I have a Ford Escort 97. It doesn't
accelerate fast enough and I think it
consumes too much gas. I did the 100,000 km
tune up recently (changed spark plugs, wires,
PVC valve, gas filter) but it didn't help too
I'm wondering if there are other things that
I can do about it.
Some places like Wal-Mart clean the gas
system using a chemical which they claim that
it'll improve the acceleration and gas
consumption. Does anybody has experienced
that? Is it useful? Is there any risk of
damage by using these type of cleaning?
BTW, the 'Service Engine Soon light' comes on
most of the time.
Thanks for your comments and recommendations.
You should go to an auto parts store or mechanic and get the codes read
out of the computer to get a clue as to what is happening. Numerous
conditions that turn on the CEL will affect your gas mileage. Your car
might be in "limp-home" mode which would also explain poor
What gas mileage are you getting, BTW? I get about 32mpg highway, 26mpg
city on a 98 Escort wagon w/auto trans, 107000 miles.
Make sure the tires are properly inflated, ensure that there is a clean air
filter on the car.
The products that places like walmart sells are useful for increasing the
consumption of your money.
Ding Ding Ding. We have a winner.
The car should be in wararanty for emissions (if you are measuring milage
in kilimeters, you are probably in Canada or Europe, not the US, where
emissions warranties are different). In the US, the emissions warranties are
good for at least 80,000 mi (about 130,000 km). If it is an emissions
problem, it should be fixed for free. If not, you will probably know what
the problem is.
I love this... Oxygen sensors seem to be the big cure-all but I haven't
replaced more than a handfull in 20 years.....
Makes me wonder where some folks are stealing their gas from 8^).
Seriously, when the CEL is illuminated, we need to know what codes are
set.... even better is if we know which code sets first. Next, we need to
know if the code is a memory code or an on demand code and we need to decide
if the code is causal or symptomatic.
If it was that simple, I'd be frequenting the soup kitchen.
I've been wondering that, too.
I've changed 2 on my cars in 15 years, neither one changed any driving
characteristic.. but then, it wasnt because they HAD to be changed.
None of my brothers has ever changed one in their beaters.. All over or at
200,000 miles and owned since new
Nor have any of the three of us ever had a clogged injector.. out of about 10
or 11 cars.
And we all use Speedway gas.
I agree Backyard,
I have seen O2 sensors fail but it is no where near common. Most failures have
in the heater, not the sensor itself. In 23 years in the business I've seen a
up and die, a a few get slow to react (probably from contamination). I could
count all of them on both hands. Most of the total failures were on fairly new
under warranty and were probably defective from new.
Thanks for your comments. The mechanic who
did the tune up few months ago read the Code
for CEL. He told me that the gas system needs
cleaning and recommended me to use supper
clean gas for a while to clean up the gas
system. I did that in the past few months and
CEL was off, but it turned on again last week
! Does anybody has any experience with
cleaning the gas system? Does it improve the
Thanks for your comments.
wrote in message
If the CEL is on, it's not a dirty fuel system. There is a malfunction that is
creating, or has the potential to create, unacceptable exhaust or fuel vapor
levels. This will often cause a drivability problem or excessive fuel
also. With modern fuel mixtures that contain high levels of detergents and
that are inherently self cleaning, fuel systems do not become "dirty" in normal
It's a different story if you get a large amount of trash from improperly stored
vandalism, etc. Even then these contaminants will clog filters and repair goes
fuel additives or cleaners.
You need to find a reputable mechanic who can properly diagnose the problem.
is no "band aid in a can" for this.
If you would like, take the car to your local parts store, like Auto Zone,
Pep Boys, etc. and have them pull the codes. Then post the code(s) here. You'll
all the answers you could want. We need the actual fault code, P0171, P0304,
that format, not "they said the xxxxx is bad". You may be able to repair it
once you find out what the problem is.
Hint: On your Escort, check the hose from the air cleaner to the throttle body.
sure it is secured tightly at both ends and is not cracked, even a little. That
and any other things attached to it must be air tight. I used to see a lot of
hoses cracked or pulled slightly away from the throttle body causing air leaks
and a CEL.
in normal use.
Are those off-the-shelf gas additives worth anything then? Whenever I
take one of my cars to a Ford dealership for an oil change, they always
add injector cleaner to the tank (Or at least they add a line item for
it, whether they actually do it or no).
Weeellllll, how can I explain this?
When added to your tank as part of PM, they can be insurance against the
of varnish deposits, etc. Kind of an "it's cheap, won't harm anything and it
help" sort of thing. Just like oil additives. Varnish buildup is not the promlem
was 10-15 years ago. It "can" happen if you use a lot of stale or very low
fuel but is very uncommon.
For example: I once had a 1978 Mustang II with a 2.3L OHC 4 cyl. These motors
famous for tearing up camshafts. I changed the oil about every 10K miles,
less. I always added a can of Wynns Friction Proofing. I beat on this poor motor
unmercifully (I was a teenager). At 140K miles the camshaft and followers showed
extremely little wear. I sold the car to a fellow who drove the car to way over
miles. It was running well when scrapped.
