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99 Focus Running Issue


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I wonder if someone out there can help me...

I have a 1999 (S Reg) Focus LX 1.6 Petrol (114k Miles)

Today after driving the car without issue, i started the car for the return journey and it started splutterring at low revs and i was experiencing a loss of power, after driving it home (carefully) i now notice the engine does not sound right almost across the whole rev band, it sounds fine idling.

I have no leaks from the car, all fluids seem to be fine, air filter is clean, HT leads are al connected and seem in good condition

any ideas what the problem could be?


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+1 get the codes read - or purchase a code reader

possible causes -

spark plugs

coil packs/ HT leads

breather /pcv valve

crank sensor

or fuel delivery fault

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The car still runs but is very rough, i have no warning lights on the dash board, is there any tests i can do to check if its the ignition coil or leads before i start buying parts?

I dont know anyone with a reader and i dont really wanna drive the car, just wanna know what the most probable fault is

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You can can take the spark plugs off and look at the condition of each of them, the color gives an indication if the engine is running rich or lean, and other things

some people pull the plug caps off, one by one, with engine running to see if the engine note changes, if it doesent, that could be the problem cylinder(s) with the faulty plug/cap/lead/coil pack

you can check for a spark by taking off each plug, putting it back in its cap, and colding it against a metal part (earth it) and get someone to turn the engine over

You can pick up a code reader for about £20 online, it can be used to read and reset fault codes, once you have it you can use it as often as you like without extra cost to you, a worthwhile investment

A Haynes manual is another worthwhile investment

Sparks are like lightning, they will find the shorteset/ easiest path, you can gap the plugs down (all of them, to 0.9 mm )

when were the plugs last changed/ the car serviced? treat the car to a fresh set of plugs/ clean air filter, - if you get it serviced at a garage do not assume these were changed, they might have ridiculusly (too) long service intervals or the garage is too lazy or penny-pinching to do ALL the service items

Plugs/ air filter are (relatively) inexpensive, you can eliminate them from your fault-finding and they are "service" items anyway

There are 100s of different reasons a car could run roughly, even if the car was right in front of me it is difficult to diagnose, never mind not having access to it or be able to hear it running, crystal balls and magic wands are, unfortunately, not part of my kit, a modern mechanic now relies heavily on fault codes, get them read/ buy a reader - it will probably save money in the long run

PS - faulty EGR valve can be added to the list

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