Bad Fuel Injector(s)?

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  #1  
Old 01-09-12, 10:01 AM
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Bad Fuel Injector(s)?

Hello,

I have a 1991 Mercury Topaz, and it's been having a lot of problems lately.

The symptoms:

1. Hard starting: the car will try to start, but with no response. The only way to get a response and a chance for it to start is my pressing the gas all the way down. Then, it starts a little bit, then going back to trying. Lately when I manage to get it started, with the gas petal being completely smashed, it was barely start up as if it's getting barley any gas, then it will fire on all cylinders.

2. Dying: When the car is idling or slowing down to a stop, it will die instantly. Hardly any spits or sputters, just dead. Sometimes I'm able to start right back up, other times, look at the first symptom.

3. The car will start up fine when it's cold, sometimes I need to give it a little gas to help it, but for the most part it starts up fine. When it's been running though, that's when the symptoms start to happen.

4. Uneven idling.

5. Surging.

Efforts to fix it:

1. Fuel pump has been replace. The old one was shot, holding only 1lb of pressure.

2. Fuel presser regulator has been replaced. Was letting fuel into vacuum lines, needed to be replaced.

3. Throttle Positioning Sensor has been replaced. We figured that because of the uneven idling, the sensor was bad.

4. New plugs.

5. Distributor has been replaced. The old one was on it's way out.

6. Ignition module has been replaced. It failed testing at Auto Zone, so we got a new one.

7. Condenser/compasator has been replaced. When the hard starting came up, we found that if we wiggled the old condenser wire around, it would start up.

So, even after all of the parts, work, and money that has been put into this stubborn car, it STILL dies and starts hard. The ONLY thing left that I can think of is: fuel injectors.

I plan to clean the injectors, see if that helps, if not, replace them. Any advice, ideas, help?

Thanks,

David
 
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  #2  
Old 01-10-12, 05:44 PM
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I know of a nice steep hill in the area, where you can put it at the top and let it roll down. road ends in deep mountain river.

anyhow. it does sound like leaking injector(-s), as it might as well be CFI engine, had one of those. judging from starting it as if it's flooded.
otherwise, it sounds like a bunch of other problems too.
also, it sounds like ECM is going south, resulting in all the above mentioned.
so, you want to know where that hill is? I mean - I know it's sentimental value, but it appears to have so many problems and so little value left in it that it's not worth fixing.
 
  #3  
Old 01-11-12, 11:49 AM
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Yeah... The car is getting to the point that a nice hill would be perfect. Since I don't have the resources to clean the sensors myself, I took it to a technician. He said he doesn't believe it's dirty injectors (though I know that the car needs them clean anyway), but it could be a MAP sensor. Apparently he tested it, and the data it was sending was out of whack. That could explain the random dying, rough idle, etc.

If this car doesn't get fixed soon, and at a decent price, that hill is in its near future.
 
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Old 01-11-12, 06:11 PM
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yes sir. any time. many wracks are down at the bottom. I don't think MAF will do rendom misfires and such. It's simply hard to start with bad MAF.
why don't you pull out a plug or 2 and smell them for gas or being generally damp? damp plug will give you misfire awright.
 
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Old 01-12-12, 10:58 AM
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The plugs have been checked, and had to be replaced because they were fouled. The gas was too rich.

I got a new MAP sensor, but before I install it, I replaced the hose the connects the sensor to the intake manifold to check if the hose might have been leaking (and also I can't return the sensor if I install it, so I'd rather buy a $1 hose and fix the problem rather than a $50 sensor).

The car has been running better since then, but it's only been a day. I let the car sitting running for about 10 min, giving it plenty of time to die (which it would normally do), but it kept running at a steady idle instead of the uneven idling that it has been doing. Then I drove it around Kansas City, giving it many chances to die, but it didn't. It hasn't started hard what so ever compared to what it used to do (one time it took 20 mins to start it).

So in a nut shell, it has been running that is should ever since I replaced that hose. Has it fixed the problem? Maybe. I'm going to drive the car with the new hose for a few days, and if the car runs fine, I won't install the sensor.
 
