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Old 04-17-2014, 05:35 PM   #1
austin.clarksf
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2000 Ford Focus stalling

I have a 2000 Ford Focus, 120K miles, recentley had new battery/alternator and timing belt put in. I have had inconsistent issues with the car bobbling and stalling when I come to a stop, or shift into park or neutral. I have had work done on the vacuum tube and it has helped the issue.

Now, when the car is warm (after being run once or twice the same day) it stalls and dies promptly after being started. If you can quickly shift into drive the car runs 100% fine. From there, only when shifting will it stall, idles fine in drive. Took it into the Ford dealership, said there "maybe might" be an issue with the torque converter locking up, maybe getting too hot. They want to charge $1,000 just to look at it, god only knows after that what it'll cost. I'm wondering if there's another issue- vacuum related or maybe just filter/fluid related. I'm not good with cars, any advice?


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Old 04-17-2014, 06:47 PM   #2
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Did this start right after the timing belt was done? If so the problem can be related to that.

For everything that can go wrong with a car there are at least 5 things that can cause it.

You need a friend who is good with cars. Possible causes..

Vacuum leak in hoses.
DPFE sensor needs replacing.
Dirty passage in DPFE system.
Sparkplugs could need changing.

I only came up with 4 things, so that means it is none of these. When less than 5 ideas are thought of it is always the one unknown.


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Old 04-17-2014, 10:07 PM   #3
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Thank you so much for the prompt reply. I'll do some digging on your ideas, and I cannot express how much I appreciate your candid honesty! To answer your question, we had the timing belt replaced in the late summer last year.

If I know anything about dealerships, I know they like to take you for a ride... mechanic or salesman...

When I got to the mechanic today to pick up the focus they were even more unsure of themselves when describing the problem to me. Lots of 'maybes', 'coulds', 'possiblies', and 'dont knows'. Of course, this is the situation with almost any mechanic, but I've been around the block enough to tell when a mechanic is not doing an honest job. I'm thinking of looking for a second opinion.

I live on a ranch, and we have a resident mechanic. He has no official training, but he maintains our numerous ancient tractors and ATV's and does basic maintenance on cars. He's also very skeptical of the mechanics in town, and is dubious that an issue that is not preventing the car from running could cost so much to repair. Tomorrow were going to clean out as many pressure related filters and tubes, as well as any transmission parts that he knows how to work on. We're going to change the transmission fluid, and clean my air filters etc. Wish us luck.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:36 AM   #4
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Following is a quick explanation of how the DPFE sensor works:

When OBD2 was introduced, the EPA said that we now have to be able to know if the EGR valve quits working and turn the check engine light on if it does. Ford chose to do this by installing a slight restriction in the tube that brings exhaust to the EGR valve. Now we all know from science class that when there is flow through an orifice, there is a pressure drop across it. So Ford installed a pressure sensor across the orifice - when there is flow because the EGR valve opened, the pressure sensor detects the flow and informs the PCM that the system is working. That's why they call it a Differential Pressure Feedback EGR Sensor! Now, what do you think happens when you run hot exhaust gas into a little electronic sensor? It does not last very long - and that is why you are reading this!

Anybody can install it - no rocket science required! If you own a Ford with the DPFE it will probably fail - sooner or later - buy it for a spare! Compare at around $130 at many parts stores - for an aftermarket part! Sometimes don't bolt on Firewall, so we zip tie them close to the EGR valve, And we suggest wrap it with rubber as a moisture barrier, because water is the main contributory to the DPFE sensor failure, and the engine stalling.

We have found that this DPFE interchanges with the following part numbers. This list is not conclusive - there are others I have not listed:

2F1E-9J460AB
2M5E-9P449AA
4U7E-9J460AA
YF1E-9J460AC
YF1E-9J460AD
4U7Z-9J460-AA
DPFE4

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Old 04-18-2014, 01:37 PM   #5
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Today we replaced a vacuum hose, cleaned my air filter, and found a completely saturated impassable filter at the end of the vacuum tube/hose in question. Tightened some loose bolts on the engine, going to give it a drive today and see what happens.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:38 PM   #6
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The sensors on the DPFE looked clean and in good shape, but very good to know!
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:57 PM   #7
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Cross fingers - any problem found & fixed is progress!
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:26 AM   #8
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Any updates? I'm having the exact same stalling issues on my wife's 02 focus spi. I was wondering if you have found anything? Thanks
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:23 PM   #9
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The cause of the problem is the fuel delivery system (low fuel pressure)
The pump itself may be bad or the fuel tubes in the fuel module have deteriorated and sprung leak(s). TRUST ME, I been there.

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Old 04-23-2014, 10:53 AM   #10
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My wife's car only stalls in park and nuetral. In drives it idles nice and smooth no stalling. Yesterday she turned on the a/c at a stop light while she was in drive and that stalled it. The engine has just been rebuilt, thanks to the awesome spi dropping valve seats. When we got it back it didn't have any of these symptoms.
The mechanic we go to tested everything when he put it back together. He swears it is the iac valve.
Let me know what you think.
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