Focus Fanatics Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

· Registered
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own a 2003 ZX5 with standard transmission. When I am driving, I can feel the engine start to lose pressure, then all the lights on the dash come on, and final the engine dies. The best part is that it wont restart unless you lower the transmission slightly (with a jake), start it, put the transmission back in place.

This will normally take care of the issue for a few hundred miles.

I have had the issue checked by mechanic, two ford dealerships, and electrical specialist mechanic. No one can find the source of the issue. There are no engine codes.

I believe the reason no one can find the issue is that when I get the car taken to their shops by a tow truck. As soon as the car is off loaded it starts normally. At $70 per tow this is getting to be a pain.

The best guess is that it is either the wiring harness or the ECM. Before I invest in either I would like to know that one of these will solve the issue.

Anyone else have this problem? Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


· Registered
263 Posts
i have a problem similar to this... randomly... my car will just start to sputter (misfiring???) and die...a/f gauge goes to 16... i turn it off then start it again and its fine... sometimes it dies again within 30 seconds...sometimes its good for a week or two...i've had it towed to the shop twice both times they couldnt get it to do it...they said it could be my tach wiring, the ecu or some other wire problem... if neone has any ideas that would be great...ive tried testing if its the way i drive and i dont think it has anything to do w/it because it has died while driving like granny and while getting on it, on highway, off highway, after driving for 3-4 hours strait...after driving for 15 its pretty much completely random when it happens...sometimes it wont completely die when its start to sputter if i push the clutch in and let it roll for a little sometimes it will just got back to normal, a/f reading goes back to normal and the car rides fine again...this has been goin on for months and is quite annoying

· Registered
5 Posts
Our 2005 focus just went through some weird stuff. Dealer thought the car was possessed! Long story would seem to reboot the computer while it was running. Would see the guages reset as if battery was disconnected and the CD player would go through it's cycle. Engine never died, but stuttered for a second.

Would never do it when at the dealer! Several attempts to get it to show itself there, but after about 6 times, it started to act up while pulling off the dealer lot! They came immediately and saw it in action so then believed us!

In shop, it finally showed that the Alternator was going bad, so they replaced it.

Now, it was better, but after a few days, guess what, problem again, same symptoms, but not as often.

Then, one day when coming out to the car, it was completely dead! No juice at all.
Called tow truck, take this sucker to the dealer! Geez.

Tow guy had the hardest time getting on truck due to the shifter would not allow him to put in neutral, even with the key override. He said he never had that problem before! Possessed?

Once a dealer, they said battery was dead! They had already tested it a week before and found no problem.

They replaced the battery and several weeks now, no more problems!

I have had this type of weird stuff over the years on other vehicles when I did some mechanics in my earlier days. I saw weird stuff come from batteries that had an intermittent short in them. As the plates vibrate, every once in a while they would touch and short and cause electrical havoc!

On the newer cars of nowdays, the electronics can't handle this since they are more sensitive than ever. So, it made sense to me that the alternator got fried after repetitive shorts from the battery until the battery finally had it's last stand!

I should have used my intuition and changed the battery like I was thinking it was the problem all along, but I was putting full trust into the dealership to find the issue.

Once again, I learned from experience, that a battery that is 1 year old or 3 years old, as in this case 3 years, can show there tale and make you crazy.

Nowdays, the cost of a battery is nothing compared to the cost of labor and parts, so try a battery and see if it fixes the weird stuff! My 2 cents!
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.