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Old 04-19-2015, 01:54 PM   #1
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ZTS 2.0L revving high at idle or when put in neutral, then slowly comes down and shuts off

My fiancÚ has an 03 Ford Focus ZTS 2.0L and it's revving crazy at idle. It is worse when you're driving and switch from a gear to neutral. It'll go to about 2500-4000 and hold for about 3-5 seconds, then it slowly comes back down to normal, then bogs down and shuts off. Also, it ocassionally accelerates by itself. My 2000 ZX3 2.0L did this as well and had the same symptoms. It eventually caused me to crash from giving itself gas. We've replaced everything we've been told it was for hers, jus as I had done for mine. IAC valve, MAF sensor, and TPS sensor. No change whatsoever. I saw Ford had a TSB out for the Intake Manifold but I can't find a part number for the new style, or any information on a new style at all. Can anyone shed some light on this problem for me? She's pregnant and I'd like to have her in a safe vehicle, not a death trap. Thanks all.


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Old 04-19-2015, 02:10 PM   #2
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Is the Check engine light on?

You should go to your local auto parts store that does free OBD code reading to see if it is throwing codes. Write the codes down and post results.
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Old 04-19-2015, 02:13 PM   #3
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No check engine lights. Sorry, I should've mentioned that. And I work at O'Reilly Auto Parts. I've tried our OBD scanner to see if maybe there were some phantom codes (codes that are there even when the light isn't on) and nada. Nothing there either.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:54 PM   #4
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Any diagnosis/inspection or just parts replacement by guess?

Sorry, but any guesses you get - even mine - are just suggestions of things you might check, not a list of what to fix/replace that will solve your problem.

How about checking throttle cable/throttle body for free movement?

Do any checking for vacuum leaks yet?
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:50 PM   #5
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The first codes were O2 codes and a TPS code. We were diagnosed the O2 sensor bank 1 and the TPS. Replaced the bank 1 O2 and the TPS and the light was still on for the O2, but the TPS code wet away. The next diagnosis was the cat. Replaced it, light went off. Then the O2 code came on again, but this time, top reported fix was pcv valve hose. Replaced the one at the valve because it was cracked at the elbow (at the time we didn't know the one on the Intake was considered a pcv valve hose). Then we replaces the hose on the Intake which was also busted. Code went off. Last code was for the IAC valve. Replaced it, the light went off, but the idling stayed irregular. Put the old one back on and it's doing the same. I've read on many forums (including some on this site) that the Focus 2.0L and 2.3L had some TSBs on faulty intake manifolds and that a secondary design was made due to that very fact. But I can't find an actual part number or anything.
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:47 PM   #6
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2.0 & 2.3 you're reading about are probably from the later Duratec engine versions. No replacement intake, but plenty of information on dealing with their movable control valving.

No application to your Zetec engine, just as none of the info. on the quite different variable intake for the SVT version of your Zetec applies.

There are many different "O2" codes, with different possible causes. BTW - "bank one" doesn't describe which sensor on this type engine, the inline 4 only has one 'bank" so both sensors on yours are "bank one".

We've got a listing in the "Stickies" at the top of this page with descriptions for DTC's, as well as a link for Ford's descriptions of how the system works. Both can be useful in understanding what the codes might mean.

Exact code numbers are critical to determining what the 'code" might imply as a possible failure. In most cases they don't point directly to a definite single parts possibility.

The only "code" I can think of for an IAC refers to it's electrical condition, and can relate to wiring/connector issues as much as the IAC itself. Failures of that unit are usually from it's getting too gummed up to work well. Cleaning can sometimes solve those, and other times the result is temporary.

You did fix the most common vacuum leak area, the PCV hoses. I still think the list of items suggested earlier is a good place to start now, even with that one repair completed.
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Old 04-20-2015, 05:10 AM   #7
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The O2 code read bank 1 sensor 1. And some other mumbo jumbo. Our new code reader tests O2 outputs and so on and so forth, so as to determine what the actual cause is. After replacing the top O2 sensor, the readings of the top O2 went back to what they should be, but it threw a different bank 1 sensor 1 code. This time the scanner told us that the cat had failed. It's usually very accurate when it comes to the in depth testing and code reading (which by company policy we're only allowed to use the simple scan on customer vehicles as we're not allowed to "diagnose" customer problems in case on rare occasion it happens to be something else and they want money back/labor claims). Anywho, every code went off after every installed part, except the O2 code, which just switched from one code to another after replacement of top O2 sensor. If the light were still on, it'd be much easier to diagnose. However, it's not, and this problem is dangerous, as I stated above, it happened in my 2000 ZX3 and caused a crash. I don't want the same happening to my pregnant fiancÚ. And it seems this is a not so uncommon problem amongst these cars, as I've read many posts about it happening, but no fixes, and even Ford scratches their heads and say "I don't know what it could be". Thank you for the replies so far though. They are much appreciated. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this dangerous and highly annoying issue.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:20 AM   #8
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when i replaced my fuel filter the revving at startup and shut down has almost completely went away

mk1 odds are good the fuel filter hasn't been changed ever
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:51 AM   #9
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I've changed that too. Twice. I thought maybe the new one got stopped up too. But that didn't help any.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:46 PM   #10
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The "mumbo jumbo" is the important part of "reading" a code, ignore that at the peril of your wallet for doing repairs that may not be necessary & won't fix your car.

A "bank 1, sensor 1" code CAN NOT diagnose a CAT problem for example.

I posted some appropriate first checks & links to more information for your use, I and others could probably come up with more ideas if you want to do any checking/diagnosis yourself. Let us know what you look at & the results.

There are a number of possible causes for what you've described so far (limited info), and O2 sensors, CAT, TPS are NOT on the list.

Please review the list of options avail. to the driver in the case of too high idle/stuck throttle. Shifting to neutral, using the clutch if equipped, turning off the engine and using brakes/steering as needed come to mind as some useful options.
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