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intermittent problem starting/stalling


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#1 Rick

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:17 PM

Hello all. I have a fiesta, s reg (1998) which has run sweetly for a long time. I dont know the model though. Ive looked the car over for clues but I cant see any. It has 16v on the back if that helps.

The problem:

A couple of days ago, the engine cut out whilst I was driving. As the car was moving, the car bumped started itself and seemed alright. This happened a couple of times. It then cut out while I was waiting at a junction. The car wouldn't start. It turns over but doesnt come to life. I sat for 10 mins and tried it again and it started up. A few more stalls whilst driving. On my way to work the engine died again but this time didnt bump itself. Same as before. Turning but not starting. Waited 10 mins and it started, ran for 5 seconds and died. wouldnt start again. Waited. Started ok and got me home with no problems (4 miles). Im now at home and my car once again, won't start. I tried a tip I found online which is to disconnect the battery for 5 mins, reconnect, and try again. Same problem, no joy. I checked the fuel cut-off switch. It was ok. Anyone have any ideas? Also.. can anyone tell me how I can identify what model of fiesta I have from any info that may be on the car?

Thanks if anyone can help. Im so skint and a garage bill is something Im tryin to avoid.

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#2 tftisme

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 06:03 PM

Hi

I also have an S reg 1998 Fiesta and had a very similar problem. I think you may have a problem with the fuel pump or sender or probably both. Have a listen when you put your key in the ignition as you wait for the immobilizer light to go out, you should hear a low whirring noise coming from the gap between the front and back seats, just behind the hand brake, that's your fuel pump running.

My problems started in the summer and my car would start fine on warm days but would just turn over on damp days. After 10 days in the garage and me finally telling my mechanic what was wrong with my car (he's male, I'm female, he did the whole chauvinist, girls don't know anything about cars routine - er wrong), he finally replaced the fuel pump and the car seemed fine - for two weeks, then it cut out while i was sitting at traffic lights in rush hour but i managed to get it started again, i had a couple of weeks of the intermittent cutting out and then it just refused to start one lunch time, it would turn over fine but wouldn't start.

Turns out the new fuel pump was faulty and by working every now and then had managed to burn out the wiring loom that went to the fuel pump sender which is situated on the top of the fuel tank. Needless to say, i wasn't a very happy bunny, did my very best hissy fit and had the whole lot plus the wiring replaced free of charge.

Be warned, fuel pumps are expensive but they can be tested easily by yourself if you are handy that way or by your mechanic by putting a feed from the fuel pump to your battery(there is also a veiwing plate under the rear seat on the nearside that you can remove to enable the sender to be tested), if the pump runs, it is unlikely to be the actual pump that is causing your problem but the sender or broken wiring between the pump, sender and fuse box.

Sorry this has been a bit long winded but i had such a horrendous experience with the whole fuel pump saga that i wouldn't want anyone else to go through it. At that point I'd had my car for six years and it had never let me down, my confidence in my little has been knocked quite a bit by this and i just don't want other people to be taken for a ride over something that really is very simple diagnose.

Good luck

#3 Rick

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 04:14 PM

Thank you so much for spending the time to write your comment. I think you are right. I cannot hear the sound of the fuel pump when I turn the key to the click just before it starts the car. Im gonna go and look into it now. Thanks again, you have been very helpful :D

#4 Rick

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 05:15 PM

Ok... Im definatley not hearing any fuel pump action when I turn the key. Im having trouble locating the pump though. I have found the fuel filter which is beside the bottom of the fuel tank. Will the pump be before or after the filter in the line? I would think after the filter... it makes sense but Im not to sure. Ive tried following the line from the fuel filter to the engine but the pipe dissappears under the bonnet somewhere. Can anyone help me locate the pump? thanks again 4 any help!

#5 weseeyou

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 05:51 PM

Ok... Im definatley not hearing any fuel pump action when I turn the key. Im having trouble locating the pump though. I have found the fuel filter which is beside the bottom of the fuel tank. Will the pump be before or after the filter in the line? I would think after the filter... it makes sense but Im not to sure. Ive tried following the line from the fuel filter to the engine but the pipe dissappears under the bonnet somewhere. Can anyone help me locate the pump? thanks again 4 any help!

don't know anything about your car I'm afraid but if it is fuel injected it could be the relay that controls the fuel pump and injectors which is the DME relay.
do you have a handbook with an electrical diagram in it ?
if not try looking under the lid of the fuse and relay box cover and see if there is a fuse or relay that controls the fuel pump

#6 tftisme

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 08:58 AM

I think the fuel pump is actually under the car although not entirely sure, might be worth just ringing your local Ford dealer to ask them where it is situated. Good luck, hope you get it sorted.

#7 colchesterscott

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 12:03 AM

Ok... Im definatley not hearing any fuel pump action when I turn the key. Im having trouble locating the pump though. I have found the fuel filter which is beside the bottom of the fuel tank. Will the pump be before or after the filter in the line? I would think after the filter... it makes sense but Im not to sure. Ive tried following the line from the fuel filter to the engine but the pipe dissappears under the bonnet somewhere. Can anyone help me locate the pump? thanks again 4 any help!

hi mate yeah defo fuel pump its inside your fuel tank it called an imersed fule pump i cant think it might be a drop the tank job as i cant think if ford ever put a plte under ya backseat ,ive done a few every time it fixed the problem ok

#8 Rick

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 11:32 PM

Thanks again for all the help. I located the pump, as you said under the back seat, imersed in the fuel tank. Ive fixed the problem by taking it all apart and putting it back together. When I disconnected the wires from the top of the fuel pump I noticed that the earth pin was all blackened and burnt. The slot that the earth pin slides into was also slightly melted. I bent the earth pin slightly so as it would make a good contact and hey presto.. the car is running again. Do you think that this could have been causing the prob. Is the part on top of the fuel pump that the wires plug into the fuel sender? Do you think I should replace it seeing as the car is running now? I thought that the fuel sender was only for the fuel guage but the guage works fine. cheers guys n gals. Im chuffed that its fixed for now :D

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