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Ford Focus 2014, Hard starting & Jerking on low fuel


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dimebagger18
Novice

Sep 15, 2019, 3:10 AM

Post #1 of 12 (194 views)
Ford Focus 2014, Hard starting & Jerking on low fuel Sign In

2014
Ford
Focus SE Hatchback
2.0L
90KM
Summary: Car hard starting and jerking at low speed when fuel level is less than, 50% but above that up to full tank, everything works fine apart from noticing a bit of reduced acceleration ( not sure if I'm just paranoid ).

It all started from a constant whistling noise coming from under the car like one of those old kettles when the water is hot and ready and the car taking around 2 seconds to crank before it starts. So I went to the garage and they said the fuel pump is dying and got it replaced. The whistling noise went away for about 2 weeks then came back.

I went back to the garage and they found that there was a very dirty fuel filter - so dirty that even the fuel went black. They thought there was no filter the first time and that the filter is built-into the new fuel pump assembly installed 2 weeks back. So we got that replaced as well and the car starts immediately now and no jerking! That lasted for just a few days...

Then the issue went going on and off until I noticed that the issue is directly related to the fuel level ( as mentioned above at the summary ).
Now I'm thinking the fuel pump was damaged since they did not replace it after replacing the fuel pump. The mechanic I went to keeps saying no it was not damaged but I think he is just saying this so he doesn't have to pay for the fuel pump mistake.

Can anyone confirm if my thoughts are correct? Do I have to replace the entire fuel assembly again or is it possible to just replace the pump only? What tests can I do to diagnose the issue?

PS: I also hear weird sounds when I turn the key on instead of just a hum sound from the pump, I hear a loud squeak. Happens around 30% of the time.


(This post was edited by dimebagger18 on Sep 15, 2019, 3:13 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 15, 2019, 4:23 AM

Post #2 of 12 (174 views)
Re: Ford Focus 2014, Hard starting & Jerking on low fuel Sign In

? Two thoughts come to mind on this:
1. With just it working w/o problems when over 1/2 full seems like evap system isn't allowing air to displace used up fuel. Loosening gas cap it might behave again? Fuel pump would struggle against a vacuum in the tank.


2. Do you have a sample or the shop of that "black" fuel or a clue what that was? Clogging a fuel filter known or suspected? Tough one it's possible to have a bad source for fuel just once make a problem OR is it possible for vandalism on this?


T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Sep 15, 2019, 4:26 AM

Post #3 of 12 (173 views)
Re: Ford Focus 2014, Hard starting & Jerking on low fuel Sign In

The fuel pump on your car is a variable pressure system operated by a fuel pump driver module. It has a fuel pressure sensor on the fuel rail so you need a professional level scan tool to read an monitor the fuel pressure. That's the only way you are going to find out if the pump and module are working properly.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



dimebagger18
Novice

Sep 15, 2019, 5:00 AM

Post #4 of 12 (167 views)
Re: Ford Focus 2014, Hard starting & Jerking on low fuel Sign In

1. With just it working w/o problems when over 1/2 full seems like evap system isn't allowing air to displace used up fuel. Loosening gas cap it might behave again? Fuel pump would struggle against a vacuum in the tank.

- First time I heard about evap system - I'm gonna read more on this thanks. Let me try loosening the gas cap next time it hits 1/2 fuel if it helps.


2. Do you have a sample or the shop of that "black" fuel or a clue what that was? Clogging a fuel filter known or suspected? Tough one it's possible to have a bad source for fuel just once make a problem OR is it possible for vandalism on this?

- I saw it with my own eyes but didn't think about taking a photo - it was like tiny black particles that were sitting at the bottom of the tank. It probably came from the dirty filter since black stuff came out of it when the mechanic pumps air and cleaner onto it. This is also why I'm thinking the fuel pump might have been damaged since it was running for about 2 weeks with all these black stuff on the fuel and super dirty filter. Upon discovering this, they emptied the tank and cleaned, then fuel filter was replaced.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 15, 2019, 5:23 AM

Post #5 of 12 (162 views)
Re: Ford Focus 2014, Hard starting & Jerking on low fuel Sign In

Your troubles are real just now this "black" stuff in fuel + filter are NOT in the cards. IDK, if some super strong cleaner was used it might have eaten up fuel system parts?
There's one called SeaFoam is super strong and useful. Now the "BUT" on it is only use a tad of it not whole container it's too much I swear would eat thru plastics just can't prove it so easily.
Save a sample of the dirt just because that's not a normal color for fuel problems is on my mind now,


T



dimebagger18
Novice

Sep 15, 2019, 5:32 AM

Post #6 of 12 (158 views)
Re: Ford Focus 2014, Hard starting & Jerking on low fuel Sign In

Problem is, I bought the car used from a dealer and I have no idea what stuff the previous owner put in there. A good point to mention though is that the engine was replaced recently. It overheated, coolant and oil mixed in the coolant reserve and basically killed the engine so we replaced it with a used one we bought at a shop.

