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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm new to this site and I really hope you could help me try and figure out the problems with my girlfriends car.

She has a high mileage 1999 Escort and in the ongoing attempts to try and have it inspected it keeps spewing out fault codes. The auto-repair shop who's done the work on it so far hasn't been able to fix it, latest attempt was replacing the battery and alternator. The Fault Codes were P0325 and P0460(I hadn't been told which codes etc at that point, so she went by the mechanics advice alone).

Prior to this it's also had the following done:
Remove throttle body and clean EGR passages and install Fuel Pressure Regulator and Fuel Filter
Install DPFE
Prior to this work, the car was displaying the codes P0401 (Exhaust Gas Recirculation Flow Insufficient Detected), P0190 and P0193.

After this, according to the auto repair place, it displayed the P0325 and P0460 mentioned above, as said, they suggested replacing the alternator and battery, which was done, and during the last check it now produced the following fault codes: P0190, P0193, P0325, P0460. ..so pretty much the same as before spending 100 and some bucks on an alternator and a battery.

The problem is I'm not a mechanic, nor am I very familiar with USDM Fords or Fords at all for that matter (I'm overseas atm), I was hoping someone might know what could be wrong, any help at all will be greatly appreciated, as we can't really afford a new car at this point, nor more costly repairs. ($900+ spent so far).

Can anyone give any advice? It should also be mentioned that the codes might've been there a long time (well over a year, due to a dishonest seller) and that the battery that was in it prior to the latest change was too big (physically, I'm trying to figure out what the actual difference was though), thanks again for any suggestions.

PS!
I looked at a list posted by a member here with all the fault codes, which gave me this (That way you won't have to look it up yourselves :) ):

P0190 - Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor Circuit Malfunction (FRP) The comprehensive component monitor (CCM) monitors the FRP sensor to the PCM for VREF voltage. The test fails when the VREF voltage from the PCM drops to a voltage less than a minimum calibrated value. VREF open in harness.
VREF open in sensor.
VREF open in PCM.
Verify VREF voltage between 4.0 and 6.0V.

P0193 - Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor Circuit High Input (FRP) The comprehensive component monitor (CCM) monitors the FRP sensor circuit to the PCM for high voltage. If voltage were to fall below a calibrated limit and a calibrated amount of time during testing, the test will fail. FRP signal shorted to VREF or VPWR.
FRP signal open (gasoline only)
Low fuel pressure (NG only)
Damaged FRP sensor.
Damaged PCM.
High fuel pressure (caused by damaged fuel pressure regulator) NG.
A FRP PID value during KOER or KOEO less than 0.3 volts for gasoline or 0.5 volts for natural gas vehicles (NG) would indicate a hard fault.

P0325 - Knock Sensor 1 Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1)

P0460 - Fuel Level Sensor Circuit Malfunction The PCM monitors the fuel level input (FLI) circuit for electrical failure. The test fails when the signal moves outside the minimum or maximum allowable calibrated parameters for a specified fuel fill percentage in the fuel tank. Empty fuel tank
Fuel pump (FP) module stuck open
Incorrectly installed fuel gauge
Damaged instrument cluster
CASE GND circuit open
FLI shorted to VPWR
Damaged PCM
Overfilled fuel tank
Fuel pump (FP) module stuck closed
Damaged fuel gauge
FLI circuit open
FLI circuit shorted to CASE GND or PWR GND
CSE GND shorted to VPWR
Monitor FLI PID and FLI V PID in key ON engine running. FLI PID at 25% fill (with none matching fuel gauge) and FLI V PID less than 0.90 volts [for FLI PID at 75% fill (with none matching fuel gauge) and FLI V PID greater than 2.45 volts] indicates a hard fault.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
No one has any idea?

My theory atm is that the bigger (probably higher voltage, trying to get that verified though) battery fried *something* in the electrical system, either a ground, al the sensors, or the PCM itself.

Does this sound probable, and if so, where should the search fr the cause start?


Personally it sounds dead though, might just drive it 'til it gets pulled over or dies, cause it doesn't seem to be worth more money put into it.
 

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Never go back to that retard mechanic again. No codes ever signal a bad alternator or battery and the mechanic should know that! The codes will usually stay off for a little while after they are reset before they come back. He could have just said he replaced stuff, reset the codes and sent you on your way.

A bigger battery won't do anything bad to your car, they are all 12V. I your PCM was fried the car would not run at all.

You probably didn't need the DPFE sensor, usually EGR problem are corrected by just cleaning the passages. At least that code is gone.

The mechanic should have replaced the knock sensor or at least inspected its connection given the P0325 code.

Given the P0190 and P0193 I would look at the injection pressure sensor on the fuel rail. It could be bad or have a lose connection

P0460, I have never heard of this code. Could yet again be a lose or corroded connection. Does the fuel gauge work correctly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Fuel Gage is fine, yes, so who knows, I'll look into the other ones when I get there, or have a dude we know look at it now.

Thank you for your replies so far.

My fear was that the battery could be one for a newer car, and as I know some of them run on 24V and even 48V, I thought the battery would've been that too. :)


So basically check the connections and and state of the Sensors?

