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1990 Festiva hesitates and bogs down on acceleration

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  • 1990 Festiva hesitates and bogs down on acceleration

    I've had my Festiva for 18 years, it has just under 200,000 miles. It's the first time I've experience this and it occurred fairly suddenly. It has less power, feels like it's dragging when driving on flat surface, and more so going up hill. It will accelerate if I downshift. It hasn't stalled. It starts and idles fine. Just hesitates and has low power when simply accelerating. Fuel pump? Clogged fuel line or filter? Spark plugs - it doesn't feel like it's missing, just slow to accelerate. My engine is an oily mess, and the timing belt needs to be replaced. A few other things that don't work and have been "patched" through the years. I love my Festy, but am trying to decide if it's time to let it go after all these years.

  • #2
    I have the same thing with my festiva and ran tho codes and I have a crapped out ECT sensor


    • #3
      Have you done anything to try to find the problem?
      First thing I would do is check to see if you have a vacuum leak. Leaks are notorious for causing performance problems.
      They can mess up the signals going to the computer for injector firing timing and cause fuels starvation.
      And yes.. the fuel pump, fuel filter and spark plugs could be a problem. Also ignition timing being off is another thing that causes this problem.
      Also could be the spark plug wires. I personally have seen remarkable improvement in one of my Festivas after just changing the plug wires.
      If 200K on the original engine it also could be losing compression through the valves or rings. Has the engine been running hot?


      • #4
        Haynes manual troubleshooting for “engine stumbles on acceleration” suggests
        1. spark plugs fouled
        2. problem with fuel injection system
        3. fuel filter clogged
        4. fault in engine control system
        5. intake manifold air leak
        6. EGR system malfunction

        Some of that stuff, eg EGR, should light up the check engine light on the dash.

        One thing people do is run the engine in the dark, lift the hood, pull on accelerator cable, and look for sparks. Maybe all it needs is clean plugs and wires, cap and rotor.

        Air filter can be cleaned by backflow of air from, say household vacuum cleaner, which is what I do once a year during minor tuneup (ie engine cleaning).

        That intake manifold thing is same effect as suggestion to check vacuum hoses for leaks recommended by 1990new.

        Here in Canada car prices are up from $40k to $60k because of pandemic and there has been a surge in auto thefts. I’d keep driving the Festiva if possible unless you can find one of the missing vehicles with new VIN at a low price, LOL

        PS if you suspect a vaccum leak then a vacuum guage is 'way cheaper than a replacement car, or even a visit to a garage. See "sticky" post at top of page for vacuum guage diagnosis.

        Last edited by WmWatt; 02-10-2024, 10:58 AM.
        Original owner of silver grey carburetted 1989 Festiva. 105k km as of June 2006. 140k km as of June 2021.