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Old 01-14-2013, 10:49 PM   #1
swansong
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SVT with sudden rough idle, power loss

My SVT very suddenly started to run like crap. Here's the situation. Filled up with gas today. Car has been running quite well, got 29 mpg on the tank on a 250 mile trip. On the way home, a few miles from the gas station the car starts to lose power and runs really rough in gear or neutral. Sounds like rocks rolling around when I apply throttle, gargley and deep sounding. I coast to a stop in neutral, with the car stumbling the whole time. Shut it off. Turn back on and it can barely idle, requires throttle to keep from stalling. Runs terrible, sounds dangerous even. Shut it off. Called AAA and had it towed to my local shop. It's sitting at the repair shop for them to diagnose tomorrow. No CEL through any of this.

Hopefully its something simple, I'm suspecting fuel filter or pump... Better not be timing related since that was done 55k miles ago.

More info:
Car has 135k miles.
Fuel filter mileage unknown, could be quite old as the filter, bracket, and nuts are very rusted. (Which is why I haven't gotten to it.) No mention of it being changed by PO, who kept decent notes and was a Ford mechanic.
For past few months car has had a slight stumble at cruising speeds and occasionally threw P0133 and P0172. Changed O2 sensor, reset ECU, car has run much better since with no codes, but still not 100.0%.
Has Toms Tune. No issues with the tune AFAIK.
New Motorcraft copper plugs and CFM wires.
New Alternator.

Basically, I'll see what the shop has to say tomorrow, but I'll back up their thoughts with what the FF community has to say.


UPDATE WITH RESOLUTION:

It was bad gas. Really.

Shop replaced the fuel pump and filter. Still ran like garbage, very difficult to start it. Sat for a few weeks in the cold. Tom (1turbofocus) helped me get it started and debugged. I got the car running with the gas on intake trick. Once it was warm it ran ok, but felt down on power, like 50%. Figuring it might just be as simple as bad gas, I put some Heet and Seafoam in the tank and tried to drive it off. Put 100 miles on and it ran better as it went, almost completely back to normal. Still had a small hiccup between 1500 and 2500 rpms, usually in second gear. Filled it up with gas again and let it sit overnight in the cold. It fired right up the next morning. Ran better and better over the next few days, and no issues since. Boo Citgo!


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Old 01-14-2013, 10:52 PM   #2
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It sounds like what happen when my air box piping came off so the maf wasn't reading the right amount or air
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:48 AM   #3
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moved u to the technical chat forum.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:49 AM   #4
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Thanks, forgot about General Tech Chat.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:23 AM   #5
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Well, I guess that's one good thing about not changing the fuel filter- you'll change it when you change the pump. My pump has 150k miles/8 yrs on it, and the filter has been changed every 25-30k like it should be. I'm curious as to when it will go out.

As a guess, yes, it is fuel pump/filter time. The engine running conditions you described are similar to fuel starvation. You might expect a CEL, but it probably didn't run with the condition long enough to pop up a CEL.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:30 AM   #6
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^^ My thinking as well.

Another thing to add: Car sat overnight on the shop's lot. I tried to start it this morning but it wouldn't. Seemed like it wasn't getting fuel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwhit1 View Post
It sounds like what happen when my air box piping came off so the maf wasn't reading the right amount or air
I was hoping for this (free fix!) but intake piping was nice and tight. Couldn't find any other red flags under the hood either.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:59 AM   #7
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In the future, listen for the fuel pump to buzz. On a Ford, if it doesn't buzz, that doesn't mean that the fuel pump is out- there is still the fuel cutoff, and the fuel pump module. About 90% of the time when it doesn't buzz when you turn the key to ON, that is the fuel pump.

Change that fuel filter every 25-30k miles, and if rust and abuse is a problem up there in WI, then use nickel anti-seize under the bracket, and on the threads of the bolt that holds the bracket down. It's messy, but it works. I buy this stuff by the bottle. It's a lot cheaper than purchasing those $1 tubes. It separates due to temp changes and non-use, but just stir it with a screwdriver- no harm done.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whynotthinkwhynot View Post
In the future, listen for the fuel pump to buzz. On a Ford, if it doesn't buzz, that doesn't mean that the fuel pump is out- there is still the fuel cutoff, and the fuel pump module. About 90% of the time when it doesn't buzz when you turn the key to ON, that is the fuel pump.

Change that fuel filter every 25-30k miles, and if rust and abuse is a problem up there in WI, then use nickel anti-seize under the bracket, and on the threads of the bolt that holds the bracket down. It's messy, but it works. I buy this stuff by the bottle. It's a lot cheaper than purchasing those $1 tubes. It separates due to temp changes and non-use, but just stir it with a screwdriver- no harm done.
Can't recall if I heard the pump this morning, usually I listen for it to run before turning the key from Run to Start.

"if rust is a problem up there in WI"... You southerners, so funny.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:45 PM   #9
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Shop says fuel pump. Gonna be $4xx to fix.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:28 PM   #10
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u didnt take it to the ford dealer did u?
when does ford say the timming belt should be changed?
currently at 78k+
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