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Old 02-20-2013, 07:13 PM   #1
NC-Mike
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Move wire on 05 Focus fuel rail and engine starts to misfire

Any idea why this happens? The car started running rough and when I touched the wire on the injector, the engine smoothed out, move the wire again and the engine misfires. The mechanic changed the wiring harness and the same thing happens. Now he says it it the injector itself...

Any help appreciated.

The car still runs fine as long as you manipulate the wire into a happy spot...


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Old 02-20-2013, 08:25 PM   #2
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Could be, or connection to that part.................should be simply to fix but will not fix itself.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:45 PM   #3
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Yeah, A new ST would be a solution as well...
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:12 PM   #4
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If you are SURE that moving wire affects it then fix the connection, not injector unless the actual injector connector loose in injector itself, that would be odd. More likely wire broken inside or connection loose.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:14 AM   #5
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That sounds like you've diagnosed a problem. Injectors aren't cheap, but O-rings are. Be sure to inspect the O-rings on the other injectors when you pull the fuel rail.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:35 PM   #6
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That sounds like you've diagnosed a problem. Injectors aren't cheap, but O-rings are. Be sure to inspect the O-rings on the other injectors when you pull the fuel rail.
Well the mechanic made the call. First he charged 350 dollars to replace the main wiring harness that has the connections to the injectors attached to it and it still does the exact same thing. I found it hard to believe it would be the injector and it would cause the engine to misfire by just manipulating the wires on the connector, I thought it may be a grounding problem but have no sure idea. I never saw a car do this. I hate working on cars today. I used to work on my 73 mustang, do all kinds of things, but now everything has a blasted wire attached to it and I hate wires...


BTW, I do want a ST. I am in serious lust with that car. This 05 is my first Focus and I do love it. I've had it for about 6 months and 5 thousand miles but I do now know my future will include a ST.

Blue-Collar-Super-Car Its my dream come true.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:25 AM   #7
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I'd have suggested grounding problems, but not after it was identified at a single injector. The mechanic didn't expect that either, but being a professional- he should've removed the injector plug-in and inspected it, but maybe he did and there's no way to see that sort of damage. A resistance test might show it- if one of the pins wobbles. I've never seen anything like that, but as Sherlock said: When you've eliminated the logical possibilities- what remains, no matter how incredible, must be the answer.

The ST is only a 14 sec car, it's price is great for the performance, but I'm wary of the Ecoboost still until I see it at 100k miles. Most turbo cars need new turbos around 100k, and that's expensive. I'd like to think that Ford did a better job, but that remains to be seen.

BTW, you might want to research a new mechanic. There are injector "pigtails" that you can splice in so you don't have to purchase a whole wiring harness. IINM- the injector harness itself separates from the main harness. I'll have to go look, I might be thinking of another car on that one. I had a coil connector that would be loose if I didn't take care when re-installing it. The clip wouldn't pop up to lock the connector in place. I had to pull the clip up to be sure it was secure. That caused a few problems. Anyway, working man- time for me for me to go to work.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:02 PM   #8
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Well we shall see soon. The mechanic has the injector and I'll get over there in the next few days. I bet a grounding problem because the wiring harness in brand new and more than one injector is affected when you twist its connection.

The car also started doing weird stuff like the radio getting louder while the high-beam indicator flickers very rapidly. The gear shift light does not come on till the lights have been on for 15 minutes and its seems you have to hold down the truck release for 3 seconds before it works but that may be normal. And oh yeah, sometime when turning on the lights, the dash lights don't come on till you turn the switch to off and back on again. I'm beginning to wonder if the car was ever under water...

All these gremlins could be grounding problems though.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:12 PM   #9
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any updates?

