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Ron
Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 23821
Experience:  23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
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2005 Ford Escape 115000mi. I work nights 10pm to 6am. Car

Customer Question

2005 Ford Escape 115000mi. I work nights 10pm to 6am. Car gets me back and forth to work just fine. Runs good at night. During the day if I run errands around town its hard to restart. It idles for a second then sputters out. Now that it is getting warmer it started stalling while driving. It always starts up and idles fine after about five or ten minutes like nothing is wrong. Today I opened up the air box and sprayed a little starter fluid in it and I could keep it idling but it would not on its own. After a few minutes I started it with my foot on the gas and it revved up and then idled on its own. Drove home like nothing ever happened.
JA: Is the check engine light on? Does the car stall at idle or when driving?
Customer: no check engine light. Stalls at idle and while driving intermittently. Only during the day. Its getting worse the warmer it gets. No problems at night.
JA: Are you fixing your Escape yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: New Fuel Pump It is reading 35-45 psi.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: New Fuel Filter, Idle Air Control Valve, Fuel pressure sensor, PCV, Cleaned EGR, cleaned MAF with maf cleaner. Completely removed EVAP System
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Hi, This is Barry and I would be happy to help. Is your Escape the 2.3l 4 cylinder or the 3.0 liter V6?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
3.0 v6
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Ok. When it is difficult to start once started do you notice black smoke from the exhaust or a strong fuel smell?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
no. I haven't noticed that.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I can drive it to work at night all week long without a problem. One short trip to the store during the day and it either stalls while driving or is hard to restart.
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

I believe that you may have a faulty coolant temperature sensor. They don't always set a check engine light. Basically the computer thinks the engine is cool all the time. If the engine is warm but the computer thinks that it is cool then it will over fuel while trying to start. Sometimes they will not start at all. Let me see if I can find the test info on that sensor for you.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
would it also overfuel while im driving down the highway?
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Yes and no. It would give the pcm the wrong temperature for the engine while running. The computer will try to enrich the fuel while running (like a carbureted vehicle with the choke on all the time). But once running the computer adjusts fueling with feed back from the oxygen sensors, mass air sensor and intake air temp sensors.

Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

The engine coolant temp sensor - ect is located on the back of the motor in the coolant tube. It is a 2 wire sensor. You can test it with an ohm meter. Is that something you feel comfortable trying?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Is there a range it should be in? Is it easier to get to it from above or under the car?
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

It should be accessible from the top. You will unplug the sensor and test the two terminals on the sensor with an ohm meter. I would suggest you test it with the car completely cooled down first. The drive the vehicle and bring it to normal operating temperature. Then shut the car off and disconnect the sensor and test it again. It should have 24.27 to 58.75 ohms when cold. It should have 1.55 to 2.80 ohms of resistance when warm.

Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Please be careful when working with a warm motor.

Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

The sensor is located on the rear of the engine (drivers side of engine bay). It is just behind the front valve cover in the coolant tube. There should be a water pump drive belt system on the rear of the front cylinder head the sensor is in the coolant tube to the drivers side of that belt.

Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

I have attached a picture of the sensor location.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The radiator hoses are still warm not hot. I drove it a few hours ago. My ohm meter is reading 8.06. Do I need to let it completely cool off first?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sorry , You told me to test it completely cooled down first. I missed that. I will test is later tonight. Over.
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Yes, let's test it completely cool and fully warmed up. Also can you check the build date of the Escape? It should be on the label in the driver's door jamb. There is a TSB from Ford that may relate to your issue but I need the manufacture date to see if it is an affected vehicle.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
02/04 is the date.Cold: 33.7
Hot: 2.2
Seems to be in range.
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Ok. The ect looks to be functioning properly. The TSB applies to vehicles built after 07/04 so it does not apply. When it is running can you hear a hissing sound under the hood? I'm wondering if it has a vacuum leak.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No hissing noises. I bought all new vacuum hose from the fuel pressure sensor around to the egr valve.
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Check around the base of the upper intake plenum. I have seen them leak there many times before. You can spray it with carb cleaner and if it has a leak it will cause the engine to bog down when you spray the leak.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I did change the spark plugs and plenum seals. I have sprayed around every thing under the hood twice.The parts store guy gave me autolite copper plugs. After I changed them I noticed I had platinum plugs. Would that make a difference?
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

The spark plugs should not make a difference as long as they are the correct style & heat range. They should be an Autolite 104.

