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Discussion Starter #1
ok, I am new here and I am hoping that you can answer my question. My focus ZTS has about 70K on it and has been running great since I got it in 2000.

OK, here is the problem...for the last month or two, the car has been having some problems starting. Sometimes when I start it it wont start at all, or start and then sputter and stall. When I try starting it again, it will stall or sputter and then run just fine. Sometimes it will start just fine without any problems. Once the car is running then it is just fine...even if I the car is itoling.

well, I hope you can help me solve the problem

take care[8D]
 

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Okay, there are a few possible problems here.... You kind of need to give a little bit more info, but I will shoot you the list (IN RANDOM ORDER)... Based on what your giving out...


#1... FUEL FILTER!!!! If the fuel filter is clogged you could be losing fuel pressure and it's not getting to the fuel rails properly...

#2... THE STARTER!!! It may just be that your cars starter is starting to go... IT’S A FORD!!! THAT HAPPENS A LOT!!!!

#3. FUEL PUMP!!! 70K + ... [confused] You could be looking at needing a new fuel pump. I am very curious about this since you said it stalls out right away, then sputters, but once it's going it's okay...

#4. TUNE UP ??? When was the last time you changed your oil, spark-plugs, plug-wires, ect... I don't care what the manual says... NO CAR can go 100K Miles before needing a tune-up... It's plain BS!!!

#5... Bad Gas??? How long has this been going on? where do you get gas from??? Is it possible you have water in the tank?

#6.... Dirty Throttle Body Plate.... When was the last time you took off the air-tube and got yourself a clean rag and some STP Throttle Body & Air Cleaner Spray ? Manually moved the Throttle Plate and sprayed the sucker down? The problem with the stock air box is that the crank case breather vents into the intake, as a result your throttle plate can have an excess build up of oil and grease on it, this can cause the thing to not open completely or open slowly and cause hesitation.

#7... Clogged or Dirty Air-Filter??? While I am on the subject of air filters, incase you didn't pickup on this in the tune-up section.. Is the air-filter dirty and clogged?? Even if it's not the OEM Motorcraft air filter... (Which really isn't all that restrictive if you look at the Lab Tests...) this can cause a world of problems if it's clogged.

#8. (Lastly), is the MIL. active? You could have a worn out sensor somewhere that is not reading right and giving your car some morning sickness...

These are all things you should consider... If you want, re-post with info that you think may make it one or the other... For instance if you get tune-ups at normal intervals, oil-changes, all that stuff. Then that eliminates one.. If you get gas from the same place, pump, ECT.. There’s 2 down... Go through it and see what makes sense... Use the On-Board Diagnostic system to see if you have any trouble codes in the engine.... That's why ford put it there.... (not for any of us to use it, but what they don't know can't hurt us!!)

Anyway, take a look over this and see what makes the most sense... Then if you want re-post and let me know what you’ve come up with....



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Discussion Starter #3
ok...the filter is new, I checked the wires and stuff. I tried getting different gas too. Starter sounds just fine. I have been giving it new oil every 3K. I dont know if it is the fuel pump...wouldnt it sputter and stall at stoplights?
Since you mention the spark plugs...that may be the answer...I'll try some new sparks...
I'll let you know how it works

take care
keep the suggestions coming :)
 

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bad starting and good running leaves out the fuel filter and pump. If they were bad, then it would run like crap as the fuel demand with a load on the engine is higher than startup. My car has less than 10k on it, and once in awhile it doesn't start real good.. like your describing. I atribute it to the computer having a brain fart.
 

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I have the EXACT SAME PROBLEM!!

Ok guys and Gals, I own a 2000 SE with Zetec. I have the exact same problems with my car. I made a post last night with the info. When Temperature is higher....the car starts and runs OK. When it is colder...and NOT FREEZING YET... the car has a hard time starting. After the car is warmed up, there are no more problems.
I have already replaced plugs, filter and air filter....all of which did not make any difference.
I think there is a problem with the sensor/MAF systems. What else would do this??? Oh yeah...the car is about 80k, and there is just no more warranty as Ford likes to say time and time again.
 

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Here is a new angle..

My advice to both of you with this problem is this..... If you don't have a GOOD!! OBD-II code scanner then go to Autozone or what ever you have where you are and have them check if you have any PENDING DTC's... Sometimes if sensors like the MAF are going bad but not quite there the MIL will not activate right away... Rather the ECU stores a Pending Code in the memory... In this case the computer knows a problem exists but it hasn't become so critical that the system needs to alert you.... If this is the case the Dashboard Diagnostic Tool will not alert you to any problems. It can only read a HARD code, not a pending code.. If you go there and they tell you that you have a pending code for the MAF or some other component.. Then you know where the trouble lies...

In all seriousness, if spark-plugs, wires, pumps, ect... Are all fine, then there is a chance that the M.A.F Sensor is faulty..

My brand new (when I got it...) 2002 Ranger was in my yard for less then a month and the MAF went...

The SPI Focus I had before I got my Zetec had the MAF go "around the bowl and down the hole" at 26K...

Ford said that sometimes the sensors can be faulty from the factory... My driving hasn't changed and the Current 01 Zetec that I have is fine, with 23K on it....

Hope this helps... And if you have roughly $150-$175 laying arround.. Pick yourself up an ACTRON OBD-II Code scanner... They are a nice thing to have arround since any OBD-II compliant car can be read by them....

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Discussion Starter #8
ok, here is the problem...it was the fuel pump. I got it replaced and now the Focus run like a dream. I guess with 70K on it and not a until now I cant complain.
thanks for all the help.
cheers
 

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That's great SNC! I just heard on another forum (automotiveforums.com) that the recall for the fuel pump was issued on Friday the 15th of November. I can't be sure how accurate this post was, but I am going to storm into my dealers front service bay REAL SOON!! I am just too damn sick of this F()*)*)* car that won't start!!
Did you have the same symptoms as I did??? After it started and did not stall finally, it would run like a top!!

Keep me posted!
 
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