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Hey everyone, I recently bought a 2003 focus, single overhead, 2.0 manual. the problem i am having is that the car will start, and run for just a few seconds then die, after that it wont start again it just turns over and over. it is getting plenty of fuel pressure and the plugs are sparking. The first Mechanic we took it to told us that when he scanned it the ECU was showing up as a problem. we were also told that it could be something wrong with the pats system, but everyone who suggested that also said that the car would not have started in the first place if it was an issue with the security system. if anyone here has had a similar problem or could just help me narrow the problem down it would be much appreciated. I am a full time student so I am on a fairly tight budget and would like to be fairly sure of what i need to pay for before spending money on 5 different things.
 

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DTC P0606
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Hey I was a student once... long time ago. [:)]
So you need three things for an engine to run; fuel, spark and compression. (And whoever told you it wouldn't run at all if the security system (PATS) was active was correct.)

So some questions for you first:

Are you currently showing a CEL (Check Engine Light)? What was the DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) the first mechanic found?

How do you know the fuel pressure is sufficient? Fuel injection requires not just the presence of fuel but a reasonable amount of force behind it. The Focus requires 35-40 lbs/sq in. IIRC. There's no way to check pressure with an external gauge because the stock fuel rail has no fitting. (I think that's true for the SPI engine as well as the Zetec.)

To be honest, your problem sounds to me like fuel starvaton. Car starts, runs, dies...starts, doesn't run as long, dies...eventually won't start.

Some quick low cost checks: Turn on the ignition, and you should be able to hear the electric fuel pump make a high pitched whine for about 3-5 seconds. If you don't hear the sound or the sound lasts longer, you possibly have a problem with the pump or pump control unit.

Next when was the last time the fuel filter was changed? If the answer is "I can't remember" then change it. It should be done every 25K miles. A clogged filter is the equivalent of fuel starvation. $10 part and 30 minutes to install.

Pull the plugs and examine them. Are they wet (gas soaked) or dry? Is there a strong gas odour? If they are soaked, move on from the preliminary checks of fuel pressure and start checking for the presence of spark.
 

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wow...i have the almost the same issue EXCEPT i didnt hear the fuel pump...so i think thats the problem, then change the filter and shall see in a couple of days...already changed the spark plugs and they were wet...next thing is to change the air filter...already have fresh fuel (it was sitting for 6 months before i bought it)...
 

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DTC P0606
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If you can't hear the pump at all, make sure the fuel safety cut off switch in the passenger side foot well isn't activated and that the fuel pump fuse is OK.
 

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I need BOOOOST!!!!!!
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like he said you need a few things for an engine to crank and run. you need fuel, air, spark, compression, and timing. all of those things have very little give and take for how much they can be off. if you have a short somewhere causing the coil pack to send spark long enough for the engine to run for a few seconds and then the short causes the coil to cease working that could be an issue. ive run across that before. i doubt ford would have screwed up your fuel pump install but you never know. if you bee-bopped over a speed hump or banged the car around pretty hard right before parking it you could have tripped the safety fuel cutoff switch. there is a button in the passenger seat kick panel. push the button whether you think you did it or not, this wont hurt a thing to try it. if you lost compression for whatever reason you would have trouble getting the engine to run. rent or buy and then return for a refund a compression tester from autozone. check the compression on all cylinders. they should all read over 120psi and should be within 5-10psi of one another. if you chewed up your timing belt that could be the issue. if you jumped time a tooth or two the car might only run for a few seconds and die.
 
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