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Old 01-26-2009, 04:54 PM   #1
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Introduction...and a few questions

Hi all,

My name is Justin and I'm new to the site, pretty sweet to find an all Ford-Focus community like this. Wanted to say hello and introduce myself. Hope to learn a lot here and get to chat with some knowledgeable Ford fans.

In addition to introducing myself, I have a few questions regarding my Ford Focus.

I have a 2003 Ford Focus SE, which I got used. It had high mileage for the year (round 80,000) but I test drove it and was amazed at how well it run and how immaculately clean it was. Anyhow, I'm trying to determine which engine I have in this car. From what I recalled reading, there are three different engines used in the 2003 model year cars, but my manual is not specific to my particular model. Under the hood, it says "2.3 L group". This led me to believe that my car has the 2.3L PZEV engine that is listed as one of the three options in my manual. Am I correct in this assumption, or, is there a better way to tell for certain which engine is in the car?

Secondly, the mechanic at a ford-specific service center (QuickLane) here in Massachusetts told me that I should have my air filter replaced on my car (it's at 100k miles now, still running fantastic) I was under the impression from the manual and reading about the 2.3L PZEV engines, that this is a lifetime air filter. The manual says to "Check the air filter minder" at 75,000 miles and service if necessary. I am assuming that since this is not a user serviceable part, that checking the filter to determine if it needs replacement is something a Ford service center needs to do? I figured this guy would be a little more knowledgeable about the specifics, but he told me just to hold off and that it'd be around 300 bucks to replace the unit. :(

And finally, I've noticed in the past month or so, my fuel economy has really decreased substantially. I've had a new fuel filter put in, but It has been brutally cold here as of late (dropping down occasionally into the single digits) and I am certainly aware that the cold can impact my mileage, but it seems a bit much. I'm usually averaging around 28 MPG, but it's been as low as 22 MPG as of late. Can the cold weather really impact my fuel economy THAT much?

Once again, hoping to meet some Focus fans here, and am glad to find this site. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Justin


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Old 01-26-2009, 05:06 PM   #2
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Hey and welcome. Yeah sounds like you have the 2.3 liter pzev Duratec engine. And yeah it is a "lifetime" filter. The little filter minder is that clear tube located on the air intake leading down into the bumper where the filter is housed. If the yellow bladder has moved into the red zone you know the filter is too dirty. Cold weather can impact fuel economy as well. My 2.3 gets 22-23 consistantly and I am fanatical about maintaining it. I wouldn't worry. Its a pretty big 4 banger.

Once again welcome!
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:31 PM   #3
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Jetrinka,

Hello, and thanks for the welcome! Also, I appreciate the advice! I'll have to check that bladder and see if it's in the red. Is that something they can clean or service, or if it's in the red does the filter need to be replaced?

My normal maintenance schedule says to replace the PCV valve at 100k miles, but at Quick Lane they told me "because it's so hard to get at" they would charge me 200 dollars just to replace the PCV valve. Seems a bit ridiculous - I'm thinking of just taking it to an actual Ford dealership service center and see what they quote me.

Thanks again!

Justin
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:59 AM   #4
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Just a quick question Justin...... Do YOU personally plan on doing anything in the way of modifying this car? Because if you are, I personally would just go ahead and upgrade that stock airbox of yours to a CAI(cold air intake) or SRI(short ram intake). Both would run you around 250 to 300 dollars and you'd probably gain about 5-6 hp.

Another thing...... If you are at ALL capable of doing any kind of mechanical work yourself, save the money and take about 15 bucks up to your local autoparts store (autozone, advanced, oriley's) and buy a PCV valve and install/replace it yourself. Couldn't take you longer than an hour and is actually not as hard as they make it out to be. Once you get to it it's a screw out the old and screw in the new job. That's about it.

And welcome to FF!!!!!!

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Old 02-25-2009, 08:09 PM   #5
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Hey all,

Thanks for the advice. Just a question - I purchased the Haynes manual for my car and it has the step by step for replacing the PCV valve and air filter/housing, but where is exactly is this air filter minder that they talk about in the Focus manual? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Best,
Justin
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