Ford Focus Intermittent Starting Problem
My 2002 1.6 Ford Focus has an intermittent starting problem. Sometimes when you turn the ignition on, the electrics start fine, I get the noise from the fuel pump starting up but the engine doesn't start. The starter doesn't even attempt to start the engine - it doesn't even click to sound it's defeat. I can try for about 10 mins or more turning the key then all of a sudden it will start.
Sometimes when it does start after one of these non-starting sessions the gauge needles do a full sweep too - although not all the time.
Most times I can just get in the car and it will start first time. It's just so random. I've done a bit of reading and it could be the battery. It's an older looking white cased battery which may have come to the end of it's life, but before I fork out on a new Calcium Silver beast I wondered if anyone else had any suggestions?
You could get the battery tested on load, most accessory shops will do it free. Have you tried a search on this forum? The Focus has electrical problems.
I'll give it a try...
I'll try over at Halfords. I'm just a little bit dubious about it though as I'd hate to think that they'd tell me the battery is worn when it isn't just to make a sale - but I'm under no obligation to buy though I suppose. I'll keep investigating though aswell. Thanks for your reply.
I would avoid Halfords or Kwik Fit, for the reasons you suggest. A smaller outlet will tend to be more honest (I did say, tend) and you can always ask for an explanation of what they tested and what the test does. They put a starting load onto the battery, what is of interest is, can it cope and does it recover quickly. You must replace your battery with a silver type; otherwise, your charging system will attempt to charge any other type too fast.
would batteries like these be suitable?
If I do need a new battery, would either of these be suitable see link below). The one with the blue cap is closer in spec (slightly higher) than the one that's installed currently - if that's the correct one. I bought the car second hand so can't be sure of it. The silver topped battery in the link has a higher spec, but would this damage my car?
Andrew Page motor factors are Bosch specialists. Give them a ring and they will tell you which battery and what price to pay. www.andrewpage.com
The gauge sweep does indicate a low battery but you say the car does start. Relay number 17 in the fuse box behind the glove box controls the starter motor. If the battery checks out ok, you need to test the supply to the starter motor. When you turn the key to the start position there must be 12 volts at the small wire on the motor. If there is then the motor is suspect but check earth leads first. If there isn't, then suspect the relay. You can swap it with another similar one just to test.
Last edited by Hometune; 10-01-11 at 16:09.
Excellent info Hometune, I will give this a try. I'd rather spend a bit of money on a multimeter to find out what's happening rather than just going ahead and buying a battery. Thanks.
Did you ever figure out what was wrong? I am having what sounds to be the same problem. However, it is NOT my battery. My 2002 Ford Focus is having the exact same symptoms as yours is/was and I 1st had the starter replaced; all seemed well until about 3 weeks to a month later and the same thing started happening. I took it back in and this time they found a short in the wiring harness. Again, this seemed to fix it but another 3 weeks or so later and it is doing the SAME thing! The shop can find NOTHING wrong with the car because once I get it to the shop it, of course, starts with no problem. PLEASE tell me you figured out what was wrong with your Focus because I am so lost...
This sounds just like our 2002 focus. Our mechanic can't find anything wrong with it. When we go to start it, the car kinda turns over then just stops. Also, when the car sits for a while the radio and clock need to be reset.