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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a ZTS Sedan (2001) with a Zetec 16v engine.

After I purchased this car, it was clear that the non-Ford dealership hadn't done squat as far as checking the car goes. It wasn't a disaster but they couldn't taken care of a few things....I'll list them below:

1) Rear shocks were leaking (according to the regular Goodyear tire center I take all my cars). I could tell the handling of the car was wobbly and floaty...not to mention the rear right tire had been replaced by the selling dealership BUT the rear right had outer edge cupping even though it seemed rather new. They changed the shocks for me after I complained...but did not change the tires.

2) Front shocks...nothing wrong with the physically speaking but they feel a little floaty over bumps on the freeway...the front tires are pretty much shot. The dealership SHOULD have changed them.

3) The transmission...the fluid was not changed at all since original and was in poor shape. I changed it today by doing a full back-flush...changed ALL of it inside...night and day change. It doesn't shudder anymore when putting the car in reverse. Was worth the price of service IMO.

4) According to Ford's service records, the DPFE sensor HAD BEEN changed prior to me taking the car home...why? It wasn't passing smog. Needless to say, point 5 below leaves me bewildered because I thought the problem with hesitation was from this....it's quite obvious it isn't. Unless they say they changed it and didn't. Apparently they also changed the ECU...not sure. Also according to Ford's recall records, the car's fuel pressure regulator/pump was also changed.

5) The engine has hesitation and feels as though it's misfiring at around 2-3K...particularly prevelant on the freeway where cruising at 60 mph+ puts the RPM right at that area...and partial throttle application is met by hesitation and power loss...causing more throttle application to be applied...causing SERIOUSLY poor fuel mileage...I'd be lucky to get 25MPG even on the motorway.

As I said before, I believed it was the DPFE sensor so I just ordered one online...now I'm rather confused.

So far I've changed the air filter, PVC valve, fuel filter, and spark plugs (Bosch Platinum 2's). Some people have said the hesitation could be from the plugs (no gapping required either)...but the hesitation was happening prior to me doing anything to the car anyway.

To make things more interesting, there is no CEL, there are no codes being thrown either....

SO....any suggestions???
 

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There was / is a recall on the 01 fuel pumps, yours may not have been done. The warranty on the pumps was kicked out to 10 years if I recall correctly, and I think 100,000 miles. They were indeed [censored]. I had the orginal fail, then the replacement about a year after that. The redesigned version they are using for a replacement now has been working well for me.
 

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Re: Issues With My Newly Purchased 2001 ZTS Sedan...please advis

I was thinking the same thing but the damned dealer wants to charge me $120 JUST to do check things out..outrageous! When yours failed, diid you throw a CEL, or was it evident? Any codes?
 

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I've never seen a used car department that changed out tranny fluid or coolant without a customer complaint to do so - something to keep in mind on your next purchase.

The shocks probably would have gotten done if your car was a bit newer and worth more, (the less the dealership spends on maintenance and reconditioning, the more money they can make).

The cupping on the tires is likely from running them with low pressure. Not keeping them properly rotated can add to this problem. Keep at least 32psi pressure in them & rotate them at least every-other oil change, and the wear will slowly even out.

On the hesitation, though what you describe sounds like a typical EGR concern, if you're doing over 60mph, it's not. EGR flow is present ONLY at 45-60mph, under part-throttle. EGR flow at any other time, under any other conditions, WILL throw a code. Put the DPFE on when you get it - I think you'll be happy with the results.
 

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I'll try and break it down to your individual concerns:

1) Rear shocks were leaking (according to the regular Goodyear tire center I take all my cars). I could tell the handling of the car was wobbly and floaty...not to mention the rear right tire had been replaced by the selling dealership BUT the rear right had outer edge cupping even though it seemed rather new. They changed the shocks for me after I complained...but did not change the tires.
You may want to also look into a four-wheel alignment every so often (maybe once per year at minimum). That will help to ensure less cupping and odd tire wear in the rear. Also, make sure the simple things like tire air pressure are up to task, and that the tires are also in good shape. There have been times that I thought my suspension bits were gone, but a new set of tires and pumping them back up to spec got rid of it.

