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Thread: 1996 Ford Escort(orion shape) irratic idle problems

  1. #1
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    Jul 2007
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    Default 1996 Ford Escort(orion shape) irratic idle problems

    Hi there all,
    I own a 1996 ford escort saloon, 1.8 zetec, at the moment i am experiencing very irratic idle problems. It sometimes revs to 3500 rpm and stays there till i come to a stand still, sometimes it bounces between 2000-3500 rpm.
    It only happens when driving, at a stand still the idle is ok, It doesnt matter weather it is hot or cold, when it does it the car drives itself at the revs it is hanging up at.
    I have replaced the idle valve for a new one. Also replaced the mass air flow sensor for new. i have checked for air leaks to find nothing, thought it might have been due to timing so have changed the belt and tensioners and set the timing to correct ford spec. I've changed the PCV valve and checked over all electrical connections/multiplugs too.
    I had this same problem before a few years back and changed the Mass air flow sensor which cured it, as i have said i've since changed it again to no avail.
    Without spending a small fortune in a ford garage i am kind of at a loss at the moment.
    If anyone has any ideas of where to head now please get in touch.
    Many thanks, Ady.

  2. #2
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    May 2007
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    have you changed the throttle position sensor? Do the revs go high inbetween changing gear say from second to third ?

  3. #3
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    Jul 2007
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    Default Escort finesse 1.6 16v zetec irratic idle problems

    I have a ford escort, unfortunately does not have a rev counter (yet!), it is doing exactly the same thing as the 1.8 zetec. the rev's do seem to go high inbetween 2nd and 3rd, today it is horrendious but yesterday it didn't do it at all. MrDanno, do you think it could be the throttle position sensor? or something else, I am hesitant to send too much money on the car. Is it a fault that should come up if the car was plugged in to a comp?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian.O View Post
    I have a ford escort, unfortunately does not have a rev counter (yet!), it is doing exactly the same thing as the 1.8 zetec. the rev's do seem to go high inbetween 2nd and 3rd, today it is horrendious but yesterday it didn't do it at all. MrDanno, do you think it could be the throttle position sensor? or something else, I am hesitant to send too much money on the car. Is it a fault that should come up if the car was plugged in to a comp?
    Plugging a fault code reader or computer into the car may or may not show a fault code. Even if it does not show a fault code, It does not mean there is no fault. It means that whatever is wrong is not unplugged(plug corroded) or working outside of the parameters it would normally work in.
    OBD (On Board Diagnostic) systems are not as good as most people think they are.
    More information on your car would help. Things likes its age, What engine it has and how many miles it has done.
    Anyway, getting back to your problem. There is lots of things that could give similar symptoms to what you have. First thing you should do is have a good look around the engine for any split or perished vacuum hoses.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2007
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    Default Irratic idle problems

    MrDanno, thank you for getting back to me so quickly. My car is a ford escort finesse, 1998, S reg, 1.6 16v zetec engine, 78,000 on the clock.

    This morning I started the engine and let it to tick over for nearly 5 minutes before moving, the rev's dropped normally as the car warmed up (before I started moving) and it has not done the revving thing at all today. Where as yesterday, I started the car and moved immidiately.

    I went to a garage I am friendly with straight from work and they strongly believe it is the idle valve, it needs cleaning, they tell me it is a very common fault with the zetec engines. One thing I have noticed is that the temp gauge seems to be a little random, sometimes it works and other times it doesn't move at all. Could this be contributing to the problem do you think?

    This weekend (weather dependant) I shall have a good look for split / perished vacuum pipes and see if I can get to the idle valve to give it a clean.

    On a different note, do you know how hard it is to fit a rev counter? Will it already have the plug in the dash and just needs connecting?

    Again, thank you for your help with this annoying problem.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian.O View Post
    MrDanno, thank you for getting back to me so quickly. My car is a ford escort finesse, 1998, S reg, 1.6 16v zetec engine, 78,000 on the clock.

