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Hey guys...great forum! I belong to PontiacBonnevilleClub.com myself, but stumbled across you guys when looking for some info to help my girlfriend's dad out.

Here's the story; my girlfriend's dad has an 05' ZX4 that he absolutely does not maintain one bit. He bought it brand new and has basically ran it into the ground. He has not had an oil change in at least 50,000 miles (could be more), and has NEVER replaced the plugs/wires or done ANY kind of maintenance. It has about 110,000 miles on it, barely starts, and is generally the biggest POS car I've ever seen, especially since it's only about 4 years old.

It had a terrible whining sound, which any idiot could tell was lack of power steering fluid. That went on for MONTHS, until I FINALLY got some power steering fluid myself and gave it to him. Sound went away immediately, but who knows what damage was done. He's so bad that he drove around for MONTHS with his brights on because one of his low beams was out and he was too cheap to buy one...until I finally bought him a set of SilverStars.[?|]

Lately it has completely refused to start - he thought it was the battery. Replaced battery - issue got worse. He still thinks it's the battery - claims he got a bad battery. He just flat out refuses to admit that it could need some ACTUAL maintenance. He thinks if he just replaces the battery AGAIN all will be well. The reason I am here, is because I know that won't be the case, and I'm trying to find out what should be done to the car at 110k, and about what the cost will be for when he FINALLY realizes he will have to stop being cheap and take it in for service.[screwy]

The car turns over just fine, which is why I don't believe it is the battery. It just doesn't start. Eventually, it will start...but after considerable amounts of turning over..and sometimes not at all. The reason I care, is because sometimes my girlfriend drives the car, and I don't want her to be stranded somewhere.

I would think plugs and wires, and an oil and filter change at the least. What does that run generally on these cars? I doubt he will want to go to the stealership.
 

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i would do plugs and wires and a oil change first if that doesnt help take it to a shop
 

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Some people are just retarded...maybe Darwin was wrong?
It's cool of you to help out your GF's dad seeing as he won't help himself. Try the plugs/wires/oil change. Try to use a high mileage oil.
 

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If the compression is shot then you would see this happen. Does the car idle poorly??

I would check the compression before I started investing to much time and money into it.

ANY proper repair starts with identifying the problem. Throwing parts and maintenence other than overdue preventative maintenance is flat out a waste.
 

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First off, You can easilly take the battery to any store and get it tested to see if its good or not, second you must convince him about scheduled maintenence for the vehicle. Every fluid breaks down eventually and will eat away at the vehicles main components. If he hasnt done anything in that period of time, then everything will come at a high price. It possibly sounds like ur vehicle may not be getting enough fuel and could be from the fuel filter or pump. As for scheduled maintenence is concerened, look towards to the most severe of problems first then to the less severe. My tip, take it to get a full maintenence expection done and work off of that.
 

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> . He just flat out refuses to admit that it could need some ACTUAL maintenance.


This is a bit off-topic but... my experience over the years is that helping people that don't want help is an exercise in futility. I understand you want to help your GF's Father, but if he isn't receptive to good advice and help, and strongly disagrees with the most obvious facts, such as changing the oil occasionally, it might be best just to quietly grit your teeth and let him run it into the ground and buy a new car when it dies.
 

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Don't get involved.....get a new girl-friend before you take up an impossible repair job which won't fix the real problem.

Whatever you're trying to do will bring you pain and frustration.....I've been there. It's not worth it....

I'm serious.
 

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He'll get a new one when the timing belt lets go.[?|] Seriously though, like others have already said, plugs and wires and a fuel filter to start. Is it a manual or auto?
 

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Lets clear up two things on this thread. The D-20 motor in his car doesn't have plug wires or a timing belt. It uses a coil on plug setup with a timing chain. Niether really have a certain chaning point.

Now you say it takes a long time to start huh? A motor needs a few things to start and run well. Air, fuel, compression, and spark. The D-20 Foci come with either platinum or iridium plugs from the factory and don't typically need changing until 100k or so. They could be worn out or could not. It certainly wouldn't hurt to replace them. This would take care of any possible spark problems.

The motor also has an unservicable air filter. Its a huge box filled with foam filter located behind the drivers foglight. You basically can't replace it.

Fuel filter, if never changed should be changed. Ford recommends every 30000 miles I believe and if this is seriously clogged it could cause a hard start issue as the pump struggles to supply fuel on startup.

Your problems would probably be solved with just a simple tune-up. Do the plugs, fuel filter, oil/filter, etc and it would probably run ok. If it cranks, its not a battery issue at all.
 

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Lets clear up two things on this thread. The D-20 motor in his car doesn't have plug wires or a timing belt. It uses a coil on plug setup with a timing chain. Niether really have a certain chaning point.

Now you say it takes a long time to start huh? A motor needs a few things to start and run well. Air, fuel, compression, and spark. The D-20 Foci come with either platinum or iridium plugs from the factory and don't typically need changing until 100k or so. They could be worn out or could not. It certainly wouldn't hurt to replace them. This would take care of any possible spark problems.

The motor also has an unservicable air filter. Its a huge box filled with foam filter located behind the drivers foglight. You basically can't replace it.

Fuel filter, if never changed should be changed. Ford recommends every 30000 miles I believe and if this is seriously clogged it could cause a hard start issue as the pump struggles to supply fuel on startup.

Your problems would probably be solved with just a simple tune-up. Do the plugs, fuel filter, oil/filter, etc and it would probably run ok. If it cranks, its not a battery issue at all.
This is really good advice!! Let me just repeat my earlier statement about compression. If he has been running the motor without proper lubrication (no oil changes) for I think you said 50,000 miles, then there is a reasonable chance that the compression is bad. It's really easy to check compression and if the compression is bad no amount of a tuneup will solve the cars real problems.
 
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