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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2002 ford focus ZX5 hatchback, I'm pretty sure my fuel pump is giving me problems, trouble with cold start, rough idling, high rpms, but I'm smelling my Catalytic converter. I was told different opinions by diff people, could the catalytic converter cause those same problems? I hope not, its mounted on the front of my motor, there for I'd have to rip apart my whole front end, or i was told it could be my O2 sensor. if its my fuel pump, I didn't see a removable plate under the back seat like in my latter car, a 2001 ford focus (wasn't a hatchback) so I'd either A have to cut a hole to get to it or B, drop my full gas tank (uugh). I need opinions people, please and thank you! Not taking to a shop, the lowest wait time I could find was 4 weeks to get it fixed and I need it done now.
 

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Focus Hoarder
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3,633 Posts
to change a catalytic converter is not hard and you don't need to rip apart your entire front end.

when a cat goes bad you get a funky rotton egg smell out the exhaust but you need to find out what caused the cat to go bad in the first place.. yes cats can deteriorate naturally but the majority of the time its destroyed when to much raw fuel is dumped into it via the exhaust of the engine.. a car not running proper could destroy it)

you mentioned your car is running and idling rough which means theirs a possibility of a misfire, unburnt fuel is being dumped into the cat

whens the last time your car had its coil/sparkplugs and wires changed?
also if this is a Zetec there is a pipe on the back of the engine that is called a PCV crossover pipe ( its not the PCV valve itself) that will collapse from age/heat deterioration) and eventually pinch itself off and break a hole though it which will also cause stalling, hesitation and rough idling.
 

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#dailydriven
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6,103 Posts
It could be the Cat. Has the car had a tune up recently? I'd say it either needs a tune up or it's a bad o2 sensor.
 

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Not the cat but will be shortly. Like Artic says. The smell is from too much fuel from not being burned before getting to cat. It's a sign you are ruining the cat in minutes, it melts the inner matrix with that much fuel going through it. The smell means the cat is working at that point, in fact, working like it has never worked in its' life and why they die.

Ignition or fuel problem and not from too little like a fuel pump would do. Misfire from engine or ignition condition or other things like leaking injector. Could be basic engine condition even.
 

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Captain TMI
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21,235 Posts
I'm with what Minx said. Keep it simple!

Start with regular maintenance items, especially those that might have been overlooked. Plugs (always check gap), plug wires, check & repair the PCV line if needed. Fuel filter- although it makes no sense with the high rpm, it might be part of the starting and misfiring if it's very old. Life on these is around 20k miles or 1 year (thanks E85). I would also clean the MAF and reset the Air/fuel ratio as a part of this tune-up. That will get you back to running as best as you can. Then you'll find out if you need to be wrenching a cat replacement in place.

You can purchase a new cat that will bolt in (in theory) if you need to, but a badly running engine can damage a new catalytic converter- and you don't want to do that.

Hopefully you have lifetime warranty wires, so those might not cost anything. If you know a maintenance man or electrician, MAF cleaner is the same thing as electrical parts cleaner- just make sure it's the kind without lube. You can simply install regular plugs, but IMO, you should order double platinum plugs from an online source like Rock Auto (one of our vendors) because the discount is ridiculous. Check their vendor section, there is typically a discount code good for 10%. I also advise you to pay attention to shipping on the items you order, you might be able to get a similar/same item from a different shipper and save on shipping- RA's online ordering software will show you shipping locations when you're in your cart.

Keep us abreast, maybe we can help more.
 
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