Question about 1998 Ford Contour

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2.0 ZeTech Engine problem

I bought this car about a year ago for my son who is turning 16 next month. I thought it was in pretty good shape with only 78000 miles on it. the car has set most of the time except to move it from one place in the driveway to another and into the garage. i thought I should drive it to be sure it was ok before I put a teen at the wheel. I drove it to work an dthe engine light came on on the way. the only problem I had with the car until then was it seemed cold natured and would hesitate or stall when accelerated when cold. After warming it had just a slight hesitation but otherwise drove fine. I don't usually put my foot into it but on the way home I was going up a long steep hill when the tranny down shifted just as I expected it to. The problem is that the car started slowing as I got closer to the top. The engine just seemed to be losing power. It slowed to about 15 mph. from 55 and It barely made it to the top. There was no jerking or missing, it just slowed down with my foot on the floor. As I got to the top of the hill and let off the throttle, it seemed to slowly pick back up. When I got home I opened up the throttle again and around 3800 rpms it either started cuting out or reving up and down even though I had my foot in the same position. I checked the codes and found P0171 and P1131. Knowing that more times than not when a scanner says o2 sensor, it will be something else. I changed plugs and wires, fuel filter and checked pressure with the engine running, not running and running at high rpms, removed the exhaust to eliminate clogged converter, checked for vacuum leaks including carb cleaner around intake where I could safely get it. I then changed the o2 sensor and wasted my money cause it didn't change any. so far the light has stayed off but the car still revs up and down around 3800 rpms and above and has the hesitation symptoms are still present. Do you have any ideas?

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  • titansjoe Jul 28, 2008

    I thought of the egr valve early on but looking in the hanes manual It said there is no egr on this model. the exhaust valve timing is such that the gas is removed without egr valve. Unless the manual is wrong which is possible. At any rate I haven't found an egr valve yet.


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Check/change the egr valve. They have been know to be culprits.

Posted on Jul 26, 2008

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