It cranks but sounds and feels like it is not "catching" to start?

Tiny
MEKBELLA
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 FORD FOCUS
  • 2.3L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 233,519 MILES
I received a used car listed above ZTS PZEV 2.3l and ran very well until a few days ago. It cranks but sounds and feels like it is not "catching" to start. When looked under the hood, there is a broken/missing plastic piece (looks like two plastic levers-- one white and other is black) behind the air intake and near the throttle body. When it is pressed down or another person pressing while one starts the engine, it will start the car. Also, it appears to occur more on cold starts, easing up throughout the day. I cannot find any reference to this in my Haynes guide nor find the correct term to research on forums or online parts stores. So, my question is, is this part of the actual throttle body and the whole thing need to be replaced? Is it the throttle actuator itself? I do not have any previous repair info on the vehicle, if this was a prior issue or ignored until I took the vehicle. I would appreciate any help with what the actual part is called, possible causes of failure and installation info. Thank you for your time.


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Thursday, September 1st, 2022 AT 5:53 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
KEN L
  • ADMIN
Can you upload an image of the part you are talking about? It sounds like there is a vacuum leak and you are plugging the holes in the air intake boot? To confirm use this guide with the engine cold and check the images below to see if this is what you are talking about:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-an-engine-vacuum-gauge

Check out the diagrams (below). Please let us know what happens.
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Friday, September 2nd, 2022 AT 8:14 AM
Tiny
MEKBELLA
  • MEMBER
Thank you KenL. I am uploading an image. It is in the same vicinity as the image you provided in your response, but more underneath the hoses, close to the throttle body and catty corner to the 4th spark plug/coil. In the close-up picture, it is the two pieces of plastic stalks, white on left of black stalk.

I hope that is clear enough direction or image. I am used to being the assistant flashlight holder on older vehicles (LOL), but would like to learn my own newer vehicle correctly. Again, thanks for the quick response!
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Saturday, September 3rd, 2022 AT 4:11 PM
Tiny
KEN L
  • ADMIN
Thanks for the images. The lever you are referring to looks like a holder for the wiring harness. If you can use a pointer to confirm it would help. It might help if we run the codes to see what comes up, also can you upload a quick video of what the car is doing? You can get a code scanner from Amazon for about $20.00.

Here is a guide/video to show you how:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/checking-a-service-engine-soon-or-check-engine-light-on-or-flashing

Here is a scanner link:

https://amzn.to/3Qi1SS6

Please let me know.
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Monday, September 5th, 2022 AT 8:55 AM

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