Question about Ford Focus

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I have a 2002 model manual Ford Focus. The best way I know to describe what it does is "acts like there is water in the gas". It starts losing power and has a really bad miss. It will finally quit pulling at all and I have to pull over, turn the car off, and sit for a minute or two. When I start the car back, I usually have to rev it and then it will go for 30 or even 60 miles before it happens again. This has happened 3 or 4 times. I have changed the coil, spark plugs and plug wires. (all suggestions of mechanic). When I change the plugs, it will usually run great for about 15,000 miles. The last time I changed them, it only ran around 2000 miles before it did this again. It does seem to only do it when the weather is hot. It has never done it in cool weather. (Might be a coincidence). The check engine light did come on this time, which is the only time it has ever come on. I stopped by an auto zone and their little hand held machine said it was misfiring on the 4th plug. I changed the plugs yesterday and it is lasting so far.(This is after the 2,000 miles) Didn't mean to write a book, but please help!

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  • jparrish Aug 07, 2008

    It does not use oil and is a clean burn on the spark plugs. Actually, the last ones I replaced looked almost new (which they were). The last set I changed were a rusty color. If sediment is in the tank, wouldn't it have a problem all the time? I have paid attention to the gas level and there is no difference whether a full tank or not.

  • jparrish Aug 07, 2008

    My mechanic says no to ignition problem.

  • jparrish Aug 07, 2008

    Thanks, RapidTransit for your comments. I had actually thought about it being the cat convertor.
    Now if I can get my mechanic to agree and check that for me.

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Hi...
If you said. The scanner show the code P0304. Missfiring on cylinder # 4.
The first step is: Check Compression on that cylinder.
Check or replace the FUEL FILTER.
After you remove the fuel filter. you can see if
There any visible Residuous of water.
Check the fuel Pressure. the Fuel pressure
Must be at LEAST 29psi. BUT the range is 35
65psi.
If everything is OK.

when the vehicle is missfiring. Remove the Injector connector.
And check for proper signal. with a test light on the WIRE colour BLACK/ORANGE. for ground signal from the pcm. when is starting. and POWER 12v at the wire GREEN/RED

If the signals are ok. Remove the injector, Clean and with a MILTIMETER. Check the Resistance on the injectro. must be
On 13.8 to 15.2 ohms..
If is not with especifications. Replace. the injector.

OK... I hope this help to diagnostic your Vehicle.
any more Info. Letme know.
Thank you. for use fixya.

Posted on Aug 07, 2008

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Is this the original engine?

Posted on Aug 07, 2008

  • Gayle Ashbach
    Gayle Ashbach Aug 07, 2008

    I wish I could think of anything other than this. I don't know how many miles you have on the car, However, we purchased my daughter a new one a few years back for college (to travel back and forth to home) It was a great little car, but after around 80,000 she began to have a lot of various problems and after the last fix, it was trade-in time. I don't know if this is anything you want to consider, but just a bit of research tells me that the same still holds true. Now is not a bad time to trade cars, or to trade in a small car. I know you are looking for a solution to FIX the car, but I thought I would pass on this tidbit. Good Luck to you..

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Here's my experience of the week:Customer brought in a 2002 Chevy 1500 series truck with the 5.3 ltr.engine,and it would barely drive,misfiring on multiple cylinders.No power,an extreme case of poorly running,barely running,truck.Scan tool said cylinders 4 and 6 were misfiring,pulled the plugs,dirty black sooty,not firing obviously,so we tried new wires,spark plugs,and two coil packs,one each for cylinders 4 & 6.Refired,cylinders 2,4,6,and 8 all misfiring.Hmmm.Removed coil packs,sent back,installed old,pulled O2 sensor out of the exhaust on that side of the engine,refired the engine,VROOOOM.The catalytic convertor was stopped up almost completely,and the little exhaust escaping out of the O2 sensor hole,would allow the engine to breathe enough,to run normal.Where i'm going with all this is,consider the catalytic convertor in the exhaust system a possibility,expecially with the symptoms being heat sensitive,and cat convertors act up mostly,when at the extremes of heat.

Posted on Aug 07, 2008

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Sounds as if the ignition module may be failing.

Posted on Aug 07, 2008

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You could drain the tank. There is usually a drain plug for the tank that you can easily get to. Its not only water that could be the problem. Depending on the tank that you use sedimentation sometimes builds up and makes its way into the engine via the gas conduit as you use the car.

You said the mechanic notices that the misfire was in the 4th plug. Did you notice if the 4th plug was especially dirty or oily when you took it out. You can normally differenciate between a clean burn normally sort of a rusty color or a dirty burn if it looks like burnt oil, very dark color. Sometimes this means there is an oil leak.

Posted on Aug 06, 2008

  • Thomas Lim
    Thomas Lim Aug 06, 2008

    By the way do an engine wash on the engine block then drive it for a couple of days. if you see splotches of oil then that means there is a leak and you might have to change gaskets.

  • Thomas Lim
    Thomas Lim Aug 06, 2008

    Check as well your oil level if it goes down. If I seem to be concentrating on this line of thought, this is because that could logically be the only explanation since if you change the plugs the problem goes away... up to a point. That could also explain the check engine light coming on

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