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Discussion Starter #1
So I started having a problem with my car today. To start off, while I was at work (pizza delivery) I started up the car to make a delivery and it idled up higher than normal for a few seconds then gradually found it's way back to normal. But after driving about 3 tenths of a mile to the stop lights it idled back up when I cam to a stop. On the drive home it did just fine, 15 miles (25 minutes). but when I pulled into the driveway it idled high again when i put it in park. I shut it off and turned it back on a couple times and it did fine. But when I turned it on the last time and revved it up a to about 3K rpm's the idle hung for a little and very slowly came back down to normal then dropped to about the 1st rpm mark and really struggled to stay running then just died. I fired it back up and revved it again and it did the same thing but it didn't die this time so I gave it a little gas and it idled at normal again.

I have no issues while driving the car, it runs and shifts (atx) just fine. Just replaced the breather hose (from the valve cover to air box) today after work. I didn't replace it with a factory molded one but with some hose from autozone. The only thing I have done recently was sea-foam the engine about 6 days ago with no problems, and 2 of the last 3 tanks of gas I have put it some lucas injector cleaner in. I can hear the "hissing" vacuum leak sound but it is very very faint and I cannot find it, it sounds like it may just be the black round plastic thing that sit against the firewall on the passenger side of the engine bay. I have no clue of what else to do and I need my car for work the next two days then I have a 3 hour drive for dove hunting friday morning so I need to get this fixed...like last night. Any help on what to look for or check.

**I also noticed that the tube that runs from the black plastic round box to just underneath the throttle body was a little kinked but no enough that it cut off air flow but looks like it should be replaced soon.

EDIT: forgot to mention no CEL light, and car has 160K. I have no records of the maintenance, just purchased in February.
 

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Check all your lines also. A vac line could be loose or a cracked hose. Sometimes the intake can pop loose from the TB

You can remove the IAC and sometimes cleaning it can help, make sure its plugged in good as well.

There are youtube videos on ways to track down vac leaks if the IAC doesnt help.

If you are tight on money ide search for a vacuum leak first, second clean the IAC lastly replace it.

What does it do when you unplug the IAC?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What does it do when you unplug the IAC?
I also forgot to mention I unplugged it yesterday and took it for a test drive, forgetting to plug it back in and it ran fine, idled fine and everything except for the fact that the car wouldn't shift into overdrive and when it did shift, it shifted really hard. After I remembered it and plugged it back in the tranny shifted smooth and did shift into OD again. I though maybe it would throw a code and the CEL would come on but it never did. Do you think maybe if I disconnected the battery cable for a couple minutes that might reset something and smooth things out? I can try that tomorrow morning since I don't have to be to work until afternoon-ish
 

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Why did you unhook it? did you take it out and clean it atleast?

I think mine needs to be replaced as well. Im going to order a new one in a couple of days.

I had a high idle and i had a vacuum line off just under my IAC i went ahead and took mine off and cleaned it again and when i put it back on i put it on upside down. It ran better but was still higher then it usually is. It ran though and shifted like normal.

I was going to mess around with mine tomorrow and see if i can figure out a little more what it does. Mine has a 2 pin plug which i think is maybe + and - but im not for sure. It could also be a signal and a + and then the bolts are ground.

I thought ide pull the plug and use a meter and see if i can see what its doing. If its just a + and - then im going to try and hook it to 12V with it off the car and see what its doing inside the metal case. Mine seems to be sealed inside this galvanized metal container why i dont understand. Why it needs to be metal and why they build it so you cant open it up. I guess so you will just replace it every so often.

Yours might work ok if you clean it with some carb cleaner. I also notice on mine where its mounted to the intake the top seems clean, the bottom seems gunky like oily fuel gunk. That gunk could be whats keeping yours from functioning properly and a little carb cleaner could clear that up and save you some $. They want $80. at my local auto parts and IMO thats alot for this thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i ended up unplugging it because i was taking apart the air box and cleaning it a little and looking into putting an aftermarket breather filter. i made sure everything was clamped back down but i'll try unhooking the battery and taking the sensor out and checking to see how dirty it is.
 

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The only thing about pulling the battery is mine always has a high idle till about 200 miles then it relearns and then is normal.

If you unhook your battery it may not run good till it relearns. I think ide try cleaning it first before pulling the battery.