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Old 01-12-12, 05:42 PM
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The plugs have been checked, and had to be replaced because they were fouled. The gas was too rich.

I am not clear if you had them fouled and replaced now or yrs ago. but that's your culprit, if now.
next time, simply burn them white, the electrodes, with propane torch. instead of buying new ones. then again, plugs are so cheap nowadays..
you could have had loose hose or cracked hose, that will feed too much air into the system, causing O2 sensor to respond and run engine rich. possible.
 
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Old 01-12-12, 10:16 PM
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The plugs have recently (as in a week) been replaced, caused by the poorly running engine burning too rich of gas. If the problem was a cracked hose, oh man.... That would be frustratingly happy news; replacing so many parts to fix the problem, while the whole time it was a little hose. Still, most of those parts had to be replaced anyway (poor fuel pump was providing only 1lb worth of pressure haha).
I'll just be happy if it fixes it.
 
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Old 01-13-12, 12:49 PM
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don't forget to run 1 can of Seafoam per tankful, 2 next tanks. THAT will help a lot.
 
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Old 01-13-12, 11:21 PM
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Seafood huh? Where can I find it? I'm sure the old thing needs something like that, bet it'll clean a lot of things up.
 
  #10  
Old 01-14-12, 05:44 AM
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Sea FOAM not food....lol. Most any autoparts store chain should have it. I think WalMart carries it as well.
 
  #11  
Old 01-14-12, 11:17 AM
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Lol I didn't realize I said food, that's pretty funny. I just installed the new MAP sensor, and the car still died when I got home. This time though, instead of the "instant" dying it usually does, it struggled. The RPMs cut out by half, normalized, then spit and sputtered until off. That is an improvement of what it normally is, but still bad.

I've noticed that the car shows it's symptoms when it has been drove around for awhile, like driving on a highway for about 20 mins then going into street traffic. I ran the car the other day in street traffic and it performed well, but once I got on the highway and drove awhile, then stopped at a stop light, that's when it died yet again.

I have no idea of what it could be. I just did a little research, and could it be a bad crack sensor? From the internet (which is no guarantee that the info is correct), some of the symptoms are hard starting, poor performance, and stalling. Possibility?
 
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Old 01-14-12, 11:19 AM
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yes, Wallie has it now. also, you will need a narrow funnel, as as good as that product is, it is very hard to pour into gas tanks, as it's simple aluminum bottle with very short twist off neck, and it is impossible to pour it into downward pointing tank filler hole.
also, make sure you flush it into tank with gas, so pour it in first, THEN fill tank.
 
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Old 01-15-12, 11:02 PM
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SeaFoam is in the tank... Now the test begins.
 
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Old 01-16-12, 01:07 PM
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So far the car has been running without a problem, still doesn't mean that the SeaFoam was the solution. I also didn't realize that a transmission fluid change is expensive for what it is. I would do it myself, but in the apartment complex I am in they don't allow those types of things, and also I don't have the right tools for it. For a basic drop the pan, change filter job, over $60? Wow.
 
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Old 01-16-12, 01:27 PM
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That doesn't sound like a bad price to me. Parts, labor, admin/paperwork time. Shoot...not a whole lot that involves tools and a lift can be done for less than $50 anymore. Heck, I've seen tire rotations run almost $30 in some places. That's just 20 lugs on and off.
 
  #16  
Old 01-16-12, 07:21 PM
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I'm just not use to paying others to work on my car. I moved to the city for college, so I don't have my usual work area and tools to do most of the work.

The car did a little bit of spit and spurting when it was in park today, but it didn't die. Perhaps the SeaFoam is work? Even if it helping, I'm not sure it's the solution. The car I noticed would shudder just slightly here and there, as if it had bad timing or the spark plugs where bad and not sparking right. Could it be a faulty crank sensor? I know the crank sensor watches the speed of the crankshaft, letting the computer know when to correctly fire the plugs. It could explain of the uneven idling, dying, hard starting for sure. Opinions?
 
