I have a 2000 Ford Focus with around 180,000 miles on it. Since I got the car I've had small problems with it here and there, but the biggest and most frustrating problem is the condition in which my car runs. I know before I bought the car it had sat for some time (probably because the previous owners couldn't figure out why it ran so terribly) so I immediately had to replace the alternator. The car ran okay for a few months until I started noticing problems with what I thought to be the fuel filter. I had run the car low on gas one day and on my way to the gas station my gas light came on. As soon as the light illuminated my car died. After having this happen a few times, my car started running horribly. I live in Vermont where, obviously, I'm surrounded by hills and mountains. When trying to accelerate to get up hills the car began to buck and would hardly make it to the top. There have been many times where I've been going uphill and the car would slow to about 30 mph, inching up the road, and would then die. I finally replaced the fuel filter thinking that there was a possibility the fuel wasn't able to get through the filter and off to where it needed to go. Unfortunately, after replacing the filter, I noticed no positive change, actually the problem seems to progressively get worse. Now even when driving on the highway going at a decent speed, any time I try to accelerate (even on flat roads) it will rev high and start the same bucking. Just yesterday while on the highway with over a quarter tank of gas, it began to buck and eventually stalled. I tried to start the car and it would turn over but not start. Over and over and over again. It finally would start and as soon as I put it in drive and step on the gas, it would die again. I eventually got it (at a very slow crawl) to a gas station, put more gas in it to just about a half tank, and it drove. Not very well, but good enough to get me home. I don't know very much about cars, so I don't know if its a simple fix or something more extensive. Possibly the spark plugs or the MAF. Please help me!
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 AT 4:11 PM