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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi!
2005 ZX4 SE 2.0L engine. After sitting at least an hour it's slow to start. Normally starts first try but it cranks for a while. If I turn the key halfway and wait a few seconds, I hear a low rumbling noise. One time it almost sounded like a dial up computer only much lower frequency. Drive to work, shut off, start again and it starts right up no problem. No check engine light or warning lights go on at any time. One really humid day it did hesitate while driving. Otherwise, it drives just fine!

One place diagnosed my fuel pump was going bad. Called up Ford who said it sounded like a misfire. Two people said it sounded like a starter relay switch. How do I know for sure?
 

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FF PHOTOG ENTHUSIAST
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**Moved ya to the Tech Chat Area**

Could be a number of things.

1) Could be your starter ... does it click after awhile trying to start? If it does, it's your starter. You could also try hitting the starter a few times when it won't start. If it starts right up after that, it's your starter.

2) When you get it running, does it slowly seem to have issues keep the power consistent, or about to die? If so, the alternator would be something to check out.

Those are the usual cases of a car not starting.

-Ray-
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No, it does not click. It's cranking, just takes a while. It runs pretty smooth and consistent. This problem has also been happening a few weeks. By now I think the Alternator would be out. O'Reily's and Auto Zone tested battery, starter, & alternator and said they were fine. It's only the very first time you start it after it's been sitting. After that, it starts up fine. Almost everyone's convinced it's the fuel pump but I'm not.
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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Still sounds like a fuel pump. I know what you're saying about it sounding like a low dial up tone. Fuel pumps (maybe not so much anymore) can get louder as they are getting ready to go out.

When was your fuel filter replaced? I know you said it has a new one but how many miles? if the old one was clogged for long enough it does put extra strain on the pump and eventually kills it. Now it sounds like it's operating but can't push as much volume as it should. You'll know when it will keep barely starting or if it dies on road. not fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Fuel filter was replaced last Monday. I JUST went over 40,000 miles. (don't drive very far) Two different people said it sounded like the starter relay which appears to be a lot cheaper than the fuel pump.

You have to drop the gas tank in order to get to the fuel pump correct? NOT that I'm gonna do it. Don't know that much about cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm just going by what people tell me. Ford & my best friend say it's not the fuel pump. My best friend is rarely wrong and I'm just researching before spending money I don't have. Can't blame a gal for asking questions and trying to save money. :)
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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That's fair of course :) (I need to do the android smiley :) lol)

At this point I would say not to worry about it unless you have another problem. Humidity can sometimes mess with sensors and that does sound like it had a misfire.

as far as it taking some time to crank after it has sat for awhile, fuel pressure may be bleeding off back into the tank and it would take a little longer to start, but after you shut it right off it's still got the pressure.
 

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R.I.P Kona
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Not to thread jack but I've been having that dial up tone for a little while now. Sounds like a variable pitched squeal lasting 5-10 seconds and coming from rear of car. Only happens when car has sat for a couple hours or more. Car does start right up everytime with no problem. It's not my speakers so was wondering if tone was from pump going out or filter getting clogged. Got car at 88,000 now 138,000 and filter has not been changed in that time. Did just buy one but gotta figure out how to change. Be interested to see what you find out about the tone.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I only called Ford about my problem. They said it doesn't sound like a fuel pump but a misfire which didn't make sense to me. Everyone else says my fuel pump is going out. Ford (and my best friend) say the "check engine" light would come on if my fuel pump were going out. Other places say that same light would come on if it was a misfire! Two different people told me that noise sounded like the "Starter Relay Switch". Which is why I'm asking questions. I know very little about cars and if I have spend a lot of money, I'm gonna ask a lot of questions first.
 

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Hi Danaw,

Hey, can't blame a girl for trying to be informed before spending money! I suggest visiting your dealer, as that is the only way for them to accurately diagnose your Focus. You can ask them all the questions you can think of! [:)] Please let me know if I can help in any way!

~Natasha
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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Hi Dana.

I actually had that TSB at the back of my mind... sorry I didn't think of it til I saw it. No it's for any 2005 focus with the 2.0 or 2.3 Duratec engine. Yours is one of them.

And to straighten up a few things you have been told, when the light comes on is really dependent on how long a problem occurs for. You can have several misfires and not have the light come on til they happen a few more times. A fuel pump also does not throw a check engine light because the car isn't running long enough to notice a problem! lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So if my car IS included what do I do next? Call local Ford dealer and ask them? I gather since my car is no longer under warranty nothing's covered and it's gonna cost me. Might not even be the culprit?
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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That's where I would start. Cost would be dependent on the dealer really. Some may be nice enough to just flash it for you.

tell them the TSB number is 05-9-16. they can look it up and let you know what they want to do it.
 

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Hi Danaw,

Your next step would be to bring it in for diagnosis. Even if the symptoms sound similar, it may have a different cause, so they wouldn't be able to provide an estimate until physically seeing it.

~Natasha
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Everyone that's heard the tone says it IS my fuel pump going out. It sounds like it's coming from somewhere underneath the back passenger seat. I believe the fuel pump is located around there somewhere. I don't think that TSB has anything to do with my problem. I can't drive a stick. (give myself whiplash!) Is that more for manual transmissions? If Auto Zone hooked up their little computers can they tell what version software it has? That would save a little time.
 

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When you turn the key to ON, with nothing else turned on in the car, the buzzing sound you hear is the fuel pump. This sound should only last for 3 seconds if the fuel pump is operating at normal efficiency. If that sound continues for longer than 3 seconds, you have a weak fuel pump.

For people that are suggesting it's a starter relay, let me describe this for you so you can understand. The starter relay is an electrical switch. Instead of being operated by a toggle, the switch is operated by an electrical input that charges an electromagnet, and makes connection on another circuit. There are actually 2 relays in your starter circuit. If you were having problems with either of these, you would turn the key to START, and nothing would happen. The starter would not turn, or in rare cases, the starter would turn too slowly to start the engine. In this vehicle, the symptoms of a bad starter relay are described like this: I turned the key, and the engine didn't crank, but I heard a loud clicking sound from the fuse box in the car.

Your problem is going to be the fuel pump or the fuel pump controller. In the future, proper fuel filter maintenance is 25k miles or yearly. My wife's van rarely sees more than 10k miles in a year, so I change her fuel filter every year. Neither fuel pumps or fuel filters ever cause a Check Engine Light until the car doesn't start and the fuel pump doesn't run at all.

Natasha is right in saying that diagnosis is best done in person. You could have a freaky problem like a fuel line pinched from road debris, or an improperly grounded fuel pump module. There was actually a TSB out on that one at one time for automatic vehicles, but the symptoms are different. You can have your best friend check that for you- it's fairly simple. Flip the bottom of the back seat up. On the passenger side is the fuel pump module, and on the driver's side is the transmission module. Look closely at the wiring harnesses, and see if there are any black wires with ring terminals at the end that are not connected. These are grounds- if you find a ground that is not connected, then see which nut that ring might fit under, remove that nut, scrape the paint off to bare metal around the stud or hole if it's a bolt, then install the ring terminal, and then the nut or bolt. To pull up the bottom of the back seat is easy- your owner's manual covers this. Simply stick your hand under the back of the seat in the center, and yank up. It should lever up on hinges.
 
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