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Greg Campbell

Hesitation or missing when accelerating

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I have a 98 Contour GL that I just aquired.  I like the car, I had one before but sold it a couple of years ago.

The car seems to run good. No miss firing or rough idle.  Everything is smooth.  Even driving it runs pretty good, however when I push the gas to accelerate quickly it feels like the car hesitates or misses. It studders!  It will only stop doing this when I release the gas and then gradually press it back down.  It then runs with out a problem. 

 

Another words if I am not in a hurry I can just the ease the gas pedal down and the car runs great but if I need to accelerate quickly I am in trouble because the car will not allow me to do it.  It starts its hesitating missing feel.

 

I am not sure it is actually missing because the car never throughs an engine light.

 

Could this be caused by a bad variable cam solenoid or timing issue?

 

Thanks for your input.

 

Greg

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Codes?

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Ok, drove up to the parts store to have them do a code read.  With no engine light on they did not get much.  Only thing they could find was a possible vacumme leak.  They did not give me a code number.  They said it could be as simple as the gas cap.  Have not tried that yet.

 

Again, symptoms are....  When pushing the gas the car starts to go then hesitates and then tries to go then hesitates.  When I let go of the gas and press back down on the gas car is fine and will accelerate without problem.

 

Any other help appreciated.  Gas cap then?  What else should I check?

 

Thanks

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Hesitates like it misses/ runs rough, or hesitates like it's out of gas?

 

-Dom

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I guess it is more like it is not getting gas.  So what I mean by missing is that the car will start to accelerate "throttle up" , then is stopps then does it again.  Engine dosent really miss fire.  It hesitates or bucks not sure that that's the right word though.

 

Thanks

 

Greg

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No codes, Sounds like fuel filter or pump.  Fuel cap if bad is not letting air into the tank to replace fuel that is being used.  Try removing the cap and driving a short distance without it.  You may get a code which will go away when you replace the cap and drive for a while.  May be other things also.  Try the cheap easy ones first.

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Ok, so the engine light finally came on and I took it to a shop to have them run a diagnostic on the car. They said it had miss fire codes on every cyclindar. I never really felt it missing, it seems to idol smooth and run pretty good other than the "hesitation or bucking".  They did recomend replacing the spark plugs and wires with the factory recommended ones. And said the old wires were swelled up.

 

I had them replace plugs and wires.

 

on repair shop receit the technician had a comment that the vehicle had an engine code P0455 as well. They said they tighted the gas cap but recommend a smoke test if engine light came back on.

 

I got the car back on Saturday and have been driving it a few days and noticed the car still had a little of the orginal problem but seemed to be doing better.  Less frequently it would "buck" on acceleration.

 

Today, however, the engine light came back on so I took it to the local Auto Zone to have them code check it to see if the P0455 code was back. To my surprise it was a P1381.  AutoZone definitions say... 1. Variable cam timing over advance condition... Explanation: ECM detected VCT position over advanced .... Problem cause: a. Engine mechanical condition-timing belt/chain jumped, b. No oil flow to VCT piston chamber, c. VCT solenoid stuck or defective, d. Low oil pressure

 

So with that information would it be wise to go ahead and replace...

1. Timing Belt

2. Pullies

3. Water Pump

4. Variable Cam Solenoid

5. Variable Cam Sproket

 

Anything else. 

 

Any thoughts.

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I know this is an old topic, but my 96 Contour GL with a 2.0 Zetec is doing just what the OP describes his as doing. Wish the OP had mentioned which engine his car has. If it actually is going to take replacing all the stuff he mentions in his last post (19 March 2013 - 06:59 PM) then I'd rather get a new car. I just want something that runs and doesn't continually break down or have problems like this one.

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It says that he needed to replace the timing belt, it makes me think that it is/was a 4 cilynder, otherway it would be the timing chains.

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It says that he needed to replace the timing belt, it makes me think that it is/was a 4 cilynder, otherway it would be the timing chains.

First, thanks for replying!

 

I forgot to mention that my car's CEL isn't lit. It misses only at around 55-65 mph. I can put my foot in it and kick it into passing gear, and it does fine. I'm going to try disconnecting the battery, leaving it off overnight, then reconnecting it. That probably won't accomplish anything, but it will rule out the ECM module. I have a new fuel filter, will try that.

 

All of this comes right on the heels of my putting in a new air filter. I got amazing mileage (34 mpg!) for one tankful, then the next tank was when the problem started and the mileage went down to 21 mpg.

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First, thanks for replying!

 

I forgot to mention that my car's CEL isn't lit. It misses only at around 55-65 mph. I can put my foot in it and kick it into passing gear, and it does fine. I'm going to try disconnecting the battery, leaving it off overnight, then reconnecting it. That probably won't accomplish anything, but it will rule out the ECM module. I have a new fuel filter, will try that.

 

All of this comes right on the heels of my putting in a new air filter. I got amazing mileage (34 mpg!) for one tankful, then the next tank was when the problem started and the mileage went down to 21 mpg.

Since I wrote that message, I got a CEL. I also got a P0304. The car runs fine around town, stutters at high speed when accelerating or when under load (eg. going up a steep hill in fourth gear.) I checked my plugs, other than the gap being too big slightly, they were textbook good color. That eliminates plugs, wires and coil. In my opinion, I probably sucked something into the #4 injector and it's partially blocking the fuel flow at the injector's screen. *Sigh* Time for yet more wrenching.

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Also - I'm not sure that it could not be wires or coil.  If an ignition component is weak, it may fire OK at light load but not OK under heavy load.  Takes more volts to make the spark jump the gap at higher cylinder pressure.

 

My wife's old T-Bird started running badly at heavy throttle.  Ran fine at light throttle.  Turned out to be plug wires.

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