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2002 Ford Focus Stalls after I installed a new stereo

I installed a Kenwood KDC-MP442U last night and it went well. Everything worked fine.

This morning it was business as usual but when I got to work I shut off the car, then I had to start the car again to move it and it stalled, this happened a few times and I could only get going if I kept on the gas constantly, the same thing happened when I left work and it stalled a few times on the way home.

I don't think there is a drain on the battery because it stars up right away, no chugging, but it then immediately stalls...

The only issue I had with the install were that I had trouble finding a good place to ground the receiver, and I grounded to a bolt that has another thing attached, could that be it?

Also, there was a third harness from the car to the factory deck that had one little wire, but no place on the aftermarket harness or receiver to connect it, I just left it alone...

Any thoughts?


Posted by on

  • PeterMack May 29, 2009

    Hi thanks for the quick response...

    No Amp...

    It stalled a few different times, mostly right after I start it, then I get going and it would stall when idling and yes I was on a hill...

    I will check the connection to the battery and make sure all contacts are clean...

    No dash lights are on...

  • PeterMack May 30, 2009

    Yes, if I keep RPM above idle it keeps running...

    The car was owned by my wife's grandfather so it did not get much use, but I had it inspected and have been using it with no problems for a couple of months...

    When it stalls right after I start it it just cuts out completely, no noise, just like I turned off the key...

    When it stalls while idling after I have been driving it starts to quit, I can tell it's coming, and yes, giving it gas keeps it going...



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  • 58 Answers

Maybe this might be the problem. take of both off and clean the area around the bolt. use a wire brush and make sure you have a metal on metal contact. if your stalling when you have the sound system up to high you need to install a capacitor to your amp(if you installed an amp that is).
dose you car cut out at the same time every time ?
or this only when your stop ? or are going up hill ?
are there any dash lights on ? ......

Posted on May 29, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • Ryan
    Ryan May 29, 2009


    well i'm doughtfull its your new car audio system, still i wouldn't rule it out just yet. that one wire could be an interna clock for the computer or your seat belt alarm bell. Hard to tell. but lets forget that for now.

    So if you keep the RPM above idle your fine, correct?

    this tells me your fule/ignition and maybe altornator are what's wrong.

    A poor idle in combination with a falty ground of an alternator can stall an engine.

    do you maintain your car and stay on top of all your required changes ?

    you may need new spark plugs or wire. you can check the wire for anydamage means replacement, and the plugs if there black or seam to be missing a part. (google has a spark plug cheek pick you can use)

    if that's all fine, it may be dirty fule injectors or filter. some injector cleaner may help. run your car on high octaine next time you fill up.

    when it stalls can you recover buy flooring the gas ? dose you car make a noise when it's stalling(anything out of the norm ?)

  • Ryan
    Ryan May 30, 2009

    well it's a fule or ingition problem.

    one thing you can do to make sure you have good fule delivery(this will rule out a pump/filter problem) is to find your fule rail(has the injectors on it) and it would be on top the engine inbetween the intake manifold and well the engine. it would be black has 4-6-8 injectors depending on your engine. if you can find this set up follow it to your fire wall or till it start going to the back of the car. there will be 2 lines, 1 to deliver and 1 to return the fule. both have are conected at some point from the fire wall to the manifold buy clips or holse clamps.

    with the engine off take out the one that feeds fule to your engine this one is the bigger of the 2 or is off colour it may have an arrow of flow. the enginers made it easy to find out what ones is what. also you have a 50% chance of finding it. so moving on. with a friend or family member disconect the line and use a rag or cloth to stop any fule from getting sprayed around. ***MAKE SURE THE CAR IS OFF KEY IS OUT*** it will spray a bit. if it wont stop( wich is highly unlikely) reatach the line and find the fuse for fule pump. it will be in the fuse box and will be labled. remove the fuse and try again.

    after that make sure you have a 1/2L or 1L container handy, put the fule line in the container and hold it there as to not make a mess. get your partner to turn on the car but not start it( this means accesory mode) ***DO NOT START THE CAR*** fule will be pumped into the 1/2 or 1 leter container.(if you disconectect the fuse reconect it)

    for the 1/2L container it will/should take 15-20 sec to fill.

    for the 1L container it will/should take 30-45 seconds to fill.

    if your results are different, meaning it takes more then 50 seconds to fill the 1L and 30 for 1/2L your fule pump is to blame. and need replacement, also the filter.( i would change the filter first and re try this test b/c is cost less money)

    once your finished the test, reatach the line and clean up any spilt fule. put fule back into gas take and then turn on car and insepct your work make sure it is not leaking or sparying use your hand to feel. if it is you need to do a better job of ataching the line.

    This is just a fule pump test and should help narrow the problem.

  • Ryan
    Ryan May 30, 2009

    For the ignition part.

    Remove 2 out 4 spark plugs or 3 out 6 or 4 out of 8. (depending on engine ie 4 cylinder vs 8 cy...

    inspect them do they look all the same (with in reason) are they black are they corrorded and they covered in white build up ? are they wet ? are they broken.....

    if there fine reinstall to 18ft/lbs of 1/2 after it bottems out. be carfully don't brake them off. tight is good but broken mean new engine.

    inspect spark pulg wires are they broken, heat damage .... do they need to be replaced.

    if you have a multy meater cheak the ohm's/resistance of the primary and secondary coils and all the grounds. buy this point if you havn't found the problem it's not the ignition system.



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