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Thread: Car trouble

  1. #1

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    Unhappy Car trouble

    Need some help guys.

    My 1994 mercury capri has decided it likes to mess with me. Car has 114k on it.

    What has been done?

    Fuel filter
    spark plugs
    injection cleaner
    radiator flush
    oil change

    What is going on?

    I could be at idel or cruising or accelerating. At any random time my car will jerk back as if miss fired or something else and the check engine light will come on. However the check engine light no sooner comes on than goes out. Once in a while it will stay on but the car will be running fine during that time which is usually like 10 seconds or so.

    Any ideas what to check, replace?

    I have checked the charge pack for the spark and dis cap seems to be almost new.
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  2. #2

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    Is 1994 too old to have an OBD port where you can read WHY the check engine light is coming on? Seems like that's the first step you should take if so.
    If you will it, dude, it is no dream.

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    Even if the check engine light goes out, you can get the error code(s) from the computer. Just take it to a mechanic, or go to your auto parts store. Either can pull the code(s) from the computer to help you figure out what's happening.

    Although a little googling indicated that one guy who had a similar problem and replaced pretty much the same stuff ended up finding out he had a bad ignition switch.
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  4. #4

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    The light will not stay on long enough to get a code and yes it has one. Unless I am missing something, I thought they could only read a code if the light was on.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by quadzilla View Post
    Even if the check engine light goes out, you can get the error code(s) from the computer. Just take it to a mechanic, or go to your auto parts store. Either can pull the code(s) from the computer to help you figure out what's happening.

    Although a little googling indicated that one guy who had a similar problem and replaced pretty much the same stuff ended up finding out he had a bad ignition switch.
    Thank you for clarifying that. I have google with things like :mercury capri flickering check engine light or mercury capri jerking.
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  6. #6

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    Modern cars you can get the code whether the light is on or off. '94 is... not quite modern :)
    If you will it, dude, it is no dream.

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    94 is new enough that the computer will store the fault code for about 20 starts.
    Are you part of the dirty digital peasants or a member of the great Analog Master Race?

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    Did you replace the spark plug wires as well?

    Is the coil ok?

    Compression test?

    Also, pull out and inspect your plugs. Make sure the gap is still the same as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by quadzilla View Post
    94 is new enough that the computer will store the fault code for about 20 starts.
    I don't know about that. I have a 98' Mazda that has the check engine light come on occasionally. If the lights on, I can read the codes, when it goes out none show up at all.

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    Fuel pump?
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

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    Does the car turn over but not start every once in a while? Especially after turning the ignition switch off and then trying to start the car again soon after shutting it off? Also, if it does this, does the check engine light come on when this (above) occurs and then if you leave the ignition in the "on" but not try to actually start the car until after the check engine light goes off? Or does the check engine light only come on while driving? Or both? I had a similar problem with the symptoms I described above on my Honda CRX and it was a bad ignition switch. As quadzilla explained, take it to a mechanic or to an auto parts store and they should be able to get the error code stored in the computer after the check engine light comes on. It is stored in the computer even after the check engine light turns off, so it does not have to be on when the mechanic or auto parts store guy tries to read the code. Hope this helps.

    Greg

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    post #11 by SOONU111 reported as spam
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    Quote Originally Posted by kawizx9r View Post
    Did you replace the spark plug wires as well?

    Is the coil ok?

    Compression test?

    Also, pull out and inspect your plugs. Make sure the gap is still the same as well.
    No just the spark plugs as the wires and dis cap were in good condition.

    Quote Originally Posted by headrott View Post
    Does the car turn over but not start every once in a while? Especially after turning the ignition switch off and then trying to start the car again soon after shutting it off? Also, if it does this, does the check engine light come on when this (above) occurs and then if you leave the ignition in the "on" but not try to actually start the car until after the check engine light goes off? Or does the check engine light only come on while driving? Or both? I had a similar problem with the symptoms I described above on my Honda CRX and it was a bad ignition switch. As quadzilla explained, take it to a mechanic or to an auto parts store and they should be able to get the error code stored in the computer after the check engine light comes on. It is stored in the computer even after the check engine light turns off, so it does not have to be on when the mechanic or auto parts store guy tries to read the code. Hope this helps.

    Greg
    No car starts right up first try. I have tried jiggling the keys when driving to see if anything happens nothing. So it is further away like ignition system I am thinking.
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    Hmm.... Not knowing this car but... If this car as a MAF sensor try cleaning it. Or my thinking a dirty / bad TPS.

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    OBD II cars store information..............1994 is too early for OBD II computers. OBD II stands for On Board Diagnostics.

    OBD I cars usually don't store the info, or if they do it's for a short time, IIRC. Maybe John will chime in.

