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Old 01-02-2006, 08:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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2002 ford focus problems

Hi..Wonder if anyone can help me figure this out..
I have a 2002 ford focus...low milage.
When it is cold /damp out it is very very difficult to start..
Mechanic changed fuel pump.. ignition.. a good 1000.00 worth of repairs.. and guess what..its still not starting well.
The mechanic is at a loss for what is wrong with it..He put it on the the computer and it says nothing is wrong with it..grrr.
It takes me a good 3 minutes of turning it over to finally get the darn thing to start.. so frustrating..
Any one have a clue about this??
Please email me privately...thanks

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Old 01-13-2006, 10:42 PM   #2
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I don't want to appear as an expert by any means. I'm strictly a backyard untrained mechanic.
After that disclaimer I would proceed with the following easy steps: ON those days that it is difficult to start, take the air cleaner intake hose off and spray starting fluid directly into the intake tube so that the starting fluid goes directly into the intake manifold (not thru the air filter paper).
If it starts immediately then you know the starting problem is fuel related. It could be a faulty choke or something mechanical that does NOT show up on the computer (the computer only shows electrical problems that it can measure thru the array of sensors throughout the engine i.e., coolant temperatures, MAP, oxygen levels etc.).

If the engine is still difficult to start with the starting fluid in there then most likely the problem is ignition related. You indicated your mechanic replaced some ignition components along with the fuel pump. I don't know what he exactly replaced but as I just mentioned if it is not sensor related it won't show up on the computer. You really need to look at the simple things here -- A crack in the distributor cap will allow moisture in the ignition module and moisture KILLS the spark strength and the computer will say it is fine. You need to look at the spark with a spark tester under the bad conditions of cold or rainy/foggy weather.
I had an escort similar to your car that wouldn't start in moist air conditions and I happened to look under the hood in the dark and I could see the spark jumping from outside the wires to the engine block (the condensation on the wires provided a short circuit and apparently it was easier for the spark to traverse the wire insulation then it was for it to jump the spark gap of the plug, thereby robbing the spark plug of the full strength of the spark). I changed plug wires for about 20 dollars and sprayed wire dry solution all over wires and distributor and it worked perfectly after that.
Anyway....good luck. You have a good car. In fact, in my opinion, it is the best american car made. MY first thought is this is an ignition problem and I would focus (no pun intended) on that. The computer won't show faulty spark wires or a crack in the distributor

Last edited by biire2u : 01-13-2006 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:16 AM   #3
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No you tool, do not put anything in the intake... Take is somewhere where someone knows what they are actually doing. Something to actually try yourself to hopefully save you a dollar, make sure you don't have an extremely high weighted oil "accidentally" in your engine. #2 fuel injector cleaner IN YOUR TANK. Something in your intake=a lean or rich code=engine light=$...WDS will most definately show faulty spark.
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