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Discussion Starter #1
I need help! I have a 2005 Focus, ZX4, and it's starting to have problems. In January 2011, my transmission fell out at a stop light- no slipping or anything to warn me of it. I then got a used one from a junk yard and had them install it, and things ran great.

Now, 7 months later, I've got new problems. When I'm idle, like a red light or stop sign, in Drive, my car shakes and "jumps" every 30 seconds. Now today, I was in the bank drive thru, waiting for them to send back paperwork for about 4 minutes, and the car felt like it was having a seizure. It was jumping and raddling non stop.

What could this be? I am already going to be changing fuel filter, and spark plugs this weekend, but I don't know what else should be looked at. Every time I bring it in for an oil change, they rip me off and tell me I need $500 worth of work.... I'm just a young college girl who knows nothing about cars, but how to spell the word car! haha [8D]

PLEASE HELP!
 

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C2H5OH
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Perhaps the oil change shop is not trying to rip you off but prevent more expensive repairs such as a complete transmission replacement.

A problem just at idle to me would sound like a small vacuum leak and possibly a dirty Mass Air Flow Sensor.
 

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Hatch Nation #136
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Perhaps the oil change shop is not trying to rip you off but prevent more expensive repairs such as a complete transmission replacement.

A problem just at idle to me would sound like a small vacuum leak and possibly a dirty Mass Air Flow Sensor.
This. Get a second opinion if you don't trust that particular shop. If you really don't trust it, try and get a quote and post up what they say is wrong on the forum and let everyone chime in.
 

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I'm sure they may be helping sometimes.... But most of the time its a "problem" with something never heard of. When I had the transmission put in, in Jan., the next week I went to get an oil change. They told me my color was bad, and I needed a trans flush... for $280. Then when I went back 3,000 miles later and had a different tech, he told me I had no problem with color and I didn't need a flush. Instead I needed now a new fuel filter. Every time its something different! And not knowing much, I will go broke if I listen to everything they tell me.

A "small vacuum leak and possibly a dirty Mass Air Flow Sensor".... would the vacuum leak be visible? I've had a few guys who know about cars look and they've brought that up, but say "no vacuum leaks seen." And the Mass Air Flow Sensor is something knew I havent heard of.. I'll be sure to look into that idea... Thanks a lot for the advice!! [8D][8D]
 

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Have you checked your plugs and wires? electrical problems can make cars do weird things sometimes. usually from my experiences bad wires will sometimes cause the car to jitter slightly at and idle and have sort of a misfire when getting up to speed. especially under load like heavy accel, or climbing a hill.

otherwise if it is your tranny could it maybe be the lock-up converter? im no transmission expert but i would maybe suggest changing tranny fluid to see if you have any metal flakes or discoloration.
 

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Have you checked your plugs and wires? electrical problems can make cars do weird things sometimes. usually from my experiences bad wires will sometimes cause the car to jitter slightly at and idle and have sort of a misfire when getting up to speed. especially under load like heavy accel, or climbing a hill.

otherwise if it is your tranny could it maybe be the lock-up converter? im no transmission expert but i would maybe suggest changing tranny fluid to see if you have any metal flakes or discoloration.
I just went in for an oil change a week ago, and apparently my plugs and wires are fine. I am changing my spark plugs this weekend, in relation to mileage- I feel like they should be changed, Im at 119,000 miles. And I dont know if they have ever been changed.

I'm not exactly sure what "wires" are fine. I know I do have coils, not wires, for whatever that means.

I have a fear that it has to do with transmission, and that the last thing I wanted. I just spent $1500 on a used one, and that was just 7 months ago. I hope I don't need another one....

I'll tell the guys to change fluid this weekend... And hope for the best, I guess
 

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Hatch Nation #136
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Try posting on your regional forum to see if anyone in the area can give you advice on a good local shop, or even better, is willing to take a look at your car for the price of beers.
 

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Try posting on your regional forum to see if anyone in the area can give you advice on a good local shop, or even better, is willing to take a look at your car for the price of beers.
I just joined today. I have no idea where to find that.... I'll be back on later tonight, and if you could provide me with help through a message, on how to do that, I'd really appreciate it!!
 

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C2H5OH
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This, http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=10 looks to be the regional forum for Florida. Doesn't look too active, but there is a shop review section that might be helpful.


When someone at a shop tells you something is (or could be) wrong with the car, have them show you where the problem is. Such as, if a 'tech' says the transmission fluid is the "wrong color" make them place some (as you're standing there watching so you know they don't use some other fluid) on a white piece of paper. Them dab some brand new fluid next to it. That will give a baseline of what it should look like vs what it does.

As stated, with transmission fluid (or any fluid) metal flakes are bad ... and IMO new fluid won't solve anything, only new parts will.