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    Strange that the check engine light would come on immediately when the problem occurs, and then go back out immediately. Usually, the computer monitors a misfire condition for a little while before setting the misfire code. Then, if you resolve the misfire, it will clear itself after some smooth driving.

    Therefore, I'd also lean towards an ignition switch (with the limited information we have). When the engine stops running, the check engine light will immediately come on because the key is on but no firing. As soon as the firing resumes, there's no longer a "check engine" condition.

    But then, I'm no expert... and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    Edit- Just thought of something.... it could also be a faulty sensor telling the engine computer that the engine is no longer turning over (which would kill spark to the engine completely). Cam/Crank position sensor failing?
    Ludicrous gibs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WilliamM2 View Post
    I don't know about that. I have a 98' Mazda that has the check engine light come on occasionally. If the lights on, I can read the codes, when it goes out none show up at all.
    Interesting. My 93 Ford stores it, and my mechanic told me that most cars after about 90 will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by quadzilla View Post
    Interesting. My 93 Ford stores it, and my mechanic told me that most cars after about 90 will.
    Depends on manufacturer and which computer type they use.

    On know for most Volkswagens OBD II wasn't available until 1995 or 1996.

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    OBDI is a bit more crude.
    http://www.extreme-check-engine-ligh...%20Decoder.htm

    This is a way to read them. Other than that, do a general look around for any
    loose or corroded connections.
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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Depends on manufacturer and which computer type they use.

    On know for most Volkswagens OBD II wasn't available until 1995 or 1996.

    H9
    VW OBDII was introduced late 1995.

    I would see if you can get a code off the car. I would guess that you are feeling a timing problem. Had something similar in a Jimmy. Ended up being the Distributor cap and or wires.

    Just cause wires look OK doesn't mean they aren't getting brittle or corroded.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nadams View Post
    Strange that the check engine light would come on immediately when the problem occurs, and then go back out immediately. Usually, the computer monitors a misfire condition for a little while before setting the misfire code. Then, if you resolve the misfire, it will clear itself after some smooth driving.

    Therefore, I'd also lean towards an ignition switch (with the limited information we have). When the engine stops running, the check engine light will immediately come on because the key is on but no firing. As soon as the firing resumes, there's no longer a "check engine" condition.

    But then, I'm no expert... and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    Edit- Just thought of something.... it could also be a faulty sensor telling the engine computer that the engine is no longer turning over (which would kill spark to the engine completely). Cam/Crank position sensor failing?

    That is the thing though, the car is still running just jerks and once in a while the light will stay on for about 10 seconds or more and the car will be driving fine during that time. So I can not see it being the ignition switch.
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  22. #22

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    Ordered a new ignition coil today and will install it tonight see if that helps.
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  23. #23

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    If you haven't pulled the code, why not?
    It may be meaningless, or it might pinpoint the problem.
    Or throw a bunch of parts at it and hope for the best.
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    Ignition modules are known for issues on the old Fords.
    Some are mounted on the distributor and some on the firewall.
    There is a special grease that goes on the backside as well, a heat sink white grease.
    Comes with the part.
    If it is winter time, and they are failing, you are in NJ so maybe cold still, I put snow on the module, as they usually act up warm, but can really act up anytime.
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    should look similar to this and cost 30 - 60, it has been awhile since I owned a Ford.
    No offense.
    https://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/C...7SB_0167709061
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    If the module is OE (original equipment), just change it.
    It is overdue anyway.
    Hope this helps.
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  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimKellyfan View Post
    should look similar to this and cost 30 - 60, it has been awhile since I owned a Ford.
    No offense.
    https://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/C...7SB_0167709061

    I will try that.

    The coil did not seem to fix the problem. Once again car ran fine for almost a half hour than acted up for about 5 seconds than was fine again on the way home.


    Quote Originally Posted by sucks2beme View Post
    If you haven't pulled the code, why not?
    It may be meaningless, or it might pinpoint the problem.
    Or throw a bunch of parts at it and hope for the best.

    Because they can NOT pull the code if the light is not on. I tried to get it today when I picked up my part. The light was not on and the code puller did not get anything.
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    They have a scan tool that goes on sale every now and then made from Innova / Equus. I have the Craftsman branded version that does OBD I and OBD II, it is on sale for 299, but occasionally goes for 250 or I got mine for 199.99. Online cheaper yet.
    Here is a link:
    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...6376757cabdab1
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  29. #29

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    Yeah those modules are definitely known for intermittent problems. Is yours OE ?
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  30. #30

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    Yeah 140 on Amazon for the same one I bought. Free updates online too. Nice tool.
    http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CHoQ8wIwAw#
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    Sony STR-K665P 5.1 setup

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