2003 zts intermittent start problems

weird situation here:
30,000 miles, car normally runs fine. maybe once in 20-30 starts, it just whines... no engine attempting to turn over, no clicking, just an
electrical whirrrr. took it to the dealer and they swear nothing is wrong, and that the only way they can fix it is if they see it. understandable, but when it doesnt start, it may not start for a while. as far as i can tell, it doesnt matter if its a cold/warm start, with/without much gas. also, occasionally the remote unlock and the drivers side unlock fail, but very occasionally. obviously seems electrical, but for a 2003, cant think of what itd be. i plan to take it to another dealer because this one basically said, wait till it dies and tow it here. this is impossible, since i, as most people do, rely on the car. any ideas? i saw it may be a loose battery cable, but wouldnt a dealer check this? any other ideas? is it right to take it to another dealer?
Mike
PS, thanks for the board here, helps out a ton
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See if you can borrow another battery (known to be good) and try that out for a while. Sometimes batteries have loose plates or dirt which can cause intermittent random internal shorts and therefore low voltage.
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battery wouldn't be it. sounds like it's the typical focus fuel pump problem. it was a problem on the 00's and 01's but more 02's + are seeing this too.
www.focusfanatics.com and www.focusmotorsports would be able to give you more details on this if needed.
wrote

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slo wrote:

Can't be the fuel pump. The original poster said

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Ah, good call.. Thanks for clearing that up. :)

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billsguy wrote:

Bit of a stretch here, but you have something like a Mobil Speed Pass on your keys? They may interfere with reading the chip in your ignition key.
Once in a great while, my 2001 won't start. Turn the key and absolutely nothing. I don't recall any whirrrr. I take the key out, hold the key ring by the ignition key so everything (including the Speed Pass) hangs down, try again, and it works.
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Yes, for me the whirrr is the key piece of data. Chances are it's the fuel pump. There's enough voltage to power it up, but not activate the starter.
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Try taking the speed pass off the key ring. The speed pass could be screwing up the Passive Anti Theft System causing the starter to be intermittently "locked out". The speed pass could be blocking the signal from the key chip. When you have this problem does the red light on the dash flash or flash rapidly? If it does, the chip in the key is not communicating with the transceiver around the lock cylinder.
You should also rotate the use of the second key and remote control about every 3 months.
wrote

Yes, for me the whirrr is the key piece of data. Chances are it's the fuel pump. There's enough voltage to power it up, but not activate the starter.
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Dave Gower wrote:

That is, it's the fuel pump that's whirring? You might be right.

I think your suggesting is better than mine.
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