Did the Wynns FP help? I have no idea. Would the camshaft have failed without
Wynns? Maybe, maybe not. The motor could have very well reached this mileage
it. There's really no way to tell.
As far as using a fuel system cleaner to help with a driveability problem, It
not likely have any effect at all. There are systems used in shops where the
supply is isolated and a cleaner\fuel solution is run through the injector
have seen this make an improvement in idle quality and off-idle acceleration a
times times, but not often enough to say that it should be done every xxxx
certainly didn't cure any noticeable drivability issues.
Most cars I buy are high (~100K) mileage. I usually toss in some fuel system
for a few tankfuls at first. I don't know if it helps, but it doesn't hurt
Did you ever notice how your car seems to run better after a good cleaning, wash
wax,oil change, coolant flush, etc? I've heard this referred to as the "good dog
syndrome". In my experience, fuel system additives fall into that category.
To further muddy the waters, I'm hearing great things about a product called
You can run it through your intake manifold, put it into the crankcase, add it
fuel tank. I've even heard of it being used in transmissions. I don't know
about it. Time will tell if it is snake oil or a wonder solvent.
Interesting discourse, thanks.
It leaves me with just one question though - how does one ascertain
gasoline quality? I only buy gas regularly in two places, one near my
home, one near work. I don't notice any subjective difference. It all
tastes the same ;)
cleaning, wash and
Yep, I don't try to explain it, just enjoy it :) My Escort makes a
scrape-y sort of noise when the passenger side front wheel hits a
pothole. After it's had an oil change, tire rotation and chassis lube
[whatever that includes], for at least the next month that noise is
Our old Taurus used to have a squeaky bearing (oddly enough it was also
the front passenger side wheel). After a wash and wax it would go away
for a few weeks.
Excuse me while I wipe the coffee off of my screen......................I'm ok
By now companies that sell crappy fuel are gone, cuz, well, they sold crappy
and went out of business. I would recommend buying fuel from stations that sell
fairly high volume. The fuel is likely to be "fresh" and of course all of the
their tanks stays stirred up, everybody gets their share.
Ya know that dumpy place on the other side of town with 2 pumps (one is
hose), cracked windows, stacks of old tires, a couple of dogs and 2 tons of oil
kitty litter in what kinda looks like a service bay? Be afraid, be very afraid!
was the last time you saw a car at their pumps? Ok, so when do you think was the
time they had sold enough gas to need a delivery? Hmm, I wonder how old that gas
and what else is in their tanks? Now,remember the stinky stuff you drained out
lawn mower gas tank? Yeah, the time you forgot to add stabilizer before winter.
didn't burn too well, did it? (Tastes like crap too, since you brought it up).
Gasoline will get "stale" over time. It seems like it takes much longer these
though. I don't know the actual process but it eventually turns to something
varnish and smelly watery stuff. Thats the technical term, I don't know how to
describe it in laymans terms. Oh, and no more swiping gas out of that farmers
ground tank or your neighbors 5 gallon gas can. There can be some pretty nasty
Getting clean fresh gas only takes a bit of common sense. Very little
a Speedway, BP not so mini mart, or other brand on nearly every corner. On the
token, it don't take much to get a pretty good cup of coffee either.
As far as quality, they're all about the same. Of course the company I own
makes a vastly superior gasoline, which you should buy in copious amounts as
Oh, while I'm ranting, don't use Premium in your Escort. Use regular and send
difference in price (I accept PayPal). Your car might actually run better.
designed to run on fuel with a certain octane rating. A little over or under is
but too low and you can get spark knock (preignition or detonation, baaad
too high you can get drivability problems. A few years ago GM put out a
addressing hard\no start issues in cold temperatures. The PCM sets the timing to
advance while cranking and looks for a signal from the knock sensor. In cold
with high octane fuel it was no knock-no start, call the tow truck. Kinda neat
with what's in the owners manual.
Think about it this way, if it made the car run better and they could help their
buddies in the petrol industry sell more expensive gas, wouldn't they tell you?
Not much on an Escort, you kind of wave the grease gun under the car and
bit. Have the front struts checked and tell em to shoot some silicone lube on
bar bushings and control arm bushings. If that doesnt help,Maybe have somebody
retorque the fasteners on the front subframe and suspension.
You just didn't learn the Taurean language, That meant "You better get this
of me or I'll start spitting out transmission parts".
I just remembered something. It likely doesn't apply to your front end noise
(yet)since it goes away and nobody has noticed it. Keep an eye on your coil
saw a lot of broken springs on 90s Escorts, especially on the wagons. I don't
if they had this problem solved by the 98 model year or not.
I guess we'll start over, get the code(s) read out and tell us what it is..
not what the mechanic or parts guy says it means ...or what you think it
What is "super clean" gas? i cant find the Code for "gas system needs
cleaning".. maybe it's just me, cause I'm not a "per-fessional".
Where do you live?
What are your brand options there. I mean the major ones where you always see
cars at the pumps
more "all gas is the same" victims! BUT your MAIN problem probably wasnt
the gas to begin with
And go somewhere else to get your car worked on.
- Yes, I'm a crusty old geezer curmudgeon.. deal with it! -
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