Trying to find reason for car dying at inconsistent times after replacing plugs and wires.

Tiny
SACREDWOLF
  • 2000 FORD FOCUS
  • 130,000 MILES

2000 Ford Focus SE, 4 cyl - A few weeks ago engine light came on. Check the codes, it was for a mis-fire on 2nd cylinder. Found that the plug wire was not fitting correctly. Re-set, but it came coming off. Due to age and not sure of how old plugs or wires were decided to change out. All plugs and wires were replaced with new ones. The old plugs were set at a gap of.045, yet the specs called for.052-.056. New plugs were set to specs. Codes were cleared.
But then began to experience the engine dying every time the vehicle was put into park. No new codes issued. This behavior was not consistent, as the dying occurred at certain runs and then would not occur at all. Has happen with air on, then with air off. Has happen when decreasing speed to a stop light.
Pulled plugs again and reset the gap to the original setting thinking that maybe there was a connection. But the problem still exists and no new codes have been issued.
Wanting to find a direction to fix the problem. Currently at a lost due to the inconsistent behavior.
Sometimes it does not happen at all and will not die, then shut vehicle down and restart it, it will start up but quickly stagger and die. You can force it to maintain by pressing the brake and gas and jump shifting to drive. Then other times it starts up, runs fine never showing a sign of issues.

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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 4:11 PM

15 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
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Check your fuel pressure that can cause your problem.

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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 7:01 PM
Tiny
KEITH BYSH
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Car is a deisal wouldu lose presure over acouple of minets

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Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 AT 4:28 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
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Diesels don'tuse spark plugs

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Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 AT 6:08 PM
Tiny
SACREDWOLF
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I have a pressure tester but not sure where to connect it to the system. I do not see a port between the fuel filter and fuel rail. Is this the only place to test the fuel system pressure? Or is there a place underneath the vehicle? It has he 2.0 Split-port 4 cyl motor.

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Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 AT 7:00 PM
Tiny
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It's on the fuel rail manifold. It shoud be 35-55 psi.

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Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 AT 7:07 PM
Tiny
SACREDWOLF
  • MEMBER

I am unable to locate the port. I assume by you saying the Fuel Rail Manifold that it is not on the fuel rail itself, but yet there is nothing else that looks like a port to connect a tester too. Can you tell me which side of the engine it is on and what it is close too? Driver's side or Passenger's?

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Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 AT 7:38 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
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The fuel rail is hooked up to the injectors you might have to remove an engine cover or air ducting to see it.

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Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 AT 9:21 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
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You'll have to get a special tool to disconnect the lines at the maifold then. You 'll also need to replace the o-rings that seal it together. And you'll need an adapter to connect the gauge too. Alot of auto parts stores have these for rental. Here is apic of what to do.

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Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 AT 9:30 PM
Tiny
SACREDWOLF
  • MEMBER

Ok, I saw that thing and wondered if that was not it, but was not sure how to access it, makes sense now. I appreciate the assistance. Could it be possible that this could be something other than the fuel system. Just the inconsistant behavior of it is what makes me ask. Like last night, I set the sprak plugs back the specs and then took it for a spin. I never had any problems until I put it into park. It died immediately. I was able to start it but each time it stalled out. Was able to get it going again by holding the gas down along with the brake and jumping it into drive. But then later after shutting it down again. It started up (no stalling) ran fine and didn't have any issues. So if it is the fuel system, could it be that the fuel pump is going out?

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Monday, June 4th, 2012 AT 6:29 PM
Tiny
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Go back to first answer, if you dont'do what we ask then how can we help fix it? We dont' have a magic wand.

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Monday, June 4th, 2012 AT 7:11 PM
Tiny
SACREDWOLF
  • MEMBER

I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DO WHAT WAS IN THE FIRST ANSWER, but lacking tools and time, I am taking the vehicle to a mechanic to have it tested. Hence the reason for my further inquiry, as needed to know what more could cause this issue prior to some shady mechanic painting some horrid picture costing hundreds. Just trying to get as much information as possible. No expectations of a magic wand, but just testing the fuel pressure does not explain to me a direct possible cause. Does it? I have no clue, which is the reason I came here to ask and learn! Once I have it tested I will follow up with a response.

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Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 AT 1:12 AM
Tiny
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If you don't get the correct fuelpressure the injectors dont' ork right causing a very lean condition, hence a misfire.

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Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 AT 1:34 PM
Tiny
SACREDWOLF
  • MEMBER

Car's fuel pressure checked ok. The vehicle was also hooked up to a scanner and everything tested out fine there too. The vehicle is still staggering and stalling out when put into park, or upon shutting it own and restarting it. Idle at time when it starts up and does not stall out appears to be rough but once in drive and driven levels out. I would appreciate direction from this point. What is the next thing to determine the cause?

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Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 AT 1:13 PM
Tiny
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Two things that I can think of and I can't think of much else unless ican actually look at it and a local pro would be better at that than i. Try cleaning your throttle plate on both sides with choke cleaner, they get gunked up and cause idle problems. Check to see if you have any vacuum hoses or any rubber connection that has holes in it or are not connected. One other thing trycleaning maf sensor with choke cleaner as well and make sure no duct work between maf and throttle plate has holes in it and is connected as well. Other than thta I cna't think of anything else.

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Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 AT 1:50 PM
Tiny
SACREDWOLF
  • MEMBER

I cleaned the throttle plate and the sensor. All seemed in good shape really. I checked the vacuum lines and all seemed in good shape as well. I also on a hunch and dumped in a large amount of injector cleaner on the last fill up. Currently the problem is intermittent, But goes for long stretches without any issues. Going to periodically add a little injector cleaner to the system and then check the throttle body and sensor as the summer continues to see if there is anything else that pops up. Thanks for the insight and thoughts.

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Monday, July 9th, 2012 AT 12:17 PM

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