You stated that the check engine light was not on. Have you had it scanned for codes? There are some codes that do not set the check engine light.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have a Bosch Scanner. No codes.
I drove it to work last night. *****one way. No problems at all.
I just now drove to the grocery store. It did not want to start the first time. I had my live stream data recording. This is before I tried to start the engine.outside temp : 72
coolant : 199
rpm : 0
map : 28.6
baro prs: 28.9
abslt tps: 18.4
iat: 108
rel frp: 51.82What is iat. Is it supposed to be that hot when it is only 72 outside?
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

The iat is intake air temp. If the engine is 199 then the air in the motor will be warmer than ambient. 108 Sounds plausible to me.

The only thing I see that is off is the tps at 18.4 percent. It should be 0 or at least close to 0. I do not think it is causing your problem though.

Does you scanner read long term and short term fuel trim?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
it does.
rpm 844
baro 28.9
map 12.4
calc load 46.3
maf 1.02
iat 102
st ftrm1 0.0
st ftrm2 0.0
lt ftrm1 -5.5
lt ftrm2 -3.1
rel frp 46.28
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
what should my fuel pressure be? ive seen it as low as 32 and as high as 51psi. normally at 38psi.
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

The spec for fuel pressure is 39 psi. Looking at the data stream you posted the fuel trim at idle is good. The maf reading looks low to me. I would have expected 3-5 grams/sec. Let me see if I can locate a spec for it.

Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

To clarify is your scanner reading the Maf in volts or Grams/sec?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
lb/m
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Ok that would translate to 7.7 grams per second. General rule of thumb for maf flow at idle is 1 g/s per liter displacement. Which on your motor would be 3.0 g/s. It is common for this number to be off a bit. My truck has a 6.0 and has 8 g/s at idle when first started then gradually drops to 6 g/s when warm.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
how can I test my intake air temp sensor? I know it is the 2 outer wires on the maf.
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

The easiest way is to use your scanner. I would let the car completely cool. The turn the key on with engine off and check the iat sensor reading it should be within 10 degrees of ambient. Then warm the car up fully and I would expect it to read between 120-150 degrees running warm.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
what should we try next?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
If the outside temp Is below 75 it runs great and starts normally. Any warmer outside and it stalls when driving or is hard to keep idling.If I am quick enough to start it and start spraying starter fluid in the air box I can keep it idling.It has never left me stranded. Usually 5 or 10 minutes it decides to run perfect again.
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

I think your maf value is low. The iat and maf are in the same sensor housing. The maf is a hot wire that is cooled by incoming air. I'm thinking when you spray starting fluid into the air box you are adding fuel but also cooling the maf and iat sensors which will also make it add more fuel. I can send you the diagnostic info for the maf sensor. give me a minute and I will locate it.

Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Ok the test for the maf will be done with a voltmeter unless your scanner will show maf voltage (mine does not).

Run the engine at 1500rpm for over 5 seconds, then bring back to idle.

Monitor the maf voltage (pins 3 and 4 of the maf connector).

What voltage does it read?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
14.1 volts
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Next test the running voltage at idle between pins 3 and 5 with the key on engine off and then at idle.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Pins count from right to left ? I'm confused.
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Pin 3 is the black wire. Pin 5 is light blue/red.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Pins 3 and 4 were 0.2mv for the first test.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
0.818v at idle
0.000 koto
Pins 3 and 5
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
17.2 mv koeo pins 3 and 5
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I was testing pins 2 and 3 when I got 14.1v
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Well the maf tests good then.

When you replaced the iac valve did you clean out the passages in the throttle body where it attached?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
They were clean but I cleaned them any way.
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Try this the next time you try to start it hot. Turn the key on wait 5 seconds and turn it off. do this 3 times then try to start it. Let me know what happens.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Okay.
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

I was talking to a friend of mine about your vehicle. He is a technician at the Ford dealership. He instantly stated that it needed the maf sensor cleaned. I told him we tested it and it met spec. He stated that he has had a few come in and that was the issue. So I would suggest removing the maf and cleaning with maf cleaner.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I already cleaned it a few weeks ago. But I will clean it again tomorrow. I will try priming the fuel pump multiple times tomorrow also. It was low 70s today and it wanted to run fine.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Yesterday I noticed my fuel pressure rises from 42 to over 60 after letting it set for 5 minutes . Then I tried to start it and it didn't want to idle and pressure went down to 26 and back up to 36 and idled real rough until it died. I could hear it popping back through the intake.
Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Yes that doe seem to be out of spec. It should hold a fairly steady 39 psi.

Expert:  Barry Sergeant replied 4 months ago.

Any amount over or under will affect fuel ratio.