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Old 11-26-2007, 10:06 AM   #1
christopher48197
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Wife's car Shudders on accel intermittently

2002 SE wagon Zetec ATX 95K mi, The car intermittently shudders during acceleration and sometimes during higher speed cruising. It seems to have gotten worse after having the dealership install front springs/struts. When she first described the problem to me I thought it might be a misfire and replaced the spark plugs and wires and also did the EGR workaround. Now that I've finally had a chance to drive the car while it was doing it I'm thinking its not the engine.

Going in a straight line it can be anywhere from a mild vibration to a rough shuddering to completely smooth and normal. It happens during acceleration at any speed or gear mainly during moderate to hard acceleration. And also seems to come and go when cruising at 70mph but usually presents during acceleration. It does however happen every time I accelerate hard on a right turn and not quite as bad on the left turns.

Sometimes it feels like a vibration in the steering wheel like tires out of balance or out of round and sometimes it just shakes the whole car and makes things rattle in the glovebox. I had discount tire check the tires and rebalance and rotate, and I checked to make sure the lug nuts are tight as well.

I'm starting to suspect either a CV joint is going bad, or perhaps a problem with the trans/differential. Its very hard to diagnose since it doesn't do it all the time. Oh and the trans fluid was flushed this past April with Amsoil ATF and the fluid level is full. The car also seems to pull a little to the right. I checked and all tire pressures are equal.

Any thoughts or advice will be greatly appreciated.


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Old 12-03-2007, 12:31 PM   #2
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The wife is losing faith in the Focus. Help me make her love this car again.
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Old 12-03-2007, 02:55 PM   #3
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alignment?
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:04 PM   #4
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hmmm I cant remember if my dad said he checked that or not, it could explain the pull to one side but I can't see how that would cause the shuddering....

*Edit* Good old dad did check the alignment and it was right on.

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Old 12-06-2007, 02:48 PM   #5
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**update**


I finally got a couple of hours to play around with the car and narrowed down the symptoms. The Car sits about 1/2 to 1 inch higher now on the new springs. With one person in the car it shudders pretty consistently on acceleration. With 2 or more people in the car it is fine and will only do it with hard acceleration on a right turn (I'm figuring the extra weight makes the car sit lower like it did on the old worn springs).

So I'm still thinking probably CV joint.

Anybody know of anything else that would cause this or am I going in the right direction?
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Old 12-06-2007, 03:02 PM   #6
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I had a shuttering issue (accelerating from 40-50mph) with my wife's town & country, anyways....I had the tranny full flushed and syn fluid w/additive replaced and it shifts smoother than it was new. Just my experience.
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Old 12-06-2007, 03:03 PM   #7
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Do you have a check engine light?
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:55 PM   #8
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No engine light, and trans was flushed w/synthetic 6 months ago. Thanks for the replies.
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Old 12-06-2007, 05:21 PM   #9
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there's so many theory's that can cause the problem

i was going to say the EGR purge solenoid or excessive backpressure in the exhaust system

but that will trigger a check engine light

another idea that CAN be possible is a shift solenoid

when you flushed out the tranny, did you do it yourself or did u have soemone else do it?

Another theory can be that the Torque converter is slipping [the fans inside slipping against each other]

Torque converter acts like a clutch, basically -- the only difference is that its filled with fluid creating hydraulic pressure
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Old 12-06-2007, 05:32 PM   #10
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i had the same porblem and still to this day i cant figure it out. and i redid the whole suspension, CV joints, drive shafts, wheel bearings, new tires, the work and it was still there!!!!!!
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