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Old 02-06-2014, 07:43 AM   #1
bgee1
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Focus acting really sluggish & other symptoms.

I've got a 2002 focus with the single overhead cam engine.

The water pump has been going bad for a bit, and one is ordered, but now there are some other symptoms that are making me wonder if I should even bother to put it in!

It's been pretty weak for a long time (even for a 2.0 L 4-cylinder), yet still drive-able. But it just started getting worse, a lot worse. When I first turn it on it's pretty normal, but literally only for about 10-15 seconds worth of driving, then it literally gets so weak that I can barely top 20 MPH and hardly even accelerate in 2nd gear (it's a manual).

Now, the water pump is going bad. I could understand the car getting real sluggish once it heats up because of not getting enough circulation, but 10-15 seconds seems WAY to fast to get that affect from that alone, am I right in that belief?

It's almost like it gets just enough time to get oil moving through the engine and then it can hardly run (which is odd, since one would think a car would run better once the oil did get moving through the engine...) I did get an oil change before this got so much worse, not sure what oil he used, but even if he used a slightly off one, I've never seen it make this drastic of a difference, am I right on that? Or is the focus THAT sensitive to oil weight?

I'm thinking change the oil to 5w-20 so that I KNOW it's right, air filter change, fuel filter change, and maybe spark plug change, in addition to the water pump.

It's about 10 degrees F here BTW. It has run just fine in colder than this in the recent past. So while the cold may contribute, it's definitely not JUST the cold.

Basically I'm trying to pick your brains to see if, given these symptoms, that has a chance of working, or if I should not waste my money on labor for getting that water pump changed because there's likely something much bigger wrong with it. Thoughts? Feel free to just ramble about possibilities...that's what I'm curious about.


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Old 02-06-2014, 08:56 AM   #2
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Is the water pump leaking? If so, it's possible that it's leaked onto the timing belt and caused the engine to jump time. The 2.0L SPI engine, historically, is not sensitive to oil weight and the rate at which coolant circulates doesn't contribute to performance unless the engine is overheating as a result.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:04 AM   #3
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Could that timing cause the massive difference between normal operation/power levels when first turned on, yet barely having the power to move 15 seconds or so later? It's that massive difference that I'm having trouble reconciling.
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Old 02-06-2014, 02:07 PM   #4
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Before getting too deep in the diagnosis/guessing, for your first question of whether it's worth the work a compression check would be a good idea.

Pulling the plugs to do that would let you inspect them, that might give an idea as to the current problem as well.

Luck!
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:50 PM   #5
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Could be as simple as a bad o2 sensor , see if a local member has a sct xcal so you can datalog and I will be glad to look it over

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Old 02-06-2014, 08:09 PM   #6
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Check your engine compression before you go any further. Those SPIs are known to drop valve seats and turn into paperweights.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:47 PM   #7
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as mentioned above, do the compression test first. If there are any warning lights, have them checked and go from there. sometimes it can be a very simple problem. And to answer your question, bad timing can do a dramatic difference in performance, take the plastic cover off the cam gears and take a look at your belt.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:05 AM   #8
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This is great, exactly the kind of conversation I was looking for.

So definitely get the compression checked, and other possibilities mentioned are o2 sensor and valve seats. Good to know, I'll look into those things as well.

If anyone else has input, don't feel like this thread has to be ended, I'm open to any possibilities that could make the symptoms described above. Thanks!
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