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Hello all, Looking some help

Bought a Fiesta 1.3 Endura-e 1999 last month.

Noticed that when driving at a constant speed and then accellerating there was a slight splutter, but not a problem as i could live with it.....

Changed the Plugs, air filter and Adjusted the valves. Nothing changed.

Wife noticed last week that there was hair? hanging out of the exhaust, again nothing changed car still ran fine.

last few days she has said that the car was getting worse on the spluttering/missfiring.

I took it for a drive today and the best way of discribing the prob is it sounds like a (Air cooled VW Beetle) Missfiring? Timming out? Have not got a clue.

I Cleaned the Idle control Valve, Mass Air Sensor(Temp Sensor) Checked the plugs look fine.

The Car Starts 1st time, Idles fine( However does splutter every few 4-5sec's) when you accelerate it mis-fires as mentioned above.

Also was looking to get a Elm327 fault reader. any Advice


Any Ideas or suggestions? deet

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The hair is Wire wool/Wadding etc that is used in the silencer to dampen down the sound i would not pull it out without wearing gardening sort of gloves.

When you say burbling is this after you say rev the engine.

It could be that the wadding has all come out.


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Cheers for reply.

When the wadding came out it was about the size of a tennis ball. There was no change to the exhaust note. It does sound like a timing issue to me but I'm I correct in saying that the ecu controls it?

The burbling is when you rev/accelerate the engine.

Just abit lost, don't want to start replacing sensors untill I have an idea 1st, deet

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Was this problem worse before you adjusted the valves or after.

If there is a Fuel filter on this car i suggest it be changed it may have been neglected causing fuel starvation problems but i dont think fuel is your problem.

There is no distributor to be set etc it is all electronic and controlled by the ecu.

Does the car rev right through the rev range correctly or does it hold back at a certain engine speed for e.g 3000rpm.

The wadding issue will not cause the poor runnin unless there is a blockage which i doubt it.


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There was no immediate difference when I adjusted the valves and the valves did not need much adjustment, however, within the last week the spluttering/engine noise has got considerably worse.

Just looked at the fuel filter, quite abit of rust on it, so looks like it has not been changed recently. Will replace tomorrow.

There is no rev counter on the car so do not know correct revs, however it does missfire/splutter throughout the rev range. seems less at higher revs and slightly more at lower revs. (this could just be that at lower rev's the car lurch's and at high revs a single miss is less noticable)

Another thing is last year the car had only done 2k miles, not sure if it was used daily small miles or if had been unused/stood up for some time.

Regards Deet

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Change the fuel filter if it is full or carp it will restrict the fuel flow.

What condition is the oil in.

How many miles has it covered.

Maybe a compression test (cylinder pressures) A compression check will show the engines general condition.

But first lets see what happens when you change the fuel filter.


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Thanks for the response.

I haven't changed the oil yet and its quite black so it could do with a change. Will do that and fuel filter together in next few days as well as re-check the valves.

Car has covered 81000 miles.

Will let you know how I get on

Regards Deet

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it may well be the throttle body potentiometer and its plug on the way out, you can by a modified plug from ford and also a new potentiometer, also try changing the coil pack for another one as it also may be on the way out

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Just a Quick update, Changed the Fuel filter today have not changed oil yet... (again giving wrong part) will replace on monday.

Got the Elm327 today and plugged it in, Got a Missfire detected on Cylinder 3 cleared the fault and car still missfiring altho fault did not return.

the true throttle position was showing as 18% at idle and did move up to 100%

one thing i did notice is the timing advance was 21 deg at idle, does that sound correct? think it went upto 35 deg on accelleration.

Things still to do:-

Recheck valves

change oil

Will put old spark plug back in cylinder 3

See if fault returns to cylinder 3 ( or another cylinder)


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Hello Deet

Thanks for the reply.

Did the fuel filter make any difference was the old one full of rubbish.

Sounds to me like a faulty coil pack as suggested by fordpartsman

Or a dodgy HT (ignition lead) (spark plug wire) or whatever you call it. How old are the ignition leads to the spark plugs.

When it said 100% throttle did you push the accelerator to the floor.

Check that the gaps on the plugs are 1.0mm (Gap)


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prior to changing the fuel filter i remembered reading a forum post in regards to the Vacuum of the fuel tank, released the vacuum and the wife felt that there was an improvement however the missfire is still there.

there was no difference when i changed the fuel filter and with draining the fuel nothing but fuel came out, when i changed it i put 25ml of redx into it just incase it was an injector problem. it was a Motercraft one, so was prob original

Done know how old the HT leads are think they are original (made by Motercraft) all plugs are set to 1mm and rechecked

100% throttle.. yes pushed it to the floor and the Elm showed as 100% think it was 18% at idle and not pressed

Will take the car for a drive tomorrow and see if the fault returns to cylinder 3 (hope it does) at least i can focus on that cylinder ie. HT lead, Spark plug, Injector)

is it possible for the coil pack to fail on one cylinder? or would it fail on all?

Regards Deet

so many things to consider it is doing my head in, many thanks for the help

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rolleyes.gif Hello Deet

We are narrowing things down.

Yes it is possible for it to fail on one or more cylinders.

The Fuel filter if it was original will help a little.

Are you planning on keeping the car for a few years. If so i would go along the route of replacing the coil pack.

It has to be ignition related if your fault code reader says so.

I doubt very much that it is the injector as it would cause problems with the other 3 cylinders.

The Three things that your main focus should be on are in order of priority

1. coil pack 2. ht leads 3. ecu fault.

Jamie rolleyes.gif

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the coil packs are absolutly notorious for going, normally on one cylinder, please only get genuine though as aftermarket ones are more useless than a !Removed! as an estate agent. they are expensive but they are worth it.

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sounds like the coil pack playing up to me, are you friendly with a local garage that could do a compression check for you? if the cylinder has poor compression that could cause the misfire, on another note have you tried removing the spark plug from the cylinder and checking if there is a spark?

also, my timing advances were about that on my fiesta, had no probs with it at all

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1st of all let me say Thank You for everyone that helped my Fix my car. yes you read correct :) It's Fixed :)

Did an oil change over the weekend and checked to see if there was a spark on the spark plugs, there was however it did not seem to be regular.

So changed the Coil Pack and Leads as advised. Can now runs fine, No spluttering/Missfiring (When i removed the coil pack noticed a small crack in it, water/mosture must of been getting into it)

Just got one last question:-

Every few days when I start the car the starter will not engage and grinds but it does start 99% of the time.

Want to have a look at it before it becomes a problem or becomes more regular, I has going to remove and check the cogg's and clean up(carb cleaner)

Any Advice? deet

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  • 2 weeks later...

glad its fixed :) thought it was the Coil Pack lol.

I have this exact problem with my gf's ford KA.

You go to start it and all it does is grinds because the starter gears not engaging with the flywheel correctly. As the KA isnt worth much we havnt gone about fixing it yet, but she finds if you give the gear stick a wiggle in neutral first then attempt to start it, 99% of the time it will start correctly. Having said this hers does it almost always and not rarely like you say yours does.

it started off happening once in a while but progressivly got worse, so its probably worth getting it done to save damage to the flywheels teeth etc.

if you look into getting this fixed any chance you could post exactly what it was and how much it cost to be fixed :D ?


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