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92 ford tempo runs rough intermittantly

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New User

Jan 8, 2013, 3:36 PM

Post #1 of 7 (1537 views)
92 ford tempo runs rough intermittantly Sign In

I have a 92 ford tempo (4 cyl) that I believe has a electrical problem
It will drive fine then lose power with no effect pushing the accelerator
the funny thing is I can instantly fix it by switching the Ignition key off and back on.
I've gotten so used to it nobody notices that I'm doing it, as long as my speed is over 15 mph
(or it stalls since its a automatic)
I drive around 22 miles to work and it will happen within 1/4 mile of my house and maybe twice on the Hwy.
Could this be a EGR problem? the symptoms do not seem to line up with what's posted...
I tested my fuel pressure during the car dieing episodes and it stays constant around 45 psi it does
drop and rise with the rpm's (I assume that's normal)
I changed the Ign. switch (along with the key switch) for a diff. problem.
I also changed the fuel filter.
Any help/ideas would be appreciated


Jan 8, 2013, 6:29 PM

Post #2 of 7 (1502 views)
Re: 92 ford tempo runs rough intermittantly Sign In

I am assuming the obvious tune up things are ok and up to date.
If you press the gas pedal and there is no effect i would have my throttle position sensor checked I be leave its on your throttle body if good i would check and clean your Mass air flow sensor.
If it was a spark or fuel problem the car would chug.
If it was a battery problem car would trigger alternator or battery light and head light would dime.
EGR vale is a sensitive emission component if blocked or faulty it almost always triggers a engine light.
Best of luck

New User

Jan 9, 2013, 10:28 AM

Post #3 of 7 (1478 views)
Re: 92 ford tempo runs rough intermittantly Sign In

Thanks for replying Ron,
I forgot to mention that the Engine light has been popping on and off for years
Normally I take my cars to autozone to check codes but I believe they only check 95 and newer.

Anyway, I was wondering if Anyone has seen or heard of a problem like this (Car loses power)
and it is fixed (Reset) by turning the Key off and on. Not pulling over and letting the car set but quickly
clicking it off and back on and the car drives perfect again.

It sounds like a Electrical/computer problem, Right?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 9, 2013, 11:01 AM

Post #4 of 7 (1472 views)
Re: 92 ford tempo runs rough intermittantly Sign In

CEL blinking has something to say. A plug underhood looks like this on older Fords. I forgot which ones you ground or jump to count blinks as I have the tool. Plug looks like this..........

May not help much as said. '92 - Make sure all vacuum hook ups, connections and hose is in good shape. They can go intermittent as well as the O2 sensors that I don't think will cause this to run rough. It would be smelling unburned fuel anyway if not running properly for any reason.

I'd look for vacuum hose issues first and anywhere vacuum must be sealed from leaking. Is PCV and hose in good shape? That too, and the grommet that holds PCV valve,


New User

Jan 9, 2013, 11:15 AM

Post #5 of 7 (1467 views)
Re: 92 ford tempo runs rough intermittantly Sign In

Thanks Tom,
I will look for and research that plug..

Also I will check for Vacume leaks (I did before and did find one but no change)

Does blocking the Air flow to the PVC valve eliminate any questions? (is this a effective way to troubleshoot a Bad PVC valve)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 9, 2013, 1:14 PM

Post #6 of 7 (1462 views)
Re: 92 ford tempo runs rough intermittantly Sign In

PCV hose can leak or collapse over time or plain fall off! PCVs themselves rarely go bad and most can be cleaned or cheap enough. That idea is to maintain a slight vacuum in anything sealed as "crankcase" which is under valve cover(s) over oil in oil pan and so on. Many will begin to show slight pressure as an engine get old not overcoming blow-by of the pistons themselves. It takes in the icky (nice word) fumes and burns them up as engine runs. That is a metered leak that counts and if off engines can run improperly. If you find sludge in things like those you could be in trouble in general with an engine.

Just rule out all the easy and cheap stuff. Hose is cheap. If found bad either soft or hard or cracks do them one at a time so not to mix up where they go.

If all this checks and any replaced didn't fix the problem you are not out much $$ and have ruled out a lot to move on. Anyone would say it's just an old car - smile friend - it's 3 whole years newer than one I count on!


New User

Jan 9, 2013, 2:06 PM

Post #7 of 7 (1453 views)
Re: 92 ford tempo runs rough intermittantly Sign In

Thanks again Tom,
for talking the time to reply..

I will get some tubing and start replacing
(like you said its cheap and needs it anyway)


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