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Hi , I have a 2001 Focus zx5 with 189,000 miles on it.

The problem I'm having is that after a drive on a hot day my car won't start. It tries to turn over but stalls out unless I give it a little gas while trying the key . In which case it only runs until I let off the gas .

I usually have to wait 20 - 30 minutes until I can start it again . My general thought is that it is of course overheating . But the gauge never goes past the halfway point! Some days I can drive hours on end with no problem while other days it only takes a short drive for it to appear .

I took it into a shop a while ago and they couldn't find anything wrong with it . Then again it seems to be a hard problem to recreate . Any suggestions from people who've had similar experiences would be greatly appreciated .

-Kevin
 

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That sounds like a TPS issue to me, however, you should cover all the other bases first before you start throwing parts at it. This could be a single failed part, or a combination of issues. The most common causes of any engine problem are those related to routine maintenance.

1) spark plugs: check, clean, re-gap or replace if needed
2) spark plug wires: if lifetime warranty wires, replace for free, if not get some if needed. There are 2 tests for bad plug wires. The first is turning the AM radio to a frequency where there is no radio station. Turn up the volume and listen for pops in the sound of the engine as you rev or drive it. Second is to spray down the wires with a household cleaner like Fantastic, and start the engine at night. Look under the hood, and if you see sparks popping in time with a miss in the engine- replace the wires.
3) MAF: clean with spray cleaner.
4) Air filter: inspect or replace
5) Throttle body: clean with carb cleaner and a rag
6) Idle air control valve: remove, clean with carb cleaner and Q-tips so the shaft is clean, replace with gasket: $1
7) PCV valve check: Find the PCV valve line at the TB, disconnect it, and blow through it. You should feel some resistance to your breath if the valve is working. If you hear your breath escaping, then the line has a break in it, and need to be replaced. The final test is to feel the rubber elbows and line with the engine idling to be sure that the lines aren't collapsing. If the lines are collapsing, or you have a break, then you have several options for replacing the line. Ford sells a replacement line which will cost you anywhere from $20-40. If you're clever enough at engineering, then get yourself a sufficient amount of appropriately sized vacuum or fuel line, and some plastic elbows. Use that to connect to the PCV valve. IMO, if you have to replace the line, then replace the valve. The valve should cost about $5. I figure it will cost you about $10 to engineer your own line- maybe less.
8) Reset A/F ratio: Remove the neg battery terminal for 10 mins. Replace the terminal, start the engine. Allow the engine to idle for 7 mins or so until the idle drops down to normal. Expect the idle to be high around 1k rpm, and will be fluctuating slightly. On a completely cold engine that has sat all night, this test might take longer. The actual test starts as soon as the engine is at a certain cylinder temp, and lasts for 5 mins. If you touch the accelerator during the test it will restart the test.

If you're still having the problem- have your DTC codes read at a local parts store. Most do it for free. Write down the code number that appears- like P0420, and then check our detailed descriptions in the "Ford Focus Technical Chat Stickied threads" thread at the top of this forum.
 

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My first thought is low fuel pressure causing a vapor lock sort of condition. Can that still happen with Fuel Inj?
 
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