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Old 08-15-2009, 05:42 PM   #1
greasecar
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2001 SE intermittent high idle, hard/not/wrong shifting

Hi folks, I have been searching for symptoms for months now while my focus sits in the driveway and have been unable to find anything which matches my symptoms.

I have a 2001 2.2L DOHC Focus SE with auto trans and A/C which has been running great since I got it, about a year ago.

The symptoms do not always occur. Some times I can drive it 50~100 miles a day on the highway at 65~70 and in town between 0~50 without any problems during start stop driving or WFO mode on the highway.

I started noticing that the car would not upshift properly. It "steps" through a progression of very slight surges when once I open the throttle and it kicks into passing gear and begins to accelerate. I have driven other focuses close to the same year which kick down into passing gear and accelerate smooth so that is why I believe this is non-typical and part of my problem.

The symptoms which caused me to stop driving it were very high idle... likek 2500 RPM... I have not noticed a pattern for this, it just happens and causes me to ride the brake alot while in traffic going under 40 Mph. I have also noticed that the idle will not drop to a normal curbe idle unless the car comes to a complete stop.

Some times the car will not start out in the correct gear, and other times it will shift so hard that it feels like you have been stuck from behind... even when going 15~30 MPH. If I manually shift everything is fine. Also if I shift into neutral then back in to drive it will some times upshift correctly and drop the idle down for only a short period of time.

Like I said the symptoms are intermittent and mainly related to high idle and shifting.

The computer has set codes for TPS and MAF sensors, which I have replaced with NAPA parts. There was no difference. I also dropped the pan on the transmission, inspected and cleaned it, replaced the filter and fluids with ford parts/fluids. I have also pulled PCM computer in the diver's side kick panel and checked to make sure it's not been modded since this was a used car, I also cleaned the electrical connector for the PCM.

Still having high idle and hard/wrong shifting issues.... any suggestions?




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Old 08-15-2009, 08:33 PM   #2
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Isn't it a 2.0L? Also it kinda sounds like you have a vacuum leak.
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:19 PM   #3
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A) Check for vacuum leaks, especially on the PCV line. This one has caused many problems, usually rough idle, and sputtering. I don't know if it would cause shifting problems though, but it's inexpensive to check out.

B) Check the throttle cable to be sure that it's not difficult to move by hand from under the hood, and that there are no sticky spots in the cable movement.

On a side note, I've been unhappy with some NAPA parts. If you have the old Ford parts, try cleaning them both with spray MAF cleaner or electrical parts cleaner.
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmuts View Post
Isn't it a 2.0L? Also it kinda sounds like you have a vacuum leak.
Ah yes it is a 2.0! I believe VIN 3 SVT, but I do know it's the Dual over head cam motor and not the single.

Vacuum something I did check and forgot to mention... I am sure there aer a few other things since it's been sitting for about 3~4 months, but I pulled the entire vacuum line a part which goes around the back of the motor, and also saturated the engine compartment with carb cleaner with the motor running from both the top and the bottom between the firewall and the engine... no idle changes which would indicate a leak. I am sure that does not completely 100% mean there is not a leak, but I could not find one using that method.

The symptoms IMO are not really like a vacuum leak which I assume would produce consistent symptoms. The one common sign I have been able to determine is the idle goes back to a normal curb idle only have the car comes to a complete stop. I have tried this from various speeds and it must be completely stopped before the idle changes. Of course once I start driving again the problem may or may not reoccur.

I know there is a speed sensor for the speedometer but as far as I can tell that would not have anything to do with raising or lowering the idle based on the speed of the car.... of course I am guessing and looking to the thread for some real life experiences in diagnosing these types of symptoms.

I have read many posts on high idle and hard shifting but none seem to have the common issue which I seem to notice... once the car completely stops the idle goes back down, at least until you start driving again then it can hang up around 2K and start shifting hard or just wrong.
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
A) Check for vacuum leaks, especially on the PCV line. This one has caused many problems, usually rough idle, and sputtering. I don't know if it would cause shifting problems though, but it's inexpensive to check out.

B) Check the throttle cable to be sure that it's not difficult to move by hand from under the hood, and that there are no sticky spots in the cable movement.

On a side note, I've been unhappy with some NAPA parts. If you have the old Ford parts, try cleaning them both with spray MAF cleaner or electrical parts cleaner.
Checked the PVC line and replace the PVC valve already, plus the car does not misfire and has plenty of power when you step it down. I think I also replace the coil packs, plugs and wires when I first got the car a year ago.

I have not checked the throttle cable, I'll just replace it if that's cheap enough.. thanks!

I have the old TPS and did swap it back out with no difference but NAPA actually required a core for the MAF which I thought was really strange.
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Old 08-16-2009, 01:08 PM   #6
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FYI, I checked out the throttle cable today and it operates freely, so I put some cleaner in both the throttle cable and cruise control cables (not lube, just cleaner which I used on my motorcycles) then took it for a test drive and noticed something else;

Another consistent symptom seems to be when the A/C is running the car will idle high and set a code for either the TPS or MAF, but with the A/C off the car runs fine, no high idle, no shifting problems other than not kicking down properly into passing gear and very sight surging under hard acceleration.

I assume the IAC valve is the most common thing which would cause the idle to go up when the A/C is on... so I am going to swap the IAC valve with another one and see if that makes any difference.

If there is anything else which could cause the idle to be raised when the A/C is on I would like to check that out too, so don't be shy to shout out some more suggestions.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:14 PM   #7
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idle problem

hey greasecar...did you ever figure out what was going on with your car? i have a 2000 SE SPI and mine has the weird/high idle with the clutch pressed in when the a/c is OFF. with it on, it will rev up and idle back to 800-850 no problem...with the a/c off it will rev up, catch itself about 2000, catch again around 1500 then around 1200 and finally rest about 1000-ish...any info would help! thanks!
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:31 PM   #8
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so, did an IAC valve replacement remedy the idle symptoms?
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:54 PM   #9
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try puting in an output speed sensor mine is doing the same thing ( i have the same car) and my dad ran codes for it at his shop and it didnt come up at first but once we replaced the altinator for its overcharging problem the speed sensor code came up so we are gonna put that it he says that should fix the shifting problem
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:56 PM   #10
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is it automatic? my zx3 had a shift solenoid that had fluid spilt on it that burnt it out. its on the front of the tranny
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