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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I have an 02 svt focus. I noticed when I get to higher rpm's or when I step on it long enough on low rpm's my engine starts to sputter. I think it might be bad gas. I got worse as my last tank got closer and closer to empty. I just filled up now with new gas from a different station. I always use 93 octane. I put a fuel system cleaner in it as well. when I left it seemed to have less gargle and backfiring than than before. I do have the ORP so it does backfire normally. The sputtering still occured but not as violent. But it was just a short ride home. Can this be something else. Is it bad gas? If so, it should go away by the time I empty this tank. Any other info would be much appreciated.
 

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yeah just replaced mine. had been noticing that the car didnt feel like it was accelerating the same as it did when i purchased it. still had the factory fuel filter from ford with about 65,000 miles on it. when i disconnected the hoses from it and let the fuel back flow out of it it looked like rusty water. now feels like night and day with the new one.
 

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I had a similar problem. I was even pinging a little with load at low RPM's. I changed my fuel filter, plugs, wires and PVC and the problem would not go away. I finally had the dealership do a "Terraclean" to her when I took her in for a new timing belt and the car runs like new again. I could not believe how much better she ran, almost like a tune! Even though I only use premium top tier gas from either Shell or Chevron, I must have had some carbon build-up, dirty sensor or plugging CAT, I don't know, but it sure did cure my baby's troubles! I only have 130,000km's, just over 80k in American! She's barely broken in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
so today I took a long drive to the jet ski dealer to get a part and to let the fuel system cleaner do some work. I noticed it does it a little before 5000 rpm. The car will not go past 5000 rpm while in gear. Only if I'm revving it in neutral. I thought it could be the fuel filter. Where is it located? Is it hard to get to?
 

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Just from what you have described, I don't think this is fuel related at all- I think it's ignition. Violent jerking and backfiring is ignition.

Check the small plug on the side of the coil pack- the one with 3 small wires. Make sure all 3 wires are secure on their terminals. There have been a couple cases of this plug failing just recently on the boards here.

Next, tune your radio to a weak AM station around the middle of the dial somewhere, and go for a ride. If you hear a crackle on the radio every time the engine misfires, you've got a high tension leak somewhere- ignition wires or coil pack. This could also be something as simple as a bad plug, but I don't think that would show up in the "radio test".

The fact that fuel system cleaner seemed to make a difference doesn't surprise me either. Fuel system cleaner "works" by improving the gasoline. Even with a perfectly clean, healthy engine, you'd notice an improvement in performance, and naturally you'd think the cleaner is really doing something even if you don't need it. Then, as you top off the tank and dilute the cleaner, the performance gradually goes right back to where it was, only you don't notice it.

Anyway, my point in this whole thing is since the fuel is improved, it might just light up with a very weak spark. That might be why you notice a small improvement. I can cite 2 examples from personal experience where performance improvements caused by fuel system cleaners led me away from the correct diagnosis. One with a yamaha, and one with my focus. Both problems turned out to be ignition.
 

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had that same problem with my 00 zx3. i guess it could be weak spark but i fixed mine my taking it to a dealership and getting the free recall done on the fuel pump. if it starts misfiring and jerking at higher rpms and it does it worse when you have under half a tank of gas you probably have a leaning out problem. if you can get the fuel pump and filter replaced for cheap i suggest doing it. it couldnt hurt because it probably needs it anyway. might as well get a performance fuel pump. run it to a quarter tank and gas it going around a right hand turn. a 90 degree turn off a road onto a substreet or something like that. 2nd gear at about 15mph gas it right before you enter the turn and floor it about halfway thru. if it almost dies you are leaning out. go ahead and check the ignition bits as well because that is a possibility
 

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Fuel Filter....

It's by the Right Rear wheel.

Back the car up on ramps to get to it.

Don't use a drop light (use flashlights), as you'll lose some gas when you take things apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow this is some real good info. last night my car had trouble starting and the car threw a fault code finally. P0320, ignition engine speed input circuit malfunction. It was ignition. I did notice taking a 90 degree right hand turn at about 15 mph the car does sputter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did the radio test. It seems to slightly crackle when coming from a stop in first gear. but the car isn't misfiring at that point. When the car spits, it's around 5000 rpm but without the crackle.
 

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Need a clarification. By "backfire", you meant out of the exhaust, right? But now you said "when the car spits..."- Do you mean it's popping out of the intake? That's different- that usually indicates a fuel problem. Not trying to be a pain in the butt, but you see the difference a word makes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well the car always has a bit of backfiring because of my orp. When I said spitting, I meant when to the car sputters and won't go past 5000 rpm. sorry about that.
 

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could be the intake not switching. the 02's are very prone to breaking the DSI clip. you should be able to see a black piece below the throttle body and it should move when it gets to high rpm ( like 6300 ) if it doesn't then that could be the cause. but if you received a P0320 code then it may be the wiring to the coil or the coil itself. both have been known to be faulty.

Do a search on here for P0320 and see what you get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Off Road Pipe. ORP. Well my coil is pretty new. maybe 10k miles at most. Is it possible to just buy the clip for the coil? Well the car does have starting issues too so I think the DSI clip is cool.
 

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Off Road Pipe. ORP. Well my coil is pretty new. maybe 10k miles at most. Is it possible to just buy the clip for the coil? Well the car does have starting issues too so I think the DSI clip is cool.
What are the starting issues?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'd say about 30 to 40% of my starts take a while to kick over. I just have to lay on the starter for about 6 or 7 seconds. people keep saying it's the coil it's brand new. maybe 10k miles on it. I'm also getting the p0320 code.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Today I replaced the ignition coil. I still have the problem. After doing that I noticed there is a plug located right behing the coil that has only one wire and attaches to a base that bolts to the same plate the coil is bolted onto. The vibration seemed to break this peice and was only hanging on by one microscopic peice of metal. I then soldered the peices back together. I drove and it went past 5k rpm all the way to redline. I tried it again and it sputtered a bit but not as bad as before. I'm thinking I just need to replace the peice. Does anyone know what this part is?
 

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i have no idea man. go to a ford dealership in the morning and get them to come out and take a look at it to tell you what its called so that you can either find it from a junk yard buy it from the dealership or maby get a performance replacement. the way i always do it is if the part breaks replace it with a performance part so you generally dont have to worry about it again
 
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