2000 Ford Focus acts like its getting no fuel

My mother-in-law was driving, and all of a sudden the car just died while she going down the road. It would not start again, and she had to tow it home. It sounded to me that the fuel filter was cloged so I changed that. It still doesn’t start though. I thought it might be the fuel pump now, but from my understanding the fuel pump is near the back of the car. I thought that was weird, because as I’m cranking the car when I press on the gas there is kind-of soft thumping noise coming from the driver side of the engine compartment. I know that changing the fuel pump is out of my legue, but I wanted to make sure that this is really the problem before I go to a mechanic. I thank for anything you may have to say on the subject.

Get a can of starting fluid, and remove the intake duct from the air filter housing. Give a quick spray up the intake duct towards the engine and then try starting the engine. If the engine starts but then stalls out, it confirms there’s a fuel system issue.


I always wonder why people have cars that have quit running towed to their homes, instead of having them towed to a mechanic. Do they think everything will be OK once the car is back home?

The fuel pump is, indeed, near the back of the car. It’s inside the fuel tank, and you don’t want to mess with that. Besides, you haven’t yet determined, for sure, that the fuel pump is bad. You’re guessing.

A mechanic can test the fuel pressure. This will determine whether or not the pump is bad. Replacing a fuel pump is too expensive to guess about. Test and be sure before you start spending money, even if it’s your mother-in-law’s money.

Is the Check Engine light on?

Why are you pressing the gas pedal as you crank the starter? Fuel injected cars should start, assuming everything is working correctly, without pressing the gas pedal.

Have you opened the hood and tried to discern the source of the noise you hear coming from the driver’s side of the engine compartment as you crank the starter?

Are the spark plugs firing? You’re assuming the problem is fuel. Maybe it’s not.

I think you should take this car to a mechanic. You’re in over your head.