another newbie

I am new to the group! i have read lots of post and love the info. i bought a 2000 zx3, stick shift. and it isn't haveing great gas milage, about 170 miles per tank. i get 220 miles a tank in my Kia sportage, i know the tank
is smaller than the Kia but, hey, i thought smaller car, further gas mileage..lol the thermastat went past 12 last night, reaching the red for a minute or 2, got home,checked the water and all that, took it to Jiffy Lube this morning and had the radiator flushed and the coolant added.(went ahead and got the oil changed and fluids topped off) drove around most of the day w/the air on (no rise in the gauge)and then went one last trip out, about 3 miles and the temp gauge went up again, almost to the red. no air on, during this short trip. any suggestions on what can be done? it also seems like the car preforms a bit better, w/the air off, speed wise.lol i love driving this car!
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You should divide miles driven on a tank of gas by the number of gallons you put in and post that number. It's a better way to compare fuel consumption between different cars. Although my 2000 LX can make a little over 250 miles on a full tank (I'm not sure if the ZX3 and the LX have the same tank size), so yours might be a bit too fuel hungry. You could try checking the air filter and the fuel filter and replacing them if necessary.
The temp gauge should start at the low end of the temp scale when you start the engine cold. After a while it should just stay at the center of the scale. You shouldn't notice any changes in temperature regardless of miles driven or usage of air conditioning. Something's definitely wrong with the cooling system. You could try replacing the thermostat.
If all else fails, you could take the car to a ford dealer to have them check it out.
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ok, i will try that. i had been thinking i should take it to the Ford dealer. i bought it from a small dealer, not Ford. thanks!
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Erratic behaviour in the cooling system can be due to air trapped in the system. This car is old enough to have lost some of its coolant. I'd recommend going to a good cooling system specialist shop and get a pressure test and power flush.
Incidentally, poor cooling system performance can also hurt your fuel economy, since it confuses the computer which can cause an incorrect fuel mixture.
There's a reason why people sell used cars in the first place, and you've probably found why yours was sold. Not to worry you (because this is not likely) but sometimes these symptoms can be caused by something more serious like a burnt head gasket, so you need a good shop to tell you precisely.
Happy focussing.
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Good luck...I had an electrical problem with a Ford Tempo that would do things like the temp guage going up if I had the lights on and the key was turned to on but not engaged and we never found the reason...there's a lot more troubleshooting on the Focus though...Actually a thought though - do you notice when you FIRST turn the car on - like after overnight sitting does your speedometer sweep all the way up and back ??? Let me know... Linda
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This might be of interest, if slightly off-topic. My neighbor's got an old Dodge/Plymouth Caravan van thing and one day it started running really rough, wouldn't idle and you had to rev it to get it to run smooth. Stinky exhaust also. We thought his timing was off, but when he tore it down, his head was blown! Not the gasket, the head cracked and was blowing from one cylinder to the next. I've never seen anything like this, kinda bizarre, thought I'd share. I'm out.
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Yeah. Could've been a defect in the material or something.
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so far so good. it hasn't over heated again, or should i say the thermastat is staying at 12. now, if i just knew why the arrow comes on and off, under the rpm's, i don't know if it means to shift or not to shift...LOL kinda like a dummy light for the stick shift...LOL i am sure i shift too soon anyways, since everyone stays behind me...LOL love my Focus!!!!!!!! thanks for all the info
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LoriSwift2000 wrote:

It's supposed to be a reccomended shift, if you are cruising at say 30 in town, and the engine has very light load, it will say shift, but if you give it gas and start accelerating, same speed same rpm's, it will go out, because you are 'needing' the power.
On your original post, I have a 2K ZX3,5 speed also, 107K miles, I was getting 25-29 MPG, until I put new plugs in it, milage jumped to 30-36, seems to have settled back down now to 30-31 mpg, just put cheap standard replacement plugs $19US for a set of 4, although I saw in another focus board, that splitfires work real well, haven't got around to getting some myself yet though.
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On your original post, I have a 2K ZX3,5 speed also, 107K miles, I was getting 25-29 MPG, until I put new plugs in it, milage jumped to 30-36, seems to have settled back down now to 30-31 mpg, just put cheap standard replacement plugs $19US for a set of 4, although I saw in another focus board, that splitfires work real well, haven't got around to getting some myself yet though.
ok, i will get the plugs replaced soon. thanks about the info on the light. i need to get me a manual for it, just haven't done it yet.
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