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Old 01-16-2005, 03:07 PM   #1
kndlz28
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My son's car wants to stall when slowing to stop.

First of all, thanks for giving me the opportunity to pose questions. The car I'm speaking of was purchased for my step-son last year. It's a 2000 ZX3 that has about 50K on it.

A couple months ago when the cold started to hit (North Dakota winters), he noticed that when he'd fire it up for the first time after it sat for awhile, the guages would "sweep", but the car would start just fine. I thought, oh well...product of the weather.

Next, a few weeks ago, he noticed that when he'd go to turn a corner, the car would wanna die on him. I took it in (under extended warranty) and they replaced the fuel pump; that was just last week. The mechanic said that the guage sweep was no big deal.

Now just last night, as he's driving around, he pulls up to about 4 red lights and each time, the car dies on him. That's the worst it's been.

Just a note, the tank was full of gas, the battery and alternator both check out OK, and as far as I can tell, the battery terminal connections are solid.

I've heard about problems with engine grounds and the like, but the Ford mechanic dismissed that saying that it's usually just the fuel pump.

Sorry about the lengthy post but I was wondering if maybe your experience with these cars might help arm me so I can go back to the dealership with a little ammunition and hopefully get this thing fixed. My boy's only 17 and I need that car to last him through college.

Thanks in advance.....

Signed,
Proud ZX3 parent.


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Old 01-16-2005, 03:37 PM   #2
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i have a similar problem right now and i just changed my fuel pump and that didnt do a single thing....im not really sure what it could be but maybe the timing is off or something..im about to buy the focus sport sct chip so i can make the idle at 1000 cuz seems like when i put the clutch in the car drops in rpms real fast sometimes and just dies on me...so it could be the timing, i dont know what else it could be...get a privately owned auto place to look at it and drive it because ford never drives or even will take cars unless they already know of the exact problem...lazy guys
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Old 01-16-2005, 03:40 PM   #3
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I believe its the fuel pump. The 2000 model foci were littered with flaws, bugs, etc. Since you took it in already for a fuel pump it's hard to imagine that it's the same thing again. I read on here about turning causing the problem (fuel pump) plus my bro's ZX3 did the same thing and he got it replaced.

I'd take it back and tell them that you just got the fuel pump fixed and it is still doing the same thing. Maybe they can check it for you for free since they never really fixed it. Turning a corner or stopping, either way it's probably related to the same issue as before.

Keep us updated, curious cause I haven't heard of this happenning after the fuel pump was changed.

As for engine grounds, just check the cables on the battery. Make sure they are clean and not damaged, loose. This can cause something similar to what is happenning to your son's car. Also to add, when the car dies when slowing down, is it just shutting down, or sorta a 'flooding' feeling or a stuttering engine (like the car is out of gas) and shutting down?
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Old 01-16-2005, 06:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies gentlemen. And S2, as far as your question about stalling out and sputtering, I drove the car to work tonight. As I slow for a stop sign with the clutch in, it just shuts down as though I turned the key to the off position. There was no sputtering or flooding out or anything like that. It's just like I turned it off while the clutch was in and it rolled to a stop.

My plan is to take it back to the Ford dealership as they're the only ones supposedly who can do the warranty work, and tell them that it's not fixed and they need to get it right this time. It only took me 5 minutes of driving to see the problem for myself so I'm hoping that they can find it as quickly (hahahahahahahahaha.........right!).

I appreciate your input as I'm extremely unfamiliar with this vehicle. For me, if it's not a 5.7L Chevy, I'm lost.

But as requested, I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-16-2005, 07:05 PM   #5
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I'm jumping on the fuel pump bandwagon...

but I would also ask Ford if they replaced the EGR valve, which should have been a part of the fuel pump recall...this sounds like it might be part of the problem...
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Old 01-16-2005, 07:45 PM   #6
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If they are not willing to take it for a ride, ask to see the service manager. If you talk to him, he will get it taken care of. Also suggest that he takes it for a spin with you in it so he will be incharge of your repairs. YOU are the customer. they should wink when you tell them they should pee when you tell them...But whenever we have had a unresolved issue we talk to the service mannager and he takes care of it for us. It helps when he knows exactly what the car is doing... Good luck..
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Old 01-16-2005, 08:29 PM   #7
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I would also check the grounds around the block its self, I can't imagine the fuel pump being the problem just after they replaced it... so they say. do any dummy light flash? like a yellow exclamation mark with a star burst be hind it? My focus will just die every once in a while with no apparent reason, I think I'm miss firing so I'm working on replacing my coil with a screamin deamon... who knows? Good luck and please post when you find out what is exactly wrong
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Old 01-16-2005, 08:44 PM   #8
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do you know if your son has made ne modifications to it behind your back? not to tell on him but if he has it could be something more serious if hes been hotroding it...maybe you should ask him if he has fooled with the intake..check under the hood and see if maybe his intake has popped off...and see if the sp wires are snug...but like i said it happens to me from time to time and i think its the timing...mabe he got cam gears or something
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Old 01-17-2005, 01:03 AM   #9
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Lots of good questions and I'll answer what I can.

First, I'm not sure whether they replaced the EGR valve or not. I know they replaced the fuel filter at the same time they did the pump, but I'll have to check on the valve. If I'm understanding you right revamp, that should've been done as part of the recall?

And Chaney, as far as I know, I spoke to the service manager when I took it in. At least, the guy at the desk told me that "_____ is the guy you want to talk to, he's our Focus expert around here". And believe me, I'll cause a stink about this if I need to. I was in retail management for 15 years before my chosen profession and I know the value of a good customer.......they will too.

Mconrada, to be honest, I wouldn't really know where to begin to look for the grounds on this thing. Again, not real familiar with the motors on these things. And as far as lights flashing when this happens.....the only light that comes on when it dies is the battery light, nothing else. But again, I had the battery and alternator tested and they were fine.

And lastly, FokuZX3. I'm 99% sure he hasn't done any modifications to the car on his own; he'd ask me for help on that. Plus, he knows that if he dicks with it without my permission, it gets parked in the garage and he rides his little bike to school (won't go over too well with his high school football buddies). He wants the ground effects kit, the CAI, and all of that, but hasn't gotten them yet.

Well, being it's Monday a.m., I'll be calling them later today to see when I can get it in again. I'll take some of these ideas to them and see what they say.

Thanks again for all the help. This is a very courteous board.
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Old 01-17-2005, 01:05 AM   #10
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Oh, and S2, I have to ask you where you got that spoiler that's below your rear windshield? I know my boy would love that look on his. Thanks in advance.
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