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Old 04-29-2012, 01:42 AM   #1
nicksab
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Angry Misfire Cylinder 4??

Hey everyone

I need help with my 2000 ford focus ZX3.

It has the 2.0 zetec DOHC in it

The engine is misfiring like crazy but idling fine. The CEL is on and is even blinking when I am driving the car.

I had the code pulled out and it says cylinder 4 misfiring.

I checked the cylinder 4 spark plug and there is oil on the electrode part which is almost like oil sludge.

I checked the coil for spark and it is fine so i don t think it is coming from the coil pack

What could be the problem?

Any advise would more than appreciated

Thank you


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Old 04-29-2012, 03:23 AM   #2
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nicksab I'd clean the spark plug area and change the plugs and coil. I know you have checked for a spark from the coil already but the spark may be intermittent.

Changed my plugs & coil yesterday.

Symptoms were missfire under load. At idle and revving engine was sweet so had I tested the spark it would of been fine. I know I should of ruled out the plugs/coil seperately but her indoors needed the car fast.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FocusGhia View Post
nicksab I'd clean the spark plug area and change the plugs and coil. I know you have checked for a spark from the coil already but the spark may be intermittent.

Changed my plugs & coil yesterday.

Symptoms were missfire under load. At idle and revving engine was sweet so had I tested the spark it would of been fine. I know I should of ruled out the plugs/coil seperately but her indoors needed the car fast.
Thank you for the reply.

The plugs are brand new so i don t think it comes from there.

How can i test the coil pack?

I would like to test it before i get a new one.

Also, my car is misfiring all the time and smell like gas is not being burned. It does it at idle, reving or under load.

I had the code pulled and it came out with P0304

The CEL is always on and it blinks while driving ( depending on the rpm and/or speed )

As soon as i go below 40 mph, the cel stays solid.

The spark plug from cylinder #4 is covered with oil. It was liquid the first time i checked but now it is more of a burned oil.

What could be the problem?

Thank you again for your help
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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Gee, covered with oil WHERE?

If the plug well is full of oil from a leaking valve cover gasket for example, the spark will go through that instead of firing the charge in the cylinder - so you'll get a "misfire" on that cyl. every time.

Plug electrode covered with oil is a different issue, with a different diagnosis & list of checks to confirm the problem....

Luck!
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:13 AM   #5
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Sorry nick I'm a bit lost now as I'm unsure whether you mean the oil is on the internal part of the spark plug (bit that go's in engine.....indicates worn piston rings and or valve stem oil seals) or external part of plug (mostly indicates a bad cover gasket as sailor says...not uncommon).

Assuming oil is on outside then you could pull the spark plug (clean surrounding area of plug first)......and also use a q-tip or similar to clean inner part of plug lead contact...this would clear the fault for a short while.

The coil itself can be tested with a multi-meter but they are so cheap here in UK I would just stick a new one on.....17 on ebay.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Gee, covered with oil WHERE?

If the plug well is full of oil from a leaking valve cover gasket for example, the spark will go through that instead of firing the charge in the cylinder - so you'll get a "misfire" on that cyl. every time.

Plug electrode covered with oil is a different issue, with a different diagnosis & list of checks to confirm the problem....

Luck!

The plug well ( plug boot location ) is clean and shiny. No sign of oil in there.

The oil is on the tread and on the internal part of the plug. ( the white part is all brownish and has oil on it )

I will try to take a pic of the plug tomorrow.

What do you mean by " different diagnosis & list of checks "?

I know that the car has been misfiring and runing like this for awhile.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FocusGhia View Post
Sorry nick I'm a bit lost now as I'm unsure whether you mean the oil is on the internal part of the spark plug (bit that go's in engine.....indicates worn piston rings and or valve stem oil seals) or external part of plug (mostly indicates a bad cover gasket as sailor says...not uncommon).

Assuming oil is on outside then you could pull the spark plug (clean surrounding area of plug first)......and also use a q-tip or similar to clean inner part of plug lead contact...this would clear the fault for a short while.

The coil itself can be tested with a multi-meter but they are so cheap here in UK I would just stick a new one on.....17 on ebay.
The oil is on the internal part of the plug.

Thanks for the tip. I may just go ahead and change the coil but i am afraid that my misfiring problem is much worst than i thought.

What and where should i look now to try to diagnosis it?

thank you for the prompt reply
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:40 AM   #8
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nick check this out and let us know how your spark plug compares.

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...LlhSEyTIY-RApw

By the way again if your coil OR PLUG IGNITION LEAD is faulty it will cause a build up of oily/fuel residue on the weak plug as the chamber will be getting its usual dose of injected fuel and this in turn will build up if the spark plug is not CONTINUALLY "sparking", eventually building up and causing an even worse missfire....hope that makes sense.

Ideally you could check further into the cylinder by using a compression tester...but personally I like easy and I aint got a compression tester lol. Unfortunately the cost of new plug leads and a coil will be your least concern if the problem is internal.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:17 AM   #9
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Different diagnosis referred to whether you had the OUTSIDE of the plug covered in oil (porcelain, nut, threads) indicating a leaky valve cover - OR whether the electrode (that white part in the tip of the plug) was oil covered, possibly indicating internal engine issues.

As FocusGhia mentioned, don't panic yet - since a plug that isn't firing due to external causes COULD build up some unusual residue....

A real indicator here would be the condition of the other plugs. If they all have a buildup on the electrode it's a sign of the engine burning oil due to long term wear (high mileage engine??) and the one that "fouls out" due to this build up would then become oil covered when it's no longer firing.

The compression check mentioned would be a GOOD first step, since this gives you some diagnostics as to the internal mechanical condition of the engine.

it's not an expensive test, and it really needs to be done so you don't waste money guessing at the problem.

You can buy, rent or borrow a gauge, and read up or ask here on how to use it. If that isn't an easy option for you paying for the test would be well worth the small price to have it done...

Good luck
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:55 PM   #10
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I am having the same code. I would characterize the symptoms as 'soggy' acceleration, sometimes surging. The CEL will flash when accelerating on the highway.

Recently I used Seafoam in the vacuum line, oil and gas. Followed up by replacing the all 4 plugs, all 4 plug wires, fuel filter, oil change, oil filter, and DPFE Sensor.

Acceleration is better, but the problem remains.

The plug on cylinder 4 looks like dry fouling in my case. The electrode is covered in a dry black. All the other plugs are normal.

I am gonna go ahead and replace the coil.

If this doesn't work any chance it is the fuel injector?

After that its time to check the cylinder compression.
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