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I have a 2003 zx3 2.0L zetec focus. It started stalling at stop lights and then started stalling when ever I took my foot off the gas. and it was also having trouble cranking. I had it scanned and it said the battery was dead and the alternator was bad and the EGR valve had something wrong. I replaced all of that with new parts and it still cuts off. It will idle just fine in park or neutral but when I put it in drive it starts to sputters and cuts off. It will run as long as I keep my foot on the gas or switch to neutral when slowing down or stopping. I have no idea what else to do. After talking to people and googling I have a list a mile long of possible problems. The computer has no codes on it. Some one please help me!!!!! This is my 1st ford and I'm not liking it to well lol.
 

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You don't need a new car, you need a new mechanic. Just because you have DTC codes pop up doesn't necessarily mean that you need to replace those parts. Low battery/alternator codes could simply be a loose terminal rather than a $300 repair in parts.

Likewise- falling idle with the AC on, or transmission in gear is most commonly caused by a bad idle air control valve, PCV vacuum leak, or combination of the two. A low idle will also cause you to get low battery and alternator DTC codes if those 2 are old enough to be weak. Unfortunately for you, there is no IACV DTC so there's no way that a typical parts seller would know to suggest such a thing. Their job is to sell parts, so take all their advice with a grain of salt. Just be thankful that you didn't replace a $400 MAF that didn't fix your problem, and you couldn't return. That happened in Memphis, and the parts guy who sold the part got shot over it.

First things first: WhyNot's New to Me but Used and Abused Car Checklist must be covered.

1)Plugs and plug wires- I prefer the lifetime warranty plug wires for Daily drivers, and autolite standard plugs for DOHC easy to change plugs. Make sure that the parts guy doesn't give you plugs for the SOHC 2.0 or you'll really think the car is self-destructing. Be sure to use anti-seize on the plug threads any time you put plugs in a car with an aluminum cylinder head.
2) Air filter and fuel filter: check the air filter, replace the fuel filter. FF's should be replaced every 20k miles, so keep a record of that. It will prolong fuel pump life. I always assume that previous owners didn't replace the fuel filter as it's most commonly overlooked.
3) PCV and MAF: Get you a can of spray MAF cleaner, remove the MAF, and clean it, allow it time to evaporate before re-installing, and remove the neg battery terminal for 10 mins before installing to reset the ECU. When first starting the car, allow it to idle for 6-7 minutes (time it) while the ECU performs a test for the optimal A/F ratio. Once it finishes, the idle will drop slightly to around 800 in N or P. Locate the PCV- this valve and it's line commonly cause problems in the older cars- typically from overlooked maintenance. Remove the line from the TB, and blow into it. You should feel resistance to your blowing, if not- then the vacuum line or the PCV itself is bad. I suggest replacing both. Ford makes a new PCV line that is insulated to prevent premature damage to the rubber from heat, however IMO, you can simply replace it with vacuum line or fuel line as long as you use plastic elbows where needed. That should last for at least 5 years- and likely until the car finally dies.

After all that is done, then we'll take a closer look at the IACV being the cause of your problem. If you really want to be Mr. (or Mrs) Don't Spend it until you break it Auto-repair Superhero, then you can remove your IAC while you go through the checklist and clean it with old toothbrushes and carb cleaner. Then re-install it with a new gasket ($1-2), and see if it works before you purchase a new one. If you do that, then be that the last thing you do is the ECU reset as described above.
 

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ok so when your under the car. feel where theres a hump on the intake manifold right above that there is a vac hose. mine was soft and spongy and had a hole in it on the elbow, yesterday i check that because mine was going the same thing.
 

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I HOPE not, whynot - your advice on saving money by fixing the REAL problem is spot on!

Tossing parts at an issue is a GREAT way for a shop to make money, and if it finally gets fixed the customer is no wiser - but if money is short, it's the WORST way to repair your new used vehicle....
 
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