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Old 03-31-2004, 19:37   #1 (permalink)
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Rough idle and stall

I have a 2000 Ford Focus, automatic, with about 65,000 miles( I don't know
how the previous owner got over 55,000 miles on it. in one year I only put
10,000 on it and that's with a trip that totaled 1800 miles.) this only
happens when it is warmer than about 55 degrees outside. it takes about 25
minutes to get home from work, which gets the engine nice and warmed up. I
get home, go inside for about 15-45 minutes and go out to restart the car
for a trip to the store something (it's also fun when it does this in the
store parking lot). the car will begin to rough idle, and it tries to stall
and sometimes does. if I rev it up, it will help to keep the car from
stalling, but it still seems rough. I have to be quick to get it into
reverse and get moving, and then into drive because the car wants to stall.
when I start going the car will run rough, but as I go it smooths out and
will run fine. after that, it won't rough idle at a stop sign or try to
stall. If I have to sit in traffic for quite a while though, it has tried to
stall. it seems like if it is raining or cool weather will cool the engine
off too quickly for it to do this. It started doing this toward the end of
last year and I took it into ford, all they could come up with was the PCV
Valve was bad causing a vacuum leak. after they replaced it, diag didn't
find anything else wrong. the weather was cool after that for about a week
then it got warm and the car started doing it again, on a friday night when
they weren't open, of course. then the weather turned colder till one day
last week.

I am wanting to know if anyone has any ideas before I go into Ford next week
to get an "in-flight" recorder put in to isolate the problem, since the
weather here looks like it will get warmer. I need to get this taken car
of before April 27th due to needing to take that 1800 mile trip again.


Thanks in advance,
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Old 04-01-2004, 01:23   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Rough idle and stall

Mate,

I think there was a TSB about that in Australia, or something like that, which required a reflash. Seems every damn thing that goes wrong just get's reflashed and not fixed. Something about idling/stalling when engine was warm. Could be a sensor out or something. I guess just get them to check it out, they're there for that, even though tey don't always seems like they know much...
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Old 04-01-2004, 16:22   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Rough idle and stall

This is an ongoing problem that Ford Australia is looking at. I believe a 'real fix' is not far from being released. I think I heard before Easter? My Zetec has had this happen, and it is related to the fact that some of them, some of the time won't start on first crank. My experience, turn the ignition off if it won't kick (almost like the immobiliser didn't disengage) and try again. This worked every time!
Still, It shouldn't happen and Ford Australia Agrees. As soon as the fix is released, I'll post it here
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Old 04-02-2004, 01:18   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Rough idle and stall

yea i get that too, the car "chokes" right after you first start it, sometimes it isn't that strong, but sometimes the choking is so strong it felt its going to stall. i had my engine reflashed and the problem doesn't come back as often as it used to, but still occurs sometimes, just not as often.
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Old 04-02-2004, 07:41   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Rough idle and stall

Quote:
Originally Posted by uhzid
yea i get that too, the car "chokes" right after you first start it, sometimes it isn't that strong, but sometimes the choking is so strong it felt its going to stall. i had my engine reflashed and the problem doesn't come back as often as it used to, but still occurs sometimes, just not as often.
It never does it to me when I first start it. Only when the car is fully warmed up after giving it a nice work out and it's warm enough to not cool the engine down real quick. Basically anytime it's warmer than about 50, but it has to be warmer than that to actually stall.


this car could have had the problem for months before I first noticed it and possibly before I bought the car, because as I realized on the way home yesterday the engine temperature drops quite a bit when using the air conditioner...

Last edited by accessviolatio; 04-02-2004 at 07:44.
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Old 04-02-2004, 16:32   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Rough idle and stall

Since my re-set a few days ago, My zetec is behaving like it did when new. It's holding the revs as much as 3000rpm for about 1/2 a minute before it settles down and gradually gets to just below 1,000rpm. This might be the wau the thing "learns" it's various mapping. Either way, the new 'fix' for this is desperately needed!
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Old 04-06-2004, 06:16   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Rough idle and stall

I went into my ford dealer to get a new crankcase filter (breather element, pcv filter, depends on who you talk to. 2 other ford dealers didn't know what a breather element was, even though that's what the Motorcraft name for it is.)

Apparently, when I was having problems last year they replaced the pcv valve but neglected to replace the filter! I didn't know that thing was yellow. And it was disentegrating. I'll get to see if that's the problem today.


also there is apparently a fuel filter issue that the parts guys informed me about..

Fuel Filter info (apparently ford knows something)
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Old 04-08-2004, 08:10   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Rough idle and stall

PCV Valve is working fine, replaced air filter and breather, it was fine that night, next day it was fine for a while, then it up and seemed to act worse! I did discover something though. to make it not stall when I try to reverse (due to not being able to depress the gas peddle very much because I don't want to hit another car), if I turn on the air conditioner and rev the engine, it will force it to idle higher and prevent it to stall. I also noticed that the car really sounds like it might be running on only 3 cylinders (no it is not a zetec) then it kicks in and wants to go...

I am planning on checking the spark plugs, distributor, and wires this weekend. I think I remember being told that one of the spark plug... 'caps' came off in the wire, and it might not be making a good enough connection... but it only has a problem in idle and just starting to move, when warm outside, and engine is warmed up. hopefully that's the problem, but I don't want to spend $40 dollars, but that will be cheaper than the $100 deductible or more (as I'm sure if it's another problem It won't be covered)
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Old 04-10-2004, 03:41   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Rough idle and stall

those 2000 Foci should serisouly all just be piled up and bombed... they are a mess...
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Old 04-13-2004, 08:10   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Rough idle and stall

I think I figured out what was wrong. I'll know for sure tonight. the spark plug gap is supposed to be .054 inch. one spark plug was at .065 and had a strong smell of gas, even hours later. it also had some carbon fouling. apparently that plug wasn't always firing correctly. 2 other plugs were at .06 and the third was at .057
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