Well, both the SPI and Zetec motors are carryovers from the old Escort, and
many of them have racked up two hundred thousand miles or more on their
original engine, as have some of the first Focuses as well. Most rattles are
not indicative of a dying motor.
Had one of those: tic, tic, tick, TIC, TIC, TIC, tic, tic, tic, etc, ETC,
etc. I'm not sure what they give the testers but it's *not* what you and I
can buy. OTH, Focus engines are practically bullet proof and have the
history to prove it.
A noise that only occurs at one rev range, not above or below, is a
harmonic, caused by something starting to get a little loose. It is likely
to be some kind of shield or panel, and not necessarily part of the motor,
although it may sound like it.
If its that loud it should be possible to find the culprit from underneath
by feeling around for a loose part.
There's no substitute for getting underneath a car on a lift in a garage,
with good lighting and freedom of movement. It probably won't help to run
the engine, since that will simply drown out any rattles. Sometimes corner
garages will let you join the mechanic underneath. I'd first check the heat
shield on the exhaust.
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