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Old 09-12-2012, 12:27 PM   #1
krank
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Shuts off while driving, restarts after cooldown

It's now twice my Focus 2000 has shut down while driving on local streets, and I've been fortunate that no accidents happened and the car wasn't blocking traffic after. When it works it's fine (low mileage, under 50K) and it will work just fine after a cooldown. Right after a stop the starter turns, but the engine won't catch. The car was warmed up when it happened, but not hot, and there were no advance warnings. It must be electrical, maybe some safeguard like the fuel line cutoff, but would that reset when the engine cools? Is there a solenoid or sensor which is supposed to prevent the engine from starting, but is now shutting it down? I'd appreciate any suggestions, as I'm afraid to drive locally, let alone risk a stall on a parkway.


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Old 09-12-2012, 12:57 PM   #2
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I'm replying to my own post but I came across another post on your site about resetting the ECU by removing the negative battery terminal. I didn't mention originally that the first sign of trouble was a week previous after I may have put a few gallons of bad gas and the dash lights all went on suddenly when driving locally. I pushed the accelerator and the car kept on going. The only light that stayed on was the yellow engine light. Might a reset of the ECU fix the problem?
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:11 PM   #3
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The negative.cable has to be off for 15-20 minutes for a reset The yellow light you see is a check engine light. This can be caused by anything from a vacuum leak to your gas cap being too loose. Do you have a code reader?
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Old 09-12-2012, 03:57 PM   #4
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Also check your coil. I have seen a coil, that was going bad, cause this problem. The coil's internal insulation was starting to break down and when it reach operating temperature would cause the car to shut off, after it cooled down, the engine would fire right up.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:59 PM   #5
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a couple of other things to check since it's an early-model Focus:
  • collapsed PCV hose
  • dirty/faulty IAC valve
  • fuel pump failure
Regarding the last item, was your fuel pump ever replaced under the Ford recall? I experienced the textbook symptoms - stall without warning when driving with less than a 1/4-tank of gas (especially when turning).
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:00 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. Things have gotten worse. I took a chance on a very local errand yesterday, and got there ok. On the way back the engine stopped while driving. Someone gave me a boost, but it conked out again after a few blocks. I called my emergency service this morning, and with a boost was able to get it from a meter on the corner to my house. Did I mention that when the motor stops the clock and instrument panel turns off, and don't go on again when you turn the key until the motor catches, even though the starter turns over. Possible electrical, possible short, or maybe as suggested the coil? Any other suggestions?
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krank View Post
Did I mention that when the motor stops the clock and instrument panel turns off, and don't go on again when you turn the key until the motor catches, even though the starter turns over. Possible electrical, possible short, or maybe as suggested the coil? Any other suggestions?
Check all your battery connections, at both ends, positive and negatives/grounds, for corrosion and to make sure they are connected tight. Make sure battery is fully charged, then do a voltage check at the battery, first with engine off, should read around 12.5 Volts. Next check voltage at battery, with engine running, should be around 13.5 Volts.
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:42 PM   #8
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Definitely hinting at an electrical issue, like everyone elsw suggests check your coonections and your voltages.
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