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Central Florida Motorsports

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  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Looking for advice - Stalls, battery light on, hot air from AC

    Ok I will try to describe this as best as possible and include everything I have done to the car recently.

    2001 Ford Focus SE DOHC Black top cover on engine. It has about 88K miles.

    Symptoms: Car idles rough, battery light randomly goes on and off, lights dim on cluster randomly while driving at high RPMs, stalls when sitting still once warm/hot, AC will switch to blowing hot air.

    Things I have checked or replaced:
    New Battery less then 8 months old.
    New Alternator 2nd one less then a year old
    New belt
    New belt tensioner
    New IAC valve (triggered CEL most recently)
    New PCV Valve and hose
    New EGR Valve Pressure Sensor
    New EGR Valve Vacuum Solenoid

    Radiator levels are full, AC is charged, Battery levels while car is on stay at 12.8-13.8 depending on load and RPMs, Radiator fans kick on, no leaking of any fluids on driveway, the engine temp sensor in the hud does not go past half way. And there is no check engine light.

    Any ideas guys? I am at the point of replacing random stuff, like the MAF, Cylinder Head Temp Sensor, O2 Sensors, etc.

  2. #2
    TEAM Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Camp Hill/Shavertown, PA
    Posts
    560

    Default Re: Looking for advice - Stalls, battery light on, hot air from AC

    It sounds to me like you have 3 separate issues, the first is rough idle/stalling, the second is electrical/charging system, and the third being the A/C. Any reason you would want to replace the CHT sensor? The temp sensor should not go past half way unless the engine is overheating.

    As for the battery light, have you checked all of the grounds? I would check the resistance in the wires with a multimeter to make sure they are not damaged, and try cleaning off and lightly sanding the contact points to eliminate any corrosion if necessary. Also, check the wiring pigtail going to the alternator, its possible that the wires are damaged and causing the light to come on randomly as you describe.

    As for the idle, there are a lot of possibilities here, it seems that it's most commonly caused by a vacuum leak, or a leak in the intake after the MAF sensor, or a bad throttle position sensor. You can check for air leaks by spraying something flammable around the vacuum hoses and listen for a change in idle. Before you replace the TPS, you can first try unplugging it, see if the idle improves at all. It also might be worth trying to clean the MAF sensor with electronics cleaner and see if that helps.

    When you say "A/C will switch to blowing hot air", does it ever blow cold air?

    I wouldn't just randomly throw parts at it; you will probably end up wasting a lot of money by doing so, and you may not even solve the problem.
    '04 Infa-Red SVTF. #1772 of 1978, Born on 3/24/2004. Audophile, HID's, Winter Package, and some other things.
    '02 Steel Blue BMW 325i. 5 speed, winter package and no other things.

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Looking for advice - Stalls, battery light on, hot air from AC

    I will check the alternator pigtail, and I have already checked the vacuum hoses they appear to be all good, infact I removed most of them took the inside and cleaned them. I also was able to blow thru them while holding the other ends and observed no leaks.

    As for the grounds, I have checked the ones I can find, do you know where they are all located or have any pictures/diags of their locations?

    Also, yes the the report from the wife today was, the air was cool, but not cold, she was sitting idle in the car for about 10 minutes, and all of a sudden it started blowing really hot air. But it seems to work fine while driving at high RPMs, and is ice cold.

    I was thinking the CHT because something may be making the car think it is overheating?

  4. #4
    TEAM Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    845

    Default Re: Looking for advice - Stalls, battery light on, hot air from AC

    The rough idle could be due to plugs, wire, or coil since you basically covered everything else. I would also change the fuel filter if not done within the last 25K miles. Also I recently discovered that my 02 runs much smoother on 89 octane gas. Worth a try as it's a $2 experiment on your next fill up.

    Regarding the AC I would go to the auto parts store and get one of those in vent thermostats. They are about $5 and the temp should be around 40 from the center vent. I thought mine was going out too but it turns out that its just hot in the summer in TX go figure

    Good luck
    02 ZX5

  5. #5
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Looking for advice - Stalls, battery light on, hot air from AC

    Well I actually figured it out lastnight. The pigtail on the alternator seems to have been loose. It was on, but the clip didn't actually catch. Messing with it while loose I was able to produce the stalling in question.

    The car still started with it removed, and ran a bit like crap, but I then put it back on and made sure it was tight and "snapped" into place. All appears to be good now, I am registering 13.5-13.6v when idle, except when the lights, ac and blower motor are is on 4, then it still only drops down to 13.1v area.

    Thanks for the suggestions.


 

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