Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Possible PCM Failure
Before I begin, any and all recommendations and feedback is thoroughly appreciated. Also, I apologize for the long post. But I'm a stickler for details and I figured it couldn't hurt.
I've been having an ongoing issue with my 2002 Focus ZX3. The air conditioning was going in and out--intermittent cooling followed by warm air and so on. I used some of that A/C Pro Cold stuff I got at Autozone and it seemed to work well. This was the end of June.
In mid-July I noticed after about an hour of driving into New Jersey that my OBD-II light came on. [I found out the code was P0304--Cylinder 4 misfire.] At one point that same day the engine stalled out after shifting gears from reverse to drive. I simply turned the ignition off and on and it worked. And that's when the idling issues began.
Any time the car idles it shakes--heavily, and often. The shaking is worse, however, when the A/C is running. I managed to get the car home, but on the way noticed the OBD-II light was blinking when I would hit a certain RPM level. Apparently this signaled the misfire occurring. Twice the car "stalled" out between mid-July and this past weekend. I used the quotations because it kept running, but all the lights on the dash went off as well as the security light. It lasts about two seconds and then the car drove fine.
I changed the spark plugs and ignition wires and added fuel injector cleaner. The unfortunate part of that code is that it could be any number of things. When this preventative maintenance didn't help I brought it to a garage. They said that they believed it may be a leaky head gasket and that I should take it to a dealer (which honestly is an inevitability I'm trying to avoid). Apparently after half an hour of running it started to smoke.
This past Saturday (luckily for me on my way to work) my car stalled out about five minutes (3.5 miles) from my house. There were no lights, no noises, no smoke--nothing. It just lost all power, and I coasted off to the side of the road. The interesting thing is that the wiper blades swung to an upward position. I tried turning the ignition. Nothing. No clicks, no noises, nothing at all. I got it towed back to my house (free thanks to AAA) where it now sits. I tried giving it another whirl today. All it does when I turn the key is make a long ringing noise (the same noise that you get when your keys are in the ignition and the car door is open). When I turn it back the noise fades away.
I've searched through forums here, other online sources, information from friends--everything I could in order to get more information. I figured at this point I might as well post here myself and see if anyone has any suggestions. The only thing I could find that explains all of my car's symptoms is a faulty PCM. Do any of you have suggestions on how I could go about resolving this issue? How much does parts and labor go for this type of procedure? Again, any help at all is greatly appreciated.