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NickStone 10-02-2012 05:03 PM

2001 Focus ZX3 - Replacing Fuel Pump & Driver Module
Our (mine and my dad's) Focus died in the middle of the road last Friday, and it just broke my heart having to walk away from my beloved vehicle! Neither of us have much money, and we've dropped every dime we had trying to get it going again. I kinda wanted to get some unbiased opinions on what we should do next..

A little background: during the week before it died, it had a hard time doing a cold start. Had to crank it twice, though it had always started as soon as I hit the key, summer or winter! The few minutes before it died, it spitted, sputtered, and konked out in the turning lane 10 blocks from home. Cranked again, it fired a little, then nothing.

My dad had it towed to a shop, who told us it was the fuel pump *AND* fuel pump driver module. I'm not much with electronics, I deal more with the mechanical side myself, but it seemed odd that both parts would have gone out at once. I figured the garabe was just trying to cover all possibilities while trying to make a few extra (hundred) bucks.

We replaced the fuel pump assembly. The whole thing, because that was the only part in stock at the time in the area. (I opted for ordering the pump itself, but there were other people in on the decisions).

Sooo, long story short, replacing the pump did nothing. I wanted to get an opinion on ordering the driver module, or perhaps look elsewhere for something else. Perhaps something that needs to be reset? Or could the garage have been correct in that both parts did in fact go out?

I've been going over these forums for the last 3 days trying to piece together the answers to these questions as much as possible, but most don't seem to apply directly to my situation. About all I could find was the location of the FPDM, which according to one person was under the front passenger seat? (Still like to get a second opinion on that too before I go ripping the car apart!)

My dad and I are both down to borrowing money to finish the car up, so any help you guys can give will likely save us a lot of money! :)

iminhell 10-02-2012 06:19 PM

I have never seen/heard of a Fuel Pump Driver Module going bad, on any Ford.
It's not the problem.

I would be more apt to believe that either the tech misspoke or you misunderstood. The fuel pump in newer vehicles is commonly referred to as a module. This is due to the parts involved with it's proper operation. The module consists of a canister that houses the pump and the fuel level sensor/arm. It's a few parts functioning as one, definition of a module.

On the early Foci there was a "Customer Satisfaction" program where if you experienced stalling under cornering or any other condition Ford would replace the module free of charge. This was not a 'recall' as some claim it to be. There are different legal obligations to each.
The CS had a time expiration and was capped at cars built after mid-year 2001.
It is no longer active. Expired about 4 years ago IIRC.

So it is a very good idea to replace the module with the new one. Ford updated the design. The problem was linked to design flaws in the module/canister. The physical pump itself was not the problem directly.
There is a lot of misunderstand on this entire subject.
The facts are, the pump was not the problem, it was never a recall, if you don't replace with the update module you will have problems again.

Now as to your specific problem,
Yes it does sound like a fuel related issue. Next question is, what module was it replaced with? (if the top had springs it is the correct module, you also should have had to cut the plastic tabs from the bottom inside of the fuel tank)
If it wasn't the update pump, it will be fine for a while, best guess is more than 40,000 miles. Well enough time to get you money's worth out of it and save for the next time.

It can happen that a non-Ford pump is DOA. You wouldn't be the first person to experience this unfortunate situation. Talking with the parts store and inquiring about their return policy would be a good idea here. And be polite to them. It wasn't their fault.

Do you happen to know if there are any pending/stored codes?
For this you'll need an OBDII code reader. You can 'rent' one from most parts stores.
Or do you happen to remember any codes the shop may have told you? (maybe they are listed on the work order)
Having a code to go on helps greatly.

Two easy things you can check for free are the fuse's and the Fuel Pump Inertia Switch.
Fuses will be listed in your owners manual. Trust the manual and nothing listed on the fuse box covers, I've found more than a few cars where the covers don't match the fuse circuit.
If you don't have an owners manual you can acquire one by clinking this link and downloading it -->

The inertia switch is located on the passenger side, kick panel. You'll see a small triangle'ish shaped plastic tab. Remove it and push the button inside down.
Try to start the car.
If it starts the switch was activated somehow. One way I've seen it be falsely activated is due to wire strain. If the wires do not make good contact, power will be removed form the fuel pump, and the car stalls.

Let me know what you find and I/we can probably help further.

NickStone 10-04-2012 08:35 AM

You sound like the kinda person I'd like to have standing next to me when I do all this! So far the help I've had has all been guessing and Googling. :/

I did run across quite a few people online who've had issues with the FPDM (Error code P1235?) I had assumed mine had something similar if the tech told us to replace it in the diagnostic, but no error code was actually written on the work order. Either they were trying to make a few extra bucks, or it was just sloppy work in not writing down the code?

In the end, we ended up replacing the FPDM. The one I pulled out was dated January 2001 - same year as the car, so I got a little hopeful! But after all was said and luck! I did check the fuses (I think thye were already checked by the other guy workign on it, but I had to double-check his work), I have no way of testing the relay that I know of, disconnected the battery for a while (as per Googling), hit the inertia reset button with the key off (several times), and tried to bleed the system by turning the key on multiple times for 5 seconds at a time. I never heard any noise from the tank, that I sometimes did in other cars when the car was turned and the pump kicks on. But I can't really remember if I ever heard the pump kick on in this car...

The only possible lead I have is that....when the key is turned forward, the Check Engine light is on. I know that light has never been on when the engine is running, but not sure if it lights up when the key is turned & engine not started yet. For diagnostic purposes, it doesnt seem like that light should light up even without the engine running if there's no problem.

So now I'm stuck at trying to get it on a machine. We had to borrow money to get the FPDM, so there's no way to tow it anywhere to plug it into a computer.

