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Thread: Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

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    Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

    My Wife's Ford Escort has been having an intermittent starting problem for about 1 month. The car will sometimes start without issue and yet other times will not start. The car cranks over but will not fire. It likes to do this mostly when it's wet out but has also done this when it was not wet out. I've replaced the spark plugs, wires, coil pack, and she recently needed a new battery and negative battery cable which I put in as well. All of this has not resolved the issue but was done after the issue started. I'm at a complete loss at this point on what the issue could be. The car also has a new alternator that was installed about 6 months ago. Any help of advice on this issue would be greatly appreciated.

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    Re: Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

    What engine is in the car?

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    Re: Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

    Quote Originally Posted by RattFink View Post
    What engine is in the car?
    Sorry, it's the 2.0 DOHC engine and 3 speed auto transmission.

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    Re: Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

    Define "will not start" takes more than one attempt? Takes 10 attempts? Have to abandon it and try again tomorrow? Won't start again ever unless you take everything apart, unplug everything, determine there's no reasonable cause for it not starting and then try again?

    Mine is a bastard for not starting first time when it's even slightly "warm", as in, I've ran it in the last 2 hours... unless it was just in the last 2 or 3 mins then it starts up fine... a new fuel filter helped for a couple of months but not much else did. I have suspicions about the gas cap failing to vent correctly.
    '88 Voyager 3.0, Auto with shift kit, timing advance, walker sound FX muffler on 15" pumpers wrapped in 215/65/R15 H rated Nexens.... and a '95 phord escort wagon PnP head.

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    The moderately moderate moderator Turbo Mopar Staff black86glhs's Avatar
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    Fords have a roll over sensor in the trunk or wheel well area on wagons. They cause the exact same issue you are having when starting to go bad. I don't remember how to test it, but you can bypass it for a short term test and see if this is your problem. I have done it on all kinds of ford cars.
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    Re: Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

    It's not that if you hear the pump prime. Besides, usual symptom for those is it cuts out going down the road, and you can't restart, then you have to flip it off and on again.
    '88 Voyager 3.0, Auto with shift kit, timing advance, walker sound FX muffler on 15" pumpers wrapped in 215/65/R15 H rated Nexens.... and a '95 phord escort wagon PnP head.

    I like 3.0s ... so??? ... stop looking at me like I've got two heads!

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    Re: Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

    It should be in the trunk, they have an inertia switch, as said, bypass that if you don't hear the fuel pump prime.

    The flexplates like to crack and take out the crank sensor, I had one have the same issue's last year, then finally, they got gas and it wouldn't start, no noise, just BAM, no start and they were having intermittant issues.
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    Re: Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

    It will start but quite often the car will turn over but will not actually start and only crank over. There is no pattern to it which is what throws me off. It hasn't happened in 2 days, and before that didn't happen for 1 day. It might do it and then the next time you try to start it have it start without issue. Sometimes it won't start for hours though.

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    The moderately moderate moderator Turbo Mopar Staff black86glhs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadWarrior222 View Post
    It's not that if you hear the pump prime. Besides, usual symptom for those is it cuts out going down the road, and you can't restart, then you have to flip it off and on again.
    True, but as soon as you say that and rule it out without testing it, that ends up being your problem. Better to bypass and rule it out.
    Duh.....intermittent crank sensor......forgot about that. Does it ever stall after starting or while driving?
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    Re: Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

    Quote Originally Posted by black86glhs View Post
    True, but as soon as you say that and rule it out without testing it, that ends up being your problem. Better to bypass and rule it out.
    Duh.....intermittent crank sensor......forgot about that. Does it ever stall after starting or while driving?
    Nope, it never has any issues after it finally starts. Just sometimes has the initial starting issue where it cranks over and may or may not actually fire.

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    Re: Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

    Well, it's all a guess without some testing. Being an intermittent issue makes the testing difficult. If it were my car, I would keep a fuel pressure gauge hooked up at all times, and when it didn't start I would see what the fuel pressure reads and go from there. If the fuel pressure was good, I would start looking into the ignition system. I've worked on a lot of Fords myself, I know the older ones, 95-97ish, the crank/cam signal is called the PIP. PIP stands for Profile Ignition Pickup, if there is no PIP signal, the vehicle will not start. An easy test to see if you have a PIP signal is to watch the check engine light while cranking. The light should come on with key on, and the light should go off during cranking. If the light stays on during cranking, you have no PIP signal. This SHOULD be true on a 2001, I can look that up for shure tomorrow, I have access to all Ford's online service information, but my home computer is so old that it takes forever to load it lol. I can check for bulletins too if you want.