That's why the mechanic who installed the new engine, recommended that we change the oil after a month so that old materials gets flushed out. I'm thinking this might also be the case with the fuel? That is if there is a way for fuel can come back to the tank from the engine? or the gas I've been buying from a specific station is contaminated?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 15, 2019, 5:45 AM

Post #7 of 12 (152 views)
Re: Ford Focus 2014, Hard starting & Jerking on low fuel Sign In

New engine already! There's a clue there, no telling what products were attempted to save the old one I guess before you or to cover it up??
To me hose is black for fuel. It's just a chance that hose was used that wasn't fuel/PCV rated dissolves in "gasoline" if you can call the junk that.
There are lines (metal) and hose used all over a vehicle now with a new engine who knows if that's a factor if metal was replaced with "rubber" hose not fuel tolerant. It's all marked if you get a foot or so says what it is.
IDK - look for swollen lines or soft ones at the ends if you can identify which would carry fuel or fuel vapor.
Sorry - I'm stuck on you saying "black" fuel is what plain rubber hose would do only I can't think of much else,


T



dimebagger18
Novice

Sep 15, 2019, 5:55 AM

Post #8 of 12 (148 views)
Re: Ford Focus 2014, Hard starting & Jerking on low fuel Sign In

 


(This post was edited by dimebagger18 on Sep 15, 2019, 5:58 AM)


dimebagger18
Novice

Sep 15, 2019, 5:57 AM

Post #9 of 12 (148 views)
Re: Ford Focus 2014, Hard starting & Jerking on low fuel Sign In

Yup it sucks and I've already paid around half the amount of the car for repairs just to keep it alive.

The coolant, oil and overheating issues are now gone and I can drive it no problem unless the gas falls below 50% and it starts acting funny. Maybe for now I should get a different mechanic to check it out and figure out what's the issue. I have a gut feeling it's the fuel pump - I mean it works but not well since it endured all that black stuff and dirty fuel filter for the past weeks.

Also there's that loud "woooop!" or sometimes squeaking noise when I turn the key on and the fuel pump primes the engine before ignition which normally is just a humming sound. I keep trying to record it but only happens when i don't have the camera running like it knows when I'm recording. LOL


(This post was edited by dimebagger18 on Sep 15, 2019, 5:59 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 15, 2019, 6:28 AM

Post #10 of 12 (134 views)
Re: Ford Focus 2014, Hard starting & Jerking on low fuel Sign In

I don't know what more than saying it had an engine swap (new or not) it's invasive alone. The reason would mix coolant, oil and some IDK about how fuel gets involved so easily but in swapping all the stuff over can see where use of hose where metal once was is faster just opens up the list of reasons for things to go wrong.
A picture isn't going to help me personally I'd be feeling lines and hose and see what that dirt dissolves in that I have on hand.
It's almost not about a vehicle at all it's more about what types of what get wrecked or solved by what procedures or chemicals?


In short - yes I'd have another tech check this out for proper lines and hose even the tank's parts for oddities. Said I can't place black residue like that except for hose being black and can be the wrong stuff or wrong solvents used?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Somewhat off topic but not: I do have liquid Neoprene as a glue and sealer for wiring and plastic repair? Why isn't the point was looking for something to dissolve the liquid or thin it.
I did it's called "BraKleen" by brand name will dissolve brand name Neoprene is a Dupont patented rubber product for use with fuels also sold as oil proof and made to hold a vacuum will not collapse now generic can be made by anyone but marked it meets that specification.
There may be others that do too IDK can't test them all but the history of this car suggests someone really tried hard to clean it up or solve a problem somewhere in the mix things didn't go well that would explain a lot??


Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Sep 15, 2019, 8:37 AM

Post #11 of 12 (125 views)
Re: Ford Focus 2014, Hard starting & Jerking on low fuel Sign In

The more you post on this, the more this starts to point to issues with the tank.

Black stuff in the tank is a big problem and the tank should have been removed and thoroughly flushed out. The tanks are designed with a compartment where the fuel pick up sits that holds fuel from sloshing around when low on fuel. These compartments are usually fed by a line along the floor of the tank and the height of the compartment is usually about halfway up the tank which could explain your symptoms. Over half a tank of fuel would run over the top of the compartment and not rely on the tube feed.

You should never simply replace a pump and move on when there are contaminants in the tank.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



dimebagger18
Novice

Sep 15, 2019, 9:15 AM

Post #12 of 12 (114 views)
Re: Ford Focus 2014, Hard starting & Jerking on low fuel Sign In

That’s actually what the mechanic did. They removed the tank, cleaned in and replaced the fuel filter. Problem is since the fuel pump was just recently replaced, he says it’s still fine which I was doubting and now seems that my doubts are true since the issue still remained. Will have to have a different mechanic check the pressures this weekend to confirm this I guess.






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