New '03 Cobra owner with questions...

Discussion in 'SVT Tech Forum' started by Cobra-Master, Dec 5, 2003.


  1. Cobra-Master

    Cobra-Master New Member

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    Hello all, me and my wife just purchased a used sonic blue '03 Cobra this past Monday. It's got 3200 miles on it, and we absolutely love it.

    However, we are experiencing what appear to be some common problems with this car, based on some searching I've done.

    We are going to take it to the dealer on Monday to have it serviced for the following, can anyone chime in and tell me what the most effective fix for each of these problems will be so I can talk intelligently to the service advisor, so they won't try to mess us around? Thanks!!

    1) Surging idle, while in neutral it surges between 600 and 750 RPM quite regularly, it's pretty annoying.

    2) Shudder when trying to release clutch in 1st at slow speeds, assume it's TOB and possibly PP and clutch?

    3) IRS seems to be popping when we make a right turn.

    4) We seem to have a belt squeaking...? It squeaks whether the clutch is depressed or not, and only squeaks under throttle while in 2nd or 3rd gear. Hoping maybe the detail guys got shiny slick stuff on the belt and it will wear off.. I HOPE!
  2. Green 94 5.0

    Green 94 5.0 Founding Member

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    the only one i can help you with is #3 since it is the only one of your problems i have experienced. all that was done to correct that was retorquing all of the bolts in the rearend (that is how they explained it to me at least). at any rate, there is a tsb out for that problem, so the repair wont be an issue. good luck with the car.
  3. BlackBeauty02

    BlackBeauty02 Founding Member

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    firstly, congrats on the snake. now to some answers...

    1. The surging idle (very common) id due to changes going on as you are sitting, whether it be cooling fans turning on, the computer adjusting fuel perameters etc. I've never owned a ford car that didn't do this atleast slightly. There probably isn't a whole lot that the service department will be able to do about it.

    2. I know all the 03 cobra's I've driven, including my anniversary car have this shudder. It's due to that nature of the clutch itself. Realize this engine makes a lot of torque, and makes it nearly instantly, you have to have a pretty strong clutch to handle it. With that strength you loose a little bit of friendliness. The clutch can probably be replaced if you feel this is a problem.

    3. Poping IRS is a common problem on these cars. It isn't going to hurt anythign but it is anoying. There is a fix for this that the service techs should be able to perform

    4. Don't know what to tell you about the squeeking, could be any number of things.
  4. Cobra-Master

    Cobra-Master New Member

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    Did this fix your IRS popping problem when they retorqued the bolts?
  5. Cobra-Master

    Cobra-Master New Member

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    Thanks for the input, we are taking it in on Tuesday. We will see what they figure out.
  6. MustangMuscleV8

    MustangMuscleV8 New Member

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  7. Green 94 5.0

    Green 94 5.0 Founding Member

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    yes it did. mine used to do it once in a blue moon when letting off the clutch in first, but did it every time i was making a right turn up any sort of incline. i got it back from the dealer after the tsb fix and all was well. as far as the clutch goes, it is very smooth and doesnt chatter at all. its possible that the clutch assembly is defective. i have heard of that happening every now and then with the 03's as well.
  8. Stiffler Time

    Stiffler Time New Member

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    Congrats on your purchase!
  9. Miklowcic

    Miklowcic Active Member

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    nice

    COngrats on the car.

    Have you owned a Ford before?

    While some of these problems might be 03 cobra specific, most are just typical of Ford Quality. 03 Cobra owners tend to be more picky so you tend to hear their complaints more.

    I have had the pop almost since new and I run my car hard all the time and have had no problems, aside from burning up the stock clutch which was my own fault. My friend who works the tech lines in MI says that there is the TSB, but also said that the popping sound is just that, a sound and will not lead to any damage or failure of any kind. I refuse to take my car in for dealer service after local NJ dealers failed to fix it for the alignment and even put 25 miles "test driving the car".. UNfortunetely I bought the car at a great dealer in DE so NJ dealers refuse to service my car well....or just suck I guess and cant service it right.

    ANYWAY....my suggestion would be to buy a nice loud exhaust system. Then you wont hear any noises!
  10. Cobra-Master

    Cobra-Master New Member

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    I've owned a '95 Cobra for 2 years and have had absolutely no problems out of it whatsoever. We've also owned a '99 Ford F-150 pickup for 2 years with not even one problem ever. So, this is new for us regarding owning a Ford.

    The more I've driven the '03, I realize that these problems aren't a show stopper, but they are annoying. And, '03 Cobra owners should be picky when Ford wants $30K plus for them.
  11. Miklowcic

    Miklowcic Active Member

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    yeah?

    thats cool. Good for you. I wish I had the same experience....Actually I did with my 89 Bonneville and then a 93 Grand Prix. I had two mustangs before this and had similar problems with them...thats how i came to my conclusions.

    I think that if these issues bother people, they shouldnt buy a Mustang CObra. If you spend the extra money on a vette IMOP and from the people I know with them, you dont get quite the same amount of problems. BUT before I start a fight here....any car can have issues and i know you can get a good one or a bad one of any make, but I feel like you get what you pay for. Pay $ 50,000+ for a BMW or a LExus and then you should expect to not have any problems...

    To be honest...mostly because of my Ford service experience (but also the quality) with all three cars and at four separate dealers, I am very hesitant to ever buy another new ford again and make the same mistake for a fourth time. I was thinking about a truck next to commute in and tow the car to the track with, but I might end up with a CHevy or Dodge.
  12. CobraCruiser

    CobraCruiser Member

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    I must be lucky, my only problem has been the stall. I haven't checked for the tick in the heads yet, though. My '03 was delivered in mid-September of '02.

    My '99 'vert never had any of the problems that other owners had, either. It was a late run that came off the truck in June of '99.

    Either way, check out the TSB's that are out for the car and get whatever work needs to be done out of the way. And be prepared to replace your rear tires sooner than you think.

    :flag: :nice:
  13. Cobra-Master

    Cobra-Master New Member

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    Did you get the stall fixed? If so, what was the fix that the dealer implemented? This problem bothers me the most, it tries to die all the time when it's cold. The squeaky belt drives me insane too. Taking it to dealer tomorrow, we will see what happens.
  14. CobraCruiser

    CobraCruiser Member

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    Yeah, Cobra-Master, they supposedly fixed it. I have the little sticker where it says that they tweaked the computer. It seemed to work fine until it stalled twice on me when I was vacationing in New Jersey and a couple of times here in Toledo. It is in semi-storage now until the weather gets real bad here, but I doubt that I will take it in for another tweak until March or April.

    I would check out other things if yours is trying to die when it is cold. The stall seems to happen when the engine is warm, usually when you push the clutch in when easing up to a stop light or the like. You may have a problem with the cold start valve, I think that is what it is called, which acts like the choke on a carburetor. Somebody with more knowledge of fuel injection systems could probably explain the process, but that is where I would look first.

    Good luck!

    :flag: :nice:

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