Mine is an 07 with the duratec so maybe yours isnt the same?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
yeah I have an 02 zetec. still really haven't learned a whole lot about these cars yet and what's common and uncommon except for the that radiator fan resistor, i made sure to pick up a couple of spares at the junk yard for the next time it happens. but eventually i'll start to get the hang of it
 

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Clean the MAF.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
so I sprayed a little carb cleaner on the maf and fired it up. since this was the first start up of the day i drove it down to the store about 4 miles away and as I was pulling into the parking lot i noticed the battery light was on but turned off almost right after i noticed it. When i put the car into park it started idling low and rough until it just died. on the way back home the battery light kept coming on. the first time for about 5 seconds, then it came on every 20 seconds or so but it stayed on longer and longer each time. when i got home and parked it idled just fine, even revved it up a little and it did just fine. I'm wondering if this is the alternator going bad? it looks like a b*tch to replace

I also came across the thought, if it is the alternator staring to take a dump on me, maybe that's where I'm hearing that faint hissing sound since it and that black plastic cylinder are pretty much right next to each other.
 

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Well my sister just went threw some stuff in july, first her compressor for her A/C exploded then a week later the top o2 sensor went out and then a week after that her alternator. All in one month

Cost her $1200 for a complete A/C rebuild, all the lines, the condenser EVERYTHING the o2 we changed but it was still $200. for the sensor. Then we tried to replace the alternator but after we got the new one in it didnt work right. So she wound up taking it in and that was $400.

It was not a good month for her car.

I hope you dont have things compiling on your car like she did.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I took it into autozone yesterday afternoon to get the battery tested and it traced the problem back to a bad alternator. After 2 1/2 hours spent trying to get the thing out I took it in and had it tested and it failed miserably so I dropped $160 on the cheapest "factory rebuild" unit which had a brand new made in China sticker on it?? After trying to get this "rebuilt" unit to go back in the car I noticed with the bolts all tightened down the alternator still had a lot of play back and forth so had to end up using washers to take up slack. In total about 5 hours later. Got it all wrapped up and started it for the first time. Noticed that the alternator or serpentine belt was putting out quite a bit of smoke. Didn't smell like rubber so concluded that it was probably some sort of stuff they put on the alternator to ship it from China. Seems to have cleared up the problem for now. Guess I'll find out at work later todaytoday
 

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I just had this exact same problem on my zx3, i took the air flow senor off the air intake and blew it out with an air compressor and that was all it needed.
 

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I took it into autozone yesterday afternoon to get the battery tested and it traced the problem back to a bad alternator. After 2 1/2 hours spent trying to get the thing out I took it in and had it tested and it failed miserably so I dropped $160 on the cheapest "factory rebuild" unit which had a brand new made in China sticker on it?? After trying to get this "rebuilt" unit to go back in the car I noticed with the bolts all tightened down the alternator still had a lot of play back and forth so had to end up using washers to take up slack. In total about 5 hours later. Got it all wrapped up and started it for the first time. Noticed that the alternator or serpentine belt was putting out quite a bit of smoke. Didn't smell like rubber so concluded that it was probably some sort of stuff they put on the alternator to ship it from China. Seems to have cleared up the problem for now. Guess I'll find out at work later todaytoday
Did you have them test the alternator before you left? After the problems i went threw with my sisters car i dont think ill ever buy another "rebuilt" alternator without them testing it before i leave. IMO the rebuilt crap they sell any more is about 50/50 hit and miss.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Definitely. After he came from the back and set the box on the counter and pulled it out I asked him "can we throw this on the tester too?" After being a pain to get out I sure didn't want to get the new one in and not have it work, but the smoking stopped and it's running smooth...somewhat smooth. still has a little hiccup at idle. Finally found some MAF specific cleaner and jumped on it so I'll try and spay some of that on there in the morning and change the air filter and see if that smooths out the last little bit.
 

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I hope mine is just the IAC and doesnt turn into the alternator. It does have 51K on it now and i think ive read 50-75k on the stock alt.

Mine seems a little low output when i view it from the odometer.
 

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Check your egr gaskets and your exhaust manifold gasket thats what my focus had. I changed out a lot of stuff ob the car and all it had wrong was the gasket and a screw had broken.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hopefully that new sensor will fix your problem. It beats spending twice that on an alternator and a lot more time swapping them out. I wish I hadn't sold my code scanner when I had my Z [facepalm] I noticed your in KC, I'm planning on moving out there by the end of the year (wishful thinking) but soon hopefully. This alternator issue made me dip into some of the $$ i have towards moving [rant]
 
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