXXX XXXXX - Ford Expert <>

Hi Steve!

One of the garages I took my car a few weeks ago ran a compresion test in the motor and I was informed that it its OK (wet and dry), before they ran a diagnostic test and claimed to have the PCM reworked. Probably, you gave me your answer based on the carbon deposit on the the spark plug that I mentioned in my original stament. I apologise if I mislead you ( Personaly I think the engine is running to rich sometimes which will cause these carbon deposits and to lean or no gas that the engine chokes-up) Therefore, it seems like an electrical problem which inhibits the PCM from reading the MAF signals. The Ford technician at the dealership in Landley, BC that did the diagnostics on my car indicated that was the MAF or the computer. Personally, I need a garage with a technician that can graph the sensors outputs no just to read codes. This way it can be check against specs. I thought FORD would have that kind of equipment and expertise, but maybe there are all kinds of Ford dealerships. If it is the PCM I would like to see Ford or anyone testing the PCM by itself rather than given a maybe answer specially when the MAF was bright new. The present symtomks may have already damaged my catalic converter and oxisensor. I will have these check and have my computer reflash.
Expert:  Steve replied 7 years ago.
Yes, I got ahead of myself there. The codes are a very important tool in diagnosing a concern because it gives you an idea of where to start looking in more deatail. Any Ford dealer that's still in business should have a WDS computer scanner. This has the ability to tell the operator what everything on the car is doing which can be printed out or observed in real time. BUT! The PCM in the 97 was limited as to ability of the PCM and can't give what it doesn't have. I suspect a few things but I'm going to "opt out" so that other experts can have a go at your concern. One of them may have the answer without any other dignosis. Luck to you.
Expert:  lamontgomery replied 7 years ago.

How many miles do you have? Does the check engine light stay on? When it does stall, will it restart if you push on the accelerator pedal?

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