Strange Focus Problem - Engine Dying

Yesterday I had a strange problem with my 2001 Focus 2.0 Zetec. As I was accelerating out of a motorway service station to join the M3 the engine
suddenly died. Dropped down to third gear and it seemed to pick up again so went on a bit. It died again and then picked up. It died a third time and I was just about to pull onto the hard shoulder and phone the RAC when it picked up again. I noticed no more problems on the rest of my 50 mile journey home but I did take it steady at about 60mph for the rest of the journey, and kept the revs low. At no time during all this did any of the warning lights come on. Went to work in the car today, a short journey of about 3 miles each way at the most. I had no problems. Any thoughts from anyone before I book it in to my local garage. My first thoughts were along the lines of fuel blockage or dirty air cleaner.
--
Red Squirrel

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Red Squirrel wrote:

I also have an '01 ZX3, and had similar symptoms. To make it interesting, I actually had two problems at the same time. The DPFE sensor was causing rough running and was throwing codes, but the car would quit on me when the engine was very hot, like a long trip in warm weather. I would stop for gas/food/relief, and it would act up when I tried to go. I corrected the DFPE problem (second time), and what I found for the second problem was a bad ignition coil. When I removed the old one, there were burn marks on the sealant on the bottom. New coil and fine running since.
Ron
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I haven't had this issue (yet) with my focus, but I had a similar issue with my porsche. It turned out to be the DME relay was bad and just as it got up to running temperature, it was cutting power to the DME (which in turns controls fuel mapping). Months of frustration for what ended up being a $16 part...
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John Nelson
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Red Squirrel wrote:

Some extra information may help.
How many miles has it done? When was it last serviced?
Chris
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Chris Whelan wrote:

and petrol or diesel?
D
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It can't be a diesel.
--
Paul Giverin

British Jet Engine Website:- www.britjet.co.uk
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Paul Giverin wrote:

Doh, you're correct. There weren't 2l diesels until the Mk2.
D
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It has done 71,500 miles. My son had it serviced just before he moved to London and sold the car to me, so probably about 8-9 months ago
--
Red Squirrel

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Red Squirrel wrote:

It is vital for Zetec engines to have both plugs and HT leads replaced at 40,000 mile intervals with genuine Ford ones. It is something that often gets forgotten! Plug gaps must be set to 1.0mm, not 1.3mm as used to be advised.
Unless you are sure this has been done, it would be sensible to replace them as a first step. If this is the cause of your problem, continued use may damage the catalytic converter, and can burn out ignition coils.
Budget about 70UKP for plugs and leads.
Let us know how you get on.
Chris
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Thanks Chris - I will get it sorted over the weekend. I have not done any car mechanics for a while - is it still a task I could do myself or is it a garage job.
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Red Squirrel

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Red Squirrel wrote:

If you have changed plugs in the past, you shouldn't have a problem.
You need a plug socket and a short extension. You can't mix up which lead goes to which plug because the leads are just the right length. Don't overtighten the plugs.
Remember to replace the leads one at a time!
Some care is needed to locate the new leads on the plugs accurately. It's possible to get the cap at an angle; it looks OK, but it won't connect to that cylinder.
Good luck with the weather ;-)
Chris
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Chris Whelan wrote:

Does this engine have taper plugs? Have the plugs been changed before? I've just heard of nightmare issues with taper plugs snapping (happened to my 1.6 after 26k miles - although these rusted in rather than just seized).
D
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