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Discussion Starter #1
I just got my 07 ZXW. It has about 370k km/230k mi, and about a third of the time, when I go to start it, it cranks for several seconds before firing.

It does start every time, but I'm just wondering if anybody has an idea of what this could be. It runs strong, so I don't think it's a tired engine. It doesn't seem to matter if the engine is warm or cold. I am thinking maybe it's the fuel filter. What do you guys think?
 

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This is pretty typical of the duratec engines, and generally the manuals do it more than the automatics. Ford released a TSB about this years ago where they re-flash the computer, some say it helps and others say it doesn't.

It won't leave you stranded anywhere and I know mine does this occasionally. Basically it's just an annoyance thing
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Would the flashing be covered under any warranty? Or would I be shelling out some moolah for this issue?
 

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'05's were the only ones with that service bulletin for reflash if the problem showed up, and that was only covered under original warranty period.

For all, one suggestion is to turn the key on & off once or twice before starting if slow starts happen regularly. Turn off & try again is good whenever cranking continues appreciably longer than normal.

If it becomes annoying, the first steps are always making sure to be up to date on maint. (plugs, plug boots, filters, battery condition) before looking deeper for issues.
 

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Ford says it normal. I don't agree, as mine didn't do it for 7 years, but what can you do? No rhyme or reason for mine doing it. Some times it fires instantly, sometimes not, and it can be cold, hot, warm, a minute since the last crank, or a week, near empty or full, with zero repeatability or pattern.

602300 - DRIVEABILITY HARD START/LONG STARTSPECIAL SERVICE MESSAGES 19671 2005-2007 FOCUS - INTERMITTENT LONG CRANK TIMES
SOME 2005 FOCUS (MTX-75 TRANSMISSIONS WITH THE LATEST CALIBRATION PER TSB 05-9-16 OR 2006-2007 FOCUS VEHICLES (ALL TRANSMISSIONS) MAY EXHIBIT INTERMITTENT LONG CRANK TIMES (UP TO 5 SECONDS) ON INITIAL START WITH NO MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP (MIL) OR NO DTC'S BEING STORED. THIS IS NORMAL OPERATION AND NO REPAIR ISRECOMMENDED. IF THIS CONDITION IS EXPERIENCED, SLIGHTLY DEPRESSING THE ACCELERATOR PEDAL SHOULD ALLOW THE ENGINE TO START. REFER TO THE VEHICLES' OWNER GUIDE FOR ADDITIONAL VEHICLE STARTING DETAILS. FAILURE TO CRANK THE ENGINE UNTIL IT STARTS (UP TO 5 SECONDS) MAY RESULT IN LONGER CRANK TIMES OR HARD TO START CONCERNS ON SUBSEQUENT STARTING ATTEMPTS. IF VEHICLE STILL FAILS TO START OR STILL EXHIBITS HARD STARTING CONCERNS REFER TO THE PC/ED MANUAL FOR DIAGNOSTICS.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 03/16/2007
 

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Aha - good post on the later bulletin for '05-'07.

Updated addition to the tsb 05-9-16 I was referring to that included a reflash for the '05's.
 

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It does help mine to press the gas pedal a little or turn the key and wait for the seat belt chime to quit before starting,but i agree this shouldn't be "normal".
 

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It does help mine to press the gas pedal a little or turn the key and wait for the seat belt chime to quit before starting,but i agree this shouldn't be "normal".
Yea^^^^^^ I find if you go slow on the cranking of the key then it fires off all the time.
 

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Yea^^^^^^ I find if you go slow on the cranking of the key then it fires off all the time.
I have it happen even when I wait for the chime to stop. Doesn't matter on mine whether I wait or not.

I've never tried to press the pedal when it happens or preemptively. I've thoroughly trained myself to not touch that pedal until it starts, lol. Was really hard training myself not to push the pedal down for cold starts from back in the carb days... I have trained myself to keep the key twisted until it fires. Had gotten so used to car after car after car never needing more than a half-second tap. Heck, my '89 Samurai with a carb usually fires with a quick tap, even cold.

I've not tracked it, but I feel it happens maybe one in three times, but randomly. It might start perfectly 10 times in a row, then long crank once, or 3 times in a row, with no rhyme or reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you. That is my experience exactly as well. It happens approximately a third of the time and letting it sit for a while or cycling it on and off a couple times does not make a difference. I have not tried changing the fuel filter yet. That may happen soon because I think my fuel economy is maybe a bit low.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I thought I would revive this issue again, for two reasons.

