1.9 HP engine,idles rough then cut's off

Asked by Nov 20, 2006 at 08:07 PM about the 1989 Ford Escort

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Already replaced the spark plugs,altenator,and battery.

11 Answers


Well your car is definitely producing the power needed. We know that the car starts but because the car cuts off means the power stops. Even though you replaced the battery make sure that it is fully charged. Also, the replaced alternator could be where the problem is because the car idles rough. This article discusses the alternator: http://www.misterfixit.com/alterntr.htm Here is an excerpt from it that could be helpful: "One last failure mode is of course noise. The rotor inside the alternator rotates on bearings, normally very high precision needle bearings, and these can fail. When they do you will hear a loud grinding noise associated with the alternator. To isolate the noise take a length of tubing, heater hose will do fine, put one end to your ear and move the other around in the vicinity of the alternator. The noise will be much louder when you point it at the alternator if that is the culprit. Other possibilities are the water pump and the power steering pump which are also driven by the engine belt. To further isolate the noise disconnect the drive belt and spin the alternator by hand. If you hear a rumble or grinding noise then the bearings are shot. If you don't hear a noise the problem may still be in the alternator since the bearing might be quiet without the loading of the drive belt tension. Check for side play in the pulley. If you are pretty certain the noise came from the alternator it is a relatively simple task to take it apart and visually inspect the bearings, else swap it in for a rebuilt. Your auto supply store will normally bench test the alternator free of charge and can tell you at that time if the bearings are noisy."

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Or you can check your vacuum lines and make sure there all connected and are not plugged

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

believe it or not this car needs the air cleaner properly torqued down. If the nuts are lose it will lose power but you may also have a plugged fuel filter or weak fuel pump. Buy a tank from a salvage yard, pumps are pricey but cheak NAPA or such. acmexman

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Check your fuel pump and ignition wires


Did you put your plug wires back on in the correct order when you changed the plugs? That would do it and mimic your earlier symptoms.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Check for a vacuum leak on the back side of the engine.Could be a hose or the intake itself.Leave the air cleaner on and take carb. cleaner and spray on the engine when it is running and see if it speeds up. IF IT DOES THERE IS A VACUUM LEAK.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Is there any way the timing for the engine got out of wack? if so it would make the engine run rough and even die


wow!! what ever you do stop buying parts.you need to at least try to diagnos .#1 good whitish blue spark,#2 proper fuel pressure #3 good compression. the idea with the carb cleaner is an old schooltrick that works every time(great suggestion tuff4x4!)by the way works great to check leaking egr valve too! your spending cash on stuff u dont need.i dont know what year this thing is ? fuel injected or carb. if its fuel inj. you got throttle position sencer ,mapsencer,possibly mass air flow sencer. on a carb you may just need a rebuild. but whatever you do dont spend another dime untill you check your basics. if ya need help with questions drop me a line

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

No matter what you decide, Marvel Mystery Oil once and a while helped me bring my 89 Escort to 301,726 miles! All these sugestions line right up with what I would check first. Espeacially the hoses and any rubber lines, in my expearience, they get broken and even knocked out of place easily during repairs and part replacements. Oh WOW! I just realize how old this post is, LOL, well, if you haven't figured it out by now, try the Mystery oil. :)


Check coolant temperature sender that is for the computer to read temp.not the dash coolant Guage. Computer might be getting wrong information about engine temp and screwing up fuel timing mixture.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Never mind, just noticed how old post us, hope you got it fixed.

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