Car stumbles, smell gas when starting or stop - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum > Ford Focus Tech Discussions > General Technical Chat

General Technical Chat This section is for technical discussions relating to general maintenance, electrical issues, engine trouble, and recalls.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
FocusFest FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-25-2009, 07:33 AM   #1
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Fan#: 12185
Location: Ontario, Canada
What I Drive: 2002- 4 door Blue Automatic

Posts: 17
FF Reputation: 1 paul z Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Car stumbles, smell gas when starting or stop

Hoping I can get some quick advice here (search isnt displaying any results). One my way home from work I was stopped on the highway than out of nowhere the car starting running real rough like it was going to stall. Before I could pull it over the car returned to normal.

On my way in today stopped at a red light the car did the same thing (stumbling) for a few seconds than returned to normal. After it happened this time I could really smell gas coming in from the vents. Once I started moving again gas smell went away. Scanned the car and no codes.

The problem has been off and on for a few months now and up until yesterday it would only happen when I started the car in the morning. Originally (back in July) it had a code of P0304 (#4 misfire) so I changed the plugs and wires. Car has been not running all that great since. I bought platinum plugs and the guy at the part shop said they didnt need to be gapped.

Could the issue be with the plugs or wires? I have been using high octane fuel to see if that would fix the problem but obviously it hasnt worked. Fuel filter was changed about 18K ago. Car seams to be idling rough.

The car is a 2002 SPI high mileage (90% highway) on it. Up until I got the P0304 code the car has been great. Since then the car has been taking a nose dive.

This is my commuter car so I need to figure out if it can be fixed or if it is time to retire the old girl.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated


paul z is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-25-2009, 11:17 AM   #2
Focus Addict
 
a_2000_se's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Fan#: 62964
Location: The concrete jungle, CO
What I Drive: 2000 SE SOHC SPI, Compression @ 164

Posts: 1,093
Points 4,699, Level 43
Points: 4,699, Level: 43 Points: 4,699, Level: 43 Points: 4,699, Level: 43
Level Up 75% Completed
Level up: 75% Level up: 75% Level up: 75%
Forum Activity 5%
Activity: 5% Activity: 5% Activity: 5%
FF Reputation: 15 a_2000_se Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
SPI - Let me guess - you've got just over a 110k miles on it?

It sounds very very familiar - a stumble/miss at stops and stop lights. And it's on #4. (Don't put injector/valve cleaner in the tank - the carbon might be the only thing holding the valve seat in place when the engine cools down.)

What's your compression - cold and hot?

Do you have $500+ and some tools/knowledge to replace the head?

Are you feeling lucky? sorry I have to say that...

edit - but first check and set the gap on your plugs
__________________
Member of the Dropped Valve Seat Club.
Replaced #4 Piston, Rings, Rod+Bearings, AERA Re-Manufactured Cylinder Head and a light Hone. Then CLEANED the hell out of everything.
60k+ miles.

Last edited by a_2000_se; 08-25-2009 at 11:20 AM. Reason: gotta check plug gap
a_2000_se is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-25-2009, 01:40 PM   #3
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Fan#: 12185
Location: Ontario, Canada
What I Drive: 2002- 4 door Blue Automatic

Posts: 17
FF Reputation: 1 paul z Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Yes its an SPI with .... are you ready... 200K Mile's on the clock. So even if you get platimum plugs they still need to be gapped? If so... i am really upset that I was told that you shouldnt by one of the part stores. I will go out and by some new plugs and stop with the expensive clean as you drive gas.

I dont have any tools to check for the compression so I guess I will need to take it in after I try new spark plug. When you mention "replace the head" are you referring to the head gasket?

Anyother.....less scary.... ideas?
paul z is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-25-2009, 03:15 PM   #4
Focus Addict
 
a_2000_se's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Fan#: 62964
Location: The concrete jungle, CO
What I Drive: 2000 SE SOHC SPI, Compression @ 164

Posts: 1,093
Points 4,699, Level 43
Points: 4,699, Level: 43 Points: 4,699, Level: 43 Points: 4,699, Level: 43
Level Up 75% Completed
Level up: 75% Level up: 75% Level up: 75%
Forum Activity 5%
Activity: 5% Activity: 5% Activity: 5%
FF Reputation: 15 a_2000_se Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Congratulations - you've definitely have an outlier there maybe even a museum piece. But seriously...

History of the car is as important as the codes:

You are the original owner and know of all work done to the car?
You've never had any engine work done?
Never refreshed the top end? or replaced the engine?

If so those highway miles must be the fountain of longevity and some good easy highway miles.

Along with my dropped valve seat my cylinder head had worn valve guides - especially #4 - lost of buildup on the valve stem. With that many miles, 200k+, you're good for a refreshed cylinder head and a great improvement in performance (not to mention possibly another 200k miles).

As far as the plugs - the parts store guy is just telling you what he was told. The jury is still out.

But again - with 200k miles on an original engine and no work done - there has to be some major cleaning necessary somewhere.

