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Old 01-31-2012, 08:17 PM   #1
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2001 Zetec - sudden stalling at idle

Hi all,

My trusty 2001 focus 5 spd manual transmission with a zetec engine and 220 000 km is finally starting to show it's age. Today, after coming off the highway for a 30 min drive and after another 15 min of city driving, I stopped for groceries. When I restarted the car it stalled almost immediately. I tried again, started right away, I tapped the gas, but once the iddle dropped below 1000 rpm it stalled. It kept doing it, so I basically kept a foot on the gas at all times while limping the last 10 min home. Performance seemed fine, though when I go back the exhaust smelled strong - not rich, just smokier than normal. I couldn't tell the colour because I needed to keep my foot on the pedal.

Any thoughts? I will check the PCV valve tomorrow. The suddeness of the problem seems important - no problems with idle before. Once in a blue moon it would start and stall, but only once every 2-3 months, and it would alway work fine with a tap of the gas.

Money is super-tight right now and I need to try all easy/cheap stuff first. I am no mechanic but do all my own maintenance and keep up with it and some odd other work on the car.

Thanks



Last edited by Cheffy; 01-31-2012 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 12:30 PM   #2
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Have you cleaned the IAC valve and MAF lately? If my car started stalling after a long trip (where the IAC wasn't really used that much), I would look first at those.

A $3 can of throttle body cleaner and you're likely to be on your way again.

It's also possible the IAC valve has failed.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:25 PM   #3
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Car started fine and idles fine when cool - I haven't driven it around enough to know if it will stall again, but suspect once it warms up enough it will. PCV system hose is collapsing at idle, might be the problem. As it warms up it collapses even more completely. i put a hose clamp around the collapsing portion for now might tell me if this is the problem. Buying a new hose tomorrow.

I've read that if the IAC valve is sticking it might as well be replaced - I'll look into it.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:15 PM   #4
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Issue resolved

Ok - so I replaced the PCV hose and it seems fine now. Looks like the collapsing hose causes the car to stall out at idle. The hose collapsedcompletely when quite warm, hence the warm stalling at idle.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:21 AM   #5
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Well - looks like i still have the problem. It only happens once in a while. Sometimes after driving at highway speeds for a while, if I stop the car and restart it a short while later it will stall out immediately. I can keep restarting and it keeps stalling unless I keep my foot on the gas. Once it's had a chance to sit for a long while, it works fine.

Thoughts? IAV sounds suspect, but intermittent failure?
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:20 AM   #6
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check your 02 sensors. that could do that.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:45 AM   #7
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Cool ok thanks.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:38 PM   #8
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Your IAC needs cleaning or replacement.

Try this test. It kick-starts the IAC:
1. After engine stalls, turn ignition off.
2. Turn ignition on - but do not start engine (i.e. turn key until the usual dash lights illuminate).
3. Turn heater fan speed switch to the 1 or 2 position. Fan should spin.
4. Press the A/C button. Green A/C LED should light.
5. Start engine.
(If A/C was originally on, then do the opposite - in steps #3 & 4, turn the fan & A/C off.)

There are useful suggestions in this post (the photos have since been removed but you don't really need them) How to: Clean a Zetec IAC
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:55 AM   #9
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Thanks, that's some good info there will look into it.
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