2) Front shocks...nothing wrong with the physically speaking but they feel a little floaty over bumps on the freeway...the front tires are pretty much shot. The dealership SHOULD have changed them.
Again, I'm leaning to tires as well. I'm really not sure why the dealership didn't want to put new tires on the car to help it sell.

3) The transmission...the fluid was not changed at all since original and was in poor shape. I changed it today by doing a full back-flush...changed ALL of it inside...night and day change. It doesn't shudder anymore when putting the car in reverse. Was worth the price of service IMO.
Just keep doing this every so often...I'd say every 40,000 km or about 24,000 miles. Keeping up on this will help to extend the life of the tranny.

4) According to Ford's service records, the DPFE sensor HAD BEEN changed prior to me taking the car home...why? It wasn't passing smog. Needless to say, point 5 below leaves me bewildered because I thought the problem with hesitation was from this....it's quite obvious it isn't. Unless they say they changed it and didn't. Apparently they also changed the ECU...not sure. Also according to Ford's recall records, the car's fuel pressure regulator/pump was also changed.

5) The engine has hesitation and feels as though it's misfiring at around 2-3K...particularly prevelant on the freeway where cruising at 60 mph+ puts the RPM right at that area...and partial throttle application is met by hesitation and power loss...causing more throttle application to be applied...causing SERIOUSLY poor fuel mileage...I'd be lucky to get 25MPG even on the motorway.

As I said before, I believed it was the DPFE sensor so I just ordered one online...now I'm rather confused.

So far I've changed the air filter, PVC valve, fuel filter, and spark plugs (Bosch Platinum 2's). Some people have said the hesitation could be from the plugs (no gapping required either)...but the hesitation was happening prior to me doing anything to the car anyway.

To make things more interesting, there is no CEL, there are no codes being thrown either....

SO....any suggestions???
The plugs are an odd issue. Many people have tried other brands, but it seems the Zetec engine likes Motorcraft branded plugs. It might not seem like much, but there have been folks who have gone to various Split-Fires, NGK, or whatever other brands, but found Motorcraft works the best.

You're probably at the same juncture I'm at now with my car. Everything "seems" normal, but there's that hesitation and gas usage. I'm ready with a few folks to chalk it up to a Focus trait when it gets older, but I personally think there is something mechanical that can't be diagnosed via a computer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Issues With My Newly Purchased 2001 ZTS Sedan...please advis

I've never seen a used car department that changed out tranny fluid or coolant without a customer complaint to do so - something to keep in mind on your next purchase.

The shocks probably would have gotten done if your car was a bit newer and worth more, (the less the dealership spends on maintenance and reconditioning, the more money they can make).

The cupping on the tires is likely from running them with low pressure. Not keeping them properly rotated can add to this problem. Keep at least 32psi pressure in them & rotate them at least every-other oil change, and the wear will slowly even out.

On the hesitation, though what you describe sounds like a typical EGR concern, if you're doing over 60mph, it's not. EGR flow is present ONLY at 45-60mph, under part-throttle. EGR flow at any other time, under any other conditions, WILL throw a code. Put the DPFE on when you get it - I think you'll be happy with the results.
Hi SicZTS,

thanks for your suggestions!

About the hesitation....it happens regardless of speed...it's dependant on RPM not speed...but it becomes worse at highway speeds when partial throttle application is more prevalent. Again, the hesitation and whatnot occurs between 2-3k RPM...which puts me at around 60mph+ on the freeway with overdrive on.

I'll try the new DPFE sensor and see what happens...they apparently changed it already 2 days prior to my purchase of the car, so I'm not sure it is that issue or not.

One thing I did notice was when I manually accelerate the car (i.e. with the hood open, from idle and parked, and using the throttle cable spring, I hear a sucking sound...it was normal to hear that on my GTI but is it normal on a Focus? Or does it suggest a vacuum leak? The sucking sound goes away once I release the accelerator.
 

