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00 1.8 petrol misfire/hesitation - Demon
Had this car 2 years now and aside from general wear and tear issues and surviving collapsing cambelt tensioners, not spent much time under the bonnet and can't complain... however...! Yesterday on the way home from work after about 4 or 5 miles and (possibly coincidentally) having just overtaken another vehicle, I felt the car briefly hesitate. It was quite a sharp little jerk, one of those heart sink moments. This happened three times at speeds between 40-60mph in 5th, over a period of a couple of minutes, with a stop at roadworks traffic lights in between, and at the time I was driving on an incline. The rest of the journey (15 miles or so) was fine, and again it didn't happen this morning. Then on the way home today, same journey, but about 15 miles in this time, again on an incline, it happened again. This time the feeling of hesitation was less sharp but slightly more prolonged, perhaps lasting as much as a second and much more lumpy, as if the engine wanted to pack in. Sorry to draw that out but I'm trying to be as clear as possible in order that somebody may have some idea about the first ports of call on this one!

Car was fully serviced about 3k miles ago, has done 110k and the only other issue I can think of is slightly lumpy idling when starting from cold, which my mechanic suggests may be coolant temperature sensor related. Thanks in advance for any ideas!

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 23/04/2008 at 21:53

00 1.8 1.8 petrol misfire/hesitation - Screwloose

Check when the fuel filter was last actually changed and if that's recently, suspect the coilpack/HT leads/plugs.
00 1.8 1.8 petrol misfire/hesitation - Demon
Thanks Screwloose,

I think fuel filter will be first on my list, will change it this weekend. The car was dealer serviced until 49k, but there is no evidence of what the owner between then and 70k did and with a change schedule of 60k according to Haynes, it's not impossible that it's never been changed at all! Had to take a detour today to pick up another person and a boot full of shopping, and it started missing much worse than previously on a rather steep urban hill, but seemed much better when revved hard.

On the plus side, the old girl passed MOT for second year on the trot today :)
00 1.8 1.8 petrol misfire/hesitation - shadyarea
i had the same on mk2 a few yrs back when i owned it and as screwloose has said suspect coil pack mine drove and idled fine in normal conditions but when given a lot of throttle she hesitated then took off
00 1.8 1.8 petrol misfire/hesitation - Demon
Thanks for your input shadyarea,

OK so after leaving the supermarket last night it started missing quite badly, and was the same on the way to work this morning, so bad that I did a nigh on 3 mile downhill coast to alleviate all the jerking! I was just wondering if anyone had any opinion on whether I'd be wasting my time by just changing the fuel filter this weekend as this problem has come on and gotten so bad so quickly, and if I'd be better off going ahead and changing the lot (filter, HT leads & coil pack - spark plugs are only a few k's old). Could really do without the car being off the road for any time next week!

00 1.8 1.8 petrol misfire/hesitation - shadyarea
i would go for HT leads and a coil pack if money is a little tight go to breakers yard for coil pack i paid a tenner for my last one
00 1.8 1.8 petrol misfire/hesitation - Demon
OK so I did a little ringing around this morning as early as possible as it ain't easy getting car bits around here after noon on a Saturday! Opted for local scrappy after Ford quoted £101 for coil pack and approx £45 for the leads, but when I got there it turned out they didn't have any so I just got the leads and filter from a parts store next door, and held off on the coil pack as they wanted £80...

Changed fuel filter (£5.49), still misfiring though oddly didn't seem as bad. Took leads out and the two longest ones both had a good inch and a half of some orange substance which looked like rust on the end that goes into the top of the engine. Changed them all, but the smallest one didn't seem to fit very tightly into it's hole, and on starting her up was extremely lumpy, not happy at all. Put the little old one back in and everything was fandabidoze! Must've been a bad egg in the new pack, but not much point in going through the hassle of taking it back. Done a good 10 miles in it this afternoon without a single miss. My only question now would be whether or not this could signal any other problems, or is it one of those things that just happens?

Anyway, she's happy as larry at the moment and so is my wallet (lead set only £18)! So thanks for your input guys, couldn't have done it without you :)
00 1.8 1.8 petrol misfire/hesitation - Screwloose

Don't like the sound of the rust stains; check for a coolant leak into the plug wells. Remove the plugs and check the insulators for black tracking marks.

The short lead that didn't seat may just be a little tight; try some di-electric silicone grease on the plugs to help them slip down the ribbed ceramic insulators. Cheap leads are fine as a trial, but you can't beat the genuine leads on these.
00 1.8 1.8 petrol misfire/hesitation - Demon
OK, thanks for the tip. I did have a peep into the window left by the removed leads when I saw the orange residue, and it all looked remarkable shiny and clean, but I will take the top off and have and get the plugs out when I get the chance. Now that I know it's just the two left hand leads affected I may consider investing in originals. The new ones are rather annoyingly a little bit longer than the originals and so don't sit together as neatly as they should.

Thanks again!

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