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Contour_dave
New CEG'er

Reged: 10/25/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Shawnee, Ks
Missing, sputtering, dying, CEC flashing
#1180626 - 03/01/06 12:34 AM

I have a 2000 Contour with the V6. It will run fine for a day or two and then just start sputtering, missing and sometimes dying and it takes in 5 minutes to 4 hours to restart. Took it in to a mechanic and he said the intake manifold gasket was bad, had it replaced and the temperature sensor for $450 and that didn't seem to help a bit. Today, driving along on the interstate, the thing started bogging down, missing, CEL starts flashing, and finally died, died 2 more times in the 4 miles home, and the last time took about an hour before it would start again though the CEL didn't start flashing again. Running fine now but will start again any time I drive it. It seems worse at 1/2 tank of gas or less but can't be certain. The mechanic now says it needs spark plug wires for another $200 though another mechanic friend looked and said they are fine. I think this guy has ripped me off and is just guessing now. Drove the car by his place with the codes in hand (after I stopped at Advance Auto to get a read) and he says "you can't trust those codes to tell you what is wrong". Also, over the last few months this thing has been getting worse. Last fall it only did it on hot days but now any time (though warm days seem to be worse). Below are the codes that I got today after today's incident when I took it by advance auto parts. One other thing, after I bought the car, I noticed a slip of paper slipped into the owner's manual that had written on it "fuel rail problem". Any thoughts on what the problem is or what I can do as right now I'm not taking it back to the mechanic as he is just pulling ideas out of body orifices...I mean really, spark plugs and/or wires don't have these symptoms. HELP!!!!

p0420 - Catalyst efficiency below threshold (bank 1)
p0430 - Catalyst effiecieny below threshold (bank 2)
p0190 - Fuel rail pressure sensor malfunction
p0301 - Cylinder 1 misfire detected

--------------------
Better to ask a question and be THOUGHT a fool for 5 minutes than to never ask and BE a fool for life.

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Tony2005
Addicted CEG'er

Reged: 06/19/05
Posts: 5345
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEC flashing new
#1180691 (Re: Contour_dave) 03/01/06 02:04 AM

1) Need to take care of the fuel rail problem (which is probably related to the cylinder 1 misfire).

2) Precat 1 and Precat 2 inefficiency is probably also related to that or worst case scenario caused the P0420 and P0430.

3) Hold on, on the wires for now.

A scanner with live data readings would confirm the fuel rail and cylinder 1 problem. The dealer or most competent mechanics should have one to test and diagnose.

--------------------
"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles


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dgodard
CEG'er

Reged: 10/14/05
Posts: 110
Loc: TX
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEC flashing new
#1181567 (Re: Contour_dave) 03/02/06 12:49 AM

Fuel pump or screen filter??

--------------------
00 Mystique LS V6 ATX
57K miles
K&N air filter
TH Fix
B&M 70268 Atx cooler

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avu3
CEG'er

Reged: 11/05/02
Posts: 65
Loc: Green Valley, Cali
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEC flashing new
#1181745 (Re: dgodard) 03/02/06 03:25 AM

I would strongly consider letting another mechanic have a crack at this.

You may have a component which fails under changed heat conditions, like the coil or the fuel pump.

Scott

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Contour_dave
New CEG'er

Reged: 10/25/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Shawnee, Ks
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEC flashing new
#1184538 (Re: Tony2005) 03/05/06 11:57 PM

When you say "take care of the fuel rail problem", what do you mean? Thanks for the help guys, this contour is killing me.

Mitch

--------------------
Better to ask a question and be THOUGHT a fool for 5 minutes than to never ask and BE a fool for life.

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Tony2005
Addicted CEG'er

Reged: 06/19/05
Posts: 5345
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEC flashing new
#1184579 (Re: Contour_dave) 03/06/06 01:27 AM

Originally posted by Contour_dave:
... One other thing, after I bought the car, I noticed a slip of paper slipped into the owner's manual that had written on it "fuel rail problem". ...