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Re: Issues With My Newly Purchased 2001 ZTS Sedan...please advis

Hey there and thanks for the advice!

You may want to also look into a four-wheel alignment every so often (maybe once per year at minimum). That will help to ensure less cupping and odd tire wear in the rear. Also, make sure the simple things like tire air pressure are up to task, and that the tires are also in good shape. There have been times that I thought my suspension bits were gone, but a new set of tires and pumping them back up to spec got rid of it.
One of the first things I did was pump the tires up to about 36 all-around. It made things much better but the wallowing and bouncy-ness were present...indicating a suspension issue...especially in the rear. Anyway they swapped it out and believe me it's night and day...something was definitely up with the rears. The fronts probably have some life in the still but the front tires are really in poor shape...I'm thinking I may throw on a set of Monroe Sensatrac struts and put some new tires all-round...for the price of 2 Falkens (the tires that came with the car) I could get a full set of Kuhmos for less! We'll see as I'm seriously trying to limit the expenses for this car.

Again, I'm leaning to tires as well. I'm really not sure why the dealership didn't want to put new tires on the car to help it sell.
They are really cheap that's pretty much why.


Just keep doing this every so often...I'd say every 40,000 km or about 24,000 miles. Keeping up on this will help to extend the life of the tranny.
Yes this really helped...the tranny feels very good now...although it does tend to shift into a higher gear a little too quickly for my tastes. Might help for fuel mileage but surely doesn't help for power response.

The plugs are an odd issue. Many people have tried other brands, but it seems the Zetec engine likes Motorcraft branded plugs. It might not seem like much, but there have been folks who have gone to various Split-Fires, NGK, or whatever other brands, but found Motorcraft works the best.
I was hoping the Plantinum twos would be a good buy...it's really hard to tell at this point if indeed these are helping or hurting the situation. Being that thet are non-gap types, it's hassle free for sure. I do doubt that this is causing the hesitation since this problem was present prior to me doing anything to the car at all.

You're probably at the same juncture I'm at now with my car. Everything "seems" normal, but there's that hesitation and gas usage. I'm ready with a few folks to chalk it up to a Focus trait when it gets older, but I personally think there is something mechanical that can't be diagnosed via a computer.
Yes it is an odd case isn't it...so many affected cars and no real answer. How a car manufacturer causes such a problem is amazing and very complex in its own right. The hesitation is a real problem...it really does cause some poor driveability issues.

What truly amazes me in all this is that I don't even have a CEL light going off...you'd think the stupid computer that comes with the car would be able to pick up some sort of misfire/hesitation issues...
 

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Re: Issues With My Newly Purchased 2001 ZTS Sedan...please advis

About the hesitation....it happens regardless of speed...it's dependant on RPM not speed...but it becomes worse at highway speeds when partial throttle application is more prevalent. Again, the hesitation and whatnot occurs between 2-3k RPM...which puts me at around 60mph+ on the freeway with overdrive on.
That being the case, I'd lean more toward an ignition issue. Plugs, wires and/or coil pack. It could also be a trans shudder, or fuel issue.

I'll try the new DPFE sensor and see what happens
Don't waste your money if the problem is RPM dependant.

One thing I did notice was when I manually accelerate the car (i.e. with the hood open, from idle and parked, and using the throttle cable spring, I hear a sucking sound...it was normal to hear that on my GTI but is it normal on a Focus? Or does it suggest a vacuum leak? The sucking sound goes away once I release the accelerator.
Yes - that's the sound of air going into your engine. The more you open the throttle plate, the louder the sucking sound will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: Issues With My Newly Purchased 2001 ZTS Sedan...please advis

That being the case, I'd lean more toward an ignition issue. Plugs, wires and/or coil pack. It could also be a trans shudder, or fuel issue.
At idle, I have a rather lumpy feel..I can feel the misfires and also hear them if I listen to the exhaust...


Don't waste your money if the problem is RPM dependant.
Why do you think that is?
 
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