Need help before mechanic | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Need help before mechanic

Discussion in 'ZX2 1998-2004 2.0L DOHC' started by Moony27, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. Moony27

    Moony27 Guest

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    I hate going to mechanics without having a clue what's wrong so I need some help. After work today my 2002 ZX2 (automatic) wouldn't start. First time I turned the key it hitched once, then nothing. No idiot lights but the door open dinger and dome lights worked. Coworker jumped me and it started right away. Stopped in a drive through to get food, idled fine while waiting but when I tried to shift into drive it died. Jumping didn't even work this time. It had to have been getting juice because when it was hooked up to the other car I'd turn the key, hear one hitch, then nothing and idiot lights came on. Disconnected from the other car it was the same as before-nothing, not even idiot lights, except for door dinger.

    My guess is that the ignition and starter are fine, based on what I hear when it's getting power. I believe that, except for the tires, everything else on the car is stock. I haven't done anything to it since I got it in June 2005 except for oil changes and it has almost 86,000 miles (double what it had when I got it, mostly highway miles). Can anyone help me out before I face the mechanic tomorrow-battery, alternator, WTF?
  2. eMAGDNIM

    eMAGDNIM Guest

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    Electrical stuff is fun. It getting one turn? It could be as simple as just the battery. Cause if its tryin to turn its getting some juice. Just not enough to fully crank. So you may just just change out the battery, My old car did the same thing. I was getting power to accesories, but i would try to crank it and it would do nothing. The amperage was gone, well just not enough to kick the motor over.
  3. bradsescort

    bradsescort FEOA Donator

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    dont take it to a mechanic

    go get you a cheap good battery and call it a day

    the terminals are 1/2" nuts to take them off (most the time)

    and the battery hold down bolt i think is 5/16th's or something, you'll need a socket wrench and extension to reach it
  4. Moony27

    Moony27 Guest

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    okay

    So it sounds like the battery? That's good enough for me. I figured as much because it started the first time. Any reason it killed after the idling? As in, is there another problem I should be worried about? I don't have the tools to change out the battery myself but I'll just have it towed in and battery changed out without having them look it over.

    And another question, hopefully related to this problem. When I'm driving down the freeway sometimes I get some hesitation, a bit of a slowdown, especially when the cruise control's on. Could this be related to the battery? I have the usual lack of accelerating power when the A/C or defrost is on too. I think I'll be hanging around here a while to get the quirks of my lovely little car worked out.
  5. Moony27

    Moony27 Guest

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    okay

    And another question. As long as I have it there and seeing as how nothing's been done since I got it at 45,000 miles, is there anything else I should have done for it? Spark plugs, belts, etc?
  6. bradsescort

    bradsescort FEOA Donator

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    do it yourself!

    dont let your mechanic tell you that you need this, you need that. i would only get the battery done, save you the bill.

    do your own work!!! get your own tools! :)

    sounds like you need to clean out the throttle body (hesitation) or you need a new PCV valve(positive crankcase ventilation)
    or you need the typical tuneup, maybe you are running slightly rich, hard to say, but i would do your own work! :)

    how many miles are on it now?

    like a lot of people say, if it aint broke, dont fix it.
    then again, if you're gonna do something, do it right the first time.
    so really up to you if you plan on: getting the whole shebang tuneup taken care of and you dont want to work on cars.
    or
    get it one at a time and avoid a deal on labor from your mechanic..
    or
    do your own work, get the required socket/extension etc.. get your own battery. or some autoparts stores will put the battery in for you or help you if you ask them to. they like a $5 tip too. (better than a mechanic labor charge!)

    really if you are over 100k on miles, it would be a good idea to get new wires, plugs, pcv valve, front o2 sensor and timing belt... but all these things are not required and if one goes it won't kill your motor (timing belt breaks, your motor wont break.. type of thing... 'non-interference' motor design)

    hope this helps

    oh, and did i mention do your own work? :lol:

    if i were in your situation i would just put a new battery in it and that is all.
  7. Moony27

    Moony27 Guest

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    Tow tomorrow

    Tried jumping it again this morning with no change. Same things happened. Noticed the battery has a 6-year warrenty and set out to find a shop that had them to see if they'll honor the warranty even though I'm the second owner. The Chevy dealership in town has them and wouldn't say whether they'd honor it, only that I'd have to bring it in and have the electrical system checked first. The consensus of the guys at one parts store and the guy at the dealership is that it's the transmission, to the tune of $210 and change for a new alternator (same price for a rebuilt) plus labor and the electrical diagnostic. Ugh.

    First things first-it's going to be towed in tomorrow morning and looked at. We'll take it from there depending on what the diagnostic says. And I agree, if it ain't broke don't fix it. If the other things don't need to be done until after 100,000 miles I've got time to look up how to do it myself before then or get up the money to pay someone else to do it.
  8. Moony27

    Moony27 Guest

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    Battery

    It was the battery. I don't quite understand how a battery less than four years old can just go completely dead without some other cause but that's that. I don't have the receipt so they won't honor the warranty but I didn't figure they would. I asked about a dry cell battery for it and the only parts store in town doesn't have a listing for a part number for a ZX2. Does anyone have the part number for an Optima battery?
  9. tommyatomic

    tommyatomic Guest

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    Optima part number ? Its the Red top. As for the "dry cell" Good luck there. I dont think one exists for any normal automotive applications. You have wet cells and gell cells to choose from. A dry cell is like AA,C,D and such. Get a Red top optima gel cell and call it good. They really only have Red - automotive applications; Yellow - truck applications; and blue - deep cycle applications like big trucks, boats, RV's, campers.
  10. zx24me

    zx24me Guest

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    It might be those cheap battery terminal conectors that Ford used. Get them relaced at the same time by your own mechanic, and it will probably all go away.
  11. Moony27

    Moony27 Guest

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    Changed

    The terminals look just fine, better than those on any other car I've ever owned. It's running fine now, a little better than it ever has for me.

    Sorry. When I said dry cell I meant gel cell. They said they didn't find a number for it and that would be why. I might look into it further for the winter,when it'd be nice to have a fully-charged battery sitting around and I can justify investing in yet another battery so soon after this one. Thanks so much for all your help!!
  12. bradsescort

    bradsescort FEOA Donator

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    they are all the same.. just get any optima red top battery.. it will have side and top terminals

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