I have a 2002 Ford Focus with the Zetec engine. Last month the car was in the shop twice. The timing belt broke and was replaced. Then 2 weeks later the fuel pump failed and was replaced.

Yesterday I drove about 40 miles and the car ran fine. After the car was parked for about 2 hours I tried to start it. There was a bang when I turned the starter and the engine would turn but not start. The bang was loud enough that several people asked about it.

I checked under the hood and 2 of the spark plug boots had blown off. I looked at all the wires and down into the plug wells and didn't see anything unusual. I replaced the boots and the engine started. The car seemed under powered and after about a quarter mile the check engine light came on and then started flashing. I pulled into a parking lot and turned the car off. It's sitting there about 30 miles from home.

So, I have several questions. What could cause the boots to be blown off? And what could cause the low power and blinking check engine light? And how could they be related to each other and to the work that was recently done?

Thanks for any responses.

  • 1
    The only mechanism that I can think of is fuel leaking by the spark plug into the well and being ignited by the combustion in the chamber. I'd start by checking that the spark plugs are at the correct torque.
    – jwh20
    Jan 4, 2020 at 17:27
  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! What are the codes? Jan 4, 2020 at 17:29
  • Unfortunately it's my only car and it's 30 miles away so there isn't much I can do at the moment except wait and have it towed to the shop again on Monday. So I don't have any codes. The under power. blinking check engine light are probably misfire- maybe the plug wires were damaged when the boots blew off?? Jan 4, 2020 at 17:49


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