Engine cutting out (Fuel starved maybe?)


Asked by Jul 05, 2007 at 04:41 PM about the 2000 Ford Contour SVT 4 Dr STD Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2000 Contour SVT. 84,000 Miles.  Sometimes the engine tries to cut out in the higher RPMs after the secondaries engage.  Used to be just in the upper RPMs when it had below 1/4 tank of gas (still had 3-5 gallons in the tank).  Now, it happens at any RPM, even with a full tank of gas, sometimes more often at low speeds, but not only while accelerating.  Was driving 35 down the road today and it started acting up, so I stuck the clutch in to coast down hill and it immediately died.  Restarted, and it was fine for the next mile or so until I got where I was going.  Then it started to do it again on the way home, so I stuck the clutch in, shut it off, and restarted and it was fine again, almost like it needs something reset each time.  No check engine light.  I have no clue what it is.  Electrical module, pump, pickup, PCV, etc.?  The car has set for the last 3 months with stabil in it.  I scanned it for codes, but the battery had been dead, so some of the sensors read "Not ready" but I've been told that could be because the battery was out.  I am going to change the plug, wires, fuel filter, and PCV valves, but I think that it is some sort of control module or the fuel pump.  Please help!

4 Answers


This vehicle is fuel-injected, not carbureted, so there are no "secondaries" to kick in. What may be happening is dirty or malfunctioning fuel injectors are causing a stumbling and loss of power, which would explain why it has gotten progressively worse. By causing a fuel starvation or an engine miss condition, the injectors could have initiated most of the problems you are having. Test them using a "noid light," and see if you are getting solid power to them and a response from them. A fuel pump is a possibility. Before you go that far, however, I would check your ignition wires, plugs, and cap or coil. With no check engine codes, it is unlikely to be a malfunctioning PCM, although it is entirely possible, I see that all the time in my work. Have you put new gas in it? The typical "service life" of pump gas is around 60 days, although Stabil does add some time to it, it is more likely to clog injectors, etc., as the gas sits in the tank and collects moisture from condensation and dirt from the inside of the tank itself.

2 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

First of all yes these cars have secondaries... the lower intake manifold has secondary butterflies which open up at varying RPM based on engine load. For wide-open-throttle (WOT) they open up at 3400RPM. However that wouldn't cause the car to die with little to no load. If you had a way to monitor fuel pressure that would give you a lot of information. I also would suggest checking your fuel injectors as the previous poster mentioned. Have you ever replaced the plugs, plug wires or PCV? These components should be replaced about ever 60,000 miles or so depending on every day use of the car. One other thing to look at is that gas that is sitting in your tank. It may very well be full of moisture. I would siphon it out and fill in with fresh 91+ octane fuel.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

These cars have a very bad problem with these vehicles doing this. It is your fuel pump. They make an updated Fuel pumps for these cars that will solve these issues. Also you could be haveing a problem with the vehicle speed sensor. Speed sensor would make it act weird while driving and make it cut out. If you have any other questions just send me a message and i willing to help you out.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I had the same problem with mine. I replaced my PCV, EGR, and IAC. I removed the upper and lower intake manifolds and cleaned out all the carbon deposits. Great How to article: http://www.contour.org/mods/mods.php? s=howto&displayid=17 . I also modified the EGR line running to the intake another good how to:http://www.contour.org/mods/mods.php?s=howto&displayid=34

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