2005 Ford Focus

Electrical problem
2005 Ford Focus 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 240000 miles

I have a 2005 Ford focus with the 2.0 liter Duratec motor and a manual transmission.

When I go to start it, the motor will take 1-6 tries to start. It will very often " start" but sputter as if running on one cylinder, and nothing I do with the throttle will change how it runs. (When this happens I have to either wait for it to die on its own, or shut it off and try again). Occasionally when it finally starts, the starter will grind as if it wasn't expecting it to start so quickly.

When I cycle the ignition, I can hear the fuel pump run for a few seconds, and when the car does finally start, it runs completely normally.

I have used a scan tool to try and pull codes, but there are none stored. Also, there is no CEL, or warning lights coming on.

I do most of my own work on my car, so I'm not shy about getting my hands dirty, I just lack the diagnostic tools to figure this one out.
August 26, 2010.


Ok, Since there is no cel then it is most likely fuel related. Now there are a few thing that will cause your problem....

Weak Fuel Pump - will need to check fuel pressure check out the video at the link below.....

Weak or bad Fuel Pressure Regulator - you can check this by turning the key to the on possition then back off, do this about 3 - 4 times, then start the vehicle if starts and runs fine the will need to replace fuel pressure regulator.

Clugged Fuel Filter - Replace it


Aug 28, 2010.
There is no Fuel Pressure Check Port on the 2005 Focus, Nor is there a standard Fuel Pressure regulator. This is a non-return-line system.


Aug 29, 2010.
Ok, your right the new system uses what's called a fuel sensor which senses fuel temperature and pressure. Voltage is variable at the pump according to the sensor's information. This solves the problem of fuel return line losses.

Check the fuel sensor. It's located in the center of the fuel rail above the intake manifold. You'll notice a small rubber line coming from the center of the sensor- this provides vacuum to the sensor for whatever purpose that serves. Remove that line, and sniff. If you smell fuel, then the fuel sensor is definitely bad.


Aug 31, 2010.
O, sorry it took so long but life has been busy. I pulled the sensor, there is no leakage, or smell of gas. I replaced the fuel filter, but still no noticeable difference.

Sep 10, 2010.
No Problem, I have been a little busy also and now on Vacation, so will ask the other techs for some input and possible testing proceedures for the fuel pressure and the pressure sensor.


Sep 14, 2010.
You need to test for fuel pressure .. As OBX has stated it sounds like you have a faulty FRP or FRT .. it could also be getting a weak signal occassionaly from the CKP

Electronic Returnless Fuel System
The electronic returnless fuel system consists of a fuel tank with reservoir, the fuel pump, the fuel rail pressure (FRP) sensor, the fuel filter, the fuel supply line, the fuel rail temperature (FRT) sensor, the fuel rail, the fuel injectors, and a Schrader valve/pressure test point. Operation of the system is as follows:
The fuel delivery system is enabled during crank or running mode once the PCM receives a crankshaft position (CKP) sensor signal.
The fuel pump logic is defined in the fuel system control strategy and is executed by the PCM.
The PCM commands a duty cycle to the fuel pump driver module (FPDM).
The FPDM modulates the voltage to the fuel pump (FP) required to achieve the proper fuel pressure. Voltage for the fuel pump is supplied by the power relay or FPDM power supply relay. (For additional information on FPDM operation, refer to FUEL PUMP and FUEL PUMP MONITOR (FPM).)
The fuel rail pressure (FRP) sensor provides the PCM with the current fuel rail pressure. The PCM uses this information to vary the duty cycle output to the FPDM to compensate for varying loads.
The fuel rail temperature (FRT) sensor measures the current fuel temperatures in the fuel rail. This information is used to vary the fuel pressure and avoid fuel system vaporization.
The fuel injector is a solenoid-operated valve that meters the fuel flow to each combustion cylinder. The fuel injector is opened and closed a constant number of times per crankshaft revolution. The amount of fuel is controlled by the length of time the fuel injector is held open. The injector is normally closed and is operated by 12-volt VPWR from the power relay. The ground signal is controlled by the PCM.
A pressure test point valve (Schrader valve) is located on the fuel rail and is used to measure the fuel injector supply pressure for diagnostic procedures and repairs. On vehicles not equipped with a Schrader valve, use the Rotunda Fuel Pressure Test Kit #134-R0087 or equivalent.
There are 3 filtering or screening devices in the fuel delivery system. The intake sock is a fine, nylon mesh screen mounted on the intake side of the fuel pump. There is a fuel filter screen located at the fuel rail side of the fuel injector. The fuel filter assembly is located between the fuel pump and the pressure test point/Schrader valve.
The fuel pump (FP) module is a device that contains the fuel pump and the fuel sender assembly. The fuel pump is located inside the reservoir and supplies fuel through the fuel pump module manifold to the engine and the fuel pump module jet pump.
The inertia fuel shut-off (IFS) switch is used to de-energize the fuel delivery secondary circuit in the event of a collision. The IFS switch is a safety device that should only be reset after a thorough inspection of the vehicle following a collision.
Fig. 67: Fuel System - Electronic Returnless

Fig. 68: Electronic Returnless Fuel System Schematic Diagram

Dave H
Sep 17, 2010.
Problem solved. Sort of.

OK, this is really weird, but I have a theory. After a while the starter started to grind more and more, and eventually started to just " click" when I would try to start it. So, I replaced the starter. So far, since replacing the starter, it hasn't sputtered even once. It starts immediately every time. I also noticed that the new starter spins faster than the old one (obviously because it's new). So here is my theory. The crank sensor is either going bad, or isn't designed to pick up slower crank speeds. Since the older starter had slowly gotten weaker, I hadn't noticed, but maybe it wasn't cranking fast enough for the sensor.


Sep 26, 2010.