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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I have a 95LX Escort that has been running bad for the past 3 months.
The engine has been running choppy/sputtering. I though I had
picked up some bad gas. Ran the tank and put in some new gas as well
as some fuel injector cleaner. Still choppy/sputtering. Gave it a
tune-up with new

plugs
wires
fuel filter
air filter
breather element
pcv value

Cleaned the MAF sensor - still running bad.
Hooked up a scanner and ran the codes - everything passed with flying colors.
Pull the vacuum line off the EGR - still running bad
I was thinking maybe clogged cat converter??? I did note the NOx
test results were high on my last New York State Inspection.

Anybody have any ideas on what is causing this? Thanks for your help
in advance.

P.S. No Check Engine Light any any time!
 

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How many liles are on the car?

When was the last time you cleaned the IAC?

Have you checked the TPS?

Did you do all the tests when you cheked for computer codes or just checked for stored codes wit the engine off?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How many liles are on the car?
>> Don't know what liles are?

When was the last time you cleaned the IAC?
>> IAC - don't know this either

Have you checked the TPS?
>> Throttle Position Sensor - have not looked at this yet - will do over this weekend


Did you do all the tests when you cheked for computer codes or just checked for stored codes wit the engine off?

>> Checked KOEO as well as KOER - covered all 6 tests in the scanner book
 

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If it's not throwing any codes, my bottom dollar says you've got a vac leak. 7 times out of 10, that's what hesitation and sputtering is caused by. Pressure test the intake, measure your vacuum canister pressure, and check to make sure that your fuel pressure regulator is getting the right vacuum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If it's not throwing any codes, my bottom dollar says you've got a vac leak. 7 times out of 10, that's what hesitation and sputtering is caused by. Pressure test the intake, measure your vacuum canister pressure, and check to make sure that your fuel pressure regulator is getting the right vacuum.

>>> Would this cause the NOx reading to increase?
 

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if its running rough, or hesitating most likely a vac leak. And a vac leak will cause unburnt fuel etc etc. Id say a vac leak...siragan is probally right, because he can be smart.
 

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Duque:

NOx are produced when the combustion temperature is "too" high (or when you have lots of unburned deposits). Ideally, the world wants gas to be burned to only produce CO2 and water. To prevent the N2 in the air from combusting to form NOx, an EGR system is employed, recycling hot exhaust gases back to the intake to displace O2, thus actually lowering combustion temperatures.

So if you are getting unwanted air entering your combustion chambers, you have more O2 and thus will produce higher than normal NOx.

To get unwanted air in without any lean codes, siragan is correct - you likely have a leak from one of your smaller vacuum lines. If you'd had codes or your CEL came on, I'd check the EGR first then your MAF or other things, depending on the code.

Good luck finding your leak. It aint easy under a noisy engine hood. Check for cracked ends of lines where they join fittings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to all - I will try tomorrow to locate this vacuum leak. I will keep all posted as to what it is. So this vacuum leak besides creating the additional NOx readings is robbing me of power to accelerate. Great - wouldn't it be great if we lived in a car problem free world??
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey Highanddry - i have severe loss of power - dangerous to get on highways. Hopefully it is a vac leak. The loss of power has increased over the past 3 months
 

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Sorry, you did imply that in your first post.

With that much loss of power, I'm surprised you're not getting any lean codes. I still think it must be a vacuum leak though. If your EGR valve wasn't working at all or your thermostat was acting up, you'd either get a code or notice high temperature on your guage.

There are vacuum gauges you can buy for thirty bucks or so. Or you can take the shotgun approach and replace them all to give yourself some insurance. The tubing is cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My bad - if I didn't mention it. Rather not go and replace piece by piece. The scanner was always "111" system pass, so i checked it on a friend's car and it had error codes, so I knew the scanner was good. I will look for the vac leak - but I think the local mechanic is getting a peek as well.

I had mentioned earlier in this post about a possible clogged catalytic converter. This I believed was the only logical thing to A) give me high NOx as well as HC readings B) robbed me of power.
 

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You got high HC too? That wasn't mentioned earlier. If you have high NOx plus high HC, I would definitely think clogged cat first. I don't know how else you could get that combo without multiple problems and lots of codes.
 

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had a similar problem with a 93 1.9 earlier this year.

Check your intake gasket for leaks. Mine only every now and then set a CEL and it disappeared a short time later. No power on take off or acceleration, couldn't hold an idle.

Your mechanic should know how to test for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Man - love this car to death - have had it 6 years but it it killing me softly. Anyway - something I noticed this morning. I haven't driven it in 5 days. I started it and took off - no warming the engine. While engine was "cold" it ran fine - no hesitations,sputtering. As soon as it was "Warm" it started to buck and hesitate, etc. Just thought this might help.
 

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im with the guys here, i think it's a vac leak. that's what went wrong with mine about two years ago.
 

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it ran fine cold because it was just doing nothing but dumping fuel into the cylinders to ge the engine up to operating temperatures.

Find the leak, find it quickly and get it fixed. Too much gas in the combustion chamber ruins your oil. Ruined oil doesn't seal properly causing your pistons to wear at your walls and the nect thing you know.

What could've been a simple gasket or hose problem can move into a cylinder bore because your engine is using too much oil. I have a 1.9l block that's partially disassembled in my yard that I can take one look at and tell you why. An intake gasket leak that wasn't fixed in time and driven.

Problems like this escalate into bigger ones when left unattended.
 
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