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-   -   1.6 Zetec - doesn't like to start (http://www.haynes.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=4360)

DStanley1809 28th May 2010 12:07 PM

1.6 Zetec - doesn't like to start
The 1.6 Zetec in my Focus really doesn't like to start up. When I turn the key it takes between 5 and 10 seconds of cranking before it will fire up. The battery is fine and a mechanic friend of mine tested the starter motor with a multimeter and said it was OK. Very rarely it will will fire instantly.

It has a bit of a flat spot just above tickover and when in neutral is impossible to hold a constant amount of revs between 2,000 and 3,000. If you try and hold it in that range the revs will just drop away. You have to really put your foot down to even reach 3,000 but when it does the engine goes mad and the revs fly up near the redline because the throttle is pressed so much. When in gear it has no problem holding revs at any level although the flat spot is evident when moving off the line.

It also run very rich, when you start it up there is a very strong smell of petrol at the back of the car and this smell remains even after a good run.

The car has a full Ford service history and in the four years that I have owned it I have replaced the ignition coil, spark plugs, ignition leads, lambda sensors myself. I've tried Magnecor ignition leads too (this went horribly and the engine wouldn't even run and gave off some awful smells). I've even taken all the ignition parts from a friends 1.6 Focus that runs perfectly but it makes no difference to my engine. The bits from my car run perfectly on his car.

I've run all kinds of fuel treatments through it, tried K&N panel filter and a K&N cone filter and none of this has made a difference.

My local Ford dealer has no idea what it might be and I've hooked it up to an OBDII cable and a diagnostics program on my laptop but it shows no faults and all the sensors seem to be working.

I thought I would try asking the people here as you all seem to have a great deal of knowledge about engines :)

David_17 28th May 2010 12:33 PM

Have you tried cleaning the ICV, changing the TPS and MAF would be a good place to start.

Possibly coilpack?

deezee 28th May 2010 01:46 PM


Originally Posted by David_17 (Post 39056)
Have you tried cleaning the ICV, changing the TPS and MAF would be a good place to start.

Possibly coilpack?

I believe he has replaced the coilpack

I agree 100% though, but rather than replace things, I'd get a multimeter out and check the outputs from the TPS, MAF and O2 Sensor. Does the engine start / run better when warm? The idle control valve might be sticking so dig out that carb cleaner!

DStanley1809 28th May 2010 01:49 PM

I've cleaned the ICV and the MAF. I've put my coil pack on my friends 1.6 Focus and his car starts perfectly and his coil pack doesn't make my car start either. I've also reset the ECU a few times by leaving the battery disconnected for a few hours.

I'm seeing my mate again in a couple of weeks, I'll borrow his MAF sensor and TPS to see if that makes a difference.

Starting from warm is just the same as starting from cold.

Davey 28th May 2010 06:57 PM

I'll put my money on an air leak, probably one of the small plastic hoses attached to the throttle body and most likely the one underneath at the rear of the throttle body that you can't get at without removing the throttle body and inlet manifold.


DStanley1809 29th May 2010 09:55 AM

Thanks Davey, I'll try and get a look at those today.

Talonmotorsport 29th May 2010 10:45 AM

Have you tryed swapping the ECU some times just because it says it's fine does'nt mean it is. Also have you looked at the cat,done a compression test? often over looked by men with plug-in toys and laptops go back to basic mechanical problems.

DStanley1809 10th June 2010 10:26 AM

I tried a compression test but for some reason the tester wouldn't screw into my spark plug holes. I know the threads are the same because my plugs fit in the adapter that goes on the end of the tester to allow it to test bigger spark plug holes :confused:

I got someone else to try attaching the tester and they couldn't make it go on either. I'll have to find a friendly mechanic and get him to have a go.

Not had a chance to take off the inlet manifold yet and should have a chance to try my mates ECU this weekend.

twinturbo 10th June 2010 01:04 PM

As with Davey, my first thought would be a vac leak.


flyerncle 10th June 2010 08:42 PM

A point worth noting,bad coil packs can damage ecu and will stop injection of fuel by stopping them earthing.

Somtimes MAF sensor shows no faults and causes loads of problems,try running with it disconected.

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