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  1. #1
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    Angry 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    Haven't been on here a while... here goes.

    2000 Zetec 5 speed just over 150,000 miles


    So I've had this idle issue since I bought my car over two years ago. real rough idle, kinda choppy, headlights dim at night, and while its never stalled, its not any fun. (motor mounts are now bad, so it makes it seem even worse)

    well last month the check engine light pops on. I check the code, and its for the EGR valve. ok, fine. $80 later, I replace the EGR valve (not fun) and it does not fix the issue.

    I replaced the idle air control valve also about 8 months ago trying to fix this idle issue. I've also checked for leaking vacuum hoses, and the DPFE or w/e its called sensor on the firewall.


    I called up a buddy that work's on more cars then me, and he said that honda's have a issue where the EGR passages get blocked up in the intake manifold, and will cause the intake manifold gasket to blow. He described the idle, and the engine light coming on and off. Like this morning, drove 30+ miles and no light, drive the car to work tonight, 2min after getting on the highway the light comes on, and stayed on.


    I'm just sick and tired of this issue, and I would rather not pay someone else a bunch of money.


    is the intake manifold gasket a common issue? is that the next best route to go?

    Could really use some help and advice, this is driving me nuts!!!


    thanks
    Rob
    2000 Focus ES zetec 100% stock; daily driver
    1989 Mustang 5.0 H/C/I/nitrous, etc; the toy

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    if it helps the code is: P0401

    which is EGR...
    2000 Focus ES zetec 100% stock; daily driver
    1989 Mustang 5.0 H/C/I/nitrous, etc; the toy

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    bump...

    Any help?

    going to attempt to remove the egr valve today, soak the tubes/passages with ether seafoam or some other cleaner, then hit it with a air compressor or something.

    Would rather not have to pull the intake manifold if i don't have to, if this is indeed the issue.

    I think the choppy idle and this "p0401 inefficiency EGR flow" code are the same issue.
    2000 Focus ES zetec 100% stock; daily driver
    1989 Mustang 5.0 H/C/I/nitrous, etc; the toy

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    Hey Army, no pro here but will offer what i know.

    Have you checked the PCV hose on the back of the Intake?? After about 100k they usually get sucked closed and cause idle issues.


    Quote Originally Posted by 302Army187 View Post
    bump...

    Any help?

    going to attempt to remove the egr valve today, soak the tubes/passages with ether seafoam or some other cleaner, then hit it with a air compressor or something.

    Would rather not have to pull the intake manifold if i don't have to, if this is indeed the issue.

    I think the choppy idle and this "p0401 inefficiency EGR flow" code are the same issue.
    Jeff
    Racing for Jesus since 2003'!
    03' ZX3 - for sale $2000 cash w/AC
    03' ZTS Centennial Edition *Kie Kie* ~EAP's~

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    So im out there messing with the vacuum hoses. About to shut the car off because I can't find nothing wrong, when I realize/remember that the car run's pretty decent when cold, but run's worse the warmer it gets.

    So I'm waiting for the car to warm up as I'm poking around at stuff.

    slowly idle gets worse and worse. blip the throttle a couple times, and gets progressively worse.

    can't hear any leaks, or anything, so I feel around again......

    when I noticed the EGR vacuum hose is collapsed almost completely. Holding onto it, when you blip the throttle, it opens back up, and then collapses again as the idle comes back.. As the car/hose gets warmer, it collapses more and more.

    about to replace it with some hose I have in the garage and see if this solves my issue. If so, I'm going to feel REALLY dumb for driving this car like this for the last two years or so. haha. I must have missed it when I checked the vacuum hoses a couple times before, because I think I always checked when the car was cold, which probably the hose didn't collapse when cold...... and the hose is probably much more worn out now then when I first got the car two years ago, which if its the problem, is why it never threw a code before. ARGH haha


    I will update if it solves the P0401 code.
    2000 Focus ES zetec 100% stock; daily driver
    1989 Mustang 5.0 H/C/I/nitrous, etc; the toy

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    update!

    Went to two different auto part stores, didn't have anything close to that hose :/ So went to ford $22 later...... fits perfect.

    Does seem to idle a bit better, but there is still a slight miss, added with the motormount's being bad, it makes it seem much worse then it is


    Drove about 55 miles running errands, and I be damned if NO code. Even went on the highway and kinda lugged the motor which is how it popped up before (55mph, 5th gear)


    So fingers crossed its gone for good.

    As for the idle miss, I'm thinking new DPFE sensor, and a new throttle position sensor. DPFE has not been replaced since I've owned it, good preventative maintenance and the throttle position sensor is only $25, and I've seen some people say it can cause a odd idle.

    autozone has the DPFE for $64, and the TPS for $25.


    good idea, or should I look somewhere else to solve this idle issue?