Also, something I'm guessing is causing the sensors to konk out, could there be that there's some other reason it keeps happening? Or could it be that it's not an electrical issue at all, but something actually faulty with the mechanics, if so, any possible things it could be?
 

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24V electrical systems are usually used on power equipment and big rigs and its usually accomplished by using 2 12v batteries linked in series. You are vary unlikely to find a 24v system on a non-diesel powered vehicle. The only place I would expect to find a 48V system in on a hybrid.

The only way you could get too much voltage is if the voltage regulator in the alternator went out, that can fry stuff but there are warning signs. Like if all of a sudden the blower motor sounds like its ready for take off or your headlight double in brightness then go back to normal.

There isn't always a reason why sensors go out. Check the wiring to see if its been chewed. Overvoltage is more likely to kill the computer first than any of the sensors. The injection pressure sensor may be hard to come by, none of the major parts stores seem to carry it. You may have to go to the dealer or a junkyard for it.
 

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I would just check the wiring on that, maybe add some fuel system cleaner to the tank. If it still gives a code then I guess you'll have to replace the sender. The wiring is under an access panel under the rear seat which releases with two buttons between the seat and the car. Do you have a CEL inspection where you live? If not I would not worry about that code.

Who ever decided to wire the sending unit to the computer and have a CEL related to it is an idiot. Where I live you will fail inspection for a CEL, they call it a valid emission inspection but what does the gas gauge have to do with reducing emissions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
madmatt2024 said:
I would just check the wiring on that, maybe add some fuel system cleaner to the tank. If it still gives a code then I guess you'll have to replace the sender. The wiring is under an access panel under the rear seat which releases with two buttons between the seat and the car. Do you have a CEL inspection where you live? If not I would not worry about that code.

Who ever decided to wire the sending unit to the computer and have a CEL related to it is an idiot. Where I live you will fail inspection for a CEL, they call it a valid emission inspection but what does the gas gauge have to do with reducing emissions?
Yeah that's really the only problem. The Check Engine Light ( well, the actual codes, since they scan it) is the reason the car doesn't go through inspection, if it weren't for that we wouldn't care, it only has to run for another 8months anyway, which is also why we're so reluctant to spend more money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What sort of Octane rating is preferable on this car, would using the lowest one cause any of these problems?

Any specific fuel system cleaner you'd reccomend
 

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I would recommend Lucas Fuel Injector Cleaner and my personal favorite Premium Fuel, works great in cleaning, at least for me it has worked.

When budget does not allow it I use 87 but my car does not like it much so the lowest I go is 91 but prefer 93 from Shell, Texaco, or Gulf.

A clean fuel system can increase MPG, my escort best MPG was 34mpg combined city/hwy/hills.
 

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Regular 87 will do you good. The computer isn't programed to take advantage of the higher octane fuel so filling it with that is a waist.

Alot of the fuel system cleaners are pretty much the same. Seafoam is different and seems to have a large following. Supposedly it is so powerful that you sometimes have to change your fuel filter after using it.

I average around 33-35 MPG in regular driving. I have hit 38 MPG on the highway once. I just replaced a dragging brake caliper that has been giving me problems for almost a year so now I'm going to see if I can get 40 MPG.
 

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since when the car does not see octane, at least mine do, I feel the difference by much.
 

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The car can't see octane because the computer doesn't have a sensor to detect it. The 97 doesn't even have a knock sensor to detect detonation. The only way to take advantage of a higher octane is to advance the timing, which you can't easily do on these cars because its computer controlled. My car gets excellent mileage on the 87 and has enough power. Plus, I don't feel like spending $3 extra per tank for maybe having an extra 1-3 HP.

I do agree that there is more power and economy can be had from higher octane gas, I actually believe that they should do away with 87 and 89 grades and only have 93. Only producing one grade of gas would cut production costs meaning the 93 might cost about the same as the 87 does now. Plus, automakers could take advantage of the single, higher grade, gas to make cars more efficient and powerful. Plus, they would not have to re-tune engines for the US market's low octane fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've now been Stateside and driving this car for a month, and a couple of things I've noticed.

Every now and then, on start-up there would be a very short (2-3 secs) occurrence of valveknock, this was, most likely, caused by poor start-up lubrication of the lifters. The car was running on mineral (regular/cheap) oil, but it's now running on a synthetic blend. After this change, the problem hasn't come back.

My question is; Could this have caused the knock sensor CEL code? Is there any point in trying to just wipe the code instead of replacing the sensor?

Another thing I've noticed with the car is a very strange idle. It'll go slowly down and down on the RPMs until it nearly stalls, then back up again, and the whole process all over. It also goes down the rpm range very slowly when running free (clutch pedal pressed in) especially in the lower half of the rev range. I'm guessing that isn't normal, but what's causing it?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
FordMan59 said:
Might try cleaning the idle air control valve.
Been loking around the forum a good while now, is there any How To or guide as to how I do this?

(I get the whole take it off part, just how I am to clean it, not the disassembly)
 

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Spray carburetor cleaner in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Is there any "driveway" way of clearing the CEL codes btw? So that I don't have to run to Autozone for it each time.
 
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