I have a 2000 Ford Escort which stutters intermittently, as if the gas flow to the engine is being interrupted. Sometimes, not all the time, I can smell gas for a short period after starting the car. Usually, after the engine has warmed up the stuttering will diminish. A few weeks after the problem began, the engine emissions light came on. Have not yet taken it to a mechanic, fearing the potential cost. Have spoken to a friend who is a mechanic in another state who said the problem could be as simple as an airflow valve--I believe thats what he called it--to something more serious involving the car''s emission controls. Would appreciate any advice.
It sounds to me like you may need to have a tune up at the very least and the coil assembly replaced (common failure part) In order for you to smell gas, this would mean the engine is not burning it or you would smell exhaust as usual. So one of the cylinders is not getting good spark at all times. And since it is not burning the gas properly it is kicking on the check engine light. If you live near an AutoZone, they will check your codes for FREE!! Repair cost should be less than $200.00 parts and labor.