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davehop
davehop, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1291
Experience:  Fully certified in all phases of automotive repair as recognized and certified by Ford Motor Company
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2005 Ford Focus: engine stops suddenly while it is running..roadside

Resolved Question:

My 2005 Ford Focus has developed a probelem recently : the engine stops suddenly while it is running. The engine does not seize and the car continues to coast along. After a while of standing on the roadside, it often starts and runs once again. Mechanics who have checked the car say it is "well maintained" and they can find nothing wrong with it. They say this might be a problem with a sensor somewhere in the car's computer system. Can you advize, please?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  6Bucs replied 4 years ago.

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is James.

Could you do me a favor and post the vehicle identification number (VIN) please?

This is a 17 digit alphanumeric code located on the drivers door jamb and on the vehicle registration. This will give me some needed information about the vehicle.

Thanks.

James

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Vin no. On 2003 ford focus hatchback ZX3 is 3FAFP31373R186887
Expert:  6Bucs replied 4 years ago.

Ok, thank you.

When the engine stalls and you attempt to restart, does the engine turn over, like the starter is working or is there no sound when you turn the key?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
There is no sound when I turn the key after the engine dies. After about 5 mIns. The car starts up and runs fine.
Expert:  6Bucs replied 4 years ago.

Ok. I'm going to open this for other experts. I remember another expert getting to the bottom of this before for this model but I don't recall what the result was. Someone will be with you shortly.

Expert:  davehop replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JA, when the car stalls, is it like the battery is dead, no lights, no radio...then after a few minutes, it is ok?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No, does not seem like battery is dead. Lights and radio continue to work.
Expert:  davehop replied 4 years ago.
ok, there are a few things that will cause this...first and foremost is the alternator...it will overheat and cause a spike in the charging system...on your vehicle, the charging system is controlled by the PCM, and this voltage spike will temporarily shut down the PCM, and cause the engine to stall, and not be able to restart, until the system has cooled down...usually 5 to 15 minutes...then all will be fine, until the alternator overheats again. A few side symptoms may be there as well...having the PCM scanned for trouble codes will tell us if there was a charging system fault...also testing the charging system will usually pass, this only happens when the vehicle is driven at highway speeds, it may not even happen everytime, but the alternator is the likely suspect. My answer is to have the system scanned for trouble codes, this can be done at Advance Auto, All Pro Auto Parts, Auto Zone, for free, then you can tell me if there are any codes. If you do replace the Alternator, please use one from the dealer, and not an auto parts store, they are much more reliable.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Is it ok if I accept you answer tomorrow after getting the system scanned? I do like your answer and hope you are right.
Expert:  davehop replied 4 years ago.
absolutely, no problem.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Dave, got car checked at dealership. No codes show up and they say battery and alternator are fine. They say the connection to the battery is loose and suggest we replace the cables for $300. Does that seem like it will fix the problem?
Expert:  davehop replied 4 years ago.
if the cables are loose, then yes, let them replace them, but as I said, the alternator will only fail when it overheats, so just be wary of this the next time, and hopefully it won't, stalls out on you...try to take note of exactly what happened and what is not working.
davehop, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1291
Experience: Fully certified in all phases of automotive repair as recognized and certified by Ford Motor Company
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