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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Kind of an odd thing happened to the focus today.

Car was low on gas but no gas light yet, filled it up with 11.8 gallons of regular gas at shell which I believe is rated at 87 (also, I think the tank is 13.3 gallons). Car started up just fine, pulled out of the gas station, stopped at a red light only 50 feet down the road, light turns green, I accelerate normally (moderately gentle) and the car sputters and stalls. I tossed on the hazards, put the car in park, and tried to start the car back up and it indeed fired right up. I drove 200 feet down the road and same exact thing happens! Then I pull off to the side of the road and took small city streets the 1 mile or so back home.. car ran fine. I own two cars, but thinking this was some kind of weird fluke I decided I'd keep driving the car around for the day.

Drove around town with many many stop and goes and never had any other problems for the rest of the day. No CE and no signs of rough idle or other concerning noises.

Weird/Random fluke? Or is there a known issue behind this symptom?

The only thing I can think of.. there was a miss-fire and with the car just accelerating out of idle the lost of an explosion was enough to stop the crankshaft from turning over as needed which stalled out the car.

This car is still relatively new to me, I've changed out all the fluids and replaced the mounts and have done other things.. ignition lock cylinder and things of that sort.

What are your guys' thoughts?
 

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I Like Red
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Well it sounds like you were either loosing fuel or spark. I would first guess that maybe the injectors are dirty or gunked up and or the fuel filter needs to be changed. What can happen sometimes is the inside of the fuel tank gets corroded and chunks of crap can come off and get stuck in your fuel line, filter and injectors. This can also happen if you use crappy "bargain" fuel. I always recommend using shell, chevron, 76, etc... I would run some fuel tank/injector cleaner to see if that helps. Now on the spark, make sure your spark plugs are gapped properly and in good condition, check you plug wires for damage as well. Next check your coil pack for any damage or cracks. Cracked coil packs are a common occurrence on foci. I know it is a lot to check but I almost guarantee that if you check everything I told you and run a fuel system cleaner, it should run better or fine. These things can be hit and miss sometimes. If you don't already, I would highly recommend using high quality name brand gas. Best of luck to you, hope you can figure it out. Let me know what happens or if you have any more questions.

-Gaven
 

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C2H5OH
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Fuel Vapor Management Valve might have hung open.
I wouldn't call it a known problem, but one that isn't diagnosed correctly often enough. Other than replacing parts, there are no reliable tests for the integrity of the parts. They are hard to test under dynamic situations, only static.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
maybe the injectors are dirty or gunked up and or the fuel filter needs to be changed. I would run some fuel tank/injector cleaner to see if that helps.

Next check your coil pack for any damage or cracks. Cracked coil packs are a common occurrence on foci.
I changed the fuel filter about a month ago, hadn't had any problems until now. Before this fill-up the tank was filled with chevron gas. Running fuel cleaner through the system isn't a bad idea. I'll buy a bottle soon and hope it does some good.

I thought each spark plug has its own coil.
I haven't looked at the plugs yet, I'm thinking of replacing them. Seen some conflicting info out there.. but I'm probably going to buy NGK Laser Platinum plugs soon as well.

Fuel Vapor Management Valve
Hmm, that's an interesting idea. I'll have to look into that system and try to at least locate where the valve is. If the issues comes back I'll see if I can clean or replace the valve for a reasonable price.


Thanks for the advice Gav-O-SVT & iminhell
 

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You could easily have described a few drops of water going through engine if filled at a a station not normally used. Even more so if ethanol in the fuel there.

If you press to really fill up all the way (too far) the loss of the necessary air pocket in there can do things sometimes too.
 

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Gav-O-SVT missed the engine type, the 2.3 does have separate coils for each cyl..

Any time you fuel up there's a possibility of stirring up some of the "crud" at the bottom of the tank (water/ethanol mix) and getting an unusual miss as that works through the system.

As long as it doesn't repeat there's no need to do anything about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh, that's interesting:
If you press to really fill up all the way (too far) the loss of the necessary air pocket in there can do things sometimes too.
I pretty much always give the nozzle one extra squeeze pass the automatic cut off.

As long as it doesn't repeat there's no need to do anything about it.
I think I'm going to wait this one out and see how things go. In the future, I'll pay extra attention to how the car runs after filling up too.

If the issue returns I'll have to work through the suggestions given, thanks for the valuable insight.
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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probably plugged the pickup screen from running it low... picked up all the crap inside the tank. Its a plastic tank so it won't corrode.

After letting it sit for awhile the filter probably cleared up and all the crap made its way to the bottom again.


Nothing like a customer I had a few months ago... they have their own in-ground pump. they filled up the car and it died shortly after. Fuel pump was dead. Guess we replaced it and it ran for a little amd killed the pump again. put the fuel in a container and it was about 75% water!
 
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