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Brandon2007 07-09-2013 09:44 PM

Focus Shutting Off in the Heat
My 2007 Ford Focus SE with 70K miles will consistently shut its engine off on days it gets 80 degrees or more. This mostly occurs at stoplights, but has also occurred while coasting downhill. The really scary thing is losing powering steering while moving!

When it happens, I just pop the car back into neutral and it starts right up, so it is not overheating as far as I can tell. I know for sure that it is tied to the engine rpm because it only occurs while the engine is idling, but I don't have an rpm gauge, so I can't watch what's happening. This problem has persisted for the last 2 years, but it occurs very predictably and only gets that hot for a few months here. If you know of anyone who has had the same problem or have an answer, that would be awesome. Especially, since I can't find anything online and the shop I went to last year didn't know. My best guess is that, similar to my motorcycle which has an adjustable idle, at low idle rpm the engine shuts off. Since the heat reduces the idle rpm, could a low idle rpm be the problem?

calebstubstad 07-10-2013 02:53 AM

weird, mine only does this when it's like 30-50 below zero, lol. runs just fine on really hot days though

whynotthinkwhynot 07-10-2013 05:05 AM

There is no idle adjustment. The screws on the throttle body are what's called "throttle plate stops" and are there to stop the movement of the throttle plate so that it doesn't wear out the ridge it fits against in the throttle body. If you mess with those, that's a mistake. If it fixes anything- the problem is the idle air control valve not the throttle stop position.

I would first remove your IAC and clean it. It's not too hard to get to on this engine. What is hard to get to is the PCV and it's vacuum line- a few people have had problems with that- but very few. It is located between the intake manifold and the engine just above the oil filter bracket. For low idle, the hose would be collapsed at idle.

Are you noticing anything electrical being reset when the engine turns off? Radio presets- etc?

Brandon2007 07-10-2013 07:27 PM

As soon as I get some time, I'll try cleaning the Idle Air Control. The radio does not turn off or reset and neither do any of the other electronics. Only the air conditioner stops pumping cool air.

amc49 07-10-2013 08:25 PM

Don't freak out over loss of power steering either, you still have full steering, it just takes more effort then. Helpful to know when it happens.

Eiron 07-12-2013 02:43 PM

My daughter's '02 Zetec engine is doing the same thing, but her car has been doing it when it's over 90F.

The plastic thermostat housing just blew out on her last week & she had to have it towed to a garage near her house (as opposed to back to Dad's Garage). That was $90 for towing & $350 for the thermostat & housing replacement. :'(

WNTWN, are you describing the location of the IAC valve or of the PCV & its vacuum line?

Brandon2007 07-15-2013 06:54 PM

Not better - Worse
So I cleaned out the IAC with Carb Cleaner, let dry, and reinstalled last week and it seemed like it removed the problem. A few days later the stalling came back, and today my O/D Off light started blinking. From what I've researched it looks like I really should have replaced my IAC gasket even though it looked fine. Could this be the cause of the O/D Off lighting blinking, or do I have more to worry about?

Brandon2007 12-10-2013 09:03 PM

Turned out that my transmission was going out. Put in a rebuilt transmission and the problems have all dissappeared (knock on wood).

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