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I picked up a 2001 zx3 over the summer and it was working fine. I am now at school and my engine has started sputtering and it has a rough idle, as well as turning off mid drive. With in the last week I have done the following to try and fix the issue:

  • Fuel System Cleaning
  • New Spark plug wires
  • I put new spark plugs in back in August
After the above list was completed my car was working fine for maybe 2-3 days then the rough idling started again. Any suggestion of where to start looking for the cause of this problem?
 

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Godspeeding
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I picked up a 2001 zx3 over the summer and it was working fine. I am now at school and my engine has started sputtering and it has a rough idle, as well as turning off mid drive. With in the last week I have done the following to try and fix the issue:

  • Fuel System Cleaning
  • New Spark plug wires
  • I put new spark plugs in back in August
After the above list was completed my car was working fine for maybe 2-3 days then the rough idling started again. Any suggestion of where to start looking for the cause of this problem?

Maybe fuel pump? [dunno]
 

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If I remember correctly on my friends old focus he had to have the fuel pump replaced under a manufactures warranty cause the pump was faulty. I believe it might be a recall as well. We found this out after it had a rough IDEl and would not exceed 4000 rpms.
 

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I picked up a 2001 zx3 over the summer and it was working fine. I am now at school and my engine has started sputtering and it has a rough idle, as well as turning off mid drive. With in the last week I have done the following to try and fix the issue:

  • Fuel System Cleaning
  • New Spark plug wires
  • I put new spark plugs in back in August
After the above list was completed my car was working fine for maybe 2-3 days then the rough idling started again. Any suggestion of where to start looking for the cause of this problem?
You have a 12 year old car and you do not know it's maintenance history. Try these items first:
- Replace fuel filter ($10)
- Clean the MAF ($12 for CRC MAF Cleaner)
- Check the Air Filter

These are cheap, and you need to do them so you know when they were done.
 

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Before you do anything check to see if their are codes stored, this may give a clue

Intermittent problems are difficult to fix but they can be fixed, Focus on fuel flow 1st most people forget abought the fuel filter it is hidden behind the tank, replace that ist, if that does not fix it next check the fuel pressure ( you will need a fuel pressure gauge) If all ok and it is still not running, Next focus on electrical and good luck.
 

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Captain TMI
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Fuel system cleaning never solves any problems with cars. Seriously, you're a college student, don't waste your money.

Typical issues:

PCV vacuum line decays, or splits. Your symptoms are more like a split. That would cause some sputtering, but there are other causes.

The coil pack is one of those. If it is the coil, you will soon have issues starting the car. When that happens, do a quick fuel pump test: key off, turn key on, and listen for the short buzz of the fuel pump. If you hear that, then the problem is most likely spark- the coil pack.

Sputtering and cutting out can also be a sign of bad battery connections or a bad alternator. You can check your alternator output using the electronic odometer trick. Key off, press and hold the trip odo reset button, turn key on, continue to hold button until the odometer reads [test]. Release the reset button and now you're in test mode. You will remain in test mode until your turn the key off, so you can start it. Each time you press and release the odo reset button you'll scroll through 1 of 30 test functions. Look for the one that reads [bat 12.1] or whatever your battery voltage might be. When you start the engine that will give you alternator voltage, so you can observe it while you drive. Less than 13 or more than 15v is bad.

Another thing to check on the coil is the plug-in connector. Pull on the individual wires going into that connector, sometimes that connector loosens up, and those wires will pull out. That causes sputtering, and can kill the engine.

Good luck, these intermittent problems are a bitch to figure out.
 

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Any Focus I've seen the fuel filter and pump and coil cracks will show up under hard load first, then migrate down lower in engine performance. Except the coil connector from that, it can show up at any time. The cracks are easy enough to find by pulling coil and cleaning it and then looking close at the plastic for cracks, if it's cracked they'll be everywhere.

I'd be checking the pcv hose entry into back of intake manifold, you describe the symptoms perfectly and they all do it sooner or later. Look for bubblegummed up hose right where it goes into intake or a couple inches down. Very common on these.

I'll second that fuel system cleaning statement in a heartbeat, I've never done it ever and see no need in a long string of cars, of course watch that all change tomorrow. Mostly a gimmick to take easy money.
 

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I had issues like that with my car before. The first time it happened my car turned off in the college parking lot and when i turned it back on engine light came on, during the time i drive it with engine light on it was sputtering and shaking badly and stalled on me a few times found out it was EGR valve and had that replaced, no mroe problems until a few months later. had same type of issues but it was worse starting up.. eventualy found out MAFS was bad. So, with that said... i would check your EGR valve make sure it looks clean and not rusty or clogged up, because mine was rusted to hell which was getting clogged and not working properly. And i would bring it to mechanics and have them test your MAFS
 

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I had issues like that with my car before. The first time it happened my car turned off in the college parking lot and when i turned it back on engine light came on, during the time i drive it with engine light on it was sputtering and shaking badly and stalled on me a few times found out it was EGR valve and had that replaced, no mroe problems until a few months later. had same type of issues but it was worse starting up.. eventualy found out MAFS was bad. So, with that said... i would check your EGR valve make sure it looks clean and not rusty or clogged up, because mine was rusted to hell which was getting clogged and not working properly. And i would bring it to mechanics and have them test your MAFS
Hello, Dardas. It's really great that you are interested in engineering. it's commendable that you care about your car so much and think ahead about good service for it. But if you want to get a good engine education you should ask for help professionals like https://pro-papers.com/buy-engineering-report and then you definitely can become a professional.
 

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Hello, Dardas. It's really great that you are interested in engineering. it's commendable that you care about your car so much and think ahead about good service for it. But if you want to get a good engine education you should ask for help professionals like https://pro-papers.com/buy-engineering-report and then you definitely can become a professional.
6+ yr old thread.....
 

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You have a 12 year old car and you do not know it's maintenance history. Try these items first:
- Replace fuel filter ($10)
- Clean the MAF ($12 for CRC MAF Cleaner)
- Check the Air Filter

These are cheap, and you need to do them so you know when they were done.
The Mass Air Flow sensor is easy to diagnose. Unplug the MAF sensor, and the Power Control Module will put the MAF settings in default. If the car instantly runs better, it's time to clean (my personal choice), or replace the MAF sensor.
ONLY use the CRC MAF sensor cleaner (available at auto parts stores, and most Walmarts). Don't use gasoline or any other solvent on a MAF sensor. Don't scrub on a MAF sensor.
 

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