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Discussion Starter #1
Hello:

I've been lurking here for a week or so and wanted to start by letting you all know what a great resource you've created here! I've been reading over the threads for hours each day and just can't get enough!

However, I am having a problem with my new (well, new to me) 2005 ZX3 S (STD Transmission/2.0L Duratech) that I hope you will be able to help me with: The dreaded hard-start/long-crank problem. The problem occurs, like clockwork, when the car is cold and the last run was a short one (even if it was a day or more before). Since the car is still under warranty, I took it to my local Ford dealer and received the PCM flash/calibration described in the TSBs. This improved my problem by eliminating the occasional warm hard-start condition but did nothing for the cold start/short run hard-start problem! Upon returning the dealer, I was informed that this was "normal behavior" for the car and if I cranked it for up to five seconds it would start. And, indeed, my local dealer was correct: It will start after like 15 cranks and some stumbling. I find this behavior unacceptable in a two-year-old fuel-injected car! I've owned a fuel-injected Nissan and Honda before this car and both started after two cranks (cold/hot/155,000+ miles -it didn't matter). So, discouraged, I went to another not-so-local Ford dealer in my area just to receive the same response: that this is "normal behavior." Neither dealer would even consider looking into the problem further since Ford has released a TSB indicating that this is normal!

So, now for the part where you guys may be able to help. :) I've read several threads regarding this problem with no specific results. Has anyone with a 2005/2006 Focus managed to solve this problem? If so, how? Throughout the hard-start threads I've seen mention of fuel pumps, idle sensors, noise filters, and the like causing the problem, but am leery of just replacing random parts (Since neither dealer within 30 miles of me is willing to look into the problem, I'll be paying for these parts!). I am hoping to narrow down the list of possible suspects to one or two likely solutions. Any information is greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Ryan
 

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i dont think anyone has a solution yet.

right now the best thing you can do is call ford and tell them this is happening. if we get enough people calling and complaning, the will hopefully do a recall on whatever the part is and get them fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
magic2119:

Thanks for the reply. I was actually planning on calling Ford. Unfortunately, I have the feeling that this probably isn't a case where we will be getting a recall since Ford has already stated that this is "normal" (The TSB in the Oasis report that my local dealer emailed me actually says this!). With that said I will indeed call: You never know, we might make a difference... In the mean time, does anyone else have any suggestions or success stories?

Thanks,
Ryan
 

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Went down to the dealership today to ask them about this issue. They know nothing of this and there isn't a TSB as of yet. Saw some for premature clutch wear, few other issues. None pertaining to the "Hard start" that I am sure most if not all have experianced.
 

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This is how I fixed it.. well, it's a temporary solution:

Put the key on ON, but don't crank it for a good 5 seconds. Put your seatbelt on, fix something, then crank it.. no problems then. It's supposedly the fuel pump re-pressurizing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Frank:

Thanks for the input. In my case though, it does not seem to help (I usually wait until the dash lights "settle in" before starting my car anyway). I can actually tell when the hard start is going to happen before starting my car. When turning the key to on after the last run was a short run I can hear the fuel pump running for about a second. When this is the case, the start will be hard. If my last run was a long run, the fuel pump will run from three to four seconds and the car will start right up. It seems like a ECU/PCM problem to me: but, I'm no expert! Anyone else have any thoughts?

-Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Andy04180:

I don't know if this will help you or not, considering that you have an '06 ZX5, but below are the TSBs associated with my '05 ZX3's hard start problem:

2005 FOCUS: LONG CRANK/HARD START - 2.0L AND 2.3L ENGINE WITH MTX-75 TRANSAXLE
SOME 2005 FOCUS VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH MTX-75 MANUAL TRANSAXLES, MAY EXHIBIT A LONG CRANK OR HARD START CONDITION WITH NO MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP (MIL) AND NO DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES (DTC'S) PRESENT. REPROGRAM THE POWERTRAIN CONTROL MODULE (PCM) TO THE LATEST LEVEL USING WDS RELEASE B36.12 AND HIGHER OR B37.3 AND HIGHER. THIS NEW CALIBRATION IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE B37 CD. CALIBRATION FILES MAY ALSO BE OBTAINED AT WWW.MOTORCRAFT.COM.
See TSB for complete details
EFFECTIVE DATE: 04/29/2005

