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Old 02-10-2013, 06:03 PM   #1
xFOCIx
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Starting issue is getting worse on my 2005 ZX3

Its only got 65,000 miles. It's always had long cranking issue since new. It's been to the dealer numerous times and I've had the PCM software updated.

I checked around and it has the newest calibration.

Recently it started to intermittently stumble and die. Other times, PCM sees the engine as already started, disengages starter, then reengages starter and grinds starter pinion. One thing that remains the same is that after a failed start, it always starts very quickly on the second attempt.

I just had a new fuel filter installed since it was due with no expectation of resolving anything as it does not have issues with fuel flow (no hesitation).

I also thoroughly cleaned, IACV, throttle body and MAF using approprite products.

Do any of you have this issue? have you been able to fix it?

I tried running the starter in a short burst first, then redoing as well as waiting in "on" position before starting, but these technique I learned on forums have been ineffective for me.


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Old 02-10-2013, 06:09 PM   #2
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On an 05 the PCM does not control the starter.

If it starts on the second try you need a fuel pressure regulator. Nothing else, nothing more.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:11 PM   #3
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I've had it since I bought the car new. I don't know how to fix it. It either starts in 3 cranks, or I stop and crank it again.

You might have some other problem that is making it worse- like a cracked PCV line or a clogged lifetime air filter.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by wickedgreyzx3 View Post
On an 05 the PCM does not control the starter.

If it starts on the second try you need a fuel pressure regulator. Nothing else, nothing more.
What controls it then? On my manual tranny ZX3, when you hold the key start, the starter disengages automatically after PCM detects engine is running even if the key is held in start. It does not stay engaged as it does on many older cars.

When starting fails, it automatically disengages, then it engages back into stumbling engine and gear grinds.

The air filter indicator is still in green. I seldom drive on gravel roads, so I don't think dust clogging is likely. I'm thinking about the turbo Focus ST since test drive was awesome, but the trouble plagued experience I've had with my 05 ZX3 is making me hesitant.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:19 PM   #5
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Mines an 06 manual and does not do that.

Maybe you have a bad ignition switch, but my guess still is a fuel pressure regulator
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:22 PM   #6
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Mines an 06 manual and does not do that.

Maybe you have a bad ignition switch, but my guess still is a fuel pressure regulator
Try engaging the starter with the engine running. On some cars, it will grind.
On Focus, PCM does not permit the starter to engage when the engine is running.


Why do you feel that its the fuel regulator? I think if it was the fuel regulator, it would have problem with driveability and power pulsation with fluctuating amount of fuel getting injected. The engine runs like a champ once its running and no issues at all.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:41 PM   #7
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A lot of times the pressure regulator will simply hold the pressure while its shut off.

If you have a guage hook it up before the regulator. If it drops its the regulator.
If it doesn't hook it up after and if it drops its the injectors leaking
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