2001 Ford Escort, hard to start and needs a lot of gas in 1st gear, fuel pump...

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Old 05-26-13, 02:50 AM
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Cool 2001 Ford Escort, hard to start and needs a lot of gas in 1st gear, fuel pump...

I have been driving a stick since I was 18, I'm now 35, so lots of experience. My father always believed that you needed to learn to drive a stick/manual, in order to know how to drive. Now that I'm older I have realized that this is true! Especially after I tore an automatic to pieces and had to junk a beautiful Nissan Maxima. Now I'm stuck driving an old 2001 Ford Escort, for four years. I have always been told that first gear is only to get rolling, and in all of my other cars (5 to be exact), this was true. But the first day I started driving this Escort, I tried to switch immediately to 2nd gear once I am rolling and I get the jerks, it is nearly impossible to get a smooth transition without giving this car a lot of gas. So in time, and now four years later, I have been giving it more gas in first. I've always believed this to be a problem, it didn't seem right to me after driving a stick for 13 years, and in several cars. I'm not talking 5 miles an hour, but normally once you can see the hood start to creep forward, I could make a smooth transition to 2nd. Not in this car. If you try that you will be hopping down the street in yoru transition to second, this car needs a good roll to get to 2nd. It was so different it took me a lot of getting used to. I should also mention this car does not start easily. Usually if I turn the key and listen to what I think is the fuel pump, and I have to turn it 3 or 4 times, used to be just 2 times, before starting. I have been told this may not be the pump but possibly a common problem in the 2001 Ford Escort Zx2 where the fuel is not coming up "high" enough on the first try. It's been four years and it still starts. Wondering if these problems could be related. Any help is appreciated.
 
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Old 05-26-13, 03:58 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Not all transmissions are geared the same. Trucks with a granny gear for 1st normally use 2nd gear for take off unless pulling a heavy load. Sounds like you need to stay in 1st gear a little bit longer. When to shift is determined by engine speed and the load you are putting on it.

Usually if I turn the key and listen to what I think is the fuel pump, and I have to turn it 3 or 4 times, used to be just 2 times, before starting
The fuel pump should engage as soon as you turn on the ignition. Do you mean you have to turn the key several times to get the fuel pump to come on? or that it takes several attempts of cranking before the engine starts?
 
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Old 05-26-13, 10:04 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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ctenay1,

What's the mileage on the car?

Has the clutch, pressure plate and thow out bearing been replaced recently?

Do a scan for error codes, and post any codes you find.

Confirm fuel pressure via a fuel pressure gauge. Best thing to do is to drive the car with the fuel gauge attached to the fuel rail. Drive at different speeds and engine loads while watching the gauge. If the gauge needle holds steady then fuel pressure is good. On the other hand, if you notice the gauge needle moving wildly, then you could have a fuel pump issue.

Has the fuel filter been replaced recently?

What does the electrode burn on the plugs look like?

Disassembling the throttle body and giving it a good cleaning in a parts washer would be a good thing. When cleaning pay particularly close attention to the pivot points of the butterfly.

Thank You
Amy
 
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