18157 2005 FOCUS - CRANK NO START OR OTHER DRIVEABILITY CONCERNS - SERVICE TIP
SOME 2005 FOCUS VEHICLES MAY EXHIBIT A CRANK NO START CONDITION OR OTHER DRIVEABILITY RELATED CONCERNS. PRIOR TO PERFORMING NORMAL DIAGNOSTICS, FIRST CHECK GROUND G301, WHICH IS LOCATED UNDER THE RIGHT REAR SEAT. IF G301 IS OK, PROCEED WITH NORMAL PC/ED MANUAL DIAGNOSTICS.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 09/15/2004

19126 2005-2006 FOCUS - INTERMITTENT LONG CRANK TIMES
SOME 2005 FOCUS (MTX-75 TRANSMISSIONS WITH THE LATEST CALIBRATION PER TSB 05-9-16) OR 2006 FOCUS VEHICLES (ALL TRANSMISSIONS) MAY EXHIBIT INTERMITTENT LONG CRANK TIMES (UP TO 5 SECONDS) ON INITIAL START WITH NO MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP (MIL) AND NO DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES (DTC'S) PRESENT. THIS IS NORMAL OPERATION AND NO REPAIR IS RECOMMENDED. FAILURE TO CRANK THE ENGINE UNTIL IT STARTS (UP TO 5 SECONDS) MAY RESULT IN LONGER CRANK TIMES OR HARD TO START CONCERNS ON SUBSEQUENT STARTING ATTEMPTS. IF THIS CONCERN OCCURS REFER TO THE OWNER'S GUIDE FOR FURTHER ENGINE STARTING INFORMATION. IF VEHICLE STILL FAILS TO START OR STILL EXHIBITS HARD STARTING CONCERNS REFER TO THE PC/ED MANUAL FOR DIAGNOSTICS.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 03/13/2006

-Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bubba Bob:

Thanks for the tip: I just tried it and it does seem to help! However, as this is not a carbureted car, the fact that I must do pedal acrobatics in order to start it is a bit annoying! Has anyone actually managed to solve this problem with a hardware solution?

-Ryan
 

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Thanks for the Info, i'll have to take that up to the dealership this weekend and talk to them about it. One day they'll figure it out.
 

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Bubba Bob said:
Lightly press down on the peddle while starting...
Odd -- The only times I've had the hard start problem is when I bump (even very slightly) my gas peddle before starting my ST when cold.

So try Bubba's idea first (nothing to loose) and if it gets worse try keeping your feet away from the gas until you've started your car.

If either makes a difference (good or bad) then please share in a reply post!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
EricR:

I made a mental effort to completely avoid the accelerator as you suggested, but still had intermittent hard start issues.

Thanks for the suggestion,
-Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Okay. I spoke with a mechanic friend (non-Ford) this weekend and found that the only thing that he could think of that could cause this problem is an open, or stuck, IAC valve. The theory is that if the engine was still cold when it was last turned off, the IAC valve would still open to keep the idle high. Then, the next time the car is started, the valve is either not told to close or is stuck open and would result in a difficult start to an incomplete choke. This theory sounded reasonable to me (particularly since another user in these groups seemed to have solved his problem when the dealer replaced the IAC valve -among other things). Does this explanation sound feasible to anyone? Either way, I'm going to attempt to find an aftermarket IAC valve (or perhaps an '05 *automatic* version) this week. I'll let you know how it goes.

-Ryan

P.s. Any thoughts would be more than welcome.
 

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abilath - Thanks for posting the information about the IAC valve. I really hope it works. Please let us know how it goes. I've been having the same issues with my Car.
 

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I bought a used ZXW wagon with 5-Spd manual and 2.0 Duratec with 133,000Km on it in March, 2011. I had the same hard starting problem you guys have mentioned and have downloaded the TSB from Ford but didn't want to pay Ford for flashing my ECU, so I was willing to 'live with it' until I get some time to do some 'real' troubleshooting. Since then my alternator went when I was out of town and had to get it replaced for $500, but that's another story. On certain occasions when accelerating, my gas pedal sticks at the upper end of travel (idle position) and gets worse if I just let off the gas and it pedal just 'slams' up. It was to the point that it was dangerous not being able to push the gas pedal down smoothly because I had to overcome the initial sticking.

