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Discussion Starter #1
2001 Focus ZX3- cranks, but wont start everytime, (intermittent) (wont start at all right now)
Hi there, need some suggestions of what to start checking on my Focus, when it does start, it starts immediately, if it doesnt start right away, it wears battery down fairly quickly, replaced battery yesterday, started up great, and this am (6am,cold out,I.E., 30 degrees outside) started up just fine, worked several hours, (outside temp now around 42-44 degrees) I went to start it, it cranked normally, but no start. got about 3 more crank sessions of 10 seconds each, and no start, gave me indications that it was trying to fire here and there, but didnt catch, had no jumper cables, but a work friend let me use her "jump box", it cranked pretty good, but still no engine startup.
I looked for any obvious signs, found nothing unusual, removed all spark plugs one at a time to check for bad signs there, nothing, all plugs good color, no wetness, or oil, or signs of defects, I really need some ideas of what to look at- car does have a worn ignition switch assembly, but has never caused me any real problems so far...... but not ruling out the possiblity....

help please- limited funds here due to minimum wage job and limited hours....., and the focus is only car I have to drive.....
I can't afford to just throw parts in and hope for a solution....
Thanks for any helpful info...

oh, and its a ZX3 (2.0 Zetec)-no mods, just stock.
 

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Remove the coil pack and inspect it throughly for the presence of hairline cracks.
Cranking an engine for 10 seconds straight puts one h3ll of a strain on a battery. Keep doing that and you'll be throwing another battery at it.
 

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Yup, first area to check is whether it's getting spark when it won't start.

Coil problems as mentioned, as well as coil connector/wiring to the connector are common issues. If you had no spark, and then got it back by wiggling connector/wires, you'd have narrowed down the issue to give one possibility.

Long list of possibilities, how has it been running overall when it DOES start?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
well, has been "running" ok, some strange noises like tapping noises recently, I rearended a SUV in July, did some minor front end repairs, replaced radiator, upper front support, the strange plastic coolant tube thing on back of upper support next to radiator, noise sounded like like the coolant fan shroud tapping on the exhaust shield, , and not too long ago, car was making a rattling sound, sounded as if it was coming from the Catyyltic converter, it would go away when warmed up..... but other than noises, ran OK..... unfortunately the car isnt right here where I need it to be, so is difficult to get any real time to have a serious look-see at it, and the weather not helping either......
 

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Discussion Starter #5
did try a jump from another car before leaving work today, not craking real strong, it did try to fire briefly, but wasnt enough to get er going..... I know I need to get the battery charged back up to 100% again, that is what I will try to accomplish tomorrow after work, and have a couple days off to look at things some more then
 

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hi all- quick update here- got ride to work this am, when I got done, I went to the car and just for kicks, gave it a try on starting again, it cranked a bit slowly, but, IT STARTED UP ! So I proceeded to get it home, got home fine, ran normally, except for a loud ratting noise which, I think I mentioned in one of my earlier comments, the rattling seemed to emanate from the A/C compressor, (a/c was switched off at this time, to try and confirm my suspicions, I turned the A/C sytem to ON, and the noise, although still loud, changes a great deal when the clutch kicks in, and when it cycles off, the noise returns louder and more rattle-ey than when it cycles ON..... system is still pumping cold air when it is on, and clears windows too, )that tells me its working ?) but anyway, back to the starting issue, I had driven only 4-5 miles home, and car had been running for a few mins after getting home, I tried turning car off, and re-starting it, did this at least a dozen or more times, and started every single time, (normal starting, (about 1 sec of crank, and it fires immediately, so idk at this point if thats good or bad, lol. (I quess good because I know I have compression, fuel and spark......BTW, I pulled all 4 plugwires one-by-one, and I know all 4 cylinders are hitting good)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
wow- finally got it home and found time to investigate this issue firther, and guess what ? the slow cranking issue was caused by the a/c compressor bearing seizing up, I put the 15mm wrench tonthe belt tensioner, and slipped the belt off of the a/c puley, and tried starting it, and it cranked great and fired right up.....and no more weird noises either.
so my temporary solution was to purchase the Dayco Serp belt, Part# 775K6 from AutoZone-$15.99
I will locate a used a/c compressor someplace locally and put it on later in when spring arrives and have the system all cleaned, evacuated and recharged for summer use.
Thanks for ALL the input here, I have never run into this before, and when the car was cranking but not starting, it was hard for me to fathom why.
 

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Glad to hear that you sorted it out.
 
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