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dfehring 03-16-2013 07:56 AM

Cuts out intermittently in snowy weather.
I love my 2001 ford focus Se 5 speed(152,000 miles) but I cannot figure this out so hopefully someone knows.... When I get on the highway and it dont matter what speed and its lightly snowing out or a semi drives by and splashes my car it feels like the car cuts out bad but then keeps going..This seems to happen every 20 miles or sometimes it happens alot when its in that setting..When it is dry outside no problems..I have replaced the plugs, wires and coil pack and have put dielectric grease on most of the sensors with still no change:(..Whats crazy about this the most is when i get it home and throw snow or salt water over the whole engine and transmission i cannot get it to do it..[bawling][bawling] Lastly there are no codes nor check engine lights so this leaves me to wonder what is wrong with this car? I have been dealing with this all winter..Please help me figure this out..Thanks.. Dan

BC_ZX3 03-16-2013 10:09 AM


Originally Posted by dfehring (Post 4639307)
Whats crazy about this the most is when i get it home and throw snow or salt water over the whole engine and transmission i cannot get it to do it..

Umm...don't do that. It'll only possibly make things worse and won't help isolate the problem. Have a thorough look at the coil pack connector harness. (I see you replaced the coil.) Look for green/whitish corrosion indicating exposed wiring. Faulty wiring may also be brittle or the protective plastic covering may be cracked. You may need to pull back some of the black plastic protective wrap or tape on the wiring harness to expose any possible problems further up.

Check your battery cable connections for good measure, including the smaller gauge wires. They all need to be secure and clean.

Tracing an intermittent wiring problem requires attention to detail and patience but because it only misfires in damp conditions, you should have exposed copper wiring somewhere in the ignition circuit.

sam fisher 03-16-2013 10:17 AM

What do you mean by " cuts out " .
Bogging or full power loss?

Sent from my LG-LG730

dfehring 03-16-2013 07:26 PM

I did what you said and looked at the wiring on the coil pack including taking off the black covering over the wire until it goes into the junction harness with nothing found.. I also took the crank sensor wire cover off until it goes into that junction of wires and i found nothing..As far as cutting out I mean it literally shakes the car when it cuts out..The car never looses power it just keeps going and it may not happen for another 15 miles or it will cut out for a bit and then go away when it is wet outside.. I have been working on cars at dealerships for 22 years but this has me stuck..please continue the advice.. On a normal sunny or dryish day the car works great.Thanks again..Dan

BrApple 03-17-2013 06:54 AM

Have the plugs and wires ever been changed? If not I would change them. Also check for signs of carbon tracking.

If the plugs and wires are fairly new, or you are replacing them use alittle dielectric grease on the plug boot. It could just be moisture that is causing a miss in the bad weather.

dfehring 03-17-2013 08:15 AM

Yes In did replace the plugs, wires and coil pack. I also dielectric greased those areas..

sailor 03-17-2013 11:22 AM

Electrical seems the obvious place to look, but since that's being looked at already i'll throw out another possibility.

What kind of air intake/filter is on the car now?

Stock with something not hooked up right, or many of the aftermarket systems, COULD possibly get enough water/ice on the filter element to temporarily restrict the intake.

Old style American cars with a heat riser to help de-ice the carb warmed & dried the air cleaner as well. Current vehicles don't have a system like this, so depending on the air inlet location dampness or even those snowflakes could find their way in to the filter.

I HAVE occasionally seen this happen, even with stock intake systems, on various vehicles when the weather conditions were JUST right.

Grabbin' at straws here, but when you're stuck even a wild idea is worth a thought...


dfehring 03-17-2013 08:39 PM

Thanks for the replys.. I just put a stock motorcraft air filter in it along with motorcraft plugs and wires. I put a carquest coil on it though.. Whats crazy it my focus runs perfect when spraying the whole engine down with water or salt water or buckets of snow..So far the wiring looks perfect.. I am tempted to put a crank sensor in it but have yet to pull out the old one and check for cracks.. Any thoughts on that??

BrApple 03-18-2013 08:10 AM

I would put the stock coil back on the car and see how it runs. My 95 Mystique never had a problem with the stock coil pack even after 200k miles.

Same with the stock coil pack on the Contour. more people have trouble with aftermarket ones then stock.

dfehring 03-18-2013 09:22 AM

The stock coil had a cracks on #1 and #4 so thats why i replaced it.. Thanks though for the idea...

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