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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the deal. I parked the car Friday after work about 5:00pm and did not start it back up until Monday @ 7:30am.

The problem started as I tried to crank the car. OK so I put the key in and turn it so the fuel pump can prime as usual.

Car starts up and runs for about 5-seconds and then dies. I tried cranking it a few more times but it would not crank.

During this period while trying to crank, it acted like something was in a bind as in the motor dragging, slow turn over. It has never done that before. Anyway I decided to deal with the car later.

A few hours later I have my wife try to start the car so I can see what's going on under the hood.
The car starts and is running, BUT I can here a knock in the middle at the top of the motor I guess where the cams are.

I let it warm up and the knock went away. I checked the oil and it was about a 1/2 quart low.

I took it for a test drive and hammered it a few times to see if there was something that was going to break, as I'd rather it do it right then and there instead being stranded miles from home.

All checked out after the test drive. So should I be worried ? Could it have been no oil in the upper top of motor that caused the knock ?
So what do you think ?
Thanks for any info.
 

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I don't know about the knocking. The lifters and fuel injectors on the Zetec are very noisy. As far as the starting and dieing. How is the engine running. When was the last tune up ? Also that sounds like a battery / charging problem. How old is the batt ? Are all the connections clean of corrosion. You can have any auto parts store do a load test on the charging system.
 

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You might have some cam knock, but there's nothing you can do about that. I don't know why it died before, but your symptoms sound like flooding. Maybe an injector got stuck open and that's what killed the engine. Then, in a miracle moment, it unstuck itself.

About the only other thing I can think of is the crank position sensor, but I don't think that would ever cause it to crank slowly.

You can check everything you can think of: the usual suspects for odd problems- loose or corroded battery terminals, fuel filter, plugs, wires, air cleaner, PCV check- the typical tune-up. I don't think you're going to have problems.

For future reference, if you leave your car sitting for more than a week, you can crank the engine without applying fuel using the "Emergency Start Method". With the key OFF, floor the accelerator, and hold it down. Turn the key to START, and hold there for 15-20 seconds which is the longest you should ever crank. That will get some oil circulating, but I'm unsure if the pump in these cars is strong enough to pump oil up to the cylinder head. This is what I do when I leave my car for a long sit. Over the weekend shouldn't have been an issue though. I've left mine over weekends before, and the worst issue I had was the rear brakes sticking to the rotors for a second.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't know about the knocking. The lifters and fuel injectors on the Zetec are very noisy. As far as the starting and dieing. How is the engine running. When was the last tune up ? Also that sounds like a battery / charging problem. How old is the batt ? Are all the connections clean of corrosion. You can have any auto parts store do a load test on the charging system.
Yes,
I agree that the lifters are loud. But this was a knock and (not the normal loud lifter/injectors) that went away after warming up.
Car has new plugs, wires and coil pack. Battery is about 1-year old and the connectors are clean and tight.

Thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You might have some cam knock, but there's nothing you can do about that. I don't know why it died before, but your symptoms sound like flooding. Maybe an injector got stuck open and that's what killed the engine. Then, in a miracle moment, it unstuck itself.

About the only other thing I can think of is the crank position sensor, but I don't think that would ever cause it to crank slowly.

You can check everything you can think of: the usual suspects for odd problems- loose or corroded battery terminals, fuel filter, plugs, wires, air cleaner, PCV check- the typical tune-up. I don't think you're going to have problems.

For future reference, if you leave your car sitting for more than a week, you can crank the engine without applying fuel using the "Emergency Start Method". With the key OFF, floor the accelerator, and hold it down. Turn the key to START, and hold there for 15-20 seconds which is the longest you should ever crank. That will get some oil circulating, but I'm unsure if the pump in these cars is strong enough to pump oil up to the cylinder head. This is what I do when I leave my car for a long sit. Over the weekend shouldn't have been an issue though. I've left mine over weekends before, and the worst issue I had was the rear brakes sticking to the rotors for a second.
So if an injector gets stuck the car wont start ? We took vacation the first part of last month and the car sit for over a week without being started. It fired right up with no issues. So it's weired that it sit for only 2-days and then acts the way it did.

Anyway I guess it's a good sign that the knock went away right ?

THanks for sharing your knowledge.
 

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Could be something in the gas or oil (intentional or not)...if it were my car I'd consider some Techron in the gas...flush the engine oil and change to synth...just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Could be something in the gas or oil (intentional or not)...if it were my car I'd consider some Techron in the gas...flush the engine oil and change to synth...just in case.
The injectors have not been cleaned in a long time. Should I have a oil changing place do it or is it something I can do easily ?
 

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Which brand of oil filter do you use? There have been issues with Fram filters. They leakdown overnight and starve the topend of oil at first stertup. Goes away pretty quickly though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Which brand of oil filter do you use? There have been issues with Fram filters. They leakdown overnight and starve the topend of oil at first stertup. Goes away pretty quickly though.
I don't think it's fram. It may be a motor craft.

Today no more knock or hard starting @ 7:30am.

But a new issue started today with all my cluster gauges peaking to max and then all the way to nothing while I'm driving the car. It also shut off the A/C one time. So now I have some sort of electrical issue after yesteday.[:(!] Appears to be happening under a load.

I'm taking it to Auto Zone so they can test the battery and Alt. I can't afford to be stranded in this car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Took the car to Advance Auto and they hooked up the tester to test the Battery and Alternator. Well their tester couldn't get past the battery test.

So I took it to Auto Zone and they were able to test the battery, alternator and starter. They stated that all three checked out good.
The Manager stated it could be a voltage regulator.

The head lights and dash lights get bright and dim on and off at 2500 rpm while sitting in park.

The gauges max out then all the way just to opposite of max to dead also at 2500 rpm all the while the rpm's go down slightly while I hold the gas pedal at 2500 rpm.

Any Ideas on what to check for next ?

Thanks for any info.
 

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Can't comment on the other symptoms, but mine did the whole bright/dim thing when my alternator was on its way out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Can't comment on the other symptoms, but mine did the whole bright/dim thing when my alternator was on its way out.
That blows. The alternator has only been on there for about 14-months or so.
How long did your last in terms of failure after you noticed the bright/dim issue ?
 
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