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lindseyseven 09-18-2012 12:31 PM

2003 Ztw dies until warm, now leaking oil
This may be long as I want to make sre and give all the info. let me preface this with I know absolutely NOTHING about cars.
Specs: 2003 Focus Ztw (wagon)
98,000 miles
owned about a year
I've had regular oil changes and fuel filter change but nothing else
Basically it won't stay running until it warms up completely. The first time it acted up I was going down a graded road and it jumped, idled down and my transaxle/coolant light came on. It continued to do this sporadically but caused no real issues. Then it began to stall when it jumped and light came on. This continued to be sporadic;I could find no pattern. Most recently have trouble with it in the mornings before it warms up completely. It will act like it's going to start but it revs up real high then down low again several times then dies. If I can get it on the road while it's doing this it will drive a few feet and it's like I've lost power. The lights dim, the speedometer drops to 0 and no amount of force on the gas pedal affects it. But after the temp gauge hits right in the middle all is well and the car drives itself. This morning it didn't want to start. I eventually ran my battery down trying to get it to do so. Someone had mentioned that maybe the battery was bad and my problem(something about the computer not getting enough power and throwing everything els off) so I replaced it. Put it on, car started up strong but died and made a popping sound in front. Looked at engine only to see something leaking from under the lower right bolt closest to the battery. I'm afraid that my car is a goner. Does anyone have any ideas?

up close view. oile leaking from below the bolt
over all view

elsolo 09-18-2012 12:55 PM

Your first problem with running poorly until warmed up could be as simple as the coolant temp sensor.

A pic of the leak source would help identify if it's easy or an issue.

lindseyseven 09-18-2012 01:55 PM

Hi, I have edited my post to include pics. Hope it helps

iminhell 09-18-2012 02:55 PM

Easiest fix for you, being you know little of cars, is going to be bringing it to Ford and letting them go over it and repair it.

I have some thoughts on what it could be, but I don't want to steer you into replacing parts that don't fix it.

lindseyseven 09-18-2012 04:03 PM

I am trying to do what I can myself if at all possible. I am a full time student with very limited funds and know the dealership would want quite a bit just to look at it. What elses were you thinking?

iminhell 09-18-2012 08:09 PM

I'm thinking something like too much fuel pressure, leaking fuel injector/s, worn spark plugs ...

Plugs are easy enough for you to check. But the fueling stuff might be difficult.

lindseyseven 10-06-2012 12:25 PM

Ok guys its been awhile since my first post. I have change pluggs, air filter, cleaned the throttle body and MAF. The leak was simply a compromised valve cover gasket, so I fixed that too. The car is still dying when its cold in the morning. It doesn't want to start at all today and its around 50 outside. I did find some blacken charred areas on my positive battery cable right by the post. We are going to fix these tomorrow. Do you think this has anything to do with my problem? Elsolo mention somthing about a temp sensor. Anyone have any more info on that?

lindseyseven 10-08-2012 05:31 PM

Car won't start cold
So after a couple of cloudy coldish days my car wouldn't start at all. Today the sun is out and a bit warmer and it started right up. Can anyone tell me what might be the problem here? I found one instance online where someone said his PCM was disfunctional and had to be replaced and wouldn't allow his car to start cold. He said if it's brought in overnight and prevented from getting cold and then the car starts up cold this is a sure sign. Any ideas about this? I really need some help here,guys. This is my only form of transportation and I am driving 30 miles daily for school. I need a fix!

whynotthinkwhynot 10-08-2012 05:47 PM

How about the loose battery terminal? Did you fix that yet? Black spots on a battery terminals are signs of a loose terminal arcing when under a heavy load- like with the starter.

lindseyseven 10-08-2012 05:52 PM

I'm having to wait on ordered cables. Orielly's said stock cables wouldn't do. But would the cold have any effect on bad cables?

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