Three prob­lems

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Help! -

I have three prob­lems with my 1996 Ford Scor­pio Ul­tima 2.3. If you can help with any one I would be very grate­ful. The first started 12 months ago. I was on my way back from Spain with a car­a­van and I had stopped for the night. When I pulled away next morn­ing, the car started OK but didn’t want to ac­cel­er­ate, al­though it wasn’t mis­fir­ing. Af­ter about 50-100 yards, it sud­denly started driv­ing nor­mally. I thought it might be dirt in the petrol as it didn’t re­oc­cur for about nine months. Over the past three months, it has been hap­pen­ing more fre­quently. Some­times it might not hap­pen for a cou­ple of weeks, then it will hap­pen a cou­ple of morn­ings on the trot. When it hap­pens, it is al­ways first time I start it in the morn­ing and never af­ter it has been run­ning any­where, and it never plays up when driv­ing.

I had the fault codes read and the only one it showed was ‘TPS out of range’. I have re­placed this, and while it seems to have im­proved the ac­cel­er­a­tion, it has not cured the fault. I have also changed the en­gine coolant tem­per­a­ture sen­sor, to no avail.

The sec­ond prob­lem is with the tem­per­a­ture gauge, which started about a week ago af­ter re­plac­ing a hose. The gauge keeps fluc­tu­at­ing up and down from nor­mal tem­per­a­ture about halfway to cold and then back up to nor­mal. It was fine un­til I changed the hose. I have a new dis­play tem­per­a­ture sen­sor on or­der, but could there be any other fault caus­ing it? It al­ways shows cold when the en­gine is cold and I have shorted the plug out and the gauge went straight to the top (hot-red).

The third prob­lem oc­curred when I changed the sen­sor for the first prob­lem. The brass insert dropped out of the plas­tic man­i­fold. I have now fit­ted an­other man­i­fold, but what can I use to stick the brass insert back into the orig­i­nal as the plas­tic is not cracked and it would make a good spare? Geoff Har­ris The prob­lem you have first thing in the morn­ing may be re­lated to fuel pres­sure. If you’ve not al­ready done so, my first move would be to fit a new fuel fil­ter. As you have had the codes read you have hope­fully elim­i­nated one of the other com­mon prob­lems, which is a fail­ing fuel pump. This would nor­mally leave a code, as would a faulty fuel pres­sure reg­u­la­tor. How­ever, both these items are still pos­si­ble causes.

Since the tem­per­a­ture gauge read­ing prob­lem only oc­curred af­ter re­plac­ing a hose, I sus­pect that you have a small air­lock in the sys­tem; this could al­ter the read­ing as the air moves within the wa­ter jacket. I would try to elim­i­nate any air in the sys­tem by run­ning the en­gine at fast idle with the cool­ing sys­tem pres­sure cap re­moved. Al­low the en­gine to get fully up to tem­per­a­ture and run the en­gine at around 2000rpm for a short time. This should dis­lodge any air pock­ets.

Due to the pos­si­ble con­se­quences of sud­den loss of coolant if the brass insert was to come away from the plas­tic man­i­fold, I would not rec­om­mend try­ing any re­pair. The insert is moulded-in dur­ing pro­duc­tion and any at­tempt to bond it into po­si­tion might not with­stand the heat and pres­sure pro­duced.

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