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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-07-2013 10:36 PM
JerryCMoore
Oh Boy

After the last post I stalled at a red light downtown so I got a tow to the local Sullivan Tire. The tech at the shop replaced my ignition switch and ran a bunch of tests on the car. Sometimes it started sometimes it didn't. He took the CPU out and put it in the fridge and it wouldn't start when back in the car, then he'd let it sit for a few hours and it would start. Could be luck, could be temperature related, he didn't know. So I picked my car up after three days of guesswork. Well it hasn't given me a problem starting since. (It stalled over an over again in traffic on I95 though, figures)

Today was different though. I was driving at a low speed when all of a sudden, it simply stopped running. The odometer went from a numerical value to a sting of "-----" and I pulled to the side of the road, where I couldn't start. Not a sound, nothing. I called AAA and waited for over an hour. In this time I played with the equipment and found that my car when turned to the "on" position has the headlights work and radio work, but windshield wipers and interior fan are dead. Is this normal? I've never stalled while moving an I've certainly never seen this before.
12-12-2012 12:09 AM
sailor For the intermittent no crank, I didn't see if you have a "stick" or an automatic.

A couple months ago I had that issue with another vehicle, and it was the clutch safety switch that was intermittent. Sometimes fine, sometimes nothing sometimes cranked after holding it in the "crank" position for a bit!

Automatics have a different safety switch setup, needs park or neutral to crank so different places to look for an "intermittent".

luck!
12-11-2012 04:20 PM
my_beautious_ZX3 maybe, but I doubt a mechanic would send you all the way to a junkyard just for that one - hell, you could just about use a one-foot section of garden hose to fix it!

The other one (the PCV tube) has a crazy geometry because it snakes around the engine and thus is more expensive; so, based on his junkyard suggestion, that might have been what he was referring to. A crack in that one can affect idle, but it's harder to locate, inspect, and replace.

If he's gonna do the work for you, you probably have enuf information at this point to take it back to him and discuss the PCV tube & IAC, maybe print out this thread.
12-11-2012 02:07 PM
JerryCMoore
Quote:
Originally Posted by my_beautious_ZX3 View Post
did he mean the breather hose that runs across the top of your engine (from the valve cover to the air filter box) or the PCV tube? Many folks on this forum report that their stalling was fixed by replacing the latter; your tech may have suggested a junkyard because the dealer tube is expensive.
Damn good question. I just took a look and I think its the breather hose that runs across the top from the valve cover to the air filter box that's damaged, although there's no way to tell on a visual inspection.
12-11-2012 12:21 PM
my_beautious_ZX3
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryCMoore View Post
Ok after a bit of poking around on the stalling issue the IAC Valve seems like a good place to start. Everyone who's had it replaced has it throwing codes left and right though.
actually, many (most?) of the posters on this forum report that a faulty IAC did not throw a code/CEL. Evidently, a code is thrown only by an outright failure, not by a device that is merely in the throes of failure.


Quote:
Is there a PCV Valve on the Focus? Exactly how is the Crankcase ventilated?
crankcase ventilation is probably the oldest emission strategy, so my assumption is that it's on every car, alongside egr, cat, etc. (except the performance enthusiasts who don't give a damn about smog ).


Quote:
By the way, when I took the car in previously (code for temp sensor) the tech who checked my car said my breather hose has a crack. I asked if that could cause stalling and he thought for a minute, said "I don't see how it could" and told me I'd be better off to go to the scrapyard and find a used one and put it in myself. Truth is, I don't know what a breather hose is, but I'm going to assume it has something to do with crankcase ventilation, right? Is it possibly another name for a PCV Hose? Thanks again.
did he mean the breather hose that runs across the top of your engine (from the valve cover to the air filter box) or the PCV tube? Many folks on this forum report that their stalling was fixed by replacing the latter; your tech may have suggested a junkyard because the dealer tube is expensive.
12-11-2012 10:04 AM
JerryCMoore Ok after a bit of poking around on the stalling issue the IAC Valve seems like a good place to start. Everyone who's had it replaced has it throwing codes left and right though. My Focus hasn't thrown a single code... Well, now that i think of it, the car threw a code back in July for temperature sensor. I pulled it out and cleaned it and it hasn't thrown that code since. Otherwise, no codes.