    Thanks to ghost rider.. I think you bringing up that hose made me think about it enough to pay attention to it more, and find it collapsing
    2000 Focus ES zetec 100% stock; daily driver
    1989 Mustang 5.0 H/C/I/nitrous, etc; the toy

  7. #7
    Senior TEAM Member bflesher's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    Sometimes a slight miss is also from coil. http://www.focushacks.com/mod/DPFE_S...GR_Information try that also if you haven't.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    Quote Originally Posted by bflesher View Post
    Sometimes a slight miss is also from coil. http://www.focushacks.com/mod/DPFE_S...GR_Information try that also if you haven't.
    thanks,

    I tried that, and saw no real change :/ so maybe its not the DPFE sensor.


    I thought about the coil, but they are not cheap at all, and it drives fine once you get going. I would think if it was the coil it would break up or something in the upper rpms
    2000 Focus ES zetec 100% stock; daily driver
    1989 Mustang 5.0 H/C/I/nitrous, etc; the toy

  9. #9
    Senior TEAM Member bflesher's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    Good point.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    I think I'm going to try replacing the TPS. Its only $25, and an easy job to replace, so we will see if that helps at all.
    2000 Focus ES zetec 100% stock; daily driver
    1989 Mustang 5.0 H/C/I/nitrous, etc; the toy

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    update.

    So check engine light came on again driving on the highway

    so went home after work yesterday morning, and bought a DPFE sensor, and replaced it. Drove about 40 miles or so running errands, NO light. So I thought it was fixed.

    Well just drove to work and the check engine light came on within 2 miles of being on the highway..... if that


    So that hose was replaced, and now the DPFE..... and the light is there again.

    I pulled the hose off the EGR valve, and there is vacuum to the hose. I seem to remember someone saying if you pull that vacuum hose, and the car doesn't run like crap or try to die, that it ment there was a physical block in the EGR system..... seems that is the only issue that could be left?!?!


    any help/ideas!? REALLY frustrated now

    So do I just pull the EGR valve off, and drowned the tube with carb cleaner? or do I have to pull the intake manifold to clean the passages??? What is normally done to clear the EGR system out?

    help!
    2000 Focus ES zetec 100% stock; daily driver
    1989 Mustang 5.0 H/C/I/nitrous, etc; the toy

  12. #12
    Senior TEAM Member bflesher's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    Tune to disable egr. I then removed removed/blocked egr system.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    Quote Originally Posted by bflesher View Post
    Tune to disable egr. I then removed removed/blocked egr system.
    I live in colorado....... emissions testing are required...


    anybody?? I have time to work on it today, so I'd like to figure out a plan of attack....
    2000 Focus ES zetec 100% stock; daily driver
    1989 Mustang 5.0 H/C/I/nitrous, etc; the toy

  14. #14
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    update:

    EGR valve that I replaced about 6 months ago........ has like 1,500 miles on it...... was not doing anything. you could blow in the tube, and hear air passing through it was so bad.

    upon getting it off the car, it could not be moved no matter how much vacuum applied. Just so happened to keep my old one (I replaced the EGR valve trying to fix the choppy idle) and tested it, working perfect, starts opening with barley any vacuum at all, and very smooth.

    so while I was there I had my wife start the car while I had my thumb over the tube that goes to the intake, and I patted the throttle a bit, to be sure the tube coming from the exhaust to the EGR was free..... and oh boy was it..... haha

    then started spraying carb cleaner in the tube that goes to the throttle body. clean as a whistle.

    put the old EGR valve back on, and the car does seem to run better...... BUT THE IDLE IS STILL CRAP! its still choppy like its running on 3 cylinders or something.

    so here is a list of what I've done.

    DPFE is new
    vacuum hose going to pcv that was collapsed is now replaced
    all other hoses appear perfectly fine
    EGR valve was bad, replaced
    replaced TPS (since it was $25 and a easy job to swap)



    I drove the car to work tonight, 16 miles, and where the code was coming on after being on the highway for a mile or so, I got all the way to work, driving 55mph, in 5th with NO code... so hopefully the P0401 code was due to the obviously bad EGR valve.


    but I STILL have that choppy crap idle, even after replacing all that crap! Just a FYI I have tried cleaning the MAF, and running sea foam, and nether help the choppy idle.

    Any ideas?

    Starting to make me think its the fuel pump or something........ but the fact that the car run's perfect as soon as you get going has me stumped. There is no stumble, no loss of power, no nothing. Only the crappy choppy idle.


    help?
    2000 Focus ES zetec 100% stock; daily driver
    1989 Mustang 5.0 H/C/I/nitrous, etc; the toy

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 2000 ford focus zetec idle issue and EGR valve code

    oh and BTW, the choppy idle is only there when the motor is up to temperature.

    I'm going to spray some of the carb cleaner around the intake manifold to see if maybe there is a leak or something... no engine codes for it, but IDK how sensitive the computer is to vacuum leaks.
    2000 Focus ES zetec 100% stock; daily driver
    1989 Mustang 5.0 H/C/I/nitrous, etc; the toy


 
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