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Old 03-18-2015, 10:30 PM   #1
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2012 Focus stumbles after long drive

I got dirty gas in my gas tank. I thought everything was okay but now I'm 250 miles away from home and its been acting up. After 90 minutes of driving it started to stumble and lose power. I pulled over on the side of the road and waited 5 minutes and then it drove fine for another hour and then did the same thing. I've done this several times now and the problem does not seem to be getting worse. it happens when I'm using the fuel pump most like passing someone or going uphill.

I'm afraid that my fuel filter is clogged up but this car doesn't have a separate fuel filter from what I understand and it's part of the fuel pump. It's kind of hard to tell but I think it's actually getting better the more fresh gas I add.

I'll probably be able to limp the car home tomorrow but what would you guys recommend I do when I get it home? Should I put in a new fuel pump? It seems to work fine until it gets ooverheated. Ive read about cutting a hole under the back seat to get to the pump easier but this seems kind of sketchy to me with a grinder and gasoline.

it seems like it might be a hard problem to isolate.

Any ideas would be very much appreciated. Thank you.


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Old 03-18-2015, 11:12 PM   #2
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What kind of "dirty" gas?

Old & Stale, Water, actual dirt as in particulates?

The first two would def. get better with more fresh fuel added & some solvents/treatments could help.
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:17 AM   #3
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Thanks. I mean actual dirt was in there. Will fresh gas eventually flush it?

It seems like pump pump is working too hard.
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:49 AM   #4
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How did you get dirt in your gas tank? If its in there that means that it is either in your filter or its getting run through your engine (really bad)
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:18 PM   #5
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IDK how you'd get enough dirt into the tank to clog your pump's filter sock, but if you did pulling the tank to clean it & the pump filter is the only option.

Checking fuel pressure first (scan tool might work, assume it would report low pressure as it needs to be controlled) would make sense.


More diagnostics would be good unless you're SURE you got a large amount of dirt in there & it needs cleaning anyways before checking anything else.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:15 AM   #6
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The problem seems to have gone away now. I kept topping off the gas every chance I got and threw in some fuel cleaner. I drove for 7 hours today with no issues, so I think I'm off the hook.

How the stuff got into the tank is too embarrassing to admit to on the internet, but let's just say it wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done. In any case, it seems to have all settled to the bottom or dissolved.

Thanks to those who offered suggestions.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:32 PM   #7
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Glad it's working well now.

I'd bet on cleaning out the garage & emptying an old container into the car without looking at it too close.

Sheet happens, I once filled my Motorcycle with Diesel when on a Bike Run - distracted & car only Diesel pumps were almost NEVER seen at the time. Gas station had a can, and a hwde. store in walking distance had hose by the foot, so I could siphon before running it (good thing it was almost empty, the almost pure diesel could be returned to the underground tank). No problem after filling with the right stuff!
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:00 PM   #8
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You were pretty close. I degreased some engine parts with gasoline and then put the gas into the car. I figured oil is petroleum based, so it will burn off. I didn't count on the fact that that carbon takes a while to dissolve...

As I said, not the smartest thing I've ever done. It seems fine now, though.
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