01 Focus Rough Idle & Stalling And Other Problems

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Old 09-17-11, 04:32 PM
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01 Focus Rough Idle & Stalling And Other Problems

I'm having problems with my 2001 Ford Focus ZX3. It starts right with no hesitations, but once it's started it idles very rough and stalls unless I keep my foot on the gas, but even then it will sometimes stall.
It's also been not slowing down when I put it into neutral or downshift. This has happened twice now. I'll be in 5th gear and I go into neutral and it just keeps going, RPM's don't drop at all, and when I downshift it just redlines and keeps going. The only way to slow down when this happens is to turn the car off.
These problems seem to always be worst when it's cold outside. I also noticed either white smoke or light blue smoke coming out of the tailpipe. It's not a lot which is why I'm not really sure if it's white or light blue. But there is also a puddle of water at the end of the tailpipe. I'm pretty sure it's not a blown head gasket or cracked head though because I'm not losing coolant and theres no coolant/oil mixture anywhere. The smoke just smells like gas. Could these problems all be related? One thing I was thinking was possibly a bad ECU? But I don't think that would explain the smoke. Or maybe a leaking intake manifold? I recentley changed the plugs and wires, air filter, pcv valve and filter, fuel filter and air flow sensor. I could really use some help on this one. Thanks.
 
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Old 09-17-11, 04:37 PM
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1. my now here well known infamous 87 Ford taurus had idle speed control solenoid that went coo-koo, and did same - will start accelerating car by itself. was very scary.

1. GO TO ANY PARTS STORE AND READ CODES
2. stalling can be caused by many factors, and error codes are good start
3. like I said - sounds like ISCU, but may be something else. Read codes. good starting point.
 
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Old 09-17-11, 04:40 PM
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blue smoke coming out of exhaust is unburnt fuel. most likely, one or several of your cylinders misfires. plugs, wires, injectors... was there any reasonable maintenance /tune up ever done to this car? sounds like it was neglected and now is time to pay.
 
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Old 09-17-11, 04:54 PM
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I've already had the codes read and none came up. Everything on the scanner was fine, and I had this done by 2 different places. As far as the maintenance, I'm not 100% sure, I just bought the car a few months ago. The carfax showed some maintenance records but certainaly nothing that would be accurate to regualr oil changes etc. But from what I know the owner before me did all of his own regualr maintenance.
 
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Old 09-17-11, 05:04 PM
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If you are just going to throw $$ at the problem, try throwing a few at the O2 sensor and/or sensors. If they haven't been changed yet, they should be.
 
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Old 09-17-11, 05:39 PM
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So when you shift out of fifth gear, it does actually shift out of fifth...just the rpms stay at say 3k or whatever? That's really strange...I've never heard of that happening before. How rough is the idle? Is it bucking like crazy? Or just dieing quietly?
 
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Old 09-17-11, 06:58 PM
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his idle stays high with gear disengaged and redlines. basically, either ECU or ISCU races engine. or something tells ECU to do this.

O2 will not do any of this trouble. O2 will throw CEL and will cost some power and mpg reduction, but not stalls or raced engine.
 
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Old 09-17-11, 07:23 PM
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Yes, it shift's out of gear, smoothly, but RPM's stay up and the car just keeps going until the engine is turned off. The car itself will slow down when I hit the brakes but if I let off the brakes it takes right off without touching the gas or clutch. The idle is very rough. Shakes the entire car feel like its going to fall apart rough. Then it will just stall.

As far as the O2 sensors I'm pretty sure there fine. I've unplugged them from the ECU and ithe car gets worse when they're unplugged so I imagine they're in good shape.
 
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Old 09-18-11, 09:36 AM
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If it has one, could be throttle position sensor and/or return spring for it.
 
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Old 09-18-11, 10:21 AM
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dude, just read codes, ok? so far, we are wasting time. you have an electronically controlled device that maintaines specific idle, and either controlling device or idle device itself are malfunctioning. why they do this is for error codes to show.
btw, locate your idle speed controller and unplug it. nothing will happen, you can hold foot on gas pedal or, sometimes, rig accelerator pedal cable to maintain 800Rpms. but if the problem goes away ...

as of rough everything, I already mentioned - NEEDS TUNE UP. if you hope someone here will tell you some magic and your car issues will disappear following that post - not gonna happen.
 
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Old 09-18-11, 12:06 PM
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Dude, As I mentioned before, I've already done a scan for codes(with 2 different scanners) and nothing came up. It doesn't need a tune up because I just did one a month ago.

I'll try unplugging the idle speed controller as you suggested and let you know what happens.

One thing I just noticed today was a quiet high pitched whistleing sound. It gets louder when I press the accelerator then quiets again when I take my foot off the gas.
 
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Old 09-18-11, 02:12 PM
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The high pitched whistling sound almost sounds like you could have a vacuum leak, however, that should throw some codes.
Have someone else step on the gas and see if you can locate the source of the sound.
 
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