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terrac
Hi guys.. excuse the question on first post, just stumbled upon the forum whilst trying to solve a puzzling problem with my Focus.

I have a 1.6LX Focus with a Zetec SE petrol engine. 2002 model.

The car drives fine.. I just have a problem starting it up. It takes ages to fire up when cranked. Every time I start the car I have to hold the key for anywhere upto 10 seconds before it will fire up. My mechanic is baffled. His code reader is showing up no faults. If you start the car and give it a little gas to try get it to fire you get a serious smell of fuel into the cockpit.

So far we have fitted new plugs, new coil pack, new TPS sensor and throttle body. He has swapped out the IAC valve for another he got from a scrap car to test that but we get exactly the same problem. Also once the car has started up it idles fine for anywhere upto 2 minutes and then you start to hear almost a mis-fire, if you remove the air intake and listen you can hear the car "popping back" he says its as if a valve is stuck. rev the car ever so slightly and this goes away, I'm talking approx 900revs here and it's gone.. idling at 800-ish and it's back.

We tried switching the car off and opening the throttle ever so slightly by wedging a bit of plastic between the throttle stop position screw and the throttle cable then the car starts first time every time instantly and there is no popping back. my mechanic says the IAC valve should be taking care of that but the other one did exactly the same (unless that happened to be broken too?). He's baffled, i'm baffled. He's talking next stage is possibly a valve sticking. He says doing a good oil change and flush may release it or potentially having to remove the head and get into some serious money :(

Has anyone had this problem before or could advise in any way?

Also forgot to mention he's checked for any signs of a vacuum leak but couldnt find any.

I replaced the fuel pressure regulator and the car started perfectly about 10 times. whilst parked on the driveway over and over a few times it started fine and after taking a few short journeys it also started fine. The car also appears to drive a lot smoother. but..

after approx 24hrs the car is back to long crank again every time. :(

Upon idling the interior light flickers as if there's some kind of electrical problem. The light stops flickering when you press the accelerator.

very puzzling.. Is fuel filter and fuel pump replacement next step? If I unplug the pressure regulator to throttle body breather tube the car starts first time.!!

I dont know if it's related but when you switch off the car and get out after a journey the car makes a pinking pinking noise but underneath, sounds like metal on the exhaust heat shield cooling down or something. Is this normal for a Focus?? I know someone else with one and he says his zetec doesnt do this?!

Head temp sensor on computer was registering 115C - 126C under load.

anyone any ideas? I just seem to be throwing money at the car and getting no-where !
stef123
id go for a temp sensor maybe, mine doesnt reach anywhere near 115-126 under load, it stays around mid 90's. bear in mind the radiator fan should cut in at around 109

there is only one sensor and its around £25 from ford, i would even give you the part number but i cant find it right now.

EDIT: part number (FINIS number) 3857955
artscot79
[quote name='stef123' date='09 August 2010 - 06:53 PM' timestamp='1281375819' post='92137']
id go for a temp sensor maybe, mine doesnt reach anywhere near 115-126 under load, it stays around mid 90's. bear in mind the radiator fan should cut in at around 109

there is only one sensor and its around 25 from ford, i would even give you the part number but i cant find it right now.

EDIT: part number (FINIS number) 3857955
[/quote]

i agree with stef the flicker is normal and not related the smart charge on the focus is routed from the battery through a 7.5 amp fuse to the alternator the current through this fuse causes a slight pulse when youre not accelerating the car is on battery power so you get the pulse which is why the lights flicker slightly increase the load it goes away as the alternator increases the power leveling the effect out to be honest ide considering changing my mechanic a strong smell of fuel and long crank means the cars overfuelling probably as the sensor thinks the cars colder than it actually is this is also linked to the idle control valve via the pressure regulator that wont work if the car is meant to be warmer than it actually is the mechanic should have figured that out but like so many if theres no code they dont have a clue itsd not a valve its not the pump
terrac
thanks for the replies guys.. I'll give that a try. He looked at that temp but he realised it wasnt a coolant temp sensor and was a head temp sensor in these cars so he wasnt sure wether it was reading high or not. I've not actually had the cooling fans come on until the coolant was boiling over under extreme revs and the temp hit 126C

I'll extract the sensor and make sure I get an exact match from my local unipart.

thank you. will update thread either way..
stef123
[quote name='terrac' date='09 August 2010 - 09:37 PM' timestamp='1281385641' post='92188']
thanks for the replies guys.. I'll give that a try. He looked at that temp but he realised it wasnt a coolant temp sensor and was a head temp sensor in these cars so he wasnt sure wether it was reading high or not. I've not actually had the cooling fans come on until the coolant was boiling over under extreme revs and the temp hit 126C

I'll extract the sensor and make sure I get an exact match from my local unipart.

thank you. will update thread either way..
[/quote]

your engine (same as mine) only has the one temp sensor and yes as you have already said its a head temp sensor. 126 is too high though ;)
i dont know what you can afford but personally i would stick with a genuine sensor, although it may need to be specially ordered although i reckon that the parts guy here on the forum will have one..
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Graham
terrac
thanks for the advice guys. fitted a new sensor this morning, car started first time about 3 times in a row. took the car for a 2mile drive into town. back to long crank again. very puzzled. will test again tomorrow. Wondering if I should try disconnect the battery and reset the ECU.
artscot79
[quote name='terrac' date='14 August 2010 - 11:30 PM' timestamp='1281824401' post='92892']
thanks for the advice guys. fitted a new sensor this morning, car started first time about 3 times in a row. took the car for a 2mile drive into town. back to long crank again. very puzzled. will test again tomorrow. Wondering if I should try disconnect the battery and reset the ECU.
[/quote]

well were getting into possible electrical faults now or even the pump and or injectors i think its time to take it in with a listo of whats done and just tell them it isnt right it takes too long to crank maybe even take them oiut and show them the only other things i can think of is the crankcase breather valve and or a collapsed hose
medeano68
This is an interesting thread ive just brought an older ford focus done a full service on it but found it still takes around 5 seconds before starting,
fine once the car is running just seems to be a pain to start.
Might ask my local garage when i get them to do a cam belt change for me.
Lovells focus
I had the same problem with my 1.6 zetec, someone told me to clean the throttle body out then maybe change the battery because the ecu was not getting much power, then someone else told me it might be the crank sensor which I did and I am still having the same problem. When I took the throttle out to clean I also disconnected the fuel line to check for blockage and to check the fuel regulator was working proberly which it was when I connected the fuel lines back up it started first time even though the fuel lines was disconnected. I thought that the problem was solved but the second time I tried it, it started to do the same again. If anyone has a answer to this problem it would be great because its bugging me lol :)


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