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Old 10-15-2012, 07:13 AM   #1
lothy
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01 focus 2.0 SPI lifter noise

Hey all. I'm not terribly sure how to describe this properly so I'll try my best. Recently my Focus has developed a noise similar to a lifter going bad. It can only be described as a click. It gets faster as I rev the engine. However, it only seems to present itself after the engine gets hot. Another symptom that may or may not be related is when I accelerate after the engine is hot, the car will feel like it is pulling and feel rough. It is usually remedied by pushing the throttle all the way and it seems to "fix" itself. The only things I can think of is the oil viscosity isn't coating the engine at high temps. The engine has 138k on it at the moment. I checked the oil pressure and there is no problem there. I have not heard the noise when the engine starts cold. I'm rather stumped right now. Even after some Google-fu I cankt find my specific problem. Thanks again for any ideas!


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Old 10-15-2012, 11:31 PM   #2
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A cylinder compression test should be high on your list of things "to do". Mechanical damage to the valve train, or more specifically a valve seat, should be self evident if a single cylinder reads lower than the rest. The SPI engine has a reputation for cylinder head problems at mileages right around yours.

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Originally Posted by lothy View Post
It is usually remedied by pushing the throttle all the way and it seems to "fix" itself.
Um, yeah, I would refrain from doing that until you rectify the problem or at least isolate the source...
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:25 PM   #3
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Thank you for the response. I will be doing this asap. two quick questions, should I do the test when the engine is hot (when the problem manifests itself) or cold (when the symptoms are non existant)? To remedy it in the meantime, what should I do if throttling hard is a bad idea? It has been occuring on startup now but only when the engine is still relatively hot.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:12 PM   #4
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Compression tests are more accurate when the engine is warm; however, that's not always practical (particularly if you're doing the test to find out the reason an engine won't run.) Hot compression test results usually simply generate higher psi values. If the problem is a bad valve, broken ring or blown head gasket, for example, hot or cold won't matter - you'll get results like cylinder #1 - 150 psi, cyl #2 - 145 psi, cyl#3 - 25 psi, cyl#4 - 150 psi. where cyl #3 compression is an obvious problem.

On a "good" motor, compression readings should be within, say, 10% of each other; the absolute reading is of lesser importance. Compression tests should be done with the throttle held open.

To answer your second question, I really wouldn't drive the car until the noise cause is determined. Awkward, I know, but driving a car that obviously has a problem will only increase the possibility of further damage and make eventual repairs more expensive.
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