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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi ive just bought a 03 ford focus which has the following problems

Engine doesnt tick over
Only running on 3 cylinders (sometimes less)

The problem isnt timing,head gasket, or valves.most of the sensors have been replaced but the car still has these problems.There is no engine management light.can anybody solve this problem?or at least have an idea what it might be?

· Premium Member
22,770 Posts
Well, this is not the best hour to ask a question like this. I just happen to have woken up at 2 am and can't sleep so I'll help you out.

These problems are easier to diagnose in my opinion. Start with whatever you feel is lacking the most out of these 3: Spark, fuel, compression. Fuel you should be able to smell from the exhaust. To test spark, I use a timing light. For me to test plug wires, the engine has to be running. There are resistance tests that can be done, but I generally use spray cleaner on the plug wires while the engine is running. This encourages the spark to leak out if there is any damage to the wires.

You're not getting one of these, otherwise it would start. I'd think you would've mentioned if the engine wasn't cranking over fast enough to fire.

Now if you're not getting spark, there could be a plethora of reasons. First off, I'd investigate the coil wiring plug for any damage to the wires. After that, I'd check out the magnetic pickup. If those go out, the engine will not start, but will crank. I'd think there would be a check engine light, but maybe not. I haven't dealt with this problem in that vehicle yet.

To test compression, you're going to have to purchase a compression tester. The good thing is that it's fairly cheap, and you can use it on any engine. Check compression specs with you manual, or ask about it on here. For a general rule, all the cylinders should be within 10% of each other.
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