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Old 03-31-2010, 02:22 PM   #1
leetv
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Car sputters/loses power or feels like stalling when I'm accelerating

Hello everyone,

I drive a 2001 Ford Focus SE. It has around 116,000 miles on it. Just today as I'm accelerating to about 55 mph I start to lose power. The car feels like its stuttering and wants to stall. as I pulled into my drive way and came to a stop, it stalled completely. I let it sit for about a minute and then started the car up again. It idles fine and everything. No check engine light came on or any type of indicater light came on. I had a tune up done at the dealership almost a year ago so it can't be that unless they did a crappy job.

All this started today. The car has been running great all winter long up until today when I was coming home from town. Anyone out there have a similar issue?

EDIT: Ok after letting the car sit for a while now I drove it again. Drove about 2 or 3 miles with no problems then turned around to head home. I'm doing about 55 mph and I let it go down to 45 mph and set the cruise control. Not even a minute later the car starts to stutter. I disengage the cruise and press on the gas slightly and nothing is happening. The engine oil pressure light and the charging system light briefly flashes as my car is slowing down. Then the car stalls.



Last edited by leetv; 03-31-2010 at 03:20 PM. Reason: New info
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:44 PM   #2
iroc34
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YUP. Alternator is shot. When the battery gets below about 10 volts the computer on our cars does some really strange things. Dash starts to freak out followed by severe bucking and eventually death LOL. Double check that the pig tail that plugs in to the alt is good (known problem). Get the battery charged up and get to a place that will check the alt...
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:50 PM   #3
leetv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iroc34 View Post
YUP. Alternator is shot. When the battery gets below about 10 volts the computer on our cars does some really strange things. Dash starts to freak out followed by severe bucking and eventually death LOL. Double check that the pig tail that plugs in to the alt is good (known problem). Get the battery charged up and get to a place that will check the alt...
Thank you for the quick reply. I'll have to get the alternator checked out. I shouldn't rule out a possibility that I may either need a new fuel pump or fuel filter, correct?
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:29 PM   #4
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Yeah that could be the problem also. I forgot to mention , check the serpentine belt, and tensioner and idler pulley, The belt could be just slipping?
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:16 PM   #5
RallyFocus75
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by iroc34 View Post
YUP. Alternator is shot. When the battery gets below about 10 volts the computer on our cars does some really strange things. Dash starts to freak out followed by severe bucking and eventually death LOL. Double check that the pig tail that plugs in to the alt is good (known problem). Get the battery charged up and get to a place that will check the alt...
This sounds exactly like whats going on with my wife's '02 Focus. Tonight it started loosing power when driving 60 mph & felt like its trying to stall. Put in the clutch and the engine stalls. Won't re-start right away..wait a minute, suddently starts no problem. Problem repeated a few times. Same as Leetv stated, no warning lights on the dash. I hooked up a code reader when I got home, no engine faults present. This is the first time this has happened interesting someone mentioned the alternator problem. Her car wouldn't start the other morning - battery was dead. Boosted the car, took it for a drive, ran fine. Checked the voltage when I go back, 12V with engine off, only 12.5V with it running - I'm thinking its the alternator as the voltage should be 13-14V when the engine is running. Took it to Ford they changed the battery, said the alternator was fine. Is it possible to have an intermitent problem with the alternator?
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:25 PM   #6
leetv
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Well I think I ruled out the fuel pump because when I turn the key forward (not all the way to start the car) I can hear the fuel pump make a little noise. I was told that no noise is bad. I am able to start the engine each time that I have stalled so thats good, I think. So my next guess is the fuel filter. Gonna have the dealer check that out tomorrow.
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:39 PM   #7
leetv
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Typically how much does a fuel pump cost for the car that I'm driving? I had guy tell me that the fuel pump will cost me $300 + the labor to put it in.
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:37 PM   #8
aflawinhumanity
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There was a recall on fuel pumps a while back. Check with you local dealer to see if you car is covered under the recall. Then it's free
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:42 PM   #9
arlenn
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5h labour + pump... about 900$cnd from ford dealer.
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:22 PM   #10
leetv
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5h labour + pump... about 900$cnd from ford dealer.
My estimate was $486. I told them today to order the part but they can't fix it until this Tuesday so hopefully my car holds out until then. Which brings me to my next question.

I went to work this morning. Takes me about 20 mins to get to my work. I drove the car and everythings all right. I made it to work. 8 hours later its time for me to go home. I'm driving home and its starts to stall on me and I've had to pull over 3 times, shut it off or let it die. Sit for about a minute and start the car up again and drive home. Why is it that it didn't stall on my way to work? The only thing I can think of is that this morning at about 6:15 am it was 60 degrees out. When I went home it was warm and hazy at 85 degrees. Would warmer temperatures be the cause of that or is just some random coincidence?
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