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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I'll try and keep this short.

Saturday, car is running as usual. Park it when I get home.
Sunday morning. Try and go somewhere, car won't turn over, just clikcs, kinda like the solenoid is bad or something. Open the hood. Lots of corrosion on the negative post. I replace the battery and the negative cable. Car will now turn over, but will not run smoothly. I can't tell if the car is not getting anough fuel or if the timing is off, go to bed frustrated.
Monday morning. Wake up, Call into work. Double check and make sure that everything is plugged in and put back together correctly. It is.

The car won't idle, It will do okay in park, but when I put it in drive it dies, I have to keep my foor on the accelerator to keep it going, and it is pretty much undriveable. It will drive around the block, but it almost sounds like it is trying to back fire, lets out like these intermitent little "poots" or something. It sounds kinda funny, but kind of not. When it dies while idling, it lets out this really loud screech from the passenger side. It sounds kinda like maybe the belts are screeching??

I take it in to get a diagnostic and the shop tells me that I need to replace my spark plugs, replace my air filter, replace my wires, replace my fuel filter, clean out my throttle body, injectors, fuel line, etc. Basically I need to do my scheduled maintenance ahead of time, and if i wanted them to do it it would be $300 and some change. And they think that plug 2 is misfiring and that the engine is getting to much fuel. Well, I think they are full of crap.

So, I'm thinking that maybe. With the whole battery dying, replacing cables, replacing battery, etc. that a sensor got srewed up somehow. Anybody have any thoughts? Should I replace the distributor cap while I'm in there? I already did the plugs and wires, and still no improvement, not that I thought there would be.
 

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Whens the last time a routine tune-up was done? They might be right. Also check to see if your wires are connected in the correct order to your coil. Ya'll want to make sure that your dang ol firing order is right.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The more I think about it, the more the scheduled maint. seems like a reasonable answer. The only thing is that everything was running fine the night before, and then the next morning, nuthin'. And even though the battery dying could've been a coincidence, I can't help but think it's related. I would think that if it were the schuduled maint. issues, that it would've worsened over time instead of being so sudden. I guess that's the only thing that kind of puzzles me.

To anwer your question about sched. maint., oil regularly, fuel filter done about 30k ago, so the time for it is pretty soon. I'm not sure when to do plugs/wires, but did those tonight, just to be on the safe side. I'll get the fuel filter this weekend after payday and probably swap out the distributor cap at that time also along with oil and tranny fluid. Also planning on putting some injector/valve/ fuel treatment and will probably pull off the throttle body and try to clean out the jets with some cleaner. I'm just going to kick myself if I paid 90 bucks and it's piddly stuff.

[?|]

*note, also aware of the fuel pump recall and had the dealer do it before I completed the loan paperwork.
 

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Whatever it was, it was on the verge of crapping out, and it did that morning you tried to start the engine. The answer is probably as simple as changing the plugs and wires. Also make sure you use an anti-corroisve agent on your battery terminals and make sure the connecttions are tight. Use anti-seize and spark plug boot protector on your plugs too (about $1 each at the front counter of your auto parts store). Torque the plugs properly with a torque wrench (132 in.-lbs.).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dazada,
Thanks for the tq specs on the plugs. I'm hoping that it really is something that simple and the 90 bucks plus a few other parts is all i will lose. Anyone know something I'm not thinking of? Also, anyone know how often to change plugs and wires, didn't see it in the maintenance guide.
 

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Go to Advance Auto Parts and buy a Hayne's manual for $12. It's been one of the most helpful tools I've owned since I bought my Focus. I believe your supposed to change your plugs and wires every 30,000 miles.
 

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check your Throttle Posistion Sensor
 

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change plugs & wires every 30k? Are you sure that's correct? I'm way off then, on both my Foci!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well,
It's not the plugs, wires, or fuel filter, also ran some injector cleaner. Going to change out the pcv valve today and see if it makes a difference, the tube behind it gets a little flat like maybe it's not releasing enough of whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well,
couldn't get ahold of a pcv vavle hose until tomorrow, so I bought some hose from the store and swaped it out, no help. Rented an odbII sensor from auto zone and got the code P0171 system adaptive fuel too lean. Does anyone know what this points to. Again, changed the fuel filter and ran some injector cleaner. The throttle position sensor is connected, but I have to test it still. I would think if the sensor is out I would get a code that said so. Any help? anyone?
 

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if you've already taken this long to diagnose & try and save money on this fix ... maybe it would've been easier to go to ford & let them handle it? I couldn't get to work without a running car so my situation is slightly different but I'm just saying ...

also I agree, try cleaning your MAF sensor ...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ya, Its going to the dealership tomorrow. I'll try cleaning the MAF before I give up though.

and just f.y.i. dazada is 1/2 correct about the plugs, from what I found it says plugs every 30,000 and to inspect your wires for any signs of damage. Also, we don't have distributor caps, they are coil packs, learned that along the way.
 

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nice, thanks for the info! and keep us posted on what's the dealership finds on your focus too ...
 

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Don't go too far!!!!
Sounds to me as if the ECU "lost" its settings when you removed the battery!! No big thing.
Remove your battery again for about 5 minutes, replace it, start your engine (with no electrical loads and without touching the throttle pedal) let it idle for another 5 minutes. During this time the ECU self "tunes" A/F ratio at idle.

Another thing to check is the alternator. It could be possible that the new battery could be a real pain for the alternator (if the alternator is not workig properly) and thus giving a rough idle.

Hope this helps. Just like you I just hate when my car breaks down.
Please Update
 

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Simatikero is right. Sounds to me like you are in relearn mode. When you drive the car the PCM utilizes an adaptive learning strategy to create driving profiles based on operator inputs under a given speed/load situation. Ultimately, your car "learns" how you drive. When you disconnect the battery, this data is erased from the PCM's memory. Thus, when you start the car after reinstalling the battery, your car is running off of base maps programmed at the factory. Just drive like you normally would and your driveability will return.
 
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