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Discussion Starter #1
Great site, been using the search function and can't find my exact problem (no codes). My car (Escort 1997 95K) idles fine when cold then chugs after it gets warm especially at idle. I checked and cleaned the PCV, IAC, MAF and IAT. Coolant and oil are good. Anyone have further suggestions?
 

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plugs and wires
 

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you didn't mention replacing them at all, so I have to assume they are original, especially at 95k.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I replaced the plugs last year but not the wires. If the plug wires are bad why would the car idle fine on startup then start to chug?
 

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It could be a failing O2 or temperature sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks madmatt2024, I'm thinking along similar lines but which temp sensor? and how do you access the O2 sensor? Does anyone think that the thermostat could be sending a bad signal? Thanks
 

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The thermostat doesn't send signals, its a valve in the cooling system that opens when the coolant reaches a certain temperature. You would want to replace the coolant temp sensor that has two wires going to it. The other single wire sensor is just for the gauge on the dash.
 

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is your check engine light on? have you ran codes? even if the light isn't on, there are still "pending codes" that may not trip the light.
 

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That's what I was implying.
 

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one is the sender for the gauge, one is used by the computer. they are both next to each other on the thermostat housing on the drivers side of the engine, below the coil.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What fun! I pulled the ERG tube (it was clear) could not reach the Thermostat temp sensor with my multimeter leads like CHILTON'S said I could with out pulling it out (entailing draining the radiator, which I was not prepaired to do at this time),pulled the plugs for laughs (they looked good) there were two diaphram valves attached to the air box that were a little sticky (loosened them up with silicone sparay). I'll give it a drive in the morning and see if it is better. Aloha
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The car is running a little beter. A mechanic friend of mine told me to focus on the IAC and ERG. He said that if the O2 sensor failed the car would run rich and that the thermostat sender does not affect the car much. Tomorrow I'll check the ERG and IAC.
 

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lat19hi said:
He said that if the O2 sensor failed the car would run rich
It IS running rich. You said your self it's "chugging". That's what overly rich engines do!

It's fine when it's cold because when the ECU is in open loop it ignors the O2 sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thanks, the o2 sensor is back on the check list. When I pulled the plugs there were white deposits on all 4. The mechanic said that indicated a lean condition. I checked ERG and ICV at Checker and they want over $100 for each and I'm not %100 sure that they are the problem. I'm off the the junk yard to pull off as many sensors and control valves as possible. Also plan on grabing the Air volume controler. Hope I don't pull bad ones.
 

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You seemed to have ignored the suggestion to replace the plug wires. If they've never been changed in 95K miles, they're long overdue.

Bad wires allow adequate spark at idle, but fail to deliver during acceleration or under load, resulting in misfires (but not enough to trigger a code).

An easy check for bad wires is to park the car in a completely dark area, and with the engine running open the hood and place your hands near or on the plug wires. If you see arcing to your hands (you won't actually get zapped) you definitely need new plug wires.
 
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