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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I have a 2000 Focus 2.0 Zetec with 148k miles on it. It started doing the real high idleing like I've read a lot of other drivers have experienced. So I did some research on here and most people stated to check for vacuum leak.......never found one, but did find a smashed vacuum line, replaced it and the car ran perfect for about a month....thought it was fixed.....then this week one day, driving to work it did the same thing, so I thought I'd fix it when I got home.....others said a TPS could be the problem....so I ordered one.....but when I went to leave work, the car wouldn't start.....so it sat a work for a few days till I could bring my trailer and get it home. So I did, pushed it in my driveway, for grins tried it, and it started.....but ran like crap......tried to take it for a spin when I took off, it died.....started right up, pulled it in the driveway......when I tried opening the throttle slowly, it did fine.....but if I opened it quickly, it would die.......now I'm beginning to believe its a fuel related problem, cause it also has a real "rich" smell to it when it did run.......so I started with the filter since its been a while.....the gas came out like coffee.......after replacing that, I can't get it to start anymore.....could the injectors be dirty, or bad? Is this a possible pump going bad? My neighbor, who works at a dealer, said the high idleing could be from a bad pump.....motor trying to compensate for poor vacuum??

Any ideas? My wife really wants me to fix this so she can drive it when it snows......that little car is PERFECT in the snow!!! Any suggestions?? I've cleaned the MAF and replaced the TPS and fuel filter......I thought about the IAC, but I figured it would start if that was bad, just not idle. I was thinking the injectors could be fouled up if the gas in the filter looked brown......I haven't pulled any plugs yet to see how they look, I did do a "tune up" last year, so it should be good. My neighbor said the "foul" smell could be a clogged converter, but it just passed emissions a few months ago.....I'd think if it was clogged or partially clogged, it wouldn't pass.

Thanks in advace for all your advice! I love this car, never had any issues until now....except for needing a new alternator last year.
Tim Hollerbach[?|]
 

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Got an update on my problem.......I got it to start tonight......but thats about it....it idles fine.....if you open the throttle slowly, it does fine, but if you open it quickly, it chokes and dies........my neighbor says that fords don't have fuel regulators, but they have a sensor that tell the pump what to do, and my problem is either the pump or the sensor......does that sound right to you guys? I'm looking for any help!! Where is this sensor and what is it exactly called??

Thanks!
 

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Well, first, do you have the engine light on? have you read any codes?

Second, I understood you changed your TPS. Did you check what voltage it reads using a voltmeter? maybe your problem is in the pigtail, which gets corroded and needs to be replaced?

You could do a fuel pressure test, to see if it's right. Check if all your injectors work. Use a screwdriver and touch the injector with the tip, and put the handle in your ear at the same time, if you can listen a click, your injector is working. This doesn't mean it is working properly, that's another story.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No, never had an engine light come on.....that would make life a lot easier.......I didn't check voltage on the TPS, the pigtail doesn't look like its corroded.......

my neighbor is supposed to be bringing home a testor to test the injectors......but I doubt that is the problem......when I can get it to start, it idles just fine.....its only when I put a load on it and try to pump the gas in fast.....if I bring it up slowly, its fine......only "chokes" when I gag on it......

It seems like the fuel system cannot keep up with the demand unless it is increased slowly.......Is the sensor the "fuel tank pressure sensor" typically go bad? My fuel filter was pretty clogged.....I can see how the fuel pump had to pump harder in order to keep up and burned up.......but what I dont get is, why does it start sometime and not everytime?
 

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Ok, well, I am not an expert on Fords, neither a professional mechanic, but this seems weird case to me.

Well, maybe your fuel pump is screwed, and when you put load on the car, it is not able to pump enough fuel for the system. The only way to know if it has drop offs is to get a fuel pressure check. But the gauges are expensive, so If you are going to get one, plug it in, and check what reads when you step on the throttle pedal.

The interesting part, is that you don't have any code in your car, defective pressure sensor, should light it on.

Check the voltage of the TPS just in case it has bad readings, although that should light the engine light too. The pigtails are a common cause of bad TPS malfunctioning and they don't have to look bad to be it.

I hope this helps a little bit
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Aironjack, thanks for the responses.......I'm not a pro mechanic either, I hate working on new cars.....I like the old mechanical stuff......I have a 65 mustang and a stock car and they are a piece of cake to work on........I always figured that a sensor would send a signal to the computer to throw a light.....thats what makes me believe its something "mechanical" like a fuel pump (even though it's an electric fuel pump). My neighbor is supposed to bring home a tester.....he works for a dodge dealer, so they don't have all the computer testers for fords, but the injector and pressure tester he says is the same........He didn't get a chance to get it on Monday, yesterday was rainy and snowy here (the car sits outside) so I didn't even talk to him.....I have 4 other cars to drive, but this one gets the best gas mileage, so I want to get it running......it's my work car.....;)

I'm interested in if anyone else has any comments.....I've talked to a few mechanics and they all scratch their heads.....no mechanic these days know what to do, unless a light is thrown and the computer tells them what to do....[shameful]
 

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I completely understand what you mean. There are too many mechanics nowadays that only know how to work with a tester. Old school is difficult to find.

I like the mpg of this car too, that's one of its biggest weapons. Nobody knows exactly how the ECU works, because its software is never released, there are some directives that explain vague concepts.

They invent new sensors all the time, it is difficult to keep updated with that. I am sure some guys here will give you more feedback on this, there are many here that really know their stuff.

I am just thinking that cold temperatures could be part of your problem, I don't know how. Have you tried to put the car in a garage and warm it up, to see if it runs better?

Good luck with it, and don't loose patience.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just to let everyone know.....I replaced the fuel pump today and the problem is fixed......it runs just as good as before now. One tip, do NOT use a dremel tool to cut out the retaining ring in the bottom of tank (since Ford decided to change the design of the fuel pump so it doesn't need the retainer). One little spark from the dremel tool and BIG explosion[bash] [bash] .

So $200 later, a few busted knuckles, and less hair and no eyebrows on my face and my buddies face, the little focus is running great again. Good thing, because my wife wants to drive it tomorrow since we are supposed to get snow.

So thanks aironjack.....you're the only one that attempted to help me!![cheers]
 

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I am glad you fixed it timholler,

Could you check the pressure of the system before replacing? I am sorry you had that issue with the tank, I would have done something similar and get really scared. So I am going to mentally remember no sparks near the tank.

Finally it is working again, right on time for the snow, enjoy it man! This is the best feeling. I love when you fix things after hard work and then you enter your car and it works, that's priceless.
 

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Sorry to hear about your car, but I am so glad you have that problem because my car is having the same problem. Now I know what to test... HA HA Sorry but Thanks both of you.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think it was a lesson learned to not be lazy and change the fuel filter regularly, with it being clogged, I'm sure that made my pump go out......I know, I know, filters are very important.....I'm just lazy and cheap.....and it cost me a new pump and a afternoons worth of work.......not to mention about blowing up my house.....with about 30 gallons of racing fuel sitting next to the car, I might add......[neener]

Good luck cafociguy......
 
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