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.
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.
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...
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
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.
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
Good luck with the weather ;-)
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).
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