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    Re: Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

    I've been re-pondering my issue, which I think is fuel related... it almost never happens to me on a full tank, starts when it's 1/2 tank or less, but I don't think the pump itself is going weak, due to no symptoms at top end. Not hearing any suspicious noises from it at other times either...

    ... anyway, I think that when I've run it recently, there's a lot of vapor in the tank when I turn off, this cools fairly quickly, though not inside a couple or three mins, and pulls vacuum on the tank... which releases slowly over a couple of hours... so after a couple of hours, fires first turn of the key again.. Sometimes when I remember I double prime it, and it usually starts no trouble then, but sometimes a little stuttery.

    Anyway... compounded with this, I think is that I miiight have a marginal rear body ground, because when I've forgot to double prime it, and it's turned over a few times and I realise it's not going to fire, if I stomp the brake and keep it turning, it will catch most of the time... the brake switch lights the rear lights... I think what might happen is that there's a vacuum in tank, and also the rear body ground is floating very slightly, letting the pump only get say 10V, and it doesn't get up enough pressure to fight the vacuum... when I hit the brake, the extra current "heals" the ground, by sucking enough across it to arc it closed, then the pump gets 12V and car starts fine... I'm gonna have to check this out on my wagon when the weather is nicer.

    So-o-o-o... ignore the tank vacuum bit, but I'm thinking a rear body ground might be going bad on you, due to higher occurrence during wet weather... sounds at a worse stage than mine... but maybe like mine if you tap the brake pedal a few times it will help it start, due to pulling more across it and making it better temporarily.... though if it gets bad, you may start getting it cutting out while driving.
    '88 Voyager 3.0, Auto with shift kit, timing advance, walker sound FX muffler on 15" pumpers wrapped in 215/65/R15 H rated Nexens.... and a '95 phord escort wagon PnP head.

    I like 3.0s ... so??? ... stop looking at me like I've got two heads!

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    Re: Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

    If original poster ever views this, could you please tell me what you eventually found out. One reason I rarely join forums is that there isn't much follow up! Some of us like to know the outcome, me in particular since I'm having the same problem. It seems as though it's a common problem with the 2001 ZX2, but I never see how the problem is rectified.

    Thanks! Lisa

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    Re: Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

    I didn't get round to fixing mine, but it's just got particularly annoying again, and I'm wondering if it's a spring/fall things in particular, and something to do with winter/summer gas changeovers...

    Just made myself LOL by realising I've been putting off REALLY dealing with it for 5 years though..
    http://www.feoa.net/modules.php?name...wtopic&t=36453

    BTW a quick search on feoa.net has it coming up with all sorts of possibles, for one it was a coil, another a fuel pump, another crank walk needing bearing replacement ... ... IAC valve seems worth a check/clean though....
    '88 Voyager 3.0, Auto with shift kit, timing advance, walker sound FX muffler on 15" pumpers wrapped in 215/65/R15 H rated Nexens.... and a '95 phord escort wagon PnP head.

    I like 3.0s ... so??? ... stop looking at me like I've got two heads!

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    Re: Need help troubleshooting 2001 Ford Escort ZX2 starting issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa View Post
    If original poster ever views this, could you please tell me what you eventually found out. One reason I rarely join forums is that there isn't much follow up! Some of us like to know the outcome, me in particular since I'm having the same problem. It seems as though it's a common problem with the 2001 ZX2, but I never see how the problem is rectified.

    Thanks! Lisa
    Have your mechanic check the crank sensor.
    1989 FWD Turbo Caravan-2.5 TIII, GT35R, auto, a/c, cruise, pwr windows/locks, fully loaded with interior and ran with full exhaust. RETIRED FOR A FEW YEARS! 12.57@104 :O)
    1984 Chev Getaway van, 6.2 Turbo Diesel.

    Aurora ignition wires for sale. Link to info

    Super60 roller cams or custom/billet cams. Link to info

    TIII adapter plates for a dizzy.Link to info.

    Log/tube headers, welding, manifolds, U name it! Link to info.

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