Engine cutting out when out of the throttle?


Asked by Apr 06, 2011 at 07:40 PM about the 1998 Ford Contour SVT 4 Dr STD Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1998 SVT.  When I first got it (135,000 miles), it would die when I hit big bumps until it finally left me sitting and would not start.  I did research a found out about the wiring problem Ford had on these cars.  I had a lot of bad wiring replaced and it running again.  Now it cuts out every now and then when I'm at an even rmp or letting off the gas but quits when I give it the gas.  I can't pin point when this is happening and it may go a week and not miss a beat and then start it again for a couple of days.  I describe it as it like it's choking itself whenever it happens.  Frustrating!!!  When it's not doing it, it runs awesome.  Also, another question is in second gear it seams to kick into a whole new level of power at 4K RPMS.  What causes this and is that stock or has someone added a chip or something?  Appreciate any help!!!  Thanks!

11 Answers

first check the ground wires.like you said this car had its share of problems,do u have a ses light on,or check engine,from your 2nd question sounds like a cloged fuel filter,bad injector,when u drop into a lower gear it picks up,which sounds like a fuel problem.

2 people found this helpful.

I'm not a mechanic. Where are the ground wires all located? Anything else I should check before I start replacing stuff? Thanks!

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main ground is located on firewall to back of head or block(engine).does it hace a check engine or service engine light on,if not dont go throwing parts on it.change the fuel filter run a can of seafome fuel injector cleaner in a tank of gas,see how it does.if ses lights are on autozone will scan it for free,then you will know what part is bad.


Ground wire check out. However in my search I discover that my SVT has (4) addtional pos wires that come from the distribution box located next to the battery going to a bracket attached to the pos side of the battery. All (4) of those wire are exposed and brittle. The insulation is almost gone and they seem to have some corrosion. Does anyone feel this could be my problem?

very well could be,it is loosing it conection on bumps replace them you should be ok.as long as the dis box is fried.then it will have to be replaced also.


Ok folks here is my story on my SVT. When I went to replace the four power wire from the distribution/fuse box to the battery, I discovered a nightmare. Several wires underneat the box were bare and turning a greenish corrosion color. One wire was actually broken which I discovered it was to my ABS. I've always had the ABS light on the dash, and now it is off once I reconnected it. The bottom of the box is actually exposed to the elements which that combined with the factory defects that we all know about explains my findings a little more clearly. Also, I was noticing a perfromance change when I would have the A/C or the defrost on. This problem is also fixed after replacing the bad power wires. There were a few other wires that needed attention but I think once you start doing that it will lead to who knows where. I did my best to protect them and to make sure no bare wire were touching each other and put it all back together. Again, time will tell if this was the root of my cutting out problem however it sure had to help. Getting the ABS light off and fixing the power loss when the AC/defrost is on was two major wins! Just thought I would share in case anyone else is experiencing these types of problems. Thanks for all the advise!

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glad you got the problem fixed,as long as you used black elertrictil tape and taped them all up good you should not have any more problems. I do have one question,where you found the bad wires,was it under the battery box or holder.

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I first noticed the ends of the (4) power wire that connect to the battery were practically just bare wires. They go under the battery into the distribution/fuse box between the battery and the left fender. The mess was under the distribution box where all the wires go in. On my car, there was about 3-4 inches of open wires (not taped or protected) that is exposed. They really needed to have like a boot or something that connects to the box in order to fully protect the wires. But we know Ford took the cheap route on these cars. There is a removeable cover on the bottom that gives some protection, but I found most of the damaged wires between that cover and where the tape begins. Of course somebody could have been working on the same problem and just didn't wrap them back up. Thanks

this is true,just check 1 thimg,is the battery leaking or wet in battery holder,after time a battery will rub the smallest hole in it and leak just a small drop after time it builds up in battery tray and drips down on wires corodeing them.just a though.

1 people found this helpful.

No Battery leak. I believe I conquered the cutting out problem. However it still sometimes dies either when I stop or just for no reason going down the road. It still cuts out a little if I hit a big enough bump which could be anything. Where do I look to get it to quit dying? Keep in mind it's not consistant. May die 4-5 times in a single day, or ZERO!

Hello chris...was having the exact same issue. Got stranded after going over railroad tracks and knew it had to be a shortage somewhere. hopefully you have your "kill bumps" issue figured out, but if not, u may want to look under the hood... passenger side rear to the left of engine for 3 wire connectors plugged into 3 sets of wires close to firewall to the right and slightly rear of coolant resevoir.. 2 like to touch and actually have a clip to slide them together I dont know about the other but I moved it away from the other two and my car has not hesitated cut out or off since..

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