Question about 2000 Ford Focus

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2000 Ford Focus Sputtering / Speedometer Needle Jumping

My 2000 Ford Focus with Zetec engine and manual transmission sputters when accelerating between 1000-2000 rpm. No sputtering occurs below or above this rpm range. When the sputtering is occurring the speedometer needle jumps much higher even though the car's speed isn't changing that significantly. The check engine light is not illuminated and a code reader shows no DTCs present. What may be causing this?

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  • yankeeflyer Jul 11, 2009

    I replaced the spark plugs, then the plug wires, and finally the coil. The coil was arcing and loading down the electrical system. Problem solved - thanks.

  • znsmith
    znsmith Mar 31, 2013

    I didn't see this comment before i posted a help in the solution category. So it was the coil pack that was causing this? Thanks

  • Anonymous Mar 22, 2014

    `984 Ford F150 V6 slowly accelerate up to speed it does fine but normal acceleration it spits and sputters. what could be the problem be?

  • Anonymous Mar 24, 2014

    I have a 2000 Ford Focus the check engine light is not on but stalls frequently



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It could be a spark plug, plug wire, or a coil. Sometimes thay break down intermittently. If it needs a tuneup, that would be the first thing to do.

Posted on Jun 20, 2009

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I have the exact same car. My gauges and accessory lights and headlights started surging and moving erratically especially when my bright headlights were on. I assumed the alternator was failing so I replaced it and the battery at the same time. Within the first two miles after I did this my car started doing this exact thing. Under light acceleration 1000-2000 rpm and especially while lugging in a higher gear the car will act like it's missing and sputtering and the speedometer will spike erratically. It idles fine and runs good at higher rpms. I'm still looking for the fix myself but, i can tell you this the problem that your having and myself only started after replacing the alternator/battery. I've done a full tuneup (plugs,wires,air/fuel filter) within 10,000 miles. That rules them out. It just seems weird that this happened the same time I replaced the alternator and battery. I hope this helps lead you in the right direction on the fix. I will post the problem if I figure it out before you do!!

Posted on Mar 31, 2013

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Did anyone ever figure this one out? I'm having the same problem with a 2003 ford focus ZX5 with manual transmission. My thoughts are that it could be:
1) Bad vehicle grounds
2) Bad vehicle speed sensor or related wiring
3) Maybe something alternator or coil-pack related, but probably 1 or 2.

Posted on Jul 10, 2015

  • Conor Hennessey
    Conor Hennessey Apr 24, 2016

    It ended up being a cracked coil pack. Ignition pulses would leak from the crack in the coil to the vehicle grounds, where they would be picked up by the ground of the vehicle speed sensor.

    This explains why the speedo would rev with the tach.

    Fix was simply replacing the coil pack


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2000 Ford Focus Sputtering / Speedometer Needle Jump

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get part at discount from
Please arte higly if this helps.

SECTION 310-02: Acceleration Control 2000 Focus Workshop Manual
REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION Accelerator Cable —2.0L Zetec-E Removal
  1. Disconnect the accelerator cable.
    1. Remove the accelerator retaining clip.
    1. Disconnect the accelerator cable.
  1. Detach the accelerator cable from the bracket.
    1. Rotate the cable to release.
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  1. Remove the footwell trim panel.
  1. Disconnect the accelerator cable from the pedal.
  1. Attach a draw cord to the accelerator cable to assist with installation. (Important)
  1. Remove the accelerator cable.
  1. NOTE: The rubber grommets must be installed into the bulkhead and throttle body bracket before the accelerator cable is installed into the grommets.
    To install, reverse the removal procedure.

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