97 Ford Contour Sport Stalling Out


Old 03-04-10, 08:01 AM
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97 Ford Contour Sport Stalling Out

Hello... I have a 97 Ford Contour Sport. Last night while driving, I drove about 40 miles... while entering a small town and slowing down, my car stalled. After letting it sit about 45 mins, it started up and I could drive a little further. Then it would stall out again. It did this the remander of the night. I could drive, then it would either stall while driving, or when slowing down to make turns or stop. It's not overheating in the coolant department. Boyfriend was thinking IGNITION MODULE. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much in advance.
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Old 03-04-10, 08:16 AM
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Also, there are times that when I go to stop to make a turn, I get a loud HUM like sound. Thought it was my power steering.... last night before it stalled, it made the Hum noise a few times, but not always. Before the stalling last night, my car would make the hum noise when stopping or slowing or even just driving, but no stalling accured. Doesn't constantly make the noise. Hard to pinpoint.
Old 03-05-10, 01:38 AM
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check your fuel pump and fuel filter, your stalling may be caused by a failed fuel pump.
Old 03-05-10, 02:17 AM
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On board with MD sounds like a fuel issue to me. Start with the fuel filter and pump relay first(cheap and easy to replace)espec. if it is accompanied with slight back fires when it stalls out.This may solve it if the filter isn't too restricted and damaged the pump.
Old 03-05-10, 09:34 AM
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I had the fuel filter changed a couple months ago along with the spark plugs and wires. If it's the fuel pump, or filter, how I am able to drive any amount of miles, before it stalls? Like I stated, I drove it the other night about 35-40 miles, it stalled, sat for a bit, then drove another 10 miles, sat a bit and drove a little more. Letting it sit for a longer amount of time, and I drive farther. In my understanding, you need fuel to go, so how can I go at all, if it's the pump? I am trying to learn and understand all this as I go.... I'll admit, I don't know too awful much about cars... but I try to learn all i can. I am woman, hear me roar. lol
Old 03-05-10, 09:41 AM
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Also, there is no backfire when it stalls.... I can eitgher be driving along or slowing down to stop or make turns and it just cuts out.... no warning, no nothing. Just loses power. Try and start it and it wants to start, but no go, until you let it sit.
Old 03-05-10, 10:24 AM
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I had a similar problem with a truck I had....
For just no reason it would sometimes lose power. City street, highway, exit ramps turning a corner, seemed completely random....was driving me crazy. It would always start right back up in a few minutes (if it died completely)...or would just regain power as the driving dynamic changed. It could go days w/o issue..or happen several times in one drive.

Finally..one rainy dark night..it died on me and wouldn't restart..so an $80 tow later I got it home. Next day I said THATS IT, I'm gonna find the problem....well I did. Stupid coil connector was just hanging off. Snapped it firmly back on, made sure clips engaged..and never had another problem.

Now...the coil was located towards the lower front of the engine on mine and the electrical connector was on the bottom..and just not something that I ever touched...how the heck it came loose I'll never know.

Wondering...what engine is in yours? I guess the sport has the 6?

I'd say thats a simple check next time it stalls...check for spark....

Just some thoughts....
Old 03-05-10, 10:32 AM
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Yes, my engine is a 6. At least yours would start back up with a far amount of time... mine has to sit for 30 mins PLUS, before it decides to start.
Old 03-05-10, 10:48 AM
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Your problem could be in the fuel pump. They often just quit, but I've had them go a slow death. Anything with windings can go like you're describing. It may simply be running until it heats up, quits, cools down and works a while longer. The pump wouldn't have a code with it, but a fuel pressure check when it quits would point you in the right direction = pump/filter/supply line/ or regulator.

It can also be in some of the other ignition stuff for the same reason, though. Those parts usually will set a code that you can pull or have pulled at say Autozone (free scan). Common failures are in the coil/coils or the ignition module (as your friend suggested).

I wouldn't throw parts at until you have a diagnosis of some sort on it, though. Those can be expensive.
Old 03-05-10, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelster91568 View Post
If it's the fuel pump, or filter, how I am able to drive any amount of miles, before it stalls?
Well, it can, like others have been saying. They are electrical, in the tank these days, compared to mechanical driven ones that were bolted to the engine years ago.

Take it from me. When my electric fuel pump went out, it did the very thing marbobj said. I could go for a number of miles, then it quit. There I'd sit for 20 minutes, then it start up and go again. This did this repeatedly until one day it did it repeatedly, and I was lucky to make it to the mechanic without a tow. He changed out the fuel pump and that solved it.

But a mechanic needs to test and be sure about this, because changing out electric fuel pumps in the gas tank is many hundreds of dollars.

I have yet to have a vehicle with a crankshaft positioning sensor. From my understanding, when they start to go, you can drive somewhere and shut off the key, go in, come right back out, and then it won't start (with the engine still hot). But then if the car sits like 20 minutes and cools down, it will fire up agian. Now whether they also have a habit of causing the car to shut off while driving, I'm not sure. You'd think it could though.

What somebody needs to do, is when it shuts off, to quickly go under the hood, and when someone cranks the car, see if it gets spark at the plugs, to find out if it is electrical or gas related. Of course, this is only a valid test if the car does not start right up after the test. Otherwise if it starts, you won't learn anything.
Old 03-05-10, 06:44 PM
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This could be *anything*!

So best to find out in general what the problem is. When it will not start...

Check the basics, Fuel, Spark, Air.

Fuel: While someone is turning the key to start, have someone else spray starting fluid into the throttle body. If you get a response, then this is a fuel problem.

Spark: Remove a spark plug and place the side screw portion against a piece of body metal or engine metal (grounded to battery negative/ground). Then watch as someone turns the key to start. See if there is spark. Advanced spark testing is to use a spark testing tool which would typically have a gap of .25 inch. You should see a crisp blue spark. This is a larger gap than a spark plug and tests that the coil is producing a high enough voltage. (Good spark as opposed to weak spark.)

Air: Slightly press on the accelerator while trying to start. Normally the throttle is completely closed and the IAC (Idle Air Control) valve adjusts to admit air into the engine. By pressing slightly on the accelerator, you are bypassing the IAC valve and allowing air to enter the engine.

Combination test: While someone slightly presses on the accelerator and turns the key to start, have someone else spray starting fluid into the throttle body.

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