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Discussion Starter #1
Hello again, I am back with yet another issue with my daughters 2001 ZX3. My daughter lives just shy of 200 miles away, I am going to visit and take a look at her car next weekend so I post in hopes that your experiences may help lead me to some troubleshooting ideas or even a solution before heading that way.

Here is what's happening in her words:

"I started my car with no problems, but as I began to drive, it started struggling. It felt like sputtering, as if I were pumping the gas for a second to move forward then tapping the brakes, and repeat. No lights on my dash came on at this point. At the end of my road, my car stalled and shut off. My engine and battery lights came on then. I sat there for a minute and then restarted my car. The lights did not come back on and the car started with no further issue. About an hour later, I got back in to head home. In the parking lot, I backed out of my space with no issue. But when I began to leave the lot, the sputtering started again as I turned onto the main road. About five feet from turning, I hadn't even gotten out of first gear, it shut down again. The check engine, battery, and oil pressure lights came on and my car wouldn't start. It turns over, but won't actually start. I tried a few more times before giving up and had the guys push me the rest of the way home. The car still won't start."

It seems to me that this could be contributed to one of to things, no spark or no fuel so I am leaning towards coil pack or fuel filter. Anyone else had similar experiences or have any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance and I look forward to your responses.

DJ
 

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It could be compression, fuel or ignition. If you have an SPI engine I would start with a compression test. A stickie at the top of this forum will help you identify your engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It could be compression, fuel or ignition. If you have an SPI engine I would start with a compression test. A stickie at the top of this forum will help you identify your engine.
Yes, My apologies I should have mentioned it was a ZETEC Motor.
 

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X2 to that, get real quiet and turn key on till lights come on, you MUST hear the fuel pump under back seat spin up (buzzing noise) for like two seconds and then shut off. Every time the key is turned on. If not probably bad pump. Sounds like it from symptoms there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
X2 to that, get real quiet and turn key on till lights come on, you MUST hear the fuel pump under back seat spin up (buzzing noise) for like two seconds and then shut off. Every time the key is turned on. If not probably bad pump. Sounds like it from symptoms there.
So I had my daughter go out and see if she could hear the pump. She said that she couldn't and to be honest I have to really listen carefully to mine to hear it. In any case the car started but runs VERY rough and eventually does die.
 

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It could just be a bad coil too that is heating up and shorting after running for a short time. Pull the plugs and check them as well if the coil fails the secondary resistance test. I had one coil that had too little resistance and was burning up a spark plug in a day or so.

Fuel filters are important in these cars. I've been running an experiment in my personal vehicle that started at 5 miles. I now have 170k on the factory fuel pump, and change the filter every 20-30k. It might be too late for your pump if the filter is 100k miles old, but keep that in mind once it is changed. I do not know about the reliability of aftermarket fuel pumps in these cars. (More proof, Ford switched to a lifetime fuel filters in all the vehicles I know of, and that can only mean that they believe that the new system doesn't start feeling the brunt of clogged filters until over 100k miles)
 

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Right with you on changing the filters, now it's VERY common to pour the old one out and it's 1/4 full of WATER carried in by the ethanol, the water brings slime that clogs the media up even though not truly enough to clog it, the water spreads it to take up media area. Meaning filter can not pass fuel cleanly with very little contaminants in it. The filter media seems to be one that holds onto water droplets very well. Last one I poured out backwards into a glass jar had about 30% water in the amount there. Yet engine was running fine and had no indication of burp or miss or stumble at all. So, there's some small amount of fluid separation going on there too. I flowed fuel through it backwards using a derelict pump I had laying around and instantly filter begins to pass much more through it than before. Before I couldn't hardly blow through it, after, it was easy.

You can't change filters fast enough on these to me now if using ethanol.

I made 200K on an early design fuel pump and upon disassembly it looks like a piece of the permag cracked off to lock it up, there were pieces of it in pump.
 
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