One, I got the results from my first fill-up, and I got 26 MPG (US) with mostly in-town driving. That seems pretty good to me, though I think I can probably bring it up a little more. So, I suspect the fuel filter a little less.

Two, the long crank/hard crank is getting worse. I would say it's now about 4 times out of 5. I even had one start, on about a 15 degree (F) morning, where it took 4 cranking cycles to get it started. On the 3rd cycle, I tried tapping the gas pedal a little bit, which made it fire up, but it died immediately.

I've checked the battery and it's fine. I'm thinking this is a fuel issue. I do not smell gas.

In order, I think I should check over:
-Fuel filter (just because it's cheap)
-Fuel injectors
-Fuel pump

I'm also going to check the spark plugs, because those are pretty cheap too. Is there any way to test the coils and see if they are good?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Pulled spark plug #3 and took a look. Definitely needs to be replaced, so I ordered 4 Autolite a103.

I also read on TrueDelta's site that one person repaired their long crank issue by cleaning the CPS.
 

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I just replaced the original plugs on mine at 60k miles. It is definitely starting faster and idling smoother, but the random long crank issue remains.

Do you have a link to the true-delta info?

Let us know how things progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just replaced the original plugs on mine at 60k miles. It is definitely starting faster and idling smoother, but the random long crank issue remains.

Do you have a link to the true-delta info?

Let us know how things progress.
I fear the plugs on mine may be original too, but at 370,000 kilometers/230,000 miles, they're long past due for a change. :p

2007 Ford Focus Repair Histories
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Changed spark plugs today. Pulled out Autolite AP104. Gap was between .052 and .055. Not bad, but they were showing signs of age and needed to be replaced.

Replacement plugs are Autolite A103. I don't mind replacing copper plugs more often. Runs smoother now.

Long crank issue is still there. Fuel filter is next.
 

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maybe the fuel filter will help yours..the fuel pump went out on mine at 100,000 miles. I put a new pump and of course fuel filter in,did not change the long crank time issue even a little bit.
 

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Doubtful the fuel filter will help the long crank issue, as it is a calibration problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Doubtful the fuel filter will help the long crank issue, as it is a calibration problem.
Calibration of what? Do you know of a fix for the problem?
 

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I recently bought a 2007 Focus Wagon (completely stock) and I had the long crank issue as well. I figured it was likely due to the spark plugs needing to be replaced as the manual says they should be replaced at 160,000km.

And I also read that for some, the issue was mitigated by turning the ignition on, waiting for a bit to let the fuel pump do its thing and then try starting. But that had no impact on the issue for me. So for my case, I was thinking it was likely the spark plugs (with over 140,000km on them... factory originals that Ford says should last 160,000km) that were the culprit.

I chose to replace them recently after the car hit 149,000km. I replaced them with Autolite 104 copper plugs and also used dielectric grease on the boot-end of the plugs. I chose the copper Autolites because I read somewhere else on here that copper plugs are best for power/fuel economy, with the only downside being they will need to be changed every 50,000km or so. Since changing plugs on the Focus is easy, there isn't much downside to going with coppers.

The new plugs did seem to help the power slightly, but still had the occasional long crank. And it also felt like I was getting the odd power hiccup.... but it was only a slight power hiccup.

Sidenote: When changing my plugs, getting the rubber boots out was particularly difficult on one spark plug and it got a bit damaged.

So I finished replacing the plugs, went online and ordered a set of new spark plug boots with springs from rockauto.com:
More Information for UNITED IGNITION WIRE 973S

Today I replaced the spark plug boots and springs. While doing it, I put dielectric grease on both ends of the spring as well as on the electrical connector that plugs into each of the coils.

Then I had to run some errands to run and guess what? It seems like the problem is resolved. And I've started the car maybe 10 times since replacing the boots. Prior to this, at least one out of every 5 starts would be a long crank. And it seems to run a little smoother/better too.

So to summarize what seems to have fixed the issue for me:
1. Replaced the OEM spark plugs with Autolite 104 plugs (and used anti-seize compound on the threads).
2. Replaced the spark plug boots and springs. Put dielectric grease on both ends of spring before installing.
3. Put dielectric grease on electrical connector that plugs into the coil.

Just thought I'd share this with everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks!

Just out of curiosity, do you have a manual or automatic transmission?
 
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