No a small vacuum leak will not be "visible". You might hear it slightly, but it will be faint. There are various safe ways to test at home though, unlit Propane torch, carb cleaner, water. But being you are the most car savvy I don't think you'd find it (if there is one) on your own, and if you did I don't feel you'd be confident enough to believe in what you find, second guess yourself and such. So it is probably for the best you find a reliable and trustworthy shop to look the car over for you. And as much as you don't want to hear it, a Ford shop is probably the best option being they have the correct training and tools to find such problems.

But I would hold off on anything until after you replace the spark plugs. It may turn out one is fouled and the culprit of this headache.
 

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Hi smarrs12,

I second what iminhell said about visiting your local dealer. The Ford-trained technicians there know your vehicle inside and out. They have the right tools to diagnose your problem and they have the parts that are recommended for your vehicle. They will be in the best position to accurately diagnose your rattling and provide solutions. You can feel confident in their repair.

~Natasha
 

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i would recomend unplugging your battery and changing all 4 plugs and all of your wires. it's a relatively easy procedure and by unplugging your battery for 5-10 minutes it can reset error codes in your computer that could be causeing something to not be quite right with your car. i fould new plugs and wires for less than $50 for my SVT focus. i'd say it's worth a shot. plus if you dont now what to get you could just call car quest or auto zone and have them tell you the part number for the plugs and find them cheaper on ebay :)
 

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It's a 2005, you don't have any spark plug wires to replace. You do have spark plug boots that you can replace. You'll see when you pull the coils off to replace the plugs. You'll need a 10" extension, or a 6" and 3" together to reach the spark plugs. Boots are approximately $8ea and can be purchased at any parts store. You'll get a boot and a spring. To remove the old boots, rotate the boot to break it loose, then bend it to the side of the coil, and it will pop off the nipple. I suggest a small amount of grease on the coil terminals where the spring connects to prevent future corrosion.

The PCV, the most common vacuum leak, is very difficult to get to on this vehicle. Let's not go there until we have to.

The best plugs to get are Autolite 103s in platinum or double platinum. This is one step colder than the recommended plugs, but due to crappy fuels being sold everywhere- it helps all my cars to have colder plugs. You will need some anti-seize compound to put on the threads on the spark plug. Just a little dab will do it. That stuff can get messy.

You should read in your owner's manual how to check the air cleaner using the flow tester under the hood. The directions on are in there, and the flow tester is located on the air intake behind the driver's side headlight- to the left a bit. It's green, red, and yellow- so hard to miss. If you have air cleaner issues, then do a search for "Stealth CAI" and plan to replace your factory air cleaner with that. PM me and I'll tell you how to prevent problems with water spray by using some old (or new) polyester panty hose. Factory replacement: >$200, Stealth CAI: <$40

I'm sure you're going to get one of those "guys" to help you change the fuel filter. It's located in front of the rear passenger wheel, about 2' under the car from the edge. There's a couple of things you're going to have to insist that they do. The first is to relieve fuel pressure by disconnecting the fuel cutoff switch and attempting to start the car afterwards. The FCS is located in the passenger kick panel under the glove. You'll see a symbol on the plastic that looks like a gas tank with a circle around it and a line through it. Remove that panel- it's held on by 2 plastic screws. Unplug the switch that's behind where the symbol was. Try to start the car, it shouldn't do more than sputter. It's now safe to work on the fuel filter. I jack up the passenger rear using the emergency jack supplied with the car, and wheel chocks. Then I wiggle under the car from the rear to get to the fuel filter. When they get down there tell them that someone insisted that you do not have to remove the white clip in order to separate the fuel line from the filter. Instead press down on the flat side of the white insert in the end of the fuel line. It sometimes helps to push the fuel line towards the connection, the flat side will click and push in- now pull the line off. To re-assemble, just push the line on. There will be one connection at the fuel filter that is upside down. Tell them to look for another disconnect point very near the filter on the same line. The flat side of the white clip will be facing down on that one, so you can remove that little section of line with the filter. The filter is held in by a 5/16" head screw on the bracket. Take a picture of the filter before you disconnect it so that you know which way it faces in the bracket. Fuel will not drain out of the lines, but fuel will drain out of the fuel filter. Before starting the car after replacing the fuel filter, and plugging in the FCS, cycle the key from OFF to ON, and wait 10 secs, then go back to OFF, and Start normally. This allows the fuel pump 2 charging cycles to get pressure up again. If it doesn't start, then you probably didn't plug the fuel cutoff switch back in!!
 

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sounds to my from experience of rebuilding{ 52} 05-07 focuses that you one or two bad cops.alot of times they will crack on the top.Your best bet is to get the car scanned with a good diagnostic tool like a genisus even if your cel isint on could be low grade enough not to set off light.
 
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