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

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Old 03-16-2013, 02:59 AM   #1
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Introduction and Some questions

Hello everyone ! My name is Kirill, and I just joined focusfanatics today. I drive a red ZX5 SE hatchback, and it's my first car ever.

So far, I am loving it -- great gas mileage, and great performance when I need it. My end goal is to be able to understand my car inside and out, but for now I'm just starting out. This community looks like an awesome place to learn a lot of information, both basic maintenance and some simple (and not so simple) customizations, so I'm excited to learn as much as I can from y'all.

With that said, I do have some concrete questions I was hoping you all could help me with. The most pressing seems to be some kind of electrical problem. When I was driving back from work recently, the dashboard froze (speedometer and RPM meter were both stuck, the trip counter disappeared, the blinkers wouldn't work, the temperature and fuel gauge both dropped to 0/empty and my charger that I have plugged into the 12V outlet turned off. The car kept running as normal, and I was able to decelerate and accelerate as necessary without any trouble, the power windows worked, and the internal cabin lights seemed to work just fine. On the same day (I think) I heard some kind of clicking sound coming from what I now know to be the internal fuse box, and since then one of my headlights burnt out. As I am somewhat inexperienced when it comes to cars, I'm wondering where I should start looking to diagnose the problem. Are there any tools (besides wrench, hex set) that I would need?

Second, and much less pressing, the car seems to vibrate a lot at idle and at about 2000 RPM. This gets to the point where my rear-view mirror shakes so much that the image in it becomes blurry. I've read up that it may be a busted motor mount (car has a little over 90k miles on it), which seems fairly straightforward to replace. Am I on the right track here? Is there any way to determine if the engine mount is actually bad without full on replacing it?

I'm sorry if this isn't the right place to post these kinds of questions, I can definitely move/create a thread in the right place if you can point me there. And as always, any tips you can provide for a relative newbie are definitely appreciated!

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Old 03-16-2013, 03:42 AM   #2
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Moved to "General Technical Chat". Welcome to Focus Fanatics. I have moved your thread here so you can get the proper help that you are looking for. Good luck and happy modding!
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:12 AM   #3
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Welcome to FF.

For your electrical woes, first have a look at the condition of the wires that go from the body to the rear hatch, They are housed in a black ruber conduit between the two hinges. Wire breaks here are common and give odd electrical behaviour due to intermittent shorts. Ensure also that all your battery wiring connections are secure and corrosion free (not just the large cables). Worst case scenario is your non-serrviceable voltage regulator within the alternator is on its way out and your alternator will need servicing or replacing. Check your battery voltage with the car off and running as a preliminary test of alt voltage output. The erratic performance of some electrical components is generally indicative of an inconsistent supply of 12V power; you need to find the cause.

I'd say your vibration diagnosis is correct; engine mount replacement is relatively straightforward. The hydraulic mount on the passenger side of the engine usually fails first.

I'd add a multimeter for checking voltages and wire continuity to your basic tool kit. Have a good socket set on hand and, for this Ford, a Torx set is required for a few fasteners.
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