The ironic thing is, the garage originally only wanted $400 to fix it...we've actually spent a little more than that doing it ourselves. (The $250 Bosch fuel pump assembly was what did us in.) Now it looks like it still has to go into the shop. :/

I did read about the so-called recall (what other people are calling it) with the pump assembly. I came across a letter from Ford that said it was a flaw in the design of the strainer/filter, which on ours looked pretty dirty.

I can't help but to raise an eyebrow at the idea of the non-Ford pump being DOA. Bosch may be pretty good, but I guess every brand has it's few flukes in the bunch. Oh, I'd never go in to a store rippin someone a new one for sellin me a bad part. I've never been "that guy". I once got a bum wheel cylinder, installed by a garage, bought from their own supplier, broke the next day causing me to come very close to rear-ending a brand new Lincoln Continental. I was very nice about it and so were they! Irrelevant, but thought I'd throw that in :)

The link to the manual was also a big help! The car didn't have one when we bought it, and there've been quite a few times I needed it.

Perhaps in the interest of curiosity, I'll update this thread when the problem finally does get resolved. Don't wanna jinx myself by saying "if". I Love my Fords...I have faith :P

rangerbay 10-04-2012 09:57 PM

Good luck on fixing your issues. Ive got a doozey going on right now myself. If any one can help walk you thru it, Iminhell can. He's very knowleable and always seems willing to give a hand.


iminhell 10-05-2012 01:11 AM


Originally Posted by NickStone (Post 4386621)
Tried to bleed the system by turning the key on multiple times for 5 seconds at a time. I never heard any noise from the tank, that I sometimes did in other cars when the car was turned and the pump kicks on. But I can't really remember if I ever heard the pump kick on in this car...

Every time the key is cycled you should hear the fuel pump prime.
If you don't we're going to start there.


Originally Posted by NickStone (Post 4386621)
The only possible lead I have is that....when the key is turned forward, the Check Engine light is on. I know that light has never been on when the engine is running, but not sure if it lights up when the key is turned & engine not started yet. For diagnostic purposes, it doesnt seem like that light should light up even without the engine running if there's no problem.

The engine lamp is supposed to light up with every key cycle and illuminate for ~5 seconds (something like that). As long as it lights up and goes off when you start the car, it's working.

So lets try and get this no fuel pump priming thing fixed first.

The priming is controlled by the "Power Hold Relay". It's located in the underhood fuse box. When you turn the key to 'Run' power comes from the ignition switch to the PHR, from there it goes to the Fuel Pump Relay, on to the pump:

So we've got 2 relays to check (we know the fuses are good, don't know if power is actually there, but lets assume it is).

The relays are a bear to remove. Every time I try the plastic cover pulls off first.
If the cover pulls off the PHR, push the silver part with your finger (battery connected). You should hear the fuel pump prime. If it does that relay is good, as is the fuel pump relay. And if all that dies happen, it's not a fuel issue.

But lets just hope none of that happens and this is an easier fix.
No fuel pump prime, disconnect the battery and remove the relay. If you look at the part # on it you'll see there are a couple in the box with that same # on them, they are interchangable (still doesn't make them any more fun to remove). Swap a good one in and see what happens.
Hopefully the car runs again. Then it's simply a matter of replacing a relay.

Actually lets backtrack 1 step first. The grounds.

There are 2 to check.
The first is for the PHR. It's the Black/Orange wire on the negative battery terminal. But if this guy is bad you'll notice other things not working. All this stuff:

If any of that is working, the ground is good.

So on to the next, the ground for the FPDM (the real FPDM). It's a solid black wire coming from the module and grounds under the rear seat, flip it up and pull the carpet on the passenger side back. You'll see this box (left of the fuel pump):

The ground is the one on the L bracket. Remove it, clean it with some emery cloth and put it back, just to make sure, you're there so why not.

Turn the key and see what happens.
If nothing them move on to the above relays.

These 2 are what I'm thinking are the issue. There is one more thing that could be the issue with fuel pump power though, the actual ignition switch.

whynotthinkwhynot 10-05-2012 05:45 AM

Nice hole cutting job there.

I have seen one FPCM go out in 7 years according to a FF. This was discovered after replacing the fuel pump and the vehicle still had the symptoms of a bad fuel pump. It is definitely rare. I also remember reading an article about FPCM that were not grounded. I don't remember what situation that caused, but it was repaired by connecting the factory ground to the L-bracket you described.

sleepyboy 10-05-2012 05:58 AM

I had to replace mine before. Though this was after dropping a SVT pump in. Ran good, went and filled the tank and then it crapped out and of course the tank was full of fuel too. I nursed it back home, drained the tank. Not sure if the SVT pump burned up the FPDM or the other way around? In the end I ended up replacing the whole pump assembly to the newer style and replaced the FPDM.

larrydoood 02-16-2013 02:16 AM

Hello everybody!

So, what happened with Nick Stone's Focus? He said he was gonna say what the problem turned out to be once he got it resolved, but I don't see it even though it's been quite some time ago.

I'm having a similar issue myself with my Focus, although with mine, I think it really IS the driver module.

a_2000_se 02-16-2013 12:32 PM

^^^ I've got one that I'd send you but it would cost more to ship it than a salvage yard charges. ~$5 usually.

amc49 02-17-2013 03:52 AM

Just for the record, a cleaned original fuel pump (one with the early issues) can go much longer than the 40,000 miles mentioned higher up. I'm at 100K (total of 180K) on one of mine now, still original pump. Thinking a lot of the trouble was early ethanol fuel which was not filtered as well as now. Once issues started showing up the fuel had to be made cleaner or lawsuit city on the fuelmakers' heads. The cleaned pump now going longer than the original new part........

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