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Discussion Starter #1
Well first off, hey guys! I've been a lurker for long enough, and I figure I'm going to start actually contributing. I need some more ideas as to what could be wrong with my car currently, and I ran out. I figured you might be able to help me, as a lot of threads on the fantastic site have solved many of my previous problems!

I received my current 2000 ZTEC Focus SE in July of 2007 with about 35,000 miles on it. It was in pretty good condition at the time, well taken care of from what I see. The previous owner lived in New York, and from what my local Ford Dealership said it had a good maintenance history. I just guess it wasn't driven much.

After a year and 15,000 miles, I've had to do the following maintenance on it:
-New Battery (Old one was leaking)
-New Tires (Old ones were brand new with car and only lasted 15,000)
-Automatic Transmission Service (Some genius overfilled it sometime before I purchased it) [?|]
-Oil Changes (Every 3,000 - 4,000 miles)
-New Bearings for Rear Wheels (Fun....)
-A/C Repaired (Something was leaking causing the coolant to leak out)
-New Fuel Filter
-Cleaned MAF Sensor (It was not even dirty but I did it anyways)
-Replace Fuel Pump Under Recall (Improved Fuel Economy a bit)
-Replaced Sparkplugs (Trying to troubleshoot something...)
-New Brake Pads (Old ones gave out at around 38,000)

Now, with all that, put a front end collision on top of that. It took about two weeks to rebuild. Engine was not damaged (thank god) but everything in front of it was. So, no real trouble there besides a headache and a mark on its VIN.

It's running great overall, but I still have a few issues. One happens to be excessive vibration in general. It mainly happens when the car is stopped at a red light and idling, and you can feel it a tiny bit when driving along. I was thinking motor mounts, but I could be wrong.

Another happens to be fuel economy. Since I live in NC, I blast my AC during the summer. I've been getting about 280 miles on a tank babying the gas petal and turning off the A/C if it's cold enough outside. Am I getting what I should be with about 70% Highway / 30% City driving for an automatic ZTEC? If not, any suggestions on what to look into next?

Next, I notice at night that when I saw, use the power windows, everything in the car will dim until I'm done. Could it be alternator related or maybe even battery lead related?

Last, what would cause the engine to stall out under a very high load? I recently took a trip up to Raleigh, and the car was pushing 70-80mph most of the time. On the way back home it started having real trouble acceleration. It eventually died on me and stalled out for about two minutes on the side of the road until I could get it to start again. It's never happened since...so what might cause that? It did have a fresh fuel filter before the trip and I did replace the fuel pump right after that trip.
 

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The vibration sounds like motor mounts to me. You should especially feel it when you start the car up. As for gas mileage, I'd say you're fine. I'm assuming you mean 28mpg and not 280. That's what my 01 zx3 averages with the same style of driving. There are so many variables that affect gas mileage, but if your car's running fine then check your tire pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The vibration sounds like motor mounts to me. You should especially feel it when you start the car up. As for gas mileage, I'd say you're fine. I'm assuming you mean 28mpg and not 280. That's what my 01 zx3 averages with the same style of driving. There are so many variables that affect gas mileage, but if your car's running fine then check your tire pressure.
Yeah, I meant per tank. The tires I currently have are inflated to 42psi warm (recommended for the tire itself). The max they can go is about 52psi, but they are a 70,000 tire after all.
 

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My 02 with 155k gets 28 in the summer heat with AC blasting and 31ish when it cools down. I don't go over 70mph thou.

When your engine died did you have a CEL?. My wifes expedition was doing this and I could not figure it out. I ended up swapping COP's. D-side to p-side and p-side to d-side. Since doing that it has not died. So I'm chalking it up to a loose connection or a wire thing. We will see.

As far as your vibration goes, can you feel a or hear a rattle when going over pumps at slow speed. That can indicate a bad motor mount.
 

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biggest factor with mileage is the right foot. I'm 'usually' somewhere around 200 miles at a half a tank. But don't go by that as it can read off at times. Fill your car up like you normally do. Reset your Trip Odometer and drive the car like you normally do. Fill up again like you normally do. Calculate how many gallons it took since the last time you filled up and you'll have your MPG. When the gas light comes on you have around 2 gallons left in the tank.

Your sputtering/stalling at highway speeds may be due to bad gas/engine hiccup/fluke. If it happens again, i'd look into it more deeply.

Your engine vibration may be due to the motor mounts. The engine usually idles around 750rpms, do you know what it idles at? You may be looking at a bad IACV, EGR Valve or DPFE Sensor. No codes?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My 02 with 155k gets 28 in the summer heat with AC blasting and 31ish when it cools down. I don't go over 70mph thou.

When your engine died did you have a CEL?. My wifes expedition was doing this and I could not figure it out. I ended up swapping COP's. D-side to p-side and p-side to d-side. Since doing that it has not died. So I'm chalking it up to a loose connection or a wire thing. We will see.

As far as your vibration goes, can you feel a or hear a rattle when going over pumps at slow speed. That can indicate a bad motor mount.
My MPG is about 28 combined. My light comes on at around 3 gallons to go, and I fill up when it comes on. But, I hit a lot of lights going around town. I think it's abut right. Speed limits around here max out at about 55 unless you head up north towards the big cities.

It did throw a CEL when it died. But then a bunch of other lights showed up at the same time. I did not have my OBD-II troubleshooter in the car with me at the time, so I went to the closest AutoZone I could find and had them check if it stored a code. No code was stored.

As for the rattle, yes and no? Depends on how the car is. It's more noticeable when the A/C is on. Turn the A/C off, less vibration in the car, less noise, rattle. The worst is at idle. I usually just put in it neutral when at a light to stop it. It's that annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
biggest factor with mileage is the right foot. I'm 'usually' somewhere around 200 miles at a half a tank. But don't go by that as it can read off at times. Fill your car up like you normally do. Reset your Trip Odometer and drive the car like you normally do. Fill up again like you normally do. Calculate how many gallons it took since the last time you filled up and you'll have your MPG. When the gas light comes on you have around 2 gallons left in the tank.

Your sputtering/stalling at highway speeds may be due to bad gas/engine hiccup/fluke. If it happens again, i'd look into it more deeply.

Your engine vibration may be due to the motor mounts. The engine usually idles around 750rpms, do you know what it idles at? You may be looking at a bad IACV, EGR Valve or DPFE Sensor. No codes?
MPG looks to be about 28 at last fill up. I do usually reset my trip odometer each fill up and my light comes on at 280 miles every week. Last week when I filled it up it put 10.2 gallons in, so I guess around 28 right? I do baby the petal, but it likes to take it's time getting back up to 55mph from a dead stop if I barely touch it. Not that bad I guess considering the factors of A/C, speed limits, stop lights, and a good percentage of city driving.

It has only sputtered once. That was the first time I really was pushing 70-80mph in the car. Max around here is 55mph and the highway I was on had a 70mph speed limit. It has only happened pushing it that hard that once...never since.

Engine idles at around 750-800 from what I remember at last check. I don't have any codes thrown.
 
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