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Hello,

I have a 2003 Focus SE 2.3L pzev. It has been shuddering slightly for a while (about a year), but has slowly been getting worse and worse. In the last month it has suddenly gotten really bad. My father changed the fuel filter for me about 2 months ago and that did nothing.

We thought it was the ignition coils, because I had to replace those about 5 years ago and it seemed to be the same symptoms. Pulled out the first coil and it was soaking in oil. Figured I must have a valve cover gasket leak. Pulled it all apart and replaced the gaskets. Cleaned up all the oil -- most of it was in the first (from left) coil chamber then it was less and less as I moved to the right. Put it back together and put in the new coils. Still the same thing was happening. I read that the spark plugs could have been flooded by the oil, so we replaced those too. The acceleration is now much better, but the shuddering remains.

It only happens when I am idling. Either in park or drive. No problems when I am actually moving. I also notice that when I have been driving on the freeway, the shuddering seems less after. But if I am just driving around town, it is horrendous. It seems like it just wants to shut off, but it has only actually done it once. Also, the shuddering is very rough, the whole car shakes.

If anyone has any idea what I am looking at here, that would be very helpful. I know this is going to be expensive, I just want to know what I am looking at before I go to the mechanic. I'm hoping it will hold on until I get my tax refund...

Thanks!
 

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Get it scanned for any codes? (free at many parts stores)

Vibrations that are worst at idle/low rpm/when engine cold are often a Motor Mount problem - gotta figure out if it's running badly or just vibrating.

If you jack under the engine a little with a board for padding & the vibrations go away, the mounts are the problem. FORD only for the passenger side one, others don't always help or not always for long. Driver's side & rear lower torque mount (dogbone) aren't as critical if needed.

I always like to start with a compression test to make sure mechanical condition is OK if you actually have an engine operation problem.

IF you have a code for a miss, those coil boots that were prev. oil soaked are a cheap item to try - good to replace at high mileage, but you shouild have newer already with prev. coil replacement.
 

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^^^^^ this



Were the spark plugs soaked in oil on the internal side of the motor? If so than I'd do a compression test and see what's up. Could be bad rings, valve seals, anything really.
 
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