The previous owner had this issue. I doubt it went away after you bought it if it wasn't fixed.

--------------------
"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles


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PDXSVT
Hard-core CEG'er

Reged: 12/29/02
Posts: 1506
Loc: Portland OR 'burbs
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1184623 (Re: Contour_dave) 03/06/06 03:09 AM

With the flashing CEL, do you know how your alternator and battery are doing? I was getting some of those kinds of symptoms before mine went.

--------------------
MSDS, SHO-shop Y, custom 2.5" catback; xcal2; 63mm TB, K&N 3530; Koni struts, Aussie bar; THaines forks, Quaife, SpecII, UR fly; DMD; Nima UD pullies; Stazi brakes; f&r Pole120 mounts. Just a daily commuter car. Silver '98 SVT E0 #3159


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Contour_dave
New CEG'er

Reged: 10/25/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Shawnee, Ks
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1185349 (Re: PDXSVT) 03/07/06 03:09 AM

OK guys, what can go wrong w/fuel rail? A local junkyard has a LIM/Fuel rail from a 95 for about $50. Will the 95 fuel rail work on a 2000?

Thanks again for everyone's input.

As far as the alternator/battery, they are good.

--------------------
Better to ask a question and be THOUGHT a fool for 5 minutes than to never ask and BE a fool for life.

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Rogerm60
Hard-core CEG'er

Reged: 10/11/02
Posts: 2408
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1185472 (Re: Contour_dave) 03/07/06 05:58 AM

Originally posted by Contour_dave:
OK guys, what can go wrong w/fuel rail? A local junkyard has a LIM/Fuel rail from a 95 for about $50. Will the 95 fuel rail work on a 2000?





No!

You either need a new fuel pressure sender, or the wiring to it is bad and must be fixed. This is causing your fuel pressure to go out in left field.

--------------------
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" -George Santayana

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Contour_dave
New CEG'er

Reged: 10/25/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Shawnee, Ks
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1215990 (Re: Rogerm60) 04/14/06 04:28 PM

Changed plugs on this about 2 weeks ago and while the weather was still cool, during moderate to heavy acceleration/load at 35-50mph, it wasn't skipping completely missing but is still surging/hestitating unless I put my foot into it completely then it seems to smooth out. Yesterday, it got up to 92 degrees here and the thing would start hestitating/missing (like it is starved for fuel), and anytime you try to put some gas to it, the engine actually bogs and slows down, it then died a couple of times, leave it off for a minute and it would start and run well enough to move on for awhile before dying again. CEL blinking again. As mentioned above, put new plugs, new fuel rail pressure sensor in the thing, new fuel filter, IM gasket. I'm trying to guess what the next steps should be...any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Here is the order that I'm currently thinking but would love some help.

1) Plug wires
2) O2 sensor
3) Fuel pump??? Just wondering as it seems to get much worse during hot weather.
4) Fuel tank screen??? I don't really want to mess around with the fuel tank for obvious safety reasons but, cheaper and easier than gutting precat or replacing cats.
4) Somewhere on the board I saw that if you disconnect the upper 02 sensor and it runs better the problem is ????something????, any help here?
5 and 6) The last 2 things I want to do would be to gut the precat and/or replace the cats.


--------------------
Better to ask a question and be THOUGHT a fool for 5 minutes than to never ask and BE a fool for life.

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Tony2005
Addicted CEG'er

Reged: 06/19/05
Posts: 5345
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1216084 (Re: Contour_dave) 04/14/06 05:41 PM

Originally posted by Contour_dave:
...
4) Somewhere on the board I saw that if you disconnect the upper 02 sensor and it runs better the problem is ????something????, any help here?
...





Plugged exhaust test.
For the Duratec, a good cheap way is to remove the O2 sensors, in this order (and see if the performance improves).

1) Uninstall Bank 2 lower (radiator side) to determine if main cat is plugged,
2) Reinstall Bank 2 lower and then uninstall Bank 2 upper (radiator) to determine if Bank 2 precat is plugged,
3) Reinstall Bank 2 upper and then uninstall Bank 1 upper (hardest one, close to firewall) to determine if bank 1 precat is plugged.

