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Old 05-15-2009, 07:47 PM   #1
MarkZX3
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Will Not Idle When Warmed Up

Okay, the problem started today.
I have an 03 ZX3 with the 2.0 ZETEC, 5 speed manual transmission.
I drove the car home from work, 25 miles interstate, 6 to maybe 8 miles two lane, I drove the speed limits. The temp guage NEVER showed above half way! After I got home I went back out to get some gas for the weed eater, the car was running fine!
I got the gas, started it back up and it would NOT idle at all! If I let off the gas it DIED! the temp guage was still normal at half.

I got it home and it still would not idle AT ALL!

Why I keep mentioning the temp guage is because the last couple of week I've noticed that the cooling fan would be running (without the AC on) and the temp guage will be just under the mid way point??? the temp guage does seem to work in that it will start out cold and go up scale as the engine warms up.

My thermostat housing does Seep a little, but I have NEVER let the coolant level in the recovery bottle drop below the min mark.

Now after the car set in my drive way for about 30 minutes it started right up. and idled FINE! the temp guage was at about 1/4 up from cold.

Somewhere I read that if the car DOES over heat that there is some type of fail safe engine protection that comes on.

Now, the car had NO Other signs of over heating, it didn't boil over, the coolant level was good! The coolant is new within the past two months.

Is there something in the car that could be telling the system its to hot when its not and causing the the car to go into the Fail Safe Over Heat Protection?

If Not, then any other ideas about what is going on?

HELP!
MarkZX3



Last edited by MarkZX3; 05-15-2009 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:06 PM   #2
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dude! im right there with you.
every now and then my car will do the exact same thing,
start checking:
for collapsed vac lines( the most likeley is the on from behind the intake mani that turns to the right, this line's elbow is known to collapse)

if you can get under the car and check the connection for the IAC i found mine slightly loose.( this one so far has helped my case)

thats really all i can think of now.
i hope you find whats wrong and when you do post it up so me and im sure theres others that suffer from the same problem.
Z
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:41 AM   #3
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Well let me ask this?
Has anyone over heated the 2.0 Focus and could tell me what the engine feels like when it first happened (how it drove power wise)? When my car was in this condition it didn't seem to miss, it was sorta like it was running on half the engine. I could give it a little gas and hold it at 900rpm's and it seemed fine (not rough running or anything)

Today (in just a little bit) I'll check that vacuum line and the connection at the IAC valve (If I can find it).

ALso, so far the service engine light hasn't came on, it does light up when the key is just turned on so I'm thinking its working.

Still need help??
Thanks
MarkZX3
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:53 PM   #4
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If it dies as soon as you take your foot off the gas, I would check the IAC.
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Old 05-16-2009, 01:03 PM   #5
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Ive been checking some things out on the car today.
First its 86 degrees outside, and the car is outside.

Heating and AC are OFF! (I have one of those No Contact point and shoot thermometer's, electronic)

I let the car run and warm up for about 20 minutes. The temperature guage came up to just short of the half way point pretty quick! (maybe 8 minutes or so) then it did a little bounce from straight up to just below a few times. (seemed to be working okay)

Now remember I'm just checking the surface temperatures!
The top radiator hose was 165 (F)
The bottom radiator hose was 157 (F) (I'm thinking the thermostat is opened and the water pump is moving water through the system??)

The coolant recovery surface temperature near the bottom was 135 (f)

And NO cooling fans EVER came on! and the temp guage never rose above the half way mark (12:00 straight up)

I left the car running and turned on the AC!
One cooling fan came on and then a couple of seconds later the other one came on. Both fans SOUNDED good and seem to be running the correct speed.

The Top radiator hose dropped to 140 (F)
The bottom dropped to 125 (F) (but now that the fans were running there was a fair amount of air being blown across the bottom hose, which probably dropped the surface temperature some)

After a few minutes ONE cooling fan kicked off (drivers side) but the other one remained running!.

Then I turned the AC OFF! and the one cooling fan continued to run for maybe a couple of minutes, then it kicked off as well. The temp guage NEVER at any point went above the 12:00 half mark!

The car NEVER skipped once! (it idled good)

Yesterday when I was out in the car I watched the temperature guage VERY close and it never went above the half way point at ANY TIME!

One thing I did today BEFORE I started the test was to fill the recovery bottle up to the MAX fill line, it was right at the min mark when I opened the hood.
The coolant has PERFECT (new looking) color!

What could have heppened yesterday that made it not want to idle until I let it set and COOL OFF for awhile??
And the ECM not code anything (or thecheck engine light not indicate anything)

Looking for answers
MarkZX3
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Old 05-16-2009, 01:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roosterst View Post
If it dies as soon as you take your foot off the gas, I would check the IAC.
When I pulled up to get gas and stopped it was idling FINE! (just short of 900rpm's)

I took the time to fill a one gallon gas can, pay at the pump, put the gas can in the back, got in the car and started it. It started, but WOULD NOT IDLE!

Yes! if I let off the gas at all! the engine would die instantly! and it didn't stumble around either! it would just die if you let off the gas AT ALL!

It was so bad that If I pushed the clutch in to just slow down or coast I had to keep my foot on the gas, so the ONLY way I could stop was to use the emergency brake, but it was only three miles to the house (a short trip)

Okay, were back to the "Idle Air Control Valve" IAC. On the 2003 ZX3 2.0 Zetec engine where is the valve located?
And when you say check it what do you mean,
Check connections to it?
Do an idle check with it connected and then disconnect it and check it again, ect....???
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Old 05-16-2009, 05:30 PM   #7
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I had the same no idle problem with my 2003 ZTS when my alt. was going out both times, I'm on alt #3 now. Lucky it was replaced on Fords dime 2 times. I would take it to a auto parts store and have them check the alt. for free, mine had a bad diode both times. The problem will only get worse till it dies and will not run at all, then your stuck. Hope this helps you with your problem. Good Luck! 2003ZTS
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2003ZTS View Post

I had the same no idle problem with my 2003 ZTS when my alt. was going out both times, I'm on alt #3 now. Lucky it was replaced on Fords dime 2 times. I would take it to a auto parts store and have them check the alt. for free, mine had a bad diode both times. The problem will only get worse till it dies and will not run at all, then your stuck. Hope this helps you with your problem. Good Luck! 2003ZTS
Alt, okay, I'm thinking the alt. being bad or going bad would either have to,

Not charge, or
Over charge.

I haven't noticed any electrical or charging problems YET!

What other problems can the alternator cause?

I drove it around today (this afternoon) for a couple of hours (in town) and it did okay.
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:28 AM   #9
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How Does an Idle Air Control Valve Work? (IAC)
An IAC (idle air control) motor is designed to adjust the engine idle RPM speed by opening and closing an air bypass passage inside the throttle body. The car computer or ECM (electronic control module) receives information from various sensors and will output signals to adjust the IAC motor in or out to adjust engine idle speed by controlling engine idle air. An IAC motor can fail one of two ways, either the motor short circuits and stops working or the motor will develop high resistance and cause the IAC control motor to react slowly, either failure will cause the engine to stall at idle. When a trouble code scan is performed it sometimes won't always detect a failed or weak IAC motor. To check the IAC motor remove the unit, with the wires connected turn the key to the "on" position without starting the engine, the IAC should move in or out. If the IAC motor does nothing it has probably failed, replace it with a new unit and recheck system. Note: while the IAC motor is removed clean (use aerosol carburetor cleaner) the passages the IAC uses to control idle air speed.
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:34 AM   #10
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http://www.p71interceptor.com/repairs/iac/ <-----not on a focus, but might help.
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