Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In another thread at http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?p=3752559, I wondered about the possibility of this idle problem being related to a couple other problems I have with my tranny and an engine compartment noise.

But I have not made any progress with the idea that they are related, so for the moment I'm coming at them separately.

This uneven idle is regular -- up and down like a sine wave. The period of each up-and-down cycle is perhaps two seconds. The problem doesn't appear until the car has warmed up at least a little. It doesn't seem to matter whether the car is in park or drive. If I leave it to its own devices and don't give it a little gas, the car commonly dies after a minute. But it will restart just fine.

As a first test, I pulled the vacuum hose off the EGR valve and plugged it with a golf tee. This made no difference.

Sound familiar to anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I have not. Is there some way to test that?

(I have the Ford Workshop Manual, but diagnostics for almost everything is in the Powertrain Control/Emissions Diagnosis Manual, which I don't have.)
 

·
DTC P0606
Joined
·
3,364 Posts
I have not. Is there some way to test that?
Simplest test: unplug the electrical connector to the Idle Air Control Valve and see what happens. If your idle stops surging, your problem likely lies with a dirty, stuck or malfunctioning IACV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It turns out that the idle problem and the engine compartment noise (which I'll now describe as a sharp hiss, though it initially sounded to me like a light mechanical noise) were due to a problem with a PCV hose. The hose that runs from the PCV valve connects to the intake manifold via a molded rubber elbow. That elbow degrades over time, and initially it sucks closed (collapses on itself), and eventually develops open holes or cracks.

A removal tip: The elbow is a bit hard to get at. I couldn't get my hand on it very well, except that I was able to twist it a little to loosen it up. Several kinds of pliers couldn't finish the job. But then I got a long pry bar, ran it to the elbow from just above the oil dipstick, and easily pushed it off.

At any rate, now that I know what was going on, further searches on this forum and elsewhere show that it is a commonly reported problem.

One annoying development though: The hose is composed of 3 parts - a molded rubber elbow that connects to the PCV valve, a long center piece that is a plastic pipe with a foam sheath, and the molded rubber elbow that connects to the nipple on the intake manifold. I understand that Ford used to sell all 3 parts separately, and you could get that elbow for a few dollars. Now they only sell it as an assembly (P/N YS4Z-6758-A), and I paid $39 for it. I thought that it was because Ford had improved the trouble-prone elbow (as I understand they have for the Zetec engine -- mine is a 2002 SPI engine). But no, it appears to be the same molded rubber elbow, except that now it is available only as part of the expensive assembly.

Rock Auto, Advanced Auto, AutoZone and NAPA only have the PCV valve itself. Several of them offered to match my elbow to a universal elbow, but I have seen perhaps a couple posts where people did that and found that the replacement elbow was soon showing the same collapsing behavior. So I gritted my teeth and bought the Ford assembly.

But the car has 81,000 miles on it. If that elbow was the original and the replacement goes for another 80,000 miles, then it was an annoying "periodic maintenance" job that won't be faced again soon.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,250 Posts
The dreaded PCV valve line issue rears it's ugly head again, yet I was not here to mention it. Probably everyone is tired of seemingly all idle problems being answered by myself and others with "check the PCV valve and it's vacuum line". I'm starting to feel like Roy from the "IT Crowd" who tires of repeating "Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner, but I do believe that the budget repair for this would entail getting some 1/2" fuel line or vacuum line, and fitting hard plastic elbows in place of the rubber elbow. It would take a bit of engineering, but I'm sure someone could come up with something that would function and last longer- at least the life of the car, and much cheaper than Ford's price of $40.

Since you have an SPI, you should look into threads about the dreaded valve seat drop that can destroy your engine, and the signs of that threat if it appears. The chances are good that it will appear, so make plans accordingly. SPI engines are not commonly found in junkyards or from rebuilders because most of the time it results in catastrophic engine damage leaving you with a vehicle that is best used as a terrarium or paperweight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Since you have an SPI, you should look into threads about the dreaded valve seat drop that can destroy your engine, and the signs of that threat if it appears. The chances are good that it will appear, so make plans accordingly. SPI engines are not commonly found in junkyards or from rebuilders because most of the time it results in catastrophic engine damage leaving you with a vehicle that is best used as a terrarium or paperweight.
Thanks for the warning. I'll try to look into that after I get past my tranny problems: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=263872
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top