I'm curious what your compression is/will be?

Please, for all of us here, give us a detailed list of what work you've had done and at what mileage. We can all learn something from your car. Thanks in advance.

Buy yourself a beer and send me the bill !
__________________
Member of the Dropped Valve Seat Club.
Replaced #4 Piston, Rings, Rod+Bearings, AERA Re-Manufactured Cylinder Head and a light Hone. Then CLEANED the hell out of everything.
60k+ miles.
a_2000_se is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-04-2009, 09:57 PM   #5
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Fan#: 12185
Location: Ontario, Canada
What I Drive: 2002- 4 door Blue Automatic

Posts: 17
FF Reputation: 1 paul z Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
What a week it has been. Last Saturday the car died in a parking lot while I was shopping. Car drove there okay (felt rough and stumbled once or twice while stopped). When I finished shopping and tried to start her up again she wouldnt. I towed the car to the dealership and they told me I need a new engine on Monday. Apparently there is NO compression any more on the third cyclinder. Seems kind of odd that because one cyclinder is faulty that I would need an entire new engine. Today I spoke with another mechanic and gave him the run down and he didnt seem all that surprised that a new engine was in order. Does this sound right to any of you?

I am hopefully going to tow it from the dealership to the mechanic for a second opinion. I think I may just be putting off the obvious but wanted to hear any thoughts this board may have.
paul z is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-07-2009, 10:12 AM   #6
DTC P0606
 
BC_ZX3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Fan#: 48751
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
What I Drive: 2001 Red ZX3 Turbo

Posts: 2,981
Points 2,125, Level 27
Points: 2,125, Level: 27 Points: 2,125, Level: 27 Points: 2,125, Level: 27
Level Up 84% Completed
Level up: 84% Level up: 84% Level up: 84%
Forum Activity 9%
Activity: 9% Activity: 9% Activity: 9%
FF Reputation: 90 BC_ZX3 Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (3)
I suspect what both mechanics are trying to tell you is yes, you can fix that one isolated problem - and it probably won't be cheap - but with a car with that kind of mileage on it, you're likely going to experience other expensive problems in the near future as other bits wear out. So it's probably cheaper in the long run to "start fresh" with a new motor (and have some peace of mind too).

If you've got zero compression, the heads got to come off at the very least and, if the motor got that way by ingesting a dropped valve seat or some other internal bit, you may have trashed the cylinder bore/rings/piston head.

a_2000_se seems to have some experience with this; what did he pay for similar repairs and then compare it to the price of a new motor or used motor with less mileage.
BC_ZX3 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-07-2009, 10:23 AM   #7
Captain TMI
 
whynotthinkwhynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Fan#: 18416
Location: the armpit of TN, Memphis, TN
What I Drive: 05 Focus Wagon; 13 C-Max SEL

Posts: 20,375
Points 28,913, Level 99
Points: 28,913, Level: 99 Points: 28,913, Level: 99 Points: 28,913, Level: 99
Level Up 35% Completed
Level up: 35% Level up: 35% Level up: 35%
Forum Activity 11%
Activity: 11% Activity: 11% Activity: 11%
FF Reputation: 271 whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member whynotthinkwhynot Outstanding Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
Take it to a non-dealer mechanic, and request a used engine. That will be cheaper than the dealer engine, and will last just as well.

The reason it's been suggested that you replace the engine is simply because it's about the same in labor for you since you're not doing it. To repair your engine would require actually more labor, and possibly more cost in parts than a used engine from another vehicle. There should be a warranty on the used engine- very limited, but enough for you to figure out if it's good or not after you install it.

I have no idea what CAN prices are, but if it was me, I'd find a place that would keep the price under $2k USD, otherwise you might be better off searching for a new vehicle if you can't repair it yourself. You should be able to sell it for around $500 USD with a bad engine to some jerk (like myself) who will take it and swap the engine out himself to make a buck.
__________________
Be eclectic.
---The Complete How-To Archive--

Moderating everything now, let me know if I can help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the user formerly known as ZX3_Chick View Post
You're special aren't you.
whynotthinkwhynot is online now  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
What I Drive
Year, color, and model of your car. Example: 2003 Pitch Black ZX3
Name
Your real name.
City
State
Country
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale: The Legendary '99 Colin McRae WRC Replica Custom Show ZX3 (Lots of Photos!) Honda Hunter BST Archive 21 09-01-2009 04:03 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:38 AM.


Copyright 2002-2015 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Mazda CX-3, Audi S3, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Acura TLX. You can find all Ford Focus, Focus ST and Focus RS related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area. If you own other makes have a look at Challenger Hellcat Forum, Charger Hellcat Forum, Cadillac ATS-V Forum, Cadillac ATS Forum, Cadillac CTS-V Forum, Lexus RC-F Forum, Lexus GS-F Forum, Mercedes GLA Forum, Mercedes GLE Forum, Civic Type-R Forum and Volvo XC90 Forum.





Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1