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Help, Zetec Engine Problem ???

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9 replies to this topic

#1 surfypunk



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Posted 10 April 2003 - 05:54 AM


I have been having problems with my engine for almost a year now and have taken it to garages, and ford on multiple occasions and no one can work out what the hell is wrong with it (although ford claim that it is 'fixed' every time I go to pick it up).

When you are driving (normally, warm engine) it feels like it has a huge hollow in the power band between 4500 and 5000 rpm. It is also incredibly gutless when it is cold and often starts jerking violently when at a lower rpm (2500 - 3000 rpm). My dad’s theory is that the hole in my power band happens at a lower rpm while the engine is still cold.

My dad and I took it out on an open road last night to see exactly what its doing around what revs etc. By watching the needles, I would say it would end up being graphed something like this.

Posted Image

So far a garage has replaced my oil filter and described the problem as "it feels like something is choking it”, they checked out my whole exhaust and could find anything blocking it. Ford has replaced my spark plugs and leads (two separate occasions) and another guy I know who works in a garage recons it’s my fuel injector sensors (or something like that).

If anyone has heard of a similar problem or think they know what could be wrong plz let me because I can't afford to keep having it looked at with no prevail.


Deryn | surfypunk@hotmail.com

#2 TB


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Posted 10 April 2003 - 01:54 PM

Not sure, how about an ECU problem? Have you tried reseting it? (take battery off your 10 minutes and try driving the car again, the ecu "forgets" all the settings it had before and re-learns how the car is setup, you need to give it about 15kms with variable driving.)

Have Ford checked to see if your car is chucking up any fault codes?
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#3 Rich



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Posted 10 April 2003 - 02:36 PM

It could be many things, but I'd go for the obvious and cheap ones first:

Air filter
Fuel filter

It could literally be dozens of things ranging from a knackered air filter to a broken-up catalytic converter. Is this the original cat, or has it been replaced?

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#4 squelch


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Posted 10 April 2003 - 03:17 PM

my car has a similar problem when cold and on part throttle
between 2000 and 3500rpm but its only in the last 2 months its started doing it
im going to change the fuel filter this weekend as it has not been done since ive had the car (45000miles :o)
to see if that helps ill let you know if it does ;)
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#5 Guest__*

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Posted 11 April 2003 - 05:21 AM

Well from what u are saying i don't think anything is choking it otherwise the power wouldn't just disapear then so suddenly then reapear. About the only thing that would do that (that i have had problems with (not Mondy)) is the fuel filter. When it hit it's peak power it died and wouldn't start for a while oh and at roundabout's to! what a muppet u feel like!!!. I guess till everything settled again!?

There is one thing tho! I remember a couple of occaisions when i used to work in a garage (apprentice = pants pay) of a few people coming in with there cars it was somthing to do with the valves and compresion problems at higher end revs? although somthings saying to me it was the earlier Zetec's that had that prob?? maybe somone else will be able to help with that one!

Good luck m8 :beer: < there's always drink!

#6 surfypunk



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Posted 11 April 2003 - 07:56 PM

Thanks for all the replies.

I reset the ECU today and it did drive better than usual, although by the afternoon it felt like the problem was slowly creeping back. I will take a look at the air filter and fuel filter (provided I can find it ) tomorrow. I assume I should be checking to see if the filters are dirty/clogged, is there anything else I should look out for while in the area?

TB: I don't know if ford have checked for fault codes or not but knowing those dodgy basteds probably not. I might try a different ford garage next time I take it in.

Rich: I am fairly sure that it is the original cat.

Chris: Yeah, drink does make the problem less noticeable.
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#7 Noitall


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Posted 11 April 2003 - 11:36 PM

I would think about your maf sensor as this can do this and not log any codes what so ever,basically it is telling the pcm the wrong air flow thus the fueling is wrong but no codes show up as it is close to what the pcm would expect in some conditions.
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#8 ExDelayed



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Posted 13 April 2003 - 02:56 AM

Look at the fuel filter first. That along with high mileage (90K US) oxygen (lambda?) sensors were playing hell with my power. I also later found out that when I had a local shop change my water pump they put my new timing belt on with the exaust cam advanced one tooth.
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Posted 14 April 2003 - 03:41 AM

90k aint alot m8!! The lambda sensor is a small device that looks similar to a spark plug that is screwed into the front pipe, it measures the exhaust gases (Co2,hydro carbons(unburnt fuel) and a couple other things i cana remember off the top of ma head) and together with the air flow meter adjusts the air/fuel ratio accordingly via the computer.

When you got the exhaust cam advanced was this because you had performance cams fitted?

If so i would get the Ignition timing checked, also the fitting of performance cams can cause flat spots.(not normally to the extent to which you describe)

If not i would get the Ignition Timing checked anyway, also get the compression checked playing with standard cams aint recommended, 1 tooth is alot in cam terms and can cause low compression and timing probs.

When the flat spot occurs does it missfire or sound like uv got 1 mother of a Cone filter on it and are away to suck the kids of the street with it! HEHE!!

or if ya kinda stamp on the throttle when not moving does it hesitate to rev and sound like a mother of a cone filter and then burst into life?

if so it sounds alot like valve/ignition timing is out get the ignition timing checked.

Advancing of the exhaust cam means the valves opens earlier (doh!), so if they open earlier they could be opening to soon after ignition of the fuel which means the pistons aren't getting enough of a push from the ignition of the fuel, and therfore causing a flat spot where the peak power starts to come in, similar to performance cams exept there designed to do this so the power can be deliver higher in the RPM range where you can possibly find more BHP/Torque (varies from car to car, V6,24v,16v & 8v etc)

When i had an older car i retarded the ignition timing (can only be done Pre Lambda sensor) so when ya dropped a gear to slow down it backfired and spat flames out ma straight pipe!! Was ace!! for that but performance suffered!

Hope ya get the drift of what i am saying if not let me know and i will try and make it a bit easier to understand!

Hope this helps


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Posted 14 April 2003 - 03:43 AM

Shite am gettin confussed wif ppl now!!!