2002 Focus lunges while driving, lights flash...

Asked by Jan 25, 2014 at 02:15 PM about the 2002 Ford Focus SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi!
We have a 2002 focus with about 90,000 miles on it. We changed the battery a month ago when it got crazy cold here and since then its run really rough. It can stall out when changing gears or when at a stop.

I put some techron in the gas and it seems to have cured the stalling, but the car will still lunge forward when driving. When it lunges its very brief - maybe two seconds total - and it feels like the car completely loses power for a split second and then it races forward before settling back down. During that time the little red light next to the "hazard" light button on the dash lights up, and then once it stops surging the light shuts off and everything is normal.

Since the techron helped the stalling (at least in the first few drives since), is it possible it could still help this issue or does this sound like something completely different?

Thanks so much!!

10 Answers

1,855

is there a engine light on ?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

No engine light - only time any lights come on was when it stalled, but that's not happening since I put the techron in. I have only driven the car three times since I put that in for a total of about 30 minutes, and since then its running better and not stalling but the lunging has not gone away. Not sure if I need to give that more time or if it sounds like a completely different issue altogether.

1,855

could have a coil going bad... keep driving it to see if it will kick a engine light on.. that will tell you what you need to know.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
1,855

could have been water in the gas also with the cold it would make it run bad and with the defrost on your a/c clutch will be kicking on and off with bad gas lunges could be bad.. ride it out and like I said try to make it kick the Engine light. hope this helps

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks so much - I'll keep driving it around town to try and get it to either work itself out or kick on. I had about 1/3 of a tank left before I put the techron in and filled it up, so if its water in the gas might take a while to resolve, but since everything else is running better hopefully that would too. It's not possible to have tire issues cause lunging, right? I've noticed that when I turn the wheels you can feel it in the front left - like little clunks as you turn. Doesn't happen often, but I noticed it yesterday as its snowy and icy here I'm not sure if its the weather or the car Thanks again for the help!! Josh

1,855

that sounds more like a half shaft maybe.. or snow lodged up in there... not sure how much snow you have im in Michigan and im done with it...lol...

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I tried to clear the snow last night, but I'll try again now that its light outside to see if that maybe helps. It definitely didn't happen before all this snow. I'm outside of Chicago - between the snow and temps I'm wishing I was somewhere warm. I've shoveled the same spot four days in a row because the blowing snow just rebanks over the driveway. It's getting old fast.. :)

1,855

yep same here...

Did you find a solution? We are having the same problem but it is summer here so no ice etc. Gas is fine, been thru more than one tank. Have had it to 2 different garages and they can't figure it out. Thought it was a fuel line issue at first but anything remotely worn was fixed and still lunges and stalls.

Michele it would help if I knew exactly which engine you have and what year it is. However it sounds like you have a vacuum leak. If you have a 2.0 split port, P Vin engine, looks like this http://i31.tinypic.com/15dxjk4.jpg. Then I can give you a good place to start your search. See the circles hose, this is a pcv hose. Follow this hose back. It will go towards the back of the throttle body, it connects to the back of the throttle body with a rubber right angle. This rubber right angle is notorious for ripping on this engine. If this is the problem your looking at a 5 to 10 dollar part depending on where you live. Should be pretty easy to replace yourself.

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