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Discussion Starter #1
Hi There;

I hope I am putting this thread in the right place...if not, my apologies.

Our problem is two part:

Part 1: Hubby and I have a 2003 ZX3 with a 2 liter Ztech. The engine has recently developed a random misfire (according to the codes). husband checked for vacuum leaks...found none. We replaced the coil pack...did not do it. We finally used injector cleaner and that worked. At least, we thought so. The engine smoothed out and the SES light went out. However, two days later we had rain (we get that sometimes here in AZ). All of a sudden the engine was acting like it did a month ago...random misfire, rough idle. I put more injector cleaner in after filling the gas tank and the engine slowly smoothed out and the SES light went out again. Yesterday, the light came on in the morning and the car was misfiring, but by late afternoon, it smoothed out and the light went out again.

Part 2: We recently installed a new AC compressor and a friend of ours who is a mechanic that does some of our car / truck work recharged the system. Since then, when the AC is on, after the car has been running for about 15 minutes or so, I begin to smell exhaust. Then, I can visibly SEE the exhaust coming in through the AC vents. This happens even if the setting is on "recirculate". Also, the exhaust will come into the cabin for a minute or so, then stop, then do it all over again about 5 minutes later.

Does anyone have any idea what the heck is going on with this thing?? [???:)][???:)]

Thank you all!!
 

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I just checked some other threads and got some ideas from everyone. Going to check the PCV hose, the EGR Tube (I think that's correct) and I know we have a valve cover gasket leak, so I think we should have the gasket replaced.
 

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Hi. I might not help you much, but here are a couple thoughts.

Is it possible these two problems showed up about the same time, and right after the ac compressor was replaced? When the serp/accessory belt was removed, any sort of new problem could have developed, like your old pulley and tensioner is acting up, about to die. Extra drag on the belt can make the engine struggle and maybe enough to help with a misfire? Also, a reminder that your Zetec engine needs to have the timing belt replaced a couple times in the life of the car. Timing belt replacement (if not done carefully) can cause timing errors and misfires. Misfires can cause the PCV system to burp and if the PCV hose is old and cracked, allow exhaust-like stinky smoke in the engine bay, and then into the cabin area. Without any misfires, I had this happen on my Duratec engine, and replacing the old & cracked PCV hose fixed it.

Mesa AZ? Where is that? Outside of Phoenix somewhere right?
 

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Hi Marde;

Thank you for the help!!

The two items started separately. Actually, I guess it all started in June. Musselman Honda Track in Tucson (the go kart track) opens to cars on the last Saturday of every month and you can go there and do laps. It's a blast! We were there in June. Late in the session, we were running out of gas, so when we asked them where the nearest gas station was, they said they have gas there. We purchased some.

When we were nearly home, the car suddenly acted like it was out of gas and faltered and nearly stalled. Hubby replaced the fuel filter, thinking maybe there was junk in the gas we just bought. It did not help. Shortly after (a few days later) the random misfire began. About a week or two later was when Hubby replaced the AC compressor and we had the system recharged and that is when the exhaust in the cabin started.

Yes...Mesa is east of Tempe. Your profile also shows Mesa, so I'm surprised you asked me that. By the way...LOVE the wagon with the Ford logo on the wheel!! :)
 
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