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Old 12-08-2011, 04:17 PM   #1
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2010 ford focus S wont start sometimes

I dont know why, but every now and then when I go to turn the key the engine will crank automatically without igniting. I have to stop the engine from cranking manually, then turn the key on again and it will fire. This happened to me twice in a month. Anyone experience this?


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Old 12-08-2011, 04:53 PM   #2
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so like when you turn the power on the engine attemps to starts (crank) w/o you turning the key all the way?
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:09 PM   #3
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It happened like this. I parked the car at the gas station, got back in. Went to start the car, it cranked, but didint start. It was cranking without me actually holding the key in the start position. Nothing was happening, I could have probably let it crank for an hour with nothing. I then turned the key to the off position, tried again an it started. I dont know why it will do that sometimes. It happened twice in a month, and it happened a while back as well a few times. Maybe it was flooded or something. 70 000 km's on it now. I am heading to a dealer right now. They said they will take a quick look at it. I will get them to pull a spark plug too see what they look like. Even though you shouldn't have to change it until 100k.
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:30 PM   #4
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Plugs are supposed to last 100k miles, but it doesn't always work like that. I had to change mine at 80k, for example.

What might be happening is that the throttle plate is opening too far and causing the mix to lean and not start. You didn't flood. Flooding will make the engine crank slower like you have a weak battery. A rich mix is required to start most of the time- even more rich in colder weather with a cold engine. I know you didn't have a cold engine that time, but bear with me.

You cranked the engine, and it didn't start. When you turned the key from off to start, the PCM should've sprayed a "start up" mix from the injectors. I won't spray fuel after that until the engine starts, so yes, you could've cranked for an hour and it wouldn't start. When you turned the key off, then started again, you got a second mix- or, if the injectors didn't fire the first time- you finally got fuel -> boom, start.

Your problem was either the throttle plate opened too far, or you didn't get a start up mix of fuel when you first cranked.

Your problem you're going to have with the dealer is if you can't recreate the episode. A problem can't be repaired if it can't be replicated. They will just be guessing. They will probably prescribe a new set of plugs to solve your ail- and they might be right on that point.
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:25 PM   #5
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thank you for the response. The dealer could not replicate the problem like you described and said that it seems fine after trying to start it 6 times. Probably was one of the causes you described. Either had the peddal down too far, or just didint get a good spray of fuel. All good I suppose unless it happens even more. What I would like to do is replace my manual tranny fluid, but I dont know if it will void warrenty if I do myself. Anyone know?
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:01 AM   #6
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Don't touch the accelerator when trying to start the vehicle. In your vehicle, with throttle by electric wire, it shouldn't matter. Irregardless, there is no need to touch the accelerator in any modern EFI vehicle except in an emergency situation. For example, if you have a bad injector, your engine will flood sometimes on cold start, and it will bog down like a weak battery as I described. Then you go for "Emergency start mode", turn key off, floor accel, turn key to start holding accel down, and the EFI system will not spray fuel, but the engine will crank. This procedure works on every car I've worked on from every maker, and it's the same thing you'd do to un-flood a flooded carbureted vehicle- without turning the key to OFF, of course. In the event of a flooded EFI system, it will sputter eventually, when that happens, turn the key back to OFF, and start normally without your foot on the accelerator.

Your car was not flooding.

Use Ford's recommended transmission fluid. Removal and refill is fairly easy. You need an 8mm hex key, or allen wrench adapter for a ratchet. The drain is underneath where the passenger side axle enters the transmission. The fill plug is facing towards the bumper under the battery area, but down far enough that none of the intake wiring is in the way- it's on about the same horizontal level as the top of the oil filter. Make sure you are as level as possible with the vehicle jacked up, and that you've safely jacked your vehicle so it doesn't roll over on you.

I overfilled my transmission slightly, and it ejected the overfilled fluid from the passenger side axle seal. It has not leaked since it "fixed" what I did. Overfilling is difficult to avoid since most of the time vehicles will be jacked up at an angle, and that means more fluid will be put in. The correct amount is 1.3 qts. IMO, I'm better off to be slightly overfilled than slightly underfilled, but I'm sure someone will argue, and I do have a dirt collecting oil stain under the car now to show for it.
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:15 AM   #7
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Whynot's advice on the pedal is spot on, but from your INITAL description it seems like you have an intermittent issue with the key switch and/or the electrical switch it operates.

If it doesn't stop cranking when you release it from the crank position (springing back to the "on" position), yet it DOES stop when you turn it off - the issue is in the key switch area as opposed to a sticking solenoid on the starter.

Are you using an "original" key or a replacement? (slightly mis-cut keys can be "sticky" in the lock)

Non-starting, as well as the extended cranking, points more toward the electrical switch the key lock turns. That switch needs to provide power for the engine's fuel & ignition systems when "on" or "cranking" - as well as the "time to crank" power to the starter solenoid.

I've seen bad switches that actually stopped giving the engine power to run when in the "cranking" position, occasionally ONLY starting as the key was released from the "crank" position....

SO, be sensitive to EXACTLY what happens if this intermittent occurs again, it'll help a LOT in diagnosis!

Luck!
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damann33 View Post
I dont know why, but every now and then when I go to turn the key the engine will crank automatically without igniting. I have to stop the engine from cranking manually, then turn the key on again and it will fire. This happened to me twice in a month. Anyone experience this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by damann33 View Post
I am heading to a dealer right now. They said they will take a quick look at it. I will get them to pull a spark plug too see what they look like. Even though you shouldn't have to change it until 100k.
Hey Damann33,

Glad to learn you're heading to the dealer. If the issue persists, contact Ford of Canada Customer Relationship Center at 1.800.565.3673 for further assistance.

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Old 12-12-2011, 10:48 AM   #9
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thank you for the response. The dealer could not replicate the problem like you described and said that it seems fine after trying to start it 6 times. Probably was one of the causes you described. Either had the peddal down too far, or just didint get a good spray of fuel. All good I suppose unless it happens even more. What I would like to do is replace my manual tranny fluid, but I dont know if it will void warrenty if I do myself. Anyone know?
Hey Damann33,

Sorry, I missed the opportunity to answer this question concerning the transmission fluid previously. Rookie poster !

The warranty will not be voided if you replace the manual transmission fluid on your Focus. Motorcraft full synthetic fluid is recommended for optimal shifting as stated on page 258 of the Owners Guide.

Hope this helps!

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Old 12-13-2011, 12:47 AM   #10
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thanks a lot for your help, the fluid was done with no issues at all. :) Yea I am a rookie compared to you Noemi, I will slowly work my way up there though
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