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Old 09-30-2008, 01:59 PM   #1
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2003 Focus stalls a second or two after starting

Saturday night my wife was returning from the grocery store in our 2003 Focus. The car stalled (no stumbling or missing, just died) while she was driving down the road. When I got there and tried to start it, it will start right up, but dies after a second or two. I had it towed to a local garage and he said the error codes point to the PATS system, but I had read somewhere else that PATS could not disable the engine after it was running. (I could be wrong about that).

He recommended we have it towed to the Ford dealer so they can reset or repair the PATS system. I'm not sure how much research he did after he saw the error codes.

Does this sound like a PATS problem? Is there anything else it could be, or something I can do without getting the dealer involved? Money is a little tight so I'd like to avoid the dealer if possible. ;)

Thanks!


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Old 09-30-2008, 02:07 PM   #2
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sounds like a crank position sensor issue...but i could be wrong
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:06 PM   #3
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I once had a a similar problem where my 2002 Focus would stall without warrant, just as you described. The mechanics that looked at my car couldn't see a reason for it to stall randomly. I looked under the hood one day and saw that the clamps on the battery terminals were not very tight, which allowed them to vibrate enough that it would lose connection while on the road.

It would die on the road at random, start and die, or just not start at all. I thought I had some crazy expensive problem, but it ended up being those terminal connections. You may have already checked them, but I know how simple things can often be overlooked.

Peace,
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:21 PM   #4
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Eric, I'm really glad you posted that. I noticed a few days ago that one of my terminals were very corroded and needed cleaned.

I think before I let them tow it to the dealer, I'll clean and tightent the terminals and check for loose connections.

It still could be something else, but it's worth a shot.

If anyone else has any other ideas, please keep posting!
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:34 PM   #5
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well if he said there are error codes... ask him what they are... list them here and we can most likely help further
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:06 AM   #6
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It's fixed! Thanks for all the input.

I went down to the garage last night after they closed and popped the hood. After saying a prayer, I started checking near the battery and immediately found a wire broken. Corrosion had broken the wire that I think is the ground for the ECU (brown and orange stripe, connects to the negative battery terminal). With 2 inches of wire and some tape, I was able to drive her home.

Thanks again everyone, I'm tickled to not have to dish out hundreds of dollars to find a simple fix.

I have to remember, this local garage of mine is great and cheap with mechanical fixes, but not so good on electrical issues. :)
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