You don't need to mess with bank 1 lower as bank 2 lower will also be a test of that issue too (if it is an issue). Battery needs to be disconnected before uninstalling and installing O2 sensors. Good luck.

--------------------
"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles


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tsSVT
CEG'er

Reged: 01/31/04
Posts: 218
Loc: oklahoma city
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1216108 (Re: Tony2005) 04/14/06 06:12 PM

Like he said,sounds like the pre-cats are clogged,My car is exibiting similar problems only my car doesn't miss,or die.It stubbles and the CEL flashes.My rear bank pre-cat is clogged,and will soon be replaced by WR Headers.

--------------------
2000 Silver SVT

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Contour_dave
New CEG'er

Reged: 10/25/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Shawnee, Ks
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1216115 (Re: tsSVT) 04/14/06 06:20 PM

Thanks for the help with process. I am trying to make sense of the symptoms with the cause. Would plugged exhaust (cat/pre-cat) cause the symptoms to become noticeably worse in warm weather?



--------------------
Better to ask a question and be THOUGHT a fool for 5 minutes than to never ask and BE a fool for life.

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Tony2005
Addicted CEG'er

Reged: 06/19/05
Posts: 5345
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1216122 (Re: Contour_dave) 04/14/06 06:28 PM

Originally posted by Contour_dave:
... Would plugged exhaust (cat/pre-cat) cause the symptoms to become noticeably worse in warm weather?





No. If it weather related, most probably a vacuum leak or Intake Air Temperature sensor problem.

--------------------
"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles


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Contour_dave
New CEG'er

Reged: 10/25/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Shawnee, Ks
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1217375 (Re: Tony2005) 04/17/06 02:39 AM

Now the thing is missing again (I put in Bosch Platinums 2 weeks ago). I got some new plug wires and am going to install them tomorrow. How do you test the temperature sensor...any quick and easy ways?

Thanks

--------------------
Better to ask a question and be THOUGHT a fool for 5 minutes than to never ask and BE a fool for life.

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Tony2005
Addicted CEG'er

Reged: 06/19/05
Posts: 5345
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1217398 (Re: Contour_dave) 04/17/06 03:12 AM

Originally posted by Contour_dave:
... How do you test the temperature sensor...any quick and easy ways?

Thanks




http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?ForwardPage=/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/1b/ca/f8/0900823d801bcaf8.jsp

According to Haynes, at 38 F, the resistance should be 35 to 40 K-ohms, at 182 F (1.9 to 2.5 K-ohms) and 218 F (1.0 to 1.3 K-ohms).

And since the PCM uses both the MAF and IAT to determine the amount of fuel to achieve the ideal air/fuel mixture ratio, you might as well clean the MAF sensor while you are at it.

MAF sensor
http://www.contour.org/mods/mods.php?s=howto&displayid=36
and
http://www.contour.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=zetecmaint&Number=989728&page=&view=&sb=5&o=&fpart=1&vc=1
and
http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?ForwardPage=/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/1b/cb/25/0900823d801bcb25.jsp


--------------------
"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles


Edited by Tony2005 (04/17/06 03:34 AM)

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Contour_dave
New CEG'er

Reged: 10/25/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Shawnee, Ks
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1220222 (Re: Tony2005) 04/20/06 01:20 AM

OK folks, I replaced the plug wires as the thing was missing all the time. The hesitation and sputtering stopped. Took it out in the evening after changing the wires and it ran like a new car for 2 days. Yesterday, it got up a little over 90 degrees here and, it was running good, and then just started sputtering and dying. Wait 5 minutes, start it up and drive it a couple miles further and dies again. Finally gave up, waited until last night after it got down under about 65 degrees, starts and runs like a new car again, no problems at all. Talked to a mechanic at autozone this evening and he was pointing at the fuel pump. I can't see or hear any vacuum leaks. It has always seemed to me that the problem with it dying and then not starting occured when there was less than a half tank of gas, but ???? Glad it runs great when it's cold out, but summer's coming fast.