    This morning I started the engine and let it to tick over for nearly 5 minutes before moving, the rev's dropped normally as the car warmed up (before I started moving) and it has not done the revving thing at all today. Where as yesterday, I started the car and moved immidiately.

    I went to a garage I am friendly with straight from work and they strongly believe it is the idle valve, it needs cleaning, they tell me it is a very common fault with the zetec engines. One thing I have noticed is that the temp gauge seems to be a little random, sometimes it works and other times it doesn't move at all. Could this be contributing to the problem do you think?

    This weekend (weather dependant) I shall have a good look for split / perished vacuum pipes and see if I can get to the idle valve to give it a clean.

    On a different note, do you know how hard it is to fit a rev counter? Will it already have the plug in the dash and just needs connecting?

    Again, thank you for your help with this annoying problem.
    Idle speed control valves (ISCV) do cause either excessive revving or stalling problems but usually only when the Vehicle is stationary. However, they are quite easy to remove and clean up. If your temperature gauge is not working correctly it could be the Coolant temperature Sensor (CTS) is faulty. If the engine management is not getting the correct signal for engine temperature it will be using the wrong amount of air/fuel for a given engine temperature therefore causing a problem. The CTS is just to the right of the oil filler on the top of the engine.

    I have no Idea about the Rev counter connections.

    Best of luck.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2007
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    I've heard that the oxygen sensor in your exhaust pipe can cause this sort of problem. The only thing left after that is the throttle position sensor which should be easy to check and then the ecu itself.?? yuk.
    Let us know how you get on.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2007
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    Hi

    Did this get resolved?

    I have the same problem on my 1996 Escort.

    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Ady2k7 View Post
    Hi there all,
    I own a 1996 ford escort saloon, 1.8 zetec, at the moment i am experiencing very irratic idle problems. It sometimes revs to 3500 rpm and stays there till i come to a stand still, sometimes it bounces between 2000-3500 rpm.
    It only happens when driving, at a stand still the idle is ok, It doesnt matter weather it is hot or cold, when it does it the car drives itself at the revs it is hanging up at.
    I have replaced the idle valve for a new one. Also replaced the mass air flow sensor for new. i have checked for air leaks to find nothing, thought it might have been due to timing so have changed the belt and tensioners and set the timing to correct ford spec. I've changed the PCV valve and checked over all electrical connections/multiplugs too.
    I had this same problem before a few years back and changed the Mass air flow sensor which cured it, as i have said i've since changed it again to no avail.
    Without spending a small fortune in a ford garage i am kind of at a loss at the moment.
    If anyone has any ideas of where to head now please get in touch.
    Many thanks, Ady.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    5

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    Hey this gets every 1 out, every time to! So i will tell you what it is and how to fix it.
    Every 1 overlooks this matter, changing every thing costing a lot of cash, you described perfectly so here is ya answer..... its the (RSS) road speed sensor! it is located at the top of the gear box to the back, the speedo cable runs right through it, there you will see a multi plug, disconnect it and test your car, the revs should have not come up when your car is moving or when it has stoped now! if all seems ok you must reconnect it and get a new one, easy to fit 10 min job!
    But you must reconnect it before you get a new one as it puts the computer into LOS (limited operation strategy), this is where the computer knows there is a fault and limits power and timing settings in an atempt to get you home!
    good luck!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    11

    Default high rpm 1998 escort

    Quote Originally Posted by x ford View Post
    Hey this gets every 1 out, every time to! So i will tell you what it is and how to fix it.
    Every 1 overlooks this matter, changing every thing costing a lot of cash, you described perfectly so here is ya answer..... its the (RSS) road speed sensor! it is located at the top of the gear box to the back, the speedo cable runs right through it, there you will see a multi plug, disconnect it and test your car, the revs should have not come up when your car is moving or when it has stoped now! if all seems ok you must reconnect it and get a new one, easy to fit 10 min job!
    But you must reconnect it before you get a new one as it puts the computer into LOS (limited operation strategy), this is where the computer knows there is a fault and limits power and timing settings in an atempt to get you home!
    good luck!
    thanks i have the same problem, i will check this out

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