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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys

Here is my problem: the car is not starting anymore. It started having problems two weeks ago when it strangely needed me to step on the gas pedal like three to four times to start, any attempt to start it by just turning the key into the ignition was ignored, it needed that gas stimulus

Two weeks later, that was yesterday, it died strangely when I was getting out of the parking lot. It first hesitated when I got out ..I had to accelerate the engine to prevent a stop but in the end died.
I managed to restart it and to get out of there but it died again on the road couple of hundred meters away after a few more hesitations....

A friend of mine told me that it might be the carburetor or the gas pump. What can this be and how do I troubleshoot this?
 

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2004 Focus Wagon, Zetec DOHC, Auto
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There is no carburetor on these engines (they are fuel injected) and stepping on the accelerator a few times before trying to start the engine does nothing.

I would check the PCV hose at the rear of the engine to see if it is split open. Could be other things (like the fuel pump, or clogged fuel filter), but I would start with that since it is an easy thing to check.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There is no carburetor on these engines (they are fuel injected) and stepping on the accelerator a few times before trying to start the engine does nothing.

I would check the PCV hose at the rear of the engine to see if it is split open. Could be other things (like the fuel pump, or clogged fuel filter), but I would start with that since it is an easy thing to check.
:) Thanks a lot. That was my voodoo style troubleshooting with rudimentary and obsolete knowledge about how a car works :))

I read somewhere that fuel pump can be checked easily if it is all right with some basic trick...but I can't remember how. It had something to do with the fuel spilling out of a disconnected fuel line when you turn the key into ignition (sorry if this sounds crazy, this is what I remember) ..or I might be mixing the things, if there is pressure in the tank then the gas indicator should show that there is gas in the tank...
What other quick tricks can I use to troubleshoot the above?
 

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2003 ZX3
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You're right, some people do check fuel by disconnecting the fuel rail and turning the key to run.

Check the basics, in order to run an engine needs air, fuel and spark. Air path is easy to check, just make sure nothing is physically cloged. It doesn't have a check engine light on does it? If it does, get that read and see what code it's giving you.

To check spark I've always removed spark plugs, connected them back to the wire, and turned the engine. Other members on here may have a better way to do that.

Like FocusKnot said too, check all PCV lines, I imagine you'd get a check engine light if one of those were damaged though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You're right, some people do check fuel by disconnecting the fuel rail and turning the key to run.

Check the basics, in order to run an engine needs air, fuel and spark. Air path is easy to check, just make sure nothing is physically cloged. It doesn't have a check engine light on does it? If it does, get that read and see what code it's giving you.

To check spark I've always removed spark plugs, connected them back to the wire, and turned the engine. Other members on here may have a better way to do that.

Like FocusKnot said too, check all PCV lines, I imagine you'd get a check engine light if one of those were damaged though.
thanks Robby, no no check engine light is on so far
Can I damage the gas pump if I do the above checkings and the fuel filter is actually the problem?


PS: a friend of mine was saying that you could check if it is a fuel problem by dropping a few gas drops inside some thing that he pointed to :D and the engine might start if this is just a fueling problem. It will die again shortly after but that isolates the problem right the way. What component was he talking about? Would you advise someone do this test?
 

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2003 ZX3
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As far as your first mentioned method, it's not going to damage the pump because it just squirts a small amount to get the engine started, It's just a little messy. As far as the second method, that sounds more of a method to check carbureted vehicles. Hopefully someone else will chime in with some clarification.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As far as your first mentioned method, it's not going to damage the pump because it just squirts a small amount to get the engine started, It's just a little messy. As far as the second method, that sounds more of a method to check carbureted vehicles. Hopefully someone else will chime in with some clarification.
It was mentioned above that this model has no carburetor, so I don't think it is possible. My fried used to repair cars 20 years ago :) so he knew the trick from back then but he did not realize that this model does not have it
 

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That few drops of fuel down the intake check can work on these, but it won't stay running without the intake hose reconnected as it needs to sense air flow through there to continue running.

Being in Canada, there are two possibilities for engine types. Which is in your car can make any suggestions/descriptions more accurate. If you aren't sure which type there are descriptions in a "stickie" with pictures at the top of this page.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It is the first picture in that thread (Zetec Performance, if I got the name of each picture right)
 

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Zetec is the twin cam engine (long flat pieces front & rear of the top with a valley holding the spark plus inbetween). Standard on all wagons here, some Canadian wagons used the "SPI" with a large rounded valve cover marked "SPI" and the plugs at the front.

If it's quiet when you turn the key on, you should hear a low buzz from the fuel pump for a short time (doesn't stay running continuously).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I took the car to an auto shop that is next to my house and they told me that it was a fuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good deal! LOVE when it doesn't turn out to be a huge job!!
The best thing for me is that I learned that the mechanic thatworks next door is reliable. He could have charged me more, I could not know what was wrong. For that he got to do the oil change and one of the engine mounts and to check the brakes. The guy's shop is a couple of houses away from me, we could push the car there. I used to go to another guy's shop who kind of ignored me when I asked them about the car/engine vibrations when the engine is cold. Not sure why they did not want to bother.
He did not insist to replace the brakes... I have been running on these front brakes like forever, we don't drive much .... ..
anyway..good thing.

thanks a lot guys for everything.
 
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