--------------------
Better to ask a question and be THOUGHT a fool for 5 minutes than to never ask and BE a fool for life.

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projectSHO89
Hard-core CEG'er

Reged: 09/19/02
Posts: 1788
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1220479 (Re: Contour_dave) 04/20/06 12:10 PM

You found a mechanic in AutoZone????

Don't be surprised if those Bosch plugs come back and bite you in the ass.

Get a fuel pressure guage and hook it up when the car won't run. That you'll know if you have a fuel delivery issue instead of guessing.

Steve

--------------------
98 Contour SE Sport 2.5 Duratec ATX The wifey's car
89 Taurus SHO - 246K miles
94 SHO ATX - 190K
1997 F-150 5.4L ATX - The Workhorse 150K.


ANY THREAD WITH "OMG" or "WTF" ETC IN THE TITLE WILL BE IGNORED!

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Contour_dave
New CEG'er

Reged: 10/25/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Shawnee, Ks
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1221076 (Re: projectSHO89) 04/20/06 10:58 PM

Mechanic at Autozone? Yeah, some independent guy in there getting parts...struck up a conversation with when he asked about the symptoms. Actually it was an O'Reilly's

"Bosch platinums" - Why is this a problem and what kind of byte am I going to get?

Fuel pressure gauge...the guy at the parts store looked at me with that "what the h*** are you talking about" when I said it needed a schraeder-type connector. Their price was $42 for the only gauge they carry but happened to be out of stock. Any suggestions on where to go to get a good economical gauge and correct connector where they won't look at me funny?

--------------------
Better to ask a question and be THOUGHT a fool for 5 minutes than to never ask and BE a fool for life.

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Jimboh
Newbie

Reged: 05/14/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1238524 (Re: Contour_dave) 05/14/06 04:15 PM

I believe I have the same problem as contour dave. I am very interested in the solution.

My engine runs fine until it reaches a certain operating temperature. For example driving for hours on the highway is no problem. Driving in the city and idling around, the engine temperature rises to a certain point and then the sputtering and dying happens. It seems to be running lean and no amount of throttle will keep the engine alive. The car must sit and cool down, from minutes to hours, before it will restart. No CEL, no codes in memory.

As a poor boy fuel pressure test during a stall no start conditon I depressed the schraedder valve and got a good mist of fuel spray. Not sure if that could rule out the fuel pump as a culprit.

All suggestions welcome.

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Dan the rug man
New CEG'er

Reged: 01/15/06
Posts: 47
Loc: Great Falls, Mt.
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1238537 (Re: Jimboh) 05/14/06 04:48 PM

I would take a strong look at the coil. I had a bad coil on a Tempo that would work until hot then shut down. Let it cool and off it went, Town driving is generaly harder on a car because you do not get the airflow of highway driving. This can cause the engine and engine compartment to run at higher temps. The problem with checking the coil after the car has been sitting is that it will read fine. The check needs to be done as soon as the problem shows its head. Good time to get burned, so take precautions.

--------------------
Good Luck Dan

96 SE 2.5 V-6
89 Silverado 4 x 4 with snow plow no rust

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Tony2005
Addicted CEG'er

Reged: 06/19/05
Posts: 5345
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1238586 (Re: Jimboh) 05/14/06 06:06 PM

Welcome Jimboh. . Mileage, auto or manual, V6 or I4 and what model year?

--------------------
"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles


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Jimboh
Newbie

Reged: 05/14/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1238641 (Re: Tony2005) 05/14/06 07:59 PM

1995 Mercury Mystique, 2.5 V6 ATX, original owner (100,000 miles) - long time reader first time poster

I like the idea of the coil, and have experienced this problem on older vehicles with a single coil. I think this vehicle has three coil packs and could it be possible for all three to fail or fault at the same time? I can do a spark test next time it dies, but the problem seems like a sensor / fuel or fuel delivery problem.

