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Discussion Starter #1
The good - two days ago, I purchased a rather nice little 2000 LX sedan from a local dealer. CarFax clean, price decent, mileage high - but one owner. Seemed to be quite a few highway miles commuting from the small town I live in to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. A few things I noted were minor, a little rough at the idle, bad plug wires, and in need of an oil change and new plugs/wires.

It was a week and a half before I could pick up the car. The day of the pickup, I showed up, signed the papers, and drove off. My boyfriend and I went home to drop his pickup off, then down to the gas station to fill up the car. The first time we shut it off, it started fine - after fueling? Nothing.

First symptom - no power on the dash. He went to wiggle the battery cables, but before he got there I got power back. Upon starting, the car cranked and idled for about three seconds before stalling harshly. When we tried to start it again, it sounded like metal grinding - almost as if you had a chain that slipped across some sprockets. IIRC, the Focus uses a timing belt, not a chain, so it couldn't be that, but I was suspicious of the timing situation anyway. It now won't turn over at all - it's trying, but not really building up any compression from what I can tell... you have to floor the accelerator to get it to do anything, but obviously there's something else going on there. The inhouse mechanic that came to the site of the car's failure blamed a thrown rod... I'm not buying it. The dealer (small trader type lot, not ford dealer) opted at my request to send the car to an independant mechanic since this inhouse guy supposedly "tuned up" the car, and I find that to be laughable.

It's at a shop right now, but I'm curious to see what y'all think it could be. The dealer is standing behind the repairs with no extra cost to me, but I'm suffering the downtime.

Any ideas??
 

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You have my sympathies, but at least the dealer is covering your costs.
 

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I doubt the thrown rod. All you did was shut the car off, fill the tank, and now it won't run. With no power on the dash, you have at LEAST one definite electrical problem, so your independent mechanic needs to clearly identify what he/she discovers. Electrical problems can be electro-mechanical in nature. That grinding noise when you attempted to start it could be the alternator or the starter (maybe the bearings are destroyed, or the windings are dragging and shorting out.) The electrical problem may be causing your computer to go haywire, and may be preventing the car from starting at all.
 

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Alternator/starter combo definitely sound likely, especially the starter based on the grinding noise you heard. Also with the hard starting, have to floor it issue, it sounds like it could be an idle air control valve issue, not getting the right amount, if any, air in when the throttle is closed. The dash power issue would have me a little more worried, hopefully they can can find which electrical gremlin was doing that.
 

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sounds like a semi-shitty dealer(at least they stand behind it) Trying cleaning(or replacing the fuel injectors), oil change, plugs, wires, distributor, pcv, breather filter, air filter, tranny flush, coolant flush, ford 3-part fuel system flush, fuel pump(TSB).


If you get one thing from my post have them do the fuel pump TSB the 2k focuses had fuel pump issues which ford issued a TSB/Recall for, This could be the problem(notice problem after fueling(did the car die while cornering). Very important thing to do is check fuel pump. Battery could have been lose connection or minor corrosion
 

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The grinding noise definately sounds like a starter, possibly wasted from being used hard before selling your car to you.
As above ^^^ I would def. get a Ford dealer to look into the fuel pump issue. It is covered by Ford and could be alot of your problem, the car may not be starting due to lack of fuel. Ford will install a new fuel pump for you, and while you are there have the fuel filter done as well.

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies guys...

The report from the shop: blown engine. I'm hoping to get a copy of the service order when I get the car back and I'll be able to give you more info at that time, but this shop is known for being pretty good in the area. Right now, the dealer ordered a new (used) engine from Houston, and it's being put into the car at this time. 45,xxx miles on it, which is *considerably* lower than what was on the original engine, and now the car is carrying a 1 year parts and labor warranty rather than the 30- day that I had previously.

I have worked as a mechanic before, but my specialty is heavy duty diesel engines (trucks and tractors and the like).. I simply do not have the patience to mess much with these compact engine bays [:p]

Note to those that blame the lot - Dealer was actually very top notch. I'm getting the engine replaced for the original agreed upon price, they are delaying my payments on the car until I'm back in it, and all I needed to do is call and say I just wanted my downpayment back and they were willing to release me from the contract for unexpected hassle and downtime. I chose to stick around to see how bad it was going to be simply because they stand behind their customers. Like anything, this was a used car - and to top it off, they had a girl driving an hour to and from Dallas for the week before I bought it - behaved wonderfully. My boyfriend is also a mechanic, and we both went over the car with a fine toothed comb and found nothing that would disqualify it's soundness... just a few cosmetic items that are to be expected on a six year old vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
eazyrider_tim said:
I am in Mesquite, mind me asking whats the name of the dealer?
Sure... I'm down in Corsicana. I-45 Sales in Rice is where I bought the car.. if you're familiar with them, you know they're not really a car lot, but deal in *everything* from cars to homes to farm equipment and jet skis.

So far, even despite the problems, I'm quite happy with them.... I hate to say it here, but I tend to have amazingly bad luck with Ford products, so this didn't surprise me much....[confused]
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I had to go out to the truck and get my paperwork, but the VIN is clean for recall work as well. (Including that fun bit with the fuel pump) Hopefully I'll be getting the car back today, if not today, then probably Monday.
 

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Glad to hear they are standing by it .. Let us know how it turns out.
 
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