Question about 1989 Ford Escort

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1989 EscortTac shows surges in RPM, but engine does not race up.

1989 Escort Lx,When cold, Tacometer surges, and occassionally, the engine acts as if it is missing. Although often when the Tac is "flickering", the engine does not miss a beat. When warm, it runs fine.

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How many miles, has the timing belt ever been changed? (60,000-70,000 miles) when the belt gets near or over it's recommended change mileage it will get loose and cause the engine to run like it has a miss, mostly when cold, also u may need to do the following procedure, Escorts need this more than most other Ford cars
Here is the most common cause of surges and stalls and low idle, it is the idle speed control air-bypass valve and throttle valve (IAC for short), they get full of gunk over the miles and cause idle issues (stalls, low idle) like yours, Get a can of intake cleaner from any local parts store, not carb spray, intake cleaner, it is made by a company called CRC, remove the air intake hose to the engine, hold the idle high so the engine won't stall, then spray the can of cleaner into the intake while keeping the engine running, use at least 1/2 the can, shut down the engine and disconnect the battery for 5 minutes, then restart and complete a number of mixed driving cycles, town, freeway, stop and go etc., after a few days the problem will go away as the system will relearn to the clean intake.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009

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Truck idles very high when starting


how cold is cold???? In Alaska or Key west?
tell location and bingo, i know. but didnt
all engines race cold for sure EPA regulated ones.
and race faster the colder it is

what is RPM see dash, see dash rpm gauge called the
tachometer, use that to answer
or if no tacho there, ill never know here in the cloud.

no engines size stated


its 85f here.
2000 RPM is easy cold.
here about 1500 cold (85f) but drops fast say 5min.

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When I start my odyssey it starts surging. I found a small rubber hose on the right side of the engine, but don't know where the other end of the hose goes....Help


WHAT COUNTY???????????????????????????????????
hot engine, cold or both?/// a key question
WHAT ENGINE: ( usa list , ONLY)
2.2 L F22B I4
2.2 L F22B6 I4
2.3 L F23A I4 2.3 L F23A7 I4
the fsm covers this. hose thing.... all hose can be followed,
unless its axle vents on 4wd cars. (they go no where, special)
is surging the only symtom.?
no engine stalls.?
lack of power in any gear or hills.
no misfiring?
no flooding.?
starts easy/?

ok what is surge, that it really is idle controls bad or out of comtrol
1: idle controls bad. (isc dead?)
2: or engine is running way too lean, and ISC cant keep a grip on idle.

easy huh?
and #3 misfiring so bad the idle controls fail.
are all fuses good?
is the CEL lamp glowing , then goes out running engine.
no , the scan it. or do the flash DTC codes trick.

a good tech ,first finds out if the engine holds closed loop status
hot. at idle, if not, he fixes that first.
as he/she knows that idle is the last thing to work right, in EFI.

one other way to get surge is air leaks (aka. vacuum leaks)
if the engine (unsaid option) is MAP based, it will race fast
with any vacuum leak, and it dont take much of a leak
to make the ISC idle controller go nuts.

so repost , hot/cold both questions
and actual RPM numbers. we need numbers
is the dash Tachometer missing. ????
and what engines in car.

all lean engines surge.
all ISC systems can surge if out of control , not all do this. just 1/2
if the ISC surges, it means its trying hard to gain back control.
this is called a software servo loop.
The ECU is programmed to hold rpm near say 800 RPM hot.
and is very digressive in that role.
I have a 91 car that will surge, with any vacuum leaks.
(by design) depends on which engine.

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Throttle surge at idol


surge, great post, what engine displacement.
open hood (my answers are USA only) look up, see big white
sticker that is the engine vacuum and type engine sticker)
surge hot or cold? engine.
if it surges hot, that means :
1: ISC system out of control , it job is to stop surge and 5 more things.
2: the engine is way lean and cause ISC to loose control

just 2 reasons, and can be 50 things. wrong.
is the CEL lamp out running> if not, pull the DTC codes and post them. (all)
as a mech ,we find out which it is.
(i make sure my engine can hold closed loop at idle , if not and lean it will surge. (may)
we make sure the ISC works ok (not sticking, clean it)
and then test to see , that if by my forcing it closed, by hand (ask)
i can get way below 800 RPM. most do 500 but 600 is ok.
if rpm stays above 800 closed, that means you have huge
vacuum leak or TV blackage (too thight throttle cable?)

finding vacuum leaks can be horrific, task .
there are many tricks (and tests) to do this, ask.

see that logic above, If I the mech, can not drop rpm below 800
by hand, then no ISC on earth can. not now or ever.
and proves the induction has huge air leaks
or some dolt set the spark timing 20 degrees advanced.
see it.
so as always , a tuneup is first, then as always , i always check timing,and for proper advance rates.
advances engines at idle race way too fast and the iSC will just go NUTS.

ISC = Idle speed controller , that valve that has wires.
the IAC is a thermal device and no wires and it too can stick open
when the IAC sticks open the ISC goes , yes, nuts,
nuts can be surge (ECU is hunting it)
or just racing way too fast hot, say 1500 rpm.
a slow RPm can be a stuck open EGR (50k service point)
lean will cause too low.
too rich , misfires and too low
the ISC is the last thing to work right, all else must be good.

what does your CEL lamp do?

PS: most cars, if the ECU/PCM enters Limphome, it cuts all idle controls. again, the CEL lamp. glowing while running.../????

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1 Answer

The tachometer shows 900 RPM on idle position but as i put the car in gear and release the clutch the RPM drops and u have to race the car manually through accelerator pedal.recomend the diagnostics a


The engine does not need to be raced when cold

The vehicles computer will adjust the idle according
to how the manufacture programmed it

After about one mine or so, the idle on most vehicles
comes down to approx 750RPM, generically speaking

When you put the car in gear,assuming it is an automatic,
the rpm will drop a 100 at most & may be adjusted by the
computer, just as it does when you put the A/C on. That is
to compensate for the change in engine load

You should be waiting for the rpm to come down to 650 to
800 & then a couple more minutes for some temp to come
up, before driving off. In cold weather wait at least 5 min or more

I think your vehicle is not working correctly, or you not explaining
it in a way I understand what answer you want

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