Work I have done recently (thanks to this forum) in an attempt to fix the problem:

check for vaccum leaks with carb cleaner (none that I could find), replace spark plugs OEM, replace fuel filter, TB EGR passage cleaning, IAC cleaning (idle was always fine though), Test IAT sensor - tested fine, Replace ETC sensor (the one I pulled tested fine but replaced anyway), Replace PCV valve (check rubber hose - ok)


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todras
I have no life

Reged: 05/29/00
Posts: 21197
Loc: Grand Rapids, MI
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1239039 (Re: Jimboh) 05/15/06 12:53 PM

Did you put in Bosch +4's?!!!!!!!!! That's your issue. Get those things out of there. Get some Autolite APP764's or some Champions. Plugs need to be double plats. IMO the only reason the Duratec misfires is poor plugs and wires. It might like one brand and not another. Seems to be touchy to certain combinations.

--------------------
-'96 SE MTX 3L
-'98 SVT 1,173 of 6,535
-'05 Mazda 6s, loaded, g/f's ride
-Need a 96-00 manual on CD? PM or email me


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Contour_dave
New CEG'er

Reged: 10/25/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Shawnee, Ks
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1248186 (Re: todras) 05/29/06 11:41 PM

Well, like I said, changed plugs, wires, some temperature sensor this winter that made it the engine race when you started it in reall cold wheter, an intake manifold gasket, the fuel rail pressure sensor. It runs like a champ until the outside air temp gets to about 75-80F. Then it just will run for awile and then die. Operating temp doesn't seem to matter in that as long as the outside air temp is cool, it will run forever and not miss a beat. Tried to get a fuel pressure test gauge on it tonight to check the fuel pump, but isn't that a great angle, crap that is frustrating, dropped the schrader fitting into a crack that is unreachable so had to order another.

--------------------
Better to ask a question and be THOUGHT a fool for 5 minutes than to never ask and BE a fool for life.

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Tony2005
Addicted CEG'er

Reged: 06/19/05
Posts: 5345
Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1248228 (Re: Contour_dave) 05/30/06 01:29 AM

Originally posted by Contour_dave:
... It runs like a champ until the outside air temp gets to about 75-80F. Then it just will run for awile and then die. Operating temp doesn't seem to matter in that as long as the outside air temp is cool, it will run forever and not miss a beat. ...




Originally posted by Tony2005:
Originally posted by Contour_dave:
... Would plugged exhaust (cat/pre-cat) cause the symptoms to become noticeably worse in warm weather?





No. If it weather related, most probably a vacuum leak or Intake Air Temperature sensor problem.




Originally posted by Tony2005:
Originally posted by Contour_dave:
... How do you test the temperature sensor...any quick and easy ways?

Thanks




http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?ForwardPage=/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/1b/ca/f8/0900823d801bcaf8.jsp

According to Haynes, at 38 F, the resistance should be 35 to 40 K-ohms, at 182 F (1.9 to 2.5 K-ohms) and 218 F (1.0 to 1.3 K-ohms).

And since the PCM uses both the MAF and IAT to determine the amount of fuel to achieve the ideal air/fuel mixture ratio, you might as well clean the MAF sensor while you are at it.

MAF sensor
http://www.contour.org/mods/mods.php?s=howto&displayid=36
and
http://www.contour.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=zetecmaint&Number=989728&page=&view=&sb=5&o=&fpart=1&vc=1
and
http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?ForwardPage=/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/1b/cb/25/0900823d801bcb25.jsp





Check/change the Intake Air Temperature sensor and Mass Air Flow sensor.

--------------------
"Always do the cheap and easy ones first."

1996 V6 ATX 96K miles


Edited by Tony2005 (05/30/06 01:33 AM)

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Jimboh
Newbie

Reged: 05/14/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: Missing, sputtering, dying, CEL flashing new
#1305583 (Re: Tony2005) 08/24/06 03:57 AM

My problem turned out to be the fuel pump. Pressure was low, only 20 psi. Should be 35 - 40 psi I am told. For some reason this caused only sporadic issues. All better now.

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