help with code 23/fuel cutoff please

Hi Folks....my names Mike and I'm having a little problem with a "fuel cutoff" signal on a 95 Mercury Tracer. The engine stopped running and the
"fuel cutoff" light came on as I came off the freeway and I haven't been able to re-start the car since then.
I did replace the fuel cutoff switch, it's never the easy stuff, that didn't fix it. I get a code 23 when I check the cars computer. "TP sensor out of range during self test"
Is there anyway I can bypass the fuel cutoff to get the car running again?? Does anyone have any ideas of what could have gone wrong?? or what it is I have to replace?? I was on the freeway doing between 60 and 65 for about 56 miles without a problem, I had been trying to get the cruise control to work....it's never worked since I've had the car. The car ran fine till I almost stopped and it bucked before it quit running.
Thanks for any help on this. Mike
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Primarily, I only work on European cars. If you cannot find any help on newsgroups, I would suggest visiting www.obdii.com and ask the question on their forum.
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Thanks for the info Malcolm, I'll have to check that out....

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Mike,
That error code makes it sound like you have a bad throttle position sensor (TP). I would look in this direction first.
Gary
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Hey Gary, Thanks for the reply, good thought....I'm a novice at these "computer" cars. I have the Hayes books for the car and trouble codes, it's funny....all they tell me is how to remove the TP and reinstall it. Do you know if their supposed to be adjustable?? seems that would be possible. What I'm having the hardest time understanding is why everytime I try to start the engine....the "fuel cutoff" light comes on and all the thing will do is turn over. The fuel pump is working until I try to start it. Do you know if the TP can have anything to do with this?? Thanks again for your time, Mike aka Mikal
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Probably the computer figures that if the TP is faulty, it could be giving a "throttle full open" signal when it should be saying "throttle at idle" thereby giving you no control over the fuel injected in to the engine and hence the RPM. Its most probably a safety thing.
Depending on the design, TPS are usually mounted on slotted holes, and can be twisted clockwise or anti-clockwise to adjust their idle readings. If however it has gone open-circuit or internally short, it'll probably have to be replaced.
Alex
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Mikal,
My '87 Escort's TP sensor was adjustable (slotted holes). It could move a few degrees either way. If set wrong it would run but idle high. On some engines, they are not adjustable. In your case, the TP could be electrically open or shorted and cause this problem. I would think that if bad, it would run in limp mode but poorly. As this TP part is not that expensive, I would replace it...even try the junk yard. Try starting your engine with like half throttle, in case your TP is working good at that position.
I have not experienced a bad TP sensor, so can't say what the symptoms are. Plus different failure modes could cause differnet problems.
If the TP is causing the problem, it sounds like the computer is shutting off the fuel flow (pump). Check the fuel pump relay too. I believe the computer controls it, but it directly controls the flow of current to the fuel pump.
Try this: see if the engine starts with carb cleaner sprayed into the throttle body (spray some into the throttle and then try to start it - don't look into an open throttle in case it backfires!). If it starts, you will know there is not another problem or that it is flooded. If it still won't run on the carb cleaner, it could be flooded or you have an ignition problem. Also, make sure your timing belt is not borken or jumped some teeth.
Let us know what happens and what the fix is.
Gary

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