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fifteen52 | Project ST

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  1. #1
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    Default Shuttering Issue

    All,

    I have a 2002 Ford Focus SPI with around 110,000 miles. For the past couple of months I have had the issue of the engine shuttering at around the 35 - 45 mph mark. This is what I have done so far to the car:

    1. Replaced the EGR Valve and Tube (was damaged)
    2. Replaced the DPFE sensor
    3. Replaced the EGR Solenoid

    None of these fixes solved the shuttering problem. What did though stop it was actually taking the boot off of the EGR Valve and blocking it off. After learning that trick I thought replacing the DPFE sensor would stop it but it didn't.

    This vehicle has also had within the past year:

    1. Fuel Filter replaced
    2. Fuel Pump replaced
    3. Motorcraft Spark Plugs
    4. New Coil Pack
    5. Ignition Wires

    I have checked and re-checked for any major vacuum leaks and cannot find any. The only thing I did find was that the connection to the charcoal canister was a little loose but the snaps were pass the lip.

    The car does get the occasional P0442 code in which:

    1. The gas cap was replaced

    It comes and goes but still cannot find any small holes and/or cracking on any lines. I have not though taken it to get a smoke test done.

    I can smell exhaust around the engine block (faintly).

    I have ran Sea Foam through the system and can hear all injectors firing. I can though tell you that during the cold mornings / months the car will have a hard time starting. This morning whenever I went to prime the injectors I did not hear the fuel pump engage. It took 3 times to prime before I heard the fuel pump kick on. Once it did turn over it promptly died. This will take about 3 more times before the car actually stays on.

    With that issue I did:

    1. Replaced the Headlight Relay with the Fuel Pump Relay

    This did not have any effect on the starting problem. Also the vehicle idles like hell.

    I do want to thank the countless messages that I have read on this forum as they have been a TREMENDOUS amount of help. Unfortunately most, if not all of them have not solved this ongoing issue.

    Thank you in advance!

    Wes
    Last edited by wes1971; Dec 4, 2010 at 11:40 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Shuttering Issue

    Since the cold months are upon us, I recommend putting a bright flashlight under the car, turn the car on, and see where the smoke is coming from, due to the fact that it is cold outside you should have no issues seeing it. Now, for the starting problem, you have pretty much changed alot of stuff that might have been the issue, but in your case where not. Ill do some more research on this issue and get back to you.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Shuttering Issue

    That's a great idea and will do just that. I can tell you that whenever reading the frame data that every time the P0442 code is thrown it's whenever the car is traveling at 50+ mph.

    Today I just changed out the Throttle Position Sensor after discovering it was giving incorrect readings while fully open. However, this did nothing on the performance side but did notice that it was impossible to seat the new sensor in without it moving forward to an angle reading of 20%.

    Oh and I have checked the MAF (OK) and even cleaned it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Shuttering Issue

    Ok, if you read the description of P0442 it is a (small) leak on your evaporative system, now, due to the fact that it is a small leak, it would be more noticable during high speeds, while you check for the leak, have someone hold the pedal down to about 2k-3k RPM. This should do the trick. You can use a mister, with a non flamable solution, or a spray bottle of carb cleaner, spray on the vacuum hoses, and you will find the bad hose.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Shuttering Issue

    Very good idea and when I get the car back I will do just that IF the code comes back up. So far it has not and I am just wondering if it's due to the loose connection on the charcoal canister. Again, the snaps are over the lip of the canister but it's not a very tight connection.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Shuttering Issue

    Sounds like you have a faulty fuel pump, A common issue with the focus.

    and P0442 is not a Vac. leak, it's a Pressure leak so spraying anything around the engine won't help.

    P0442 is defined as such;

    EVAP Control System Leak Detected (Small Leak)
    The PCM monitors the complete EVAP control system for presence of a small fuel vapor leak. The system failure occurs when a fuel vapor leak from an opening as small as 1.016 mm (0.04 inch) is detected by the EVAP running loss monitor test.
    After-market EVAP hardware (such as fuel filler cap) non-conforming to required specifications
    Small holes or cuts in fuel vapor hoses/tubes
    Canister vent solenoid stays partially open on closed command
    Damaged, cross-threaded or loosely installed fuel filler cap
    Loose fuel vapor hose/tube connections to EVAP system components
    EVAP system component seals leaking (EVAP canister purge valve, fuel tank pressure sensor, canister vent solenoid, fuel vapor control valve tube assembly or fuel vapor vent valve assembly)

    Hope this points you in the right direction.

    Troy.
    Resident AEM, K&N and Spectre Performance guy.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Shuttering Issue

    Hey Troy, thanks man, The Evap is not really my strong point, thanks for helping pointing him in a better direction.

  8. #8
    goldsex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shuttering Issue

    No problem, EVAP issues suck... Plain and simple, a small pin hole can cause that code and the EVAP system has plenty of small tubes and O-ring seals that can go bad too. The best tool Is a smoke machine, It takes all the guess work out but only dealerships or auto shops have these.
    Resident AEM, K&N and Spectre Performance guy.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Shuttering Issue

    Would so love to get my hands on a used smoke machine just to have handy. Yes you are right, finding something as small as a 1mm hole in the EVAP system could be pretty much impossible without smoke.

    So it's possible that the loose connection to the charcoal canister might be the culprit? After pushing it further down onto the canister tube the light has not came on yet. I believe if it does then that will be the first thing I will check.

    Oh and the fuel pump was replaced around 2 years ago as the original went out.

  10. #10
    goldsex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shuttering Issue

    Yea... The fuel pump can go out 1 month after you put it in, and if your turning on your ignition and not hearing the fuel pump until the third time than you might have your culprit.
    Resident AEM, K&N and Spectre Performance guy.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Shuttering Issue

    Well so far the car has been firing right up with switching the light relay switch with the fuel pump relay switch. I cannot say for sure that this is the problem but no issues yet. Yesterday morning it was 28f and the car fired right up without priming. I have asked the owner to keep starting it up without priming and that if it did not fire up then to prime and listen for the fuel pump.

    That would really stink if the fuel pump was going out again :-(

  12. #12
    goldsex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shuttering Issue

    Yea if you look at the posts here on the forums and as well as third party automotive review sites the 2 biggest problems with the 00-04 focus is the fuel pump and the ignition switch locking up on people.
    Resident AEM, K&N and Spectre Performance guy.


 

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