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Old 02-16-2013, 05:22 PM   #1
Girlwhoneedshercar
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Could this be a vacuum leak?

My 2005 zx4 started a couple months ago idling really rough and some times there was like a hissing sound. Now it idles extremely rough and sometimes even dies. It also has started shifting rough and hesitating when you accelerate. Everything I have read says it could be a vacuum leak but y father doesn't think so. We've changed the spark plugs and air flow system and fuel filter. I'm at my wits end I need my car back badly I'm getting ready to have a baby and our only other vehicle is a 92 dodge truck with a bench seat. I need my car back to being reliable, I need the room.


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Old 02-16-2013, 07:01 PM   #2
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The hissing makes it sound like a vac leak. You could have your father spray carb cleaner around the intake manifold and throttle body. Make sure the intake tube is properly connected to MAF (Mass air flow sensor) and throttle body. Many people including me have overlooked this or just not notice. Its possible the timing could have jumped but you would need a shop to fix that. I would take it to advanced auto or some other parts store and have them scan it for codes. Their are probly codes in the computer to give you an idea whats wrong even if the check engine light isnt on. I hope this at least helps some. Good luck, if you get any new info let us know.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:02 PM   #3
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I forgot to clarify that the carb spray will make the engine rev up or maybe smooth out the idle when you spary at any vac leaks.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:17 AM   #4
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If you are hearing the hissing sound immediately after you shut the car down, it is more than likely that your car has a split PCV hose. Even if you don't hear the hissing sound at that particular time, checking for a split PCV hose is a good early step in diagnosing your problem. The PCV hose is located behind the intake manifold on the front of the Duratec engine. Spraying carb spray in this region is a way of checking.

You can search this forum on "Duratec PCV hose" for much more information.

Please post back whatever the final solution is to your problem. That way we all learn.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:55 AM   #5
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I don't advise spraying anything. I advise tracing down the vacuum lines via the VECI diagram under the hood- and trying to find where your hissing is coming from using your ears. I used to advise starting fluid, but both starting fluid and carb cleaner are putting flammables into the air under the hood while the engine is running. A small spark will give you an engine fire, and sure- I know people, myself included who have done this 100 times without a fire. It only takes one fire to cause big issues or injuries.

Typically a massive vacuum leak will cause the idle to go up. An air intake leak or MAF problem will cause the issue you're experiencing. The confusion comes from the Zetec PCV problems. The Zetec would either collapse or split the PCV vacuum hose. When it collapsed, it would cause low idle issues. When it split, it would cause high idle issues. The Duratec could do the same thing if it collapsed, but I have not seen where it collapsed.

How did you replace the air intake system? Could you have reversed the MAF?
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:56 AM   #6
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BTW, I am not suggesting you replace the MAF, it is doubtful that it is bad.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:06 AM   #7
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Had the car hooked up to a code reader and its says its the catalytic converter and when we checked the exhaust there is hardly anything coming out of it. Hopefully changing that fixes the problem we'll see
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:13 AM   #8
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Yeah, that will do that, but it seems weird that it was working and then it stopped working. Another cat test is to run the engine for a few minutes- if you can- and then look to see if the cats are glowing. A glowing cat is a clogged cat. You might want to double check your O2 sensor wires to be sure those are not damaged. Check with our vendor Village Ford for good prices on Motorcraft parts. We highly recommend MC O2 sensors as we've seen problems with aftermarket sensors. I don't know about their cat converter prices. It depends on which cat is the problem. You know there is a cat in the exhaust manifold on this car. That one is very expensive. Mufflers can cause issues that appear to be like the Cat as well. A clogged muffler will do the same thing, and give the same code. If you run your car for 5 mins and don't see a glowing cat- I'd replace the muffler first. You'll know when you remove it if it is the problem because you'll hear stuff bouncing around in there. You might be able to jostle it while it's in the vehicle and hear things moving around inside.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:22 AM   #9
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Yeah my dad is busy today but it supposed to work on it in the next couple of days. He says he's going to remove the muffler first and check it.
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