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Thread: Ford Focus cutting out and losing engine power, mileometer going to ----

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Ford Focus cutting out and losing engine power, mileometer going to ----

    Hi,

    I have a 51 Ford Focus 1.6 petrol, about 77000 miles on the clock. About five weeks ago, after driving for 1/2 mile, my car cut out with no warninh whatsoever. The mileometer read ----- but power was maintained on all my other dashboard functions (radio, EW, dash lights etc). It was as if it had staleld but I was travelling about 20 mph so it hadn't. The ignition was then not turning over and after about 3-4 minutes, it started again. I continued my drive home and another 6 miles or so later, it happened again, this time whilst starting off in 1st. This time it took about 45 mins to restart, again, not turning over or acknowledging, other than lights on dash and radio, that my key was in the ignition. The RAC came out but by the time he'd arrived it had restarted. He cleaned all the earth wires as he's known that be a problem before. I took it to the garage the next day and there weren't any error codes/warning lights on the diagnostic. He cleaned and reconnected all the wires/connections under the bonnet and wasn't sure what had caused it.

    Car ran fine until almost 2 weeks later when same thing happened again. This time car cut out but started immediately and then cut out again 20 yards down the road. I pushed (!) it on to a side street and after 10 minutes it restarted. I drove it straight to a garage well known for their diagnostic knowledge and again, diagnostic came back with no error codes etc. They had another tinker under the bonnet and said they thought it was a major power failure but didn't know what was causing it. I drove it again and then 3 days later, it started to do all sorts of strange things:
    Losing power but not cutting out, as if I'd braked but I hadn't
    Overrevving when starting off in 1st as if I hadn't realised my clutch but my foot wasn't on the clutch
    Feeling sluggish and heavy when accelarating as if my foot wasn't on the accelarator and then getting a sudden

    I took it back into the garage and left it with them for over a week. They roadtested it everyday but said it was driving absolutely fine. They''d had lots of parts out, cleaned and put back together but they weren't able to put their finger on the problem.

    I picked it up last Friday and almost immediately I noticed it was still doing the same. I completely trust the garage so don't think that they are being dishonest and feel they are getting as frustrated as I am. Also, they haven't charged me anything for what they've done so far so have been very fair. The only thing I could think of that I was doing differently was driving with the radio on, so I turned it off and noticed a vast difference and the car was driving much less irratically. I also asked my brother to come out in the car with me and drive it, to check it wasn't anything I was doing, and whilst it wasn't half as bad, he did agree that it felt like it was either struggling or running away with him and that the revs seems a little all over the place.

    So for the past two days I've driven without the radio on and it's seemed much improved, although I'm reluctant to say it's completely fine. Then, I was driving to work this morning, and it cut out again. This time there was no --- on the mileometer and it was exactly as if I'd stalled it and turned straight back on. But it couldn't have stalled because my clutch was fully in as I was sat at traffic lights in first ready to go.

    Please can anyone help. Driving is turning me into a nervous wreck never knowing if I'm going to get to where I'm going or cause an accident! I'd love to trade it in, like everyone is suggesting, but I can't afford to.

    If anyone can offer any advice I'd be very grateful! For background info, the speed sensor was replaced two years ago when my rev and speed counter were dropping to zero whilst driving.

    Frustrated and worried driver....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    8,211

    Default

    Have a read through one of the most common faults here:

    http://www.rac.co.uk/forum/showthrea...ord+focus+dash

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default

    Hi,

    Thanks for the link. I've read about this on other forums, however, they all seem to relate to 'cosmetic' faults where the dash is failing but the car is still running. My main concern is the power failures causing the car to actually cut out and stop dead as well as the erractic revving/accelaration/braking when driving.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    The instrument cluster, engine, ABS and other control units are all connected together through the central module. You can check this module has not been disturbed. Its under the passenger side glove box and can be knocked by passengers' feet.
    The speed sensor signal goes to the engine control unit and the instrument cluster, so any break here will cause dash problems and engine running faults. While you may have had the speed sensor replaced 2 years ago, it should still be checked again. A short in this component will cause a car to stop. On a diagnostic machine the garage can see what signal is being sent by the sensor. Did they check this in the live data menu? You have had a diagnostic check done so presumably the garage checked the engine module for faults. But did they check the instrument cluster too? If not, they may have missed any pointers to where the fault is. For example, they may get a fault that is like, ' can data bus error engine to instruments'. This is saying the signal between the 2 modules is lost. They should also check the central module for a similar type of fault and may help to locate the offending component.
    A lot of garages mean well and do not rip customers off. Its sometimes the case that they just don't have the necessary experience of these type of faults to find them.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2011
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    Thanks Hometune, this is useful. I'm going to take it back to the garage on Tuesday, do I question them about the instrument cluster? And do I ask them what the live data menu was doing?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    817

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    have you tried this .......

    The Self Diagnostics Mode gives you in-depth information about your engine and the actual numbers in digital. To use it, follow the steps:

    * Insert Key but do not turn it on
    * Press and hold the Trip Meter Reset Button
    * While holding the reset button, start your car and continue holding the button
    * Within 10 seconds, the display should change to "test" in LCD font and the needles will do a full sweeping. Release the Button

    Pressing the button will now cycle through some 17 different modes

    * 1.Shows a Gauge Sweep
    * 2. Shows all 8's on the LCD (LCD TEST)
    * 3. Illuminates all the bulbs on the dash
    * 4. Displays hexadecimal value for ROM level
    * 5. Displays the hexadecimal value for EE level
    * 6. Shows DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code)
    * 7. Digital Speedometer - mph
    * 8. Digital Speedometer - kph
    * 9. N/A
    * 10. Digital tachometer
    * 11.Fuel volume
    * 12. Engine coolant temperature
    * 13. Battery voltage
    * 14. ABS fail
    * 15. Electronic brake distribution (EBD) failure
    * 16. Illumination
    * 17. Crank Sense



    Miss Breakdown

  7. #7
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    May 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrodgers View Post
    Thanks Hometune, this is useful. I'm going to take it back to the garage on Tuesday, do I question them about the instrument cluster? And do I ask them what the live data menu was doing?
    I would ask them to check all the modules on your car i.e. engine, central, ABS, airbag etc etc. and note all the codes with their numbers and descriptions. It may then be possible to identify which area to investigate further. They will need a good diagnostic tool to do this as many are not strong on Ford.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    I have exactly the same problem and the car has been on a diagnostic machine and nothing showed., the speedometer drops to zero although the car will still drive but seems to struggle and the steering becomes very heavy and you can hear the difference in the engine noise
    The speed sensor has been replaced and it is still doing it It is turning me into a nervous wreck when driving as I keep expecting someone to go into the bag of the car and raising my blood pressure
    I left the car with the mechanic to drive around for a couple of days and it didnt do it once!!!

  9. #9
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    Aug 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizzyd View Post
    I have exactly the same problem and the car has been on a diagnostic machine and nothing showed., the speedometer drops to zero although the car will still drive but seems to struggle and the steering becomes very heavy and you can hear the difference in the engine noise
    The speed sensor has been replaced and it is still doing it It is turning me into a nervous wreck when driving as I keep expecting someone to go into the bag of the car and raising my blood pressure
    I left the car with the mechanic to drive around for a couple of days and it didnt do it once!!!
    Hi,

    Did you find out the answer to this? My Ford Focus is doing EXACTLY the same and I can't get to the bottom of it either.

    Thanks

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