'02 Focus hesitate to start

I have a 2002 Ford Focus which recently has started to hesitate to start.

I turn the key and the engine will crank for longer than normal (sometimes 1 sec sometimes more) and then it will start.

A few times I have had to turn the key to the off position and then back to try to start it again. After getting it started once this way, the car stalled twice at stop lights.

After I start driving it, I will feel the car jerk (or hesitate for second). This almost feels like it would sputter or start to stall. It happens real quick and most of the time it will occur several times in a 10 minute drive time.

I have recently (2 months ago) had the fuel filter replaced. I was thinking it was the fuel pump. Mostly because I have been reading about fuel pump problems with ford focus’s. But could this be the timing belt? I have been told that Ford recommends replacing the timing belt at 100,000 miles and that they are serious about it because it fails soon after. My car has 92000 miles so I am close to that.

thanks in advance.

Have you had any CEL (check engine light)?

The owner’s manual will tell you when the timing belt is due for replacement. I have not found information related to interference or none interference, but either way you should be getting ready for a timing belt change. Ford does say it is good for 120,000 miles however and that should be safe to wait until then, but don’t over.

No I havent had any check engine lights.