Question about 2003 Ford Focus

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Car sputters or dies when idling, but starts fine.

My car has had transmission problems in the past (we replaced it), and it always gives me a little trouble if you floor it (it revs up really loud and jerks when it changes gears (but only when you floor it)) and is always a little slow on acceleration. Thats not my real problem, but I mention this, just in case it has something to do with my real problem. My car sputters horribly when it is idling. As soon as I give it gas it stops. It does it at lights, when I am waiting in line at the drive thru, and even when I am in park. Well it finially died when I was waiting in a drive thru. When it died it really wasnt sputtering the wrost it ever had, and when it died the oil light and the battery light came on. It started up again fine. Any thoughts as to whats wrong?

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I suspect you have an idle circuit issue. When the thottle is closed, the throttle valve is almost closed (like 95%). The linkage on the throttle body is against the hard stop.
SO, when idling you need a way to let enough air into the engine to maintain an idle speed. The IAC, Idle Air Control valve is the way you do that and the engine computer controls the rate of air flow.
Sometimes it gets plugged up so you can clean it with a little carb cleaner. Might have to take it apart.
Also, you have a MAF, Mass Air Flow sensor that tells the computer how much air is flowing through the air cleaner intake at any time. The sensor gets coated with varnish and vies a false reading. Clean it gently with carb cleaner and a toothbrush.
Other than that, I would go to an auto parts store that can run a computer scan for free to see if you have any fault codes stored. They will tell you next stpes.

I assume you 2.0L SPI engine & not Zetec.


Idle Air Control (IAC) Valve —2.0L SPI Removal

  1. Disconnect the idle air control (IAC) valve electrical connector (air cleaner outlet tube removed for clarity).
Car sputters or dies when idling, but starts fine. - 3bd46d2.gif
  1. Remove the IAC valve.
d3f41d5.gif
  1. Remove anCar sputters or dies when idling, but starts fine. - cdecc8a.gifhe IAC valve gasket.
cdecc8a.gif Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor Removal
  1. Remove the air cleaner outlet pipe.
Disconnect the mass air flow (MAF) sensor electrical connector. Car sputters or dies when idling, but starts fine. - 1fcb900.gifttp://i.fixya.net/uploads/images/1d278bc.gif" alt="1d278bc.gif" class="h_mi" />
  1. Remove the MAF sensor.
1fcb900.gif
clean element inside carefully


PS. A good running engine makes for a better running transmission

Posted on Mar 04, 2009

6 Suggested Answers

Bob Gemmell
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SOURCE: No power, no acceleration, spits & sputters

If this is a diesel replace the fuel filter

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SOURCE: 2003 f-350 cuts out , spitter sputter while driving

Just heads up we have a 2003 ford f 350 super duty desiel 6.0litre... There are many many problems with this truck.The jerking is just one of them and does get worse have taken to ford and they cannnot determine why... Do some research on the computer about the problems that many are having with this tryck that i have mentioned above..... THEY ARE ALL TRUE, UNFORTUNATELY.... If you have this same truck....

Posted on Apr 19, 2009

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SOURCE: 94 dodge ram pickup 1500 v-6 sputters, pops and resists to go..

Bad 02 sensor or cabling from there is likely the cause...accordianman

Posted on Jul 29, 2008

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SOURCE: sputtering and lack of power

from what you explained has your gas filter been changed if this is restricted it will starve the motor for fuel .

Posted on Sep 12, 2008

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SOURCE: My engine sputters and jerks only when it is raining and defrost

Yes I just changed my ignition coil and spark plugs where the ignition coil was bad #3 and all my problems stopped. It rained today for the final test and no sputtering or stalling whatsoever.

Posted on Mar 29, 2009

6ya6ya
  • 2 Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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