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Hello fellow Foci Enthusiasts,

I was wondering if you could give me your opinions on a few issues that my focus as been experiencing these last few weeks. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

1) I noticed that when my Focus sits at Idle, it fluctuates between idling normally, and then occasionally surging (i think that's the word I'm looking for) low, which vibrates the whole car for a few seconds before returning to normal. This doesn't ALWAYS happen though, so there isn't a set pattern. I've noticed it is at its worst when I'm sitting at a stop sign or red light and the brake is applied. It vibrates terribly then, but again, it is only for a few seconds and then gone. However, this repeats much more often, so every 5 or so seconds it will surge and vibrate.

2) I've noticed that whenever it surges from the problem above, there is a burning smell that comes from the engine compartment. It goes away rather quickly, but will come back every time it surges.

3) Since these problems have been occurring, I've noticed a huge decrease in my gas mileage. (Don't get me wrong, city driving is terrible on mpg, but hear me out), I used to get roughly 15-17 in the city, and now I'm down to 5-6.

Since I'm a college student, and live 3 hours from home, the only thing I could think to do was add some HEET to my gas, feeling that maybe it had something to do with either a) Dirty Fuel Injectors b)Water in my gas or c) the cold weather. I have no idea on what else it could be.

Any questions you need answered I will try by best to assist with, and any insights are greatly appreciated.

In case my profile doesn't say, the Focus is a 2001 ZTS. Thank you!
 

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Hello... You made no mention of any work you have done to maintain your car. Have you done some basic work like; inspect the spark plugs, plug wires, coil pack, fuel filter, air filter or maybe cleaned the MAF sensor?

If ur not experienced with engine maintenance, you might get great help using a professional who can perform a good visual inspection of the engine area. Some faults are found with an experienced eye. Paying a pro for an hour of time might help you greatly.

With the age of your car, you can have many different problems with old or damaged vacuum hoses... and related other stuff.
 

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No car runs perfectly forever, you have to eventually work on it to keep it that way. The car could care less about your place in life. If you can't do the work you are at the mercy of others.

With surge every 5-6 seconds and a burning smell that comes and goes with it, well I would have to say that smell is the fastest traveling in the entire world to do that. Or, be careful what you post, people use it to make you spend more money since you can't fix the issue yourself. Adding the smell issue under those circumstances only confuses the living crap out of the post.

Smell most likely burning oil from not fixing car.
Idle issue is mounts and no tuneup and possibly vacuum leak, again from not fixing car.

If running ethanol in the fuel there you wasted money on Heet, the ethanol removes water already.

More than one motor there with different fixes for each, probably way more than one thing wrong there too judging from the post. Letting it build up to complicate and overlap only makes it cost more.
 
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