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Old 05-01-2007, 07:19 PM   #1
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Car stalls when making a turn...

I have a 2003 SVT Focus and I have read over the past few years that there have been certain electrical problems with the SVT focus. I got my computer re-flashed, done everything they could think of, but once in awhile, with a cold engine, I will be making a turn at 25-30mph and my engine will just stall.

In the event that it doesn't stall, my battery light blinks on and it starts to shudder. At first I thought it might have been me, since I was just learning how to drive stick. But it didn't make sense that my car would be moving and it would just DIE. My steering wheel would lock up and I'd be drifting the rest of the way through the turn and have to restart my car, as I'm moving.

Of course I bring it to Ford, and they think I'm making it up. They gave me a recording device where I needed to replicate the issue. The thing is, this only happened on my way back from work if I manage to hit all the green lights. I need to go fast enough to reach about 40mph, then downshift from 3rd to 2nd is when it happens. If I can't get fast enough, or if I end up stopping at a red light, it won't do it again once the engine's warm.

So this makes it very hard to duplicate with a technician in the car. I managed to get the battery light to flicker, and of course the guy didn't even bother looking.

There was no way I was going to keep a car that stalls once every few weeks (when I'm lucky enough to hit all greens), even if it is rare, that's just not going to happen. We went through the process with a lawyer to lemon the car. It's been a year. Ford keeps pushing it back on us saying that they don't see how this is a 'safety' issue, just an electrical one that's been documented. At this rate, we are going to need to wait even longer to meet with a mediator, then file a civil suit if they still refuse to refund our money.

Ford is purposely doing this to make things difficult. At first they rejected our claim, we had to sue, then they settled, and now they want to have a mediator look at it. I really liked my car, I would have kept it until it died on its own (hopefully at like 120k miles) but this is just not acceptable. Has anyone else ever had to deal with anything like this?

I'm pretty annoyed with Ford, and because of this, I really won't buy another Ford again. My family has owned 7 or 8 Ford vehicles over the years, this is just inexcusable.


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Old 05-01-2007, 07:53 PM   #2
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i know mine did that and it was the fuel pump, replaced at no cost, under a recall warranty.

Not sure if the same problem + recall warranty applies to the SVT butyou could call the dealer and ask them to run your VIN and see if your vehicle is covered by this.

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Old 05-01-2007, 08:30 PM   #3
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My 2000 ZX3 did same thing

It was the fuel pump - as stated in the post above. I lived with it for nearly a year until finally receiving a recall notice. They replaced the fuel pump - problem went away.
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:43 PM   #4
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The SVT has a different fuel pump than the other focus, so it wasn't that. This is an electrical problem, not mechanical. They apparently changed it by the time the 2003s rolled around.
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:27 PM   #5
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It really does sound like a fuel pump issue. The only thing I can possibly think of that would cause a car to stall in a turn is that the fuel level in the tank shifts and the pump can't handle it.

Electrical? I don't think electrons would care about the changing momentum of the vehicle.
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:28 PM   #6
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Well, Ford has told me it's an electrical issue and they've used a data recorder to confirm it. Although they know there is something wrong, they just aren't sure what and they don't know how to fix it.
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:37 PM   #7
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Does the problem happen when the tank is full or nearly empty?

Look, just try a simple test. Get your fuel level down to 1/4 tank. Find a good stretch of empty road or an empty parking lot without cement stops. Take the car to 45 mph and turn. Try to reproduce 3 times. If you can reproduce it, then fill up the tank and try the same thing. If it stops happening, your problem is the fuel pump. If it continues to happen, it may be something else (still probably the fuel pump, though).

Pause and think how in God's name this problem could be electrical. The only way I can see is that the fuel pump needs to work harder and the power draw is bothering the electrical system. Maybe that, or the sway of the car is pinching some component. Or maybe the battery fluid is low and the sway of the car in a turn cause a broken circuit. Who knows.... Did the Ford dealer offer you an explanation of HOW the problem is electrical?

Is the battery new? Have you cleaned your injectors and changed the fuel filter? How many miles on the car and have you followed recommended maintenance?
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:33 PM   #8
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weird ish' try a different dealer/garage. I also dont see how its got anything to do with electrics.. electrics dont care if they are upside down, in water or whatever.. electricity will flow.
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:58 PM   #9
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I'd say it's a faulty intertia switch, but I thought Ford had worked out all of the issues with those long ago. I don't know why warming up would make a difference with anything though.

GM's don't have these. I once ran off a crowd of spectators from an accident because although the Astrovan was on it's roof, engine dead, it was steadily pumping fuel out onto the ground until I was able to turn the key off.

Freak things like this happen. I'm sure you'll enjoy whatever new manufacturer you decide to choose from. If you're unlucky to have another freak problem with your next car- you can be assured that the manufacturer will act in the same manner as Ford. A friend's wife was nearly killed when the disc brake on the passenger side of her new Civic disintegrated causing her to run off in a deep ditch and hit a telephone pole. Honda claimed it was not their fault, and they ended up paying for the remainder after insurance. You're certainly not alone in your frustrations with a manufacturer, and Ford is certainly not the only one that has freak problems.
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Old 05-02-2007, 03:53 AM   #10
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I'd say it's a faulty intertia switch, but I thought Ford had worked out all of the issues with those long ago.
Dayum, Whynot! Is that the same thing as the "rollover kill switch" -- different name for it? If so, can't that just be, um, replaced? Sure sounds like it might be the problem.
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