Hi and Help! I have a 2002 1.6 petrol zetec. About 3 weeks ago it
started hesitating and stuttering when cold and under load, often when
coming out at junctions and roundabouts. It usually happens at low(ish)
speeds but doesn't seem too bad when setting off from stationary. It
feels like a fuel problem but I haven't a clue about cars. It's passed
the diagnostics test (twice!) but idles OK anyway, so that's no
surprise. I don't know if it's a coincidence but it started 2 days
after filling up at Sainsburys. Would dodgy petrol cause this problem
or would it occur at all temperatures? Could it be the fuel pump? I
appreciate anyone's help!
How many miles has it done, and what is its service history?
In the absence of this information I would suggest initially replacing plugs
and HT leads.
Only use genuine Ford, and gap the plugs to 1mm.
It could be fuel related (fuel filter not replaced at correct interval, pump
failing perhaps), but it depends somewhat on it's history.
It's done 30000 miles and is serviced yearly at the Ford dealership
(50000 mile service 3 weeks ago if that makes any sense). It's never
been the most powerful of cars - a slight flat spot when setting off
and hesitation at fast lane speeds, but this is the first real problem
I've had in 3 years. The mechanic drove it but came to the conclusion
that it had slight clutch judder! Given that it is worse when cold
(which I told them) it probably behaved itself when they drove it.
As a last resort I'm going to book it into the other nearby Ford garage
and get them to collect it so they can experience it at its worst. Is
it a good idea to tell them what I (you) think it might be.
If you do, the chances are they will change the plugs and leads in any case.
These cost around 70UKP, so I would let them decide!
Do you have the service receipts so you can check what was replaced last
time? The plugs certainly should be done at every third service. (The
Let us know how you get on.
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