Join Date: Jun 2019
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2000 Ford Focus rough idle and battery light issue
Hello all! I’ve read on this forum for awhile now but just became a member!! Woohoo
Anyways, I have a 2000 Ford Focus with a rough idle problem(1). It also has this thing where the battery light comes on(2).
1. The rough idle issue- been trying to diagnose this for a few weeks. It started out as a turn the key for a second or two longer than a normal start up. Normal being, Turn the key over and engine fires right up with no issues. It became 2-3 seconds longer of me holding it to turn the engine over and on. It slowly has gotten worse. Maybe 5-7 seconds of me holding it for it to turn over. I know if I press on the gas, I can get it to start a bit faster(although I don’t like to do that). First step was to check fuel pressure and that’s when I learned that there is no fuel pressure tester/checker port on this engine. I went online and confirmed this before I continued(or found myself crazy). I also listened for the fuel pump and confirmed it is making its usual whirling noise. I decided to go ahead and replace the fuel filter because it couldn’t hurt. No issues there, replaced and put it back together. I then pulled the gas line coming in to the fuel rail, just before the fuel pressure sensor, stuck an empty water bottle over the end to catch any gas and went back in the car to turn it to the on position. I heard the fuel pump do it’s regular thing and saw and heard fuel empty into the water bottle. Fuel coming out of the fuel line up to this point. Good! I paused there to move on to spark. I didn’t want to check the fuel injectors just yet. I pulled of one spark plug wire, then the spark plug, I was looking for a bad wire(bad shielding of coating from the outside) or something on the spark plug. I couldn’t find anything visibly wrong with the outside of any of the wires. When pulling the spark plugs, I found black soot on all of the spark plugs(like carbon deposits). Those need to be replaced! I haven’t replaced them just yet, plan to soon. I then checked the air box and filter. Air filter needs replaced, air box and hose look fine. A little bit of dust in them, but nothing clogging or restricting any airway, wiped it clean with a dry paper towel just because. The MAF sensor looked clean as well. Inside the intake looked like it had a few drops of what I assume is gas because I smelled it. And I do mean, a few drops. I put it all back together and started again. Let me start it up and see if anything had changed, from just looking and replacing the fuel pump. Started up and ran fine for about 10-15 mins, then started with the rough idle again, then it stalled. Tried to start it back up, with no luck unless I pressed on the gas again. It would stay running with my foot on the gas, as soon as I let me foot off the gas, it would run rough for 30ish seconds and then stall. I then went to check the battery cables to see if it was properly grounded, the positive cable was very stiff coming right off the battery and I saw a little corrosion on the bare part of the metal between the battery post and wire(like a quarter inch of exposed wire. Decided to replace the terminal mounts for the cable to battery connection. I replaced both just to help. Tried again to start and still everything the same. Start up fine, eventually it would run rough and then stall. Then I decided to check the connections at the alternator and starter. It looked like it wasn’t in the best shape at the alternator, so I replaced the entire cable, which is the battery to ground, to starter, to alternator cable. That’s not a fun thing to replace, but got it done. The car did the same thing. Start fine, run rough, stall. More research for me!! I thought maybe, it could be the ignition coil, replaced it, car did the same thing. More research, found some issues with the pvc hose and pvc valve. Went out to the car to find a very soft and plyable, pvc hose. Decided to replace it, rough idle got a little better, but then the car did the same thing. Strat, run rough, stall. I realized I have been smelling gas this entire time inside the car and thought this may be the EGR valve. Decided to take it off and clean it. It held a vacuum to it once I took it off. I checked the vacuum on it 3 times before I cleaned it. I then cleaned it, by spraying carb cleaner into it, let it sit, emptied any leftover cleaner out and then let it dry for a bit and then reinstalled it. Checked all the hoses around it before reinstalling and everything seemed fine. Tried to start the car, started, ran rough, then stalled. This is where I have stopped for now. Please advise??? Any help??? Any ideas or places/things to check???
2. Battery light issue- for many months, the battery light will randomly come on and off as it chooses. There is no consistency to when it comes on or turns off. You can have the radio on or off and it will come on both ways. You can have heat, cold, or nothing blowing and the battery light will come on or off as it pleases. For this I have thought about replacing the alternator to see what happens. Please help??? Anything I should check for???
Thank you in advance for any help you may provide.