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Discussion Starter #1
Hi have had my 2001 Ford Focus for over 2 years now and since then I have had a problem with the car starting.

The issue is that everytime I try to start the car when its been idle over night or even for a few hours its take about 4/5 seconds to start it just turns and then starts, I will notice a smell of gas out side and a fumes smell inside, this will last for a while and then just go. Now after the car has started if I turn of the engine and restart it will start almost instantly. Just to let you know the car has always started in the time I have had it. I live in Cyprus so it is most of the time so it can be due to the cold...

I have been to about 5 mechanics (including ford) however they cannot seem to know the problem. I have changed quite a few bits (spark plugs, filters, checked fule pump, changed the idle contril value (as recomended by one mechanic)...). I read online that it could be due to the air control sensor which I asked one of the mechanis and he said it dont have one its got a MAP system instead.

Even when check on the computer no code or errors come up. So I really dont know what to do next.

Please has someone had or heard of this problem, I could really do with help.

Thank you!!
 

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Hatch Nation #136
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It could be part of your emissions system. Like, the evap canister, or something. I'm not as familiar with the Euro motors emission controls.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok I am not sure about this part. Do you know anyone or know anywhere I can check to solve this issue? The car was imported from the UK...
 

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It indeed could be a MAF sensor... those usually need cleaned.. The interesting thing is how it is likely flooding... thus the smell of gas when it fires up. It could also be the emission system... Goodness. I don't know off the top of my head. I usually clean out all vac hoses, throttle body, and air intake. It can all be done with a chemical cleaner. Justice Bros is my favorite, berryman's works too. At a 5$ investment, it'd be worth cleaning the lines.
 

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For what it's worth, my dad had this same problem on his minivan. It was a leaky fuel injector. It would take longer than usual to start after sitting for awhile. The gas was leaking into the cylinders and flooding the engine. If you shut it off and tried to restart it right away it would fire up. He would always have a strong gas smell when it started as well.
 

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Obececha might have hit it on this one! - it's NOT a common issue, and if you hadn't seen it B4 it's NOT one that would immediately come to mind...

Fuel drainback to the tank because of a poor check valve is the most common slow start issue - turning on the key & waiting a bit B4 cranking so the pressure has time to build solves that one and it's something you should try just in case that IS your issue... (MUCH cheaper than a new fuel pump assembly).

Pulling the injectors & rail, then reassembling them to the rail to check for dribbles when the system is pressurized would be next to see if his guess fits your case - doesn't cost anything but time....

Luck!
 

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Hatch Nation #136
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It could also be something as simple as having a valve cover oil leak. If it is draining into a plug just slightly it could be sifiring after sitting but not after an immeadiate restart.

A misfire of any variety makes the car smell like gas.

Start simple and easy before tearing the whole motor apart.


I like the idea of cleaning the MAF sensor.

Have there been any other symptoms? Rough idle? Car dying? Anything out of the ordinary other than the hard start?
 

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DTC P0606
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To add further to Obechecha and sailor's suggestions, you might want to pull the spark plugs during the no start condition to see if any of the plugs are noticeably wet or fouled as a preliminary diagnostic check before pulling the fuel rail. Might just be a single leaking injector. I've had this problem in the past too though not on the Focus.
Might also want to check the Rail Pressure sensor but usually when those fail they throw a Check Engine Light code.
 
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