Anyways, I brought my car down to my buddy's garage who has all the tools I needed to troubleshoot this. I removed the accelerator cable linkage from the Throttle Body (TB) but it was free of any sticking. Next I removed the intake hose to the TB and moved the butterfly plate back and forth to discover that it was sticking. I twisted it to max throttle (with the engine turned off), let it go and it really got stuck in the closed position. There was so much gum around the throttle plate and the housing and I knew that this was the cause of my sticky throttle. So I sprayed the sh!t out of the throttle body with carburetor cleaner and tested it again - no more sticky throttle to this day. Lo-and-behold, this cured my hard start at the same time. I haven't had any more problems with hard starting since I did this at the end of April, 2011. And to think I may have paid Ford to flash my ECU which may not have fixed the problem. Easy to fix and maintain - takes less than 15 minutes, including washing my hands after-wards.

This worked for me and it should be done every now and then to maintain a clean throttle body.

I hope this helps.
 

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I am going to revive a very old thread. My 07 with the 5-speed does the same thing. At least with the OP his is clockwork, mine is not.
I was told, the fuel pump is not priming properly. I was also told to turn the key and wait 5 seconds, turn it off, repeat and it should work.
First, IMHO and I am not a mechanic that theory is false it does not work. Secondly, If the fuel pump is not priming properly than it should always happen during cold weather starts.
For example, and I paid close attention today. My Focus was parked on Friday at 3PM. It sat until Sunday at 7:30AM.
When I turned the key, without this priming theory.She fired up without so much as a hiccup. Now where is the fuel after sitting idle for almost 48 hours? Certainly not in the fuel pump, yet she started right up.
So, I drive 1 mile up the road. The car is fully warmed up, I shut it off, for about 10 minutes.
She again starts right up. So, my next destination is 10 miles away. When I get there, the car is literally off for less than 30 seconds.
What happens, the long crank before she starts. Now the fuel pump has long been primed, so again IMHO the long cranks should not occur.
That tells me there is something going on with the computer in some of the earlier Focus's.
If the fuel pump was a certainty, I would spend the 500 plus and replace it. Only because I am OCD when it comes to my cars. From looking at this thread, I can see the problem remains a mystery.
 

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I am going to revive a very old thread. My 07 with the 5-speed does the same thing. At least with the OP his is clockwork, mine is not.
I was told, the fuel pump is not priming properly. I was also told to turn the key and wait 5 seconds, turn it off, repeat and it should work.
First, IMHO and I am not a mechanic that theory is false it does not work. Secondly, If the fuel pump is not priming properly than it should always happen during cold weather starts.
For example, and I paid close attention today. My Focus was parked on Friday at 3PM. It sat until Sunday at 7:30AM.
When I turned the key, without this priming theory.She fired up without so much as a hiccup. Now where is the fuel after sitting idle for almost 48 hours? Certainly not in the fuel pump, yet she started right up.
So, I drive 1 mile up the road. The car is fully warmed up, I shut it off, for about 10 minutes.
She again starts right up. So, my next destination is 10 miles away. When I get there, the car is literally off for less than 30 seconds.
What happens, the long crank before she starts. Now the fuel pump has long been primed, so again IMHO the long cranks should not occur.
That tells me there is something going on with the computer in some of the earlier Focus's.
If the fuel pump was a certainty, I would spend the 500 plus and replace it. Only because I am OCD when it comes to my cars. From looking at this thread, I can see the problem remains a mystery.
Check your power hold relay its in the fuse box in engine compartment next to the air filter, Have someone crank the engine over and over and tap the relay or just hit the fuse box and it should crank over! relay cost about $13 at parts store, I've repaired lots of focus with the same problem also goes with every other electrical problem the focus has just slap the fuse box! Ford relays stink!
 

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Check your power hold relay its in the fuse box in engine compartment next to the air filter, Have someone crank the engine over and over and tap the relay or just hit the fuse box and it should crank over! relay cost about $13 at parts store, I've repaired lots of focus with the same problem also goes with every other electrical problem the focus has just slap the fuse box! Ford relays stink!
Thank-you. :)
 
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