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Old 05-02-2019, 10:59 PM   #1
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2005 Focus Major Drivability Issues

Hey guys, I've got a 2005 ZX3 with the 2.0 duratec and manual trans and 164k miles. Currently the car is more or less undrivable, but still starts and idles fine, well idle speed is a little inconsistent. However, the car wont take off from a stop under about 3k rpms, and then must be kept in high rpms to drive. Also when you hit the gas the car bogs or doesn't respond even in neutral and takes some feathering to get back into high rpms. I just did spark plugs and found I need to do the valve cover gasket, but I don't know if the oil leaking into the spark plug wells is the issue as the plug contacts still looked clean. Other ideas I was having were a bad fuel filter or a bad tps. Any input would be greatly appreciated


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Old 05-03-2019, 12:10 AM   #2
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That is not really a drivability issue, but is more an engine health issue.

The leaking valve cover gasket and the oil inside the spark plug wells is a sign of poor maintenance -or- work is needed to get the engine in better health.

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Originally Posted by orangefish View Post
... when you hit the gas the car bogs or doesn't respond even in neutral and takes some feathering to get back into high rpms...
Engine health issue. Review the basics of engine performance = engine compression, spark, fuel (flow & pressure) and air inlet.

Is the Check Engine Light (CEL) on? Scan the OBDII for Codes. This is a free service at most car part stores.

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Old 05-03-2019, 12:46 AM   #3
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No CEL, engine idles smoothly and makes no odd noises. I'm going to replace the valve cover gasket, clean contacts, and make sure the grounds are good tomorrow and see if it improves.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:04 AM   #4
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Thanks for the update. Let us know how your repairs go, & the results of your repairs. Other FF people will hopefully also post here, to help you even more.

Your engine problem/s has a very wide net of potential problems. More details & more symptoms from you help us, that can help you.

As you go forward, please refer back to the basic engine stuff; compression, spark, fuel and air.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:03 AM   #5
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Possible fuel supply issue, idles OK but anything as far as load added the engine goes away.
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:10 PM   #6
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Even though no CEL put a scan tool on it and look at basic parameters in live data PIDs: RFP, ST/LT FTs, O2 sensor output voltages, IGN ADV, coolant temp, etc. Otherwise you are just guessing.

BTW was there any change after new spark plugs? How many miles on the coils?

Sometimes Fords can be 'lazy' about posting OBD misfire codes.

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Old 05-05-2019, 10:58 PM   #7
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So update, no improvement with new plugs, also tried new TPS and new fuel filter. Starting to think the fuel pump went out, as now the car will barely idle. I'm thinking fuel issue as new plugs did nothing and car would still idle smoothly before . I also tried both the old and new plugs after it began to run worse and old vs new plugs made no difference. The fuel pump was replaced about 3 years ago, and I don't believe the mechanic used a factory pump.
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:48 AM   #8
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Good that you replaced the fuel filter. That filter replacement is often neglected until too late, and causes a fuel pump failure ((which might apply here)).

As mentioned previously, you need to check/monitor FP pressure via scan tool.

Separately, if you unplug the fuel supply hose at the fuel rail, it should piss-out into a bucket like a horse going pee, ->once you turn the car key to On. Strong flow rate = a healthy fuel pump.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:34 AM   #9
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You can try replacing the ignition coils. I've had this happen on my Mazda Protege when it would idle fine but once you started driving it would be really jerky - almost felt like the engine wanted to die. Usually you'll also get CEL after a while or the computer could already have some pending codes that you can read with OBD reader.
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:22 PM   #10
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Yesterday while i was driving a red light appears on dash i pulled of the road and on exhibit its says engine structure fault. I try to start the car and it did not start please help what could be the trouble because i doubt if it really water in fuel.
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