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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm driving my car today and the car starts to run rough and buck a little like its missing, The check engine light started blinking on and off while the car was running rough. It went away for a little while but now its back and apparently here to stay. The car was due for a tune up so I changed the plugs and PCV valve. It made no difference. The old plugs looked pretty normal, a little more whitish than usual but it was dusty whitish and not the "too hot" metal whitish. I don't see any arcing of the wires but I think I'm going to replace them anyway when I get a chance. I tried to pull the codes but for some reason there are no codes. The check engine light blinked on and off for a bout 5 minutes while I was driving but it never stayed on. It's off at the moment and like I said.... no codes. It sort of feels like the car is only running on 3 cylinders. Honestly I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do or check next or why the service engine soon light blinked in the first place. Any thoughts?

The car is a 1998 Escort SE 2.0 SOHC, the timing belt was done at about 110,000 and it's now at 145,000. Oil changes have been pretty regular.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
the plot thickens.... So it finally threw a code now that it is constantly running rough. 0303 which is a cylinder #3 misfire. It's not the usual cylinder #4 but I hope its not the same valve seat problem that's common on these cars. I'm still going to try the wires and try and get my hands on a gauge to do a compression test. Any possibility that a vacuum leak or a clogged fuel filter is behind this or is it just wishful thinking on my part?
 

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Did you change the plugs and the wires or just the plugs?

If it was only the plugs I would take a look at the wires before I pooped a brick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thebeans said:
Did you change the plugs and the wires or just the plugs?
DrFeelgood said:
I don't see any arcing of the wires but I think I'm going to replace them anyway when I get a chance.
DrFeelgood said:
I'm still going to try the wires and try and get my hands on a gauge to do a compression test.
 

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Thank you, sir, for so dutifully highlighting my inability to comprehensively read a post (or series thereof) . I am forever in your debt. I vow to alter my evil ways, now and forever!
 

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Blinking SES means that any injector is failing to spray fuel (no fuel, plugged fuel filter or weak fuel pump).

Too white a plug tip is an indication that is running a bit too lean. If the fuel filter has never been changed it is over due. Part of maintenance is a yearly replacement of the fuel filter.

For reference the fuel pressures: 30-45 PSI at KOEO
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Changed the wires changed the fuel filter, still the same problem. Car isn't really bucking anymore and no blinking SES light anymore, but that already happened before the new wires and fuel filter. It still runs rough like it has a big lopey cam. Still gives the 0303 cylinder #3 misfire code every time and the SES light stays on now. I'll clear the code, restart the car, drive it for a bit and after about a minute or two the light comes back. Anyway to specifically test injector #3? I'm still trying to get my hands on a gauge to test compression, That will most likely be tomorrows adventure. Anyone else have any ideas of something else I may be missing?

BTW, thanks for the tip on what that blinking light meant. Where did you find out that's what it meant?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just an update, I'm not sure if I did it correctly but I hooked a multimeter up to my coil pack to see if maybe that's where my problem is since I've read that a single terminal can go bad without the whole pack going bad. Sure enough the only reading that doesn't match is the #3 terminal. At 200k ohms I don't get any readings EXCEPT for #3 which reads around 80 when grounded. All the others stay at 1. Maybe time for a new coil pack or have a made an error in my testing methods?
 

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Glad to hear you got it fixed.

BTW A blinking CEL signifies an active misfire. Could be a failing injector, or in your case, a failed coil.

Casey
 

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cklaubur said:
Glad to hear you got it fixed.

BTW A blinking CEL signifies an active misfire. Could be a failing injector, or in your case, a failed coil.

Casey
That was what I was going to write, beside the no fuel flow thru injectors.
Good to hear you fix it.
 
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