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Old 01-16-12, 09:00 PM
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Just got in contact with a good friend and master mechanic... He has this source that, if all else fails, he can contact them and they give him an solution that is almost always correct. His suggestions:

1. Bad DPFE Sensor. Try unplugging it and see how the car performs.

2. Make an addition ground wire connecting the engine to the body.

3. From his experience with Fords, problems like mine would often have a bad air intake temp sensor.

I don't know if they'll work, but some of these are good tests and easy to do.
 
  #18  
Old 01-17-12, 06:09 PM
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of course it's not. I am just stupid to keep using it in various applications. but, to share my madness, maybe still do 2nd can of Seafoam? also, they have thing called Transtune.
So, in the last 2 weeks, I have greatly silenced my Vortec V8 on cold start ups - yes, Seafoam, and unstuck my wife's Lexus RX300 trannie(yes, sorry, we still own that one), stopping very long 1st to 2nd gear shifts on cold ATF - with yes, Transtune.
 
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Old 01-18-12, 11:37 AM
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Perhaps your madness may work, then again, trusted Seafoam may not be the solution. Transtune could be a good idea also, but I'm starting to think that the problem isn't related to dirty hardware. How can a car start up five times in a row, letting it rest after a trip for 10 mins, but on the 6th time under the same conditions it doesn't start to the point where the battery dies? That, to me, seems to be electrical, a sensor of sorts. If it was a hardware problem it should have some rhyme and reason to its madness, not being random. You don't see a bad water pump work great for days, then overheat your car one day and then work the next day, or your alternator doesn't charge for you one day but charges the next. Once a hardware quits, or begins to quit, it'll show a slow or immediate pattern.

Sensors or electrical problems on the other hand ARE random. It could simply be a loose wire that is wiggling around and causing things to go wrong, or because the sensor/electrical part is starting to die, it will still perform, but partially. It'll try to work for you, giving you sometimes good results, but it fails because of its condition. Hardware will either go out immediately, or give you a nice steady decline in performance. Electrical, not so much.

I believe the SeaFoam was a great investment, and I will add another can, but I believe that a can of cleaner will not fix the problems that this car has. It's too complicated and extreme for a cleaner to completely fix.
 
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Old 01-18-12, 06:59 PM
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sure thing. won't hurt to have fuel system injectors, and the rest of cleaned, right?
we had 94 Eclipse that did not like damp weather. after rain, it'll go nuts. at will. intermittent starts. no pattern. we sold it as is, and 6 mths down the road, I got email from new owner who told me that it won't start, for several mths after sale, then one day, it started, and worked ever after. He said he did no repairs to it.
so yeah, gremlins residing in electrical wires...
 
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Old 01-18-12, 08:47 PM
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My first car had MANY gremlins in the wires.. It ran decently, but weird things would happen that I couldn't understand. This may be one of those cases now with my present car that there is a strange, hard to find gremlin that is causing the ruckus. Hopefully I will find it, and end this madness.
 
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Old 01-23-12, 06:34 PM
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Took the car to a mechanic...

He found a vault code saying that a tax signal to the RPM gauge was being interrupted (I knew that already). He fixed a loose wire that effected the RPM gauge, a vacuum hose along the intake manifold, and replaced the coolant sensor. He MAY have fixed it.

First impressions: the car has run smoother, quieter, has no problem starting or dying, and the RPM gauge is more steady. This is only from first impressions though, I'm going to give the car a week before I declare it fixed or not.
 
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Old 01-28-12, 10:21 AM
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The car is fixed, because of the technician. I honestly believe it might have been that vacuum line he replaced.. At least it's fixed now. FINALLY.
 
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Old 01-28-12, 04:15 PM
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Excellent !! Thanks for posting the follow-up.
 
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Old 01-29-12, 03:09 PM
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keep the tech. priceless.
 
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Old 01-29-12, 03:12 PM
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oh, and btw - Seafoam simply took its effect.
 
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Old 01-30-12, 01:40 PM
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Haha trust me Seafoam has found its way into my heart, and I am VERY happy I finally found a tech that I can trust, and can fix those tricky problems. There is no cliff in my cars future!
 
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