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1990 Colt - 315K - 200E/1.5L - used to run great but then one day BAM! The car had been running fine all morning and then all of a sudden it was like someone pulled a plug wire. Horrible acceleration and stalling at stop lights and signs. I've checked the wires and they're ok, I've replaced the plugs, and the alternator and battery have both been tested and found to be fine. I've also replaced the fuel filter. I've read online and elsewhere that the EGR or a vacuum line could be to fault. I've had it in at a shop but they want to start with the basics and work their way up - all at my expense of course! This is a one owner car and it's been great over the 17 years that we've had her. Starts when it's minus 40, excellent on gas, no major expenses to speak of. Any help at this point would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

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as you described it, the problem belongs from the ignition or from timing.

a. ignition

1. check the distributor cap and the spark plug wiring. the distributor cap should be clean (inside, don t care too much how it looks outside) without any cracks inside it. eventually try to change the distributor cap, it s not that expensive

2. start the engine at night while there is no light around, and look very carefully inside the engine compartment, around the HT leads, to look for spark leaks to the ground.

3. start the engine and disconnect one by one the HT leads, at every piston. you will notice a variation in the engine running every time you are disconnecting an ht lead. if there s no variation, then that s the piston with the problem.


it also might be a timing problem. have you changed lately the timing belt and the tensioner roller? reply me with the engine code of your car, so i can provide you with slightly accurate information.

yours truly, [email protected]$$u :)
 

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hi friend,

it sound like a ignition coil damage or the platine or condenser bad inside the distributor....

could you start for buying a newer condenser, platine and at the last a new coil, and try it for fix the problem,


good look...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your suggestions!

I tried pulling the codes with an analog voltmeter and it is showing no errors and the ECU is functioning properly ... at least according to my Chiltons manual.

I have checked the HT wires with a digital ohmmeter and they appear within range - but maybe that's not an accurate test? I've tried pulling the HT wires but I don't pull them off with the engine running - rather I turn the engine off, remove 1 HT and then restart. I was worried I'd get a shock without a proper insulated tool - is that right? I think there was one suspect cylinder when I did this - I need to revisit this one I think!

The distributor looks very clean and there are no visible cracks.

I checked the ignition coil and the readings on the primary look suspicious but the reading on the secondary was within range. Could this be the culprit? I've been trying to read as much as possible about iginition coils and symptoms and it looks like it could be possible.

The timing belt was changed quite some time ago. I haven't visually inspected either the belt or the tensioner roller yet - but I plan to.

I've spent a few more hours at things and I'm really no further ahead. Read somewhere that it could be a vacuum leak but unless it's happening at the head gasket I think I can rule this out. I also read it could be problems with the throttle position sensor. I haven't had a really close look at the throttle body yet but that is next on my list. I also checked the 4 injectors with an ohmmeter and they too are within range. It idles rough all the time both on a cold engine and on a warm engine. The warm engine would like to stall though. The roughness smoothes out as the engine is revved if that is of any consequence.

And one last thing - what is a platine?

Thanks again for your help!
 

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I'd check carefully for a vac line that failed or popped off. You can spray suspect areas with carb cleaner and listen for a change in RPM. You also might want to take a spray bottle with water and mist the engine running in the dark. Look for arcing.
 

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HI, I have owned nearly 10 colts from 1971 through 91 and all were very sensitive to water in the gas. Lots of times I have fixed rough idling and skipping at high speed, even total engine shutdown by putting in a can of dry gas, preferably the methanol. Cheap fix.
 
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