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Ford Focus 2003: Power loss

Asked by Greg Thomas

In hot weather, after a trip of 100-200 km, the engine in our 2003 Ford Focus GL sometimes starts to run roughly and eventually loses power altogether and stops. After the engine and air temperature cool down and sometimes after refuelling or just opening and closing the petrol cap, it starts up again and runs normally. The computer checks at the service centre have not shown any faults and new spark plugs and leads have been fitted, but the problem has recently re-occurred. Do you have any suggestions as to what might be causing this problem?

Answered by CarsGuide

29 Mar 2013 Graham Smith

It sounds very much like fuel vaporization, which suggests the fuel is getting too hot at some point in the system. If you could get someone to fit a fuel pressure gauge to the car you could monitor the pressure and it if's fuel vaporization as I suspect you should see the pressure drop away when the problem occurs. The source of the problem could be in the fuel tank itself, the lines between the tank and the engine, or in the engine bay. Look for any location where the fuel system comes close to a heat source, such as the exhaust system.

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