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Old 12-13-2013, 05:39 PM   #1
Marchy
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2008 focus SE with a strange bucking idle and no CEL

Hey everyone,

I'm not normally one to make an intro thread with an issue but my wifes superbly reliable 08 focus has developed an interesting quirk. The car currently has 69k miles and i'd say over the last 20 or so, whenever its cool and damp outside, say under 45, which is the majority of winter in the PNW, it has this idle dip/hunting that it likes to do. I've attributed it to the AC compressor being on since i have it blowing air over the vents. I've brought it into ford and they did an ECU reflash at 60k. The issue didn't go away but it was never really a problem.

Now the real reason i'm here is that last night while sitting at a stop light the car did the usual idle dip down to around 500, but then the engine began bucking like crazy. you push in the clutch pedal and there was a distinctive pulsation occurring. Coming from a mazdaspeed 3 i thought i had a bent rod or was having some serious missfires. The engine bucking was pretty violent and i had to keep my foot on the gas to keep it from stalling (i was on a hill at a busy intersection and didn't want to stall out there) but there was no CEL, at all, which to me is very odd because anytime i've had an engine do this to me (old ford ranger) the CEL was blinking like crazy.

So my light turns green and i drove to the next gas station maybe 300 meters away, engine bucking away like crazy, and the instant i pull into the gas station the bucking goes away and the engine idle goes back to normal. I got home, checked my wires to see if they got damp but everything looks tip top. Next i was going to check the MAF this weekend and see if its dirty and give it a clean and re-set the ECU.

but i'm at a total loss as to why the engine bucked like crazy for a minute or so. has anyone else ever run into such an issue? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Other details that may be helpful. Car is a 5spd manual, had a little under half a tank of gas, has had all service performed at the ford dealer (one of the good ones) has never given us an ounce of trouble other than the idle hunting.

thanks for reading,

Marchy


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Old 12-13-2013, 10:44 PM   #2
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Moved to "General Technical Chat".
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Old 12-14-2013, 12:35 AM   #3
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does your wrench light come on when the bucking happens? its to the lower left of the tach.
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Jay 918 View Post
does your wrench light come on when the bucking happens? its to the lower left of the tach.
it did not, nothing came up on the dash during the bucking. My wife drove the car about 100 miles over the weekend and the issue didn't come so we'll see what happens.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchy View Post
The car currently has 69k miles and i'd say over the last 20 or so, whenever its cool and damp outside, say under 45, which is the majority of winter in the PNW, it has this idle dip/hunting that it likes to do. I've attributed it to the AC compressor being on since i have it blowing air over the vents. I've brought it into ford and they did an ECU reflash at 60k. The issue didn't go away but it was never really a problem.
Hey Marchy,

Have you been to your dealer for diagnosis/repair? You may locate one here.

Let me know what you find out.

Todd
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:20 AM   #6
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I know not long after the 08's came out there were complaints of the electronic throttles going bad. You can find some reports of people replacing their throttle bodies online, although there are few - if any - reports of that on this site.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:37 AM   #7
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adding 2 cents...

With AC on, the IAC valve is moving each time the AC compressor cycles on/off. If the IACV is sticky (has a physical impediment/is dirty inside) or has a dirty/corroded electrical connection, you might get the symptoms you described.

BTW the IACV is very easy to remove/inspect/clean on the Duratec engine.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:14 PM   #8
Marchy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FordService View Post
Hey Marchy,

Have you been to your dealer for diagnosis/repair? You may locate one here.

Let me know what you find out.

Todd
car goes in for an oil change tomorrow, we'll see what they say about the crazy bucking idle.

The car has gone in the past for the idle hunting issue and all they did was re-flash the car about 9k miles ago (charged me for it) and it didn't fix the issue.
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Old 12-16-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
Marchy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marde View Post
adding 2 cents...

With AC on, the IAC valve is moving each time the AC compressor cycles on/off. If the IACV is sticky (has a physical impediment/is dirty inside) or has a dirty/corroded electrical connection, you might get the symptoms you described.

BTW the IACV is very easy to remove/inspect/clean on the Duratec engine.
good to know, if the dealer comes back after tomorrow saying nothing is wrong i'll give the MAF and IACV a good ole cleaning and while i'm there i'll check the plugs and wires to make sure everything is good and nothing is exposed.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:32 AM   #10
Marchy
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well, car was at the dealer yesterday and they found nothing wrong. said the car is running like a top.

thankfully it hasn't happened since so maybe something got damp or i had some bad gas.
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