My 2002 zx3 is having similar issues and "experts" have replaced bunch of parts (problems started almost 2 years ago and got progressively worse, now it really stutters almost every ride). 1st "fix" was when I turned it in to do timing belt (~120K miles), asked them to check for the problem - really acceptable at the time but I did now want to do timing and water pump only to junk the car little while later. Could not find nothing, actually suggested replacing the MAF at ridiculous price (so I did it myself - had connector kinda cracked so OK to swap it). Car ran fine for a month or two and then issue again. Did fuel filter (this replacement might had preceded the whole problem actually), plugs, wires and even coil (ouch, gets pricey). Did also egr/dpfe sensor (had that at almost new car, similar effects while driving but not across the whole range of speed/rpm, cleaned up egr valve). Problem continued. And Cel is always P0304 - cylinder 4 misfire. Pulled injectors, tested all - seemed ok, switched 1 and 4 around. No change. Damn. Took it back to the same shop and asked for diagnostics - compression, scanner etc (whatever they had, small/medium shop, not a Ford dealer service center). They diag - injectors (right) and intake manifold gasket. Really did not like injectors idea (I had told them about all test/replacements/swaps) but I caved in. After return the car ran fine for like 2 weeks and then again the problem. Took it back to ask for warranty job. Dude took it for a test drive with me in passenger seat. Man, this fool tried to race it on city streets though the way he operated clutch made me regret letting him behind the wheel. Not only this but moron did not disengage the park brake, rear drums were smoking when he dropped me off. Told the fool to fix brakes he did. During the ride I did not feel much misfire but it's likely that if you push it like that it's really hard to notice it. After return the car was no better and all that after spending quite a bit of money (what I really hate is how difficult is to know/account for what was really done, forgot to ask for compression test readout so this is partially my own mistake). Time passed and the problem got even worse. It never stalled on me, idle is OK (not great) but driving feels like going against hurricane force gusts, acceleration suffers, fuel economy is no different from what it was. I replaced the battery (original, it was time anyway, winter forced me to), problems did not go away. Opened ECU compartment, unplugged wires and plugged it back in, replaced fuel filter (again), fuel pump - hard to get to (will do only if have to). After driving home from work got check engine blinking, crap. Trying to gun it while it sputters does not do much. Replaced ignition coil pigtail (mid winter job, small radioshack iron - solder barely wanted to flow, did not expect that). Same issue on the test drive. Took it to another shop, asked for another diagnostics, same results - dude "drove the snot out of it", 40 miles but could not find a problem, watered my engine bad enough that spark plugs rusted. My car was having all the problems but now it stank with cigarettes. I lost all faith in mechanics (and their ability to conduct proper diagnostics). Bought an android tablet and Torque Pro app, cool - now I could run diagnostics the shop did not do/know how to interpret. Neither did I - information overload, none of data/observed issues seems unique to attribute to one thing. All I knew was that fuel pressure seems ok (it varies - never a straight line but it's not low), intake manifold pressure seems fine, fuel trim does not seem OK (long term seems to vary more than short, both run high - lean condition). O2 signal seems odd - pre cat one not always have a jumpy line (should it?) and the post cat is not always high (and will dive when missing, fuel trims will do strange things as well). Old man at the last shop did not like spark cables (Bosh) - got another replacements and motorcraft coil (autozone one had some strange resistance reading on the flat side of contacts - I could not keep it stable). Wanted to inspect the intake manifold myself so got gaskets as well. Took the thing off, checked fuel rail for crap (that would end up in the whole for injector 4 and starve the cylinder) - all clear. PCV hose kept me from taking the whole thing out of engine bay (could not disconnect it, did not wont to cut - had no spare). Cleaned up intake manifold inside, cleaned up idle air valve. Tested injector 4 wire harness - 0 resistance regardless of bending the rest of harness, did not take it completely apart - too much pain. Got a endoscopic usb camera, looked int cylinders (hard to get to for real check) and intake valves. Put thing together (damn knock sensor cable/plug, what a pain). Car did the usual on the way from work. Now I'm looking for a car but really stuff is expensive, even more complicated (future repairs will be killer), too much crap but lacking substance. And colors suck (gray or silver, maybe red). And gas mileage - no progress. Stick hard to get (sure they want these future repairs). I like to keep it but it getting tough.
Now, there are some other common things with your post. Noticed recently that I could induce sputtering when playing with fuel pressure sensor (and found that I broke the clip so it won't latch securely, put zip tie to lock it in place). Then I noticed that it's actually not the FPS pigtail but the way it rocks the rest of the engine harness that causes the problems. I could push the injector wire cage/rail right above the 1st cylinder to trigger the issue. Then I pressed the plastic rail against fuel rain (so it stayed in place) and worked on the harness from other side. I don't think the issue is before the main connect next to firewall (going from ECU). What it appears is that the problem spot is at junction of main harness and FPS lead/pigtail. This will be my last thing to check replace before giving in. I hope that they have some crashed Focus at nearby junkyard (spent enough money not to go all out for replacement). If I can't source it cheaply I'll just open up the original harness and see what's in there.
Anyone has a suggestion, something that I (and bunch of mechanics missed)?
BTW, does anyone know where the knock sensor plug attaches to (it has a plastic fastener that I could not find spot for - it's hard to get to as well).
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:32 PM   #10
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Wow, you've gone through a lot and I could see myself going down that same rabbit hole. I'm out of town right now or else I'd be tempted to start tugging on wires again. The mechanic where I got the car wire-tied the harness down and since then it has run OK.

My big concern was that hi-beam indicator flashing pretty much in sync with the misfires. This is a very strange and apparently rare malfunction. It has not happened again since he tied the harness down.

I have some brake work to do to the car and I will probably start to look at the problem again soon but like I said, its running good and getting 25 MPG combined so i really don't want to touch it. Put about 3,000 miles on the car since it happened.
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