I'm interested in the PCV Hose though. I had a tuned EG hatch for a while (don't judge me) so I'm familiar with the system in Hondas, but I'm completely new to Ford. Is there a PCV Valve on the Focus? Exactly how is the Crankcase ventilated?

By the way, when I took the car in previously (code for temp sensor) the tech who checked my car said my breather hose has a crack. I asked if that could cause stalling and he thought for a minute, said "I don't see how it could" and told me I'd be better off to go to the scrapyard and find a used one and put it in myself. Truth is, I don't know what a breather hose is, but I'm going to assume it has something to do with crankcase ventilation, right? Is it possibly another name for a PCV Hose? Thanks again.
12-11-2012 08:53 AM
JerryCMoore @iminhell When I went out this morning the car started up just fine. Next time it won't start I'll try this and post the results here. Thanks

@my_beautious_ZX3 that's actually great to hear; I'll look into this. The stalling was driving me crazy
12-11-2012 01:49 AM
my_beautious_ZX3 Hi Jerry and welcome to the forum.

The warm-engine stall is a very common problem on an older Focus. Two common topics on this forum are IAC valve and cracked PCV hose. Use the forum search box to peruse those topics; you'll see far more verbiage than you have time to read.
12-11-2012 01:16 AM
iminhell Put the key in the ignition and rotate from off to run 3 times. You should hear an audible ding.
If you don't hear the ding repeat until you do.

What this will do is reprogram the key, or should.
With aging cars it seems to be becoming more common for the keys to get weak. There is a chip in the key and a RFID receiver around the ignition cylinder. Syncing the signals may help, one may be drifting out of range (frequency) of the other with time.


If that works, you're welcome. If not I'm sure I can come up with more ideas.
12-11-2012 12:55 AM
JerryCMoore
Intermittent Problem

Hey Guys,

I bought a focus a year ago to get back and forth from school and it's giving me a problem(s). I'll try to be as detailed as possible.

It started sometime in the summer. The car will start fine and drive without issue for weeks at a time, but then it will stall; usually while idling at a stoplight or in a drive-thru. Once it stalls it's impossible to get it moving again though. I can turn the car over fine but before I get it in 'Drive' the engine will die again. Over and over... Eventually I resorted to starting the car from 'neutral' and revving the engine just right as I put it in drive to get it to move, then it'll buck and jerk like I'm slamming the throttle from fully open to fully closed, and as soon as I let my foot off the throttle it does stall again. But as soon as I park the car and let it cool off, it'll start again and drive with no issue. As you can imagine this has made it impossible for technicians to reproduce, being intermittent and completely unpredictable. I exhausted three separate shops and they're clueless. The dealer couldn't even replicate the problem after having it for a week. So I brought the car home and kind of 'deal with it'.

This last week however something new happened that I strongly believe is connected to the first issue. I went out on Saturday morning and turned the key. Nothing happened. No clicks, no squeel, nothing. My battery is good, I can play the radio fine. AAA guy can't start it so I waited to tow to the shop. Monday morning I call for a tow and the driver turns the key, and to my surprise the car starts fine. The driver hinted it may have been the cold weather or something and I should get a fuel cleaner thing. So I did. The car ran faithfully the rest of the day Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. When I got up Thursday morning the car wouldn't start, same issue. I called AAA and had them tow it to my local shop. Three days later they can't locate the problem. Might be the PCM, might be battery cables, might be the ignition, etc etc. The car started in the shop lot so I drove it home Saturday and parked. Sunday morning my car wouldn't start. Today my car wouldn't start in the morning, tried again in the evening with no success, then before I came here to type this I turned the key. Nothing. Held the throttle down and turned the key. Nothing. Released the throttle and turned the key and held it for a few seconds. "come on, come on" I'm saying to myself and after three seconds of nothing, it starts. So I turn it off, take the key out, put the key back in, turn it, and it starts right up. What's going on here? Any idea what this could be or has anybody experience the same issue?

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