Changed Oil-Then Car wouldn't Start-Ideas?

Bought a 2001 Focus- 1.8zetech 5speed - 27,000 Miles- decided to change oil today- after trying to get oil filter off from the bottom of vehicle- decided that if I disconnected the PCV line- I could swing it out of the way
and access the filter from the top of the vehicle- got filter changed -put back PCV line, started car- ran OK for 1-2 minutes- idled rough a few seconds-died- went to restart- motor turned over- catch a couple times- but not start- acted like out of fuel- went to lunch- thought about fuel gauge being close to the empty mark- so thought maybe it ran out of gas and the fuel gauge is inaacurrate- put a gallon of gas in the tank- motor turned over several times- but fired up- ran rough a little- smoothed out- was a little sluggish at first to trip to gas station- but smoothed out pretty quick- filled up car- 9.5 gallons- it wouldn't hold any more- I believe its suppose to hold 13 something- so don't figure it was out of gas- It has ran fine for the rest of the day today- I have read on this group that this vehicle has fuel pump and other fuel part problems- I was curious if anyone else has had similiar experience- thanks Jay.
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I doubt you can make a simple 1-1 connection between disconnecting the PCV and your running problem. More likely you have a basic underlying problem, like the oxygen or MAP sensor, perhaps compounded by a weak fuel delivery system. Have you have a full diagnostic at a reliable service facility?
These things are rarely difficult or expensive to fix, but accurate diagnosis is everything, and with today's engines you MUST have the full electronic equipment to do this right.
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Is the fuel pump going on? It is loud enough so you should hear is run for a few seconds evertime you turn the key on. If not, then take a look at the fuel cut off relay on the right side footwell. There is a little plunger on top that should not be stiching out. You reset it by pushing down with the ignition off, if it is out.
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Make sure the oil cap is tight. If air can get in, the car won't start. I can't read your original message so I don't know if you checked it already or not.
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dave wrote:

What engine is this, that needs the oil cap to be on in order to start? Unfortunately I know only too well that my 2.0l Zetec will start and run just fine with the oil filler cap removed...
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I don't own a Focus. It was this way on my Audi, I figured other cars might be similar.
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dave wrote:

On the contrary, I've never before heard of a gasoline engine that wouldn't start or run without the oil cap on. My buddy's Audi A6 2.8l didn't care whether the oil cap was on.
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Actually all car since about 1980 have been sensitive to whether or not the oil cap is on. It does not have to do with starting exactly but the crankcase breather is hooked up directly to the intake manifold, and if the oil cap is off, it will greatly lean out the air/fuel mixture by creating the equivalent of an intake manifold leak. Whether or not the car still starts depends on the type and condition of PCV valve, as well as the size of the breather hose. Even the dipstick can make a difference, if it is not seated well.
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I had an SAAB from 1980 that had problems idling when the oil cap was left off. When put back on, everything was back to normal. /per

will greatly lean out the air/fuel mixture by creating the equivalent of an intake manifold leak.

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