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kingfisher1967
I’ve owned this car for 5 years now and just recently I’ve noticed a change in the behavior or my temperature gauge. Last winter, a few minutes into my journey, if I stopped at any traffic lights, my gauge would go from 'mid normal' almost down to 'low normal' now the weather is warmer, if I drive at speed, or go uphill, the gauge goes to 'high normal'

Today I used the speed dial diagnostic trick and had the real time temperature read-out, again at speed I saw the temperature go as high as 113C (plus it was uphill a bit) at which point the gauge rises to 'high normal'. The odd thing about this is the temperature drops if I'm heading down hill.

I’ve had the coolant changed, made no difference, I’m fairly sure the thermostat is ok, I got the car up to normal from cold outside my house and the bottom hose got hot around 96C, which I think is normal. And for a long time I haven't heard the fan come,

Any ideas? I appreciate any help.
Dan62
I'd go for the thermostat, sounds like its stuck partially open.
jeebowhite
Agreed, the only other thing I would have thought of is low coolant level, meaning that as you point your nose sky or floor wise, it then sloshes. if you have a full tank of coolant, it does seem to be more thermostat related.
Dan62
I think the obvious answer is that the engine works harder going uphill producing more heat than when its partially coasting coming down.

Suppose you could always try going uphill in reverse :lol:
jeebowhite
LOL nice answer Dan. not too helpful, butamusing none the less ;) lol :P
Dan62
Well owning a Ford doesn't give you much to laugh about at times.
jeebowhite
True point - that cant be argued with!

Anyway Kingfisher, try the thermostat and please do let us know how it goes!
kingfisher1967
Thanks for the help so far.
I thought the stat was OK, I ran the car from cold and kept an eye on the bottom hose, which about 93C got warm.
The coolant level is fine, no leaks.
So it might be a collapsed hose, a screwed sensor for the fan, or as the replies suggest, the thermostat
Dan62
My friend, you asked for advice and from your symptoms its so got to be the thermostat.
Its not difficult to remove and simple to test by immersing it in boiling water, but they are only a few £ so just get yourself a new one + gasket and some gasket seal and job done !
kingfisher1967
Thanks for all the useful replies so far. I am getting a mechanic coming next Tuesday to put in a new thermostat. Fingers crossed that sorts it.
kingfisher1967
My friendly mechanic has been and gone.
He didn't change the thermostat because he thinks its fine. There is plenty of heat coming in to the cabin ( hot enough to roast a chicken), but even after revving it as high as he could and taking it for a run with a 'real time temperature gauge' on the dash board, he still couldn't get the fan to kick in, so maybe thats my next port of call.But I am glad that he got the needle to go to 'high normal'

Maybe its a switch? or the fan itself?, Ive googled till my fingers are raw and I'm not coming to any conclusions.

I guess its one of those things that you could throw money at and still now cure.
kendo nagasaki
as for your fan cutting in, I have just replaced my thermostat housing, and had it running for ages after but no fan cutting in, mine is the same, and also a few friends with other fords say the same, it must be down to a good cooling system
kingfisher1967
I'm only worried because is new, Ive had the car over 5 years and its never done it before.
I am paranoid about the cooling system anyway, previous cars ( a rover and a Renault) have all died due to the head gasket going ( normally indicated by a rise in temperature, followed by a large bill). I know fords have a built in 'get you home safety feature' but I'm still trying to avoid the large bill.

Kendo, I do hope the cooling system is good, I'm driving from Brighton to Bracknell on Monday to see family, I shall, of course be driving with the real time temperature gauge . So its, Mirror, signal, maneuver.. Road, speed, temperature.
Preee
Have you tried to manually wire the Fan to test it?
kingfisher1967
I didnt know that could be done Preee. I'll definitely look into that.
kingfisher1967
My friendly mechanic has been today and changed the thermostat, he did a road test and there is no change, the temperature gauge still rises when doing 70mph or traveling uphill once the engine is nicely warmed up.

He has named two other possibility that it could be, the water pump and head gasket, I don't think its either, my dad reckons that duffy water pumps are noisy and having previously 'killed' two cars in the past due to the head gasket, I think I'd know the signs.

I asked my mechanic about overriding the fan manually, he didn't think that could be done with modern cars.

So maybe its something electrical?

Maybe its time to dig out the plastic and let Fords have a look.
jeebowhite
I dont often agree when it comes to paying out a lot of money, but at this rate, you have already spent a fair amount I assume, I think maybe to get a final conclusion it may be worthwhile!
kingfisher1967
I'm going to give it one more try.

A little more research has lead me to believe that the ' cooling fan resistor' may be at fault, its something that sits near the top of the fan unit and looks fairly easy to replace, I should be able to buy a new one along with a ' pigtail', unhook the battery, cut the wire to the resistor and patch in the new one.

I have been unable to find the part number for it though, and whats been worrying me a tad is all the info that Ive been gathering has been from USA websites and I've come to the conclusion that USA spare part numbers differ from UK.

I still don't think it could be the water pump, I'm sure the fans would still come on?
kingfisher1967
another quick update.
I fitted the part I got from Fords yesterday, turns out to be the wrong one.
The resistor on my fans have one screw and a tag type thing on one side, the resistor from ford needs two screws.
So thats going back.
The odd thing is, I went out today and ... the fan came on..

Its sounding more and more like the water pump has been the victim all along, and it makes sense, no water is being circulated around the engine. So thats now at the top of the list
kingfisher1967
I had a new water pump fitted at work today.

My mechanic showed me the old impeller (didn't know they came in 2 halves) and it looked fine disappointingly, He said maybe where it fits onto the fan belt may had been loose. either way, its another thing off the list and cheaper than a main dealer would had charged.

I was monitoring the temperature on the way home from work. It got as high as 108C but didn't go any higher ( I still think the that's to do with the resistor,the fans are meant to kick in about 102C, so I think the fans working the other day was a one off).Heading down hill I didn't see the mass in drops as I use to, so that must prove that water is now being circulated around the engine. Iím saving the diagnostic bay at Fords as a very last resort
btmaldon
Just one other very cheap thing, that may well be worth a try. Put a new expansion tank cap on it. If it is loosing pressure, it will reduce its capacity to circulate and will cause overheating at lower temperatures. They should be changed fairly regularly anyway, and for the sake of a few quid will be worth it.
kingfisher1967
I took the wrong part back to fords today, but after a good look at my fan unit, and a few phone calls, they came to the conclusion that my part has been discontinued and their only option was to replace the whole fan unit for £200.
I'll have to see if I can track down the part myself.

I'm not sure now if changing the water pump was a good idea, because Ive now got hot! water being circulated around my system, I hit a new high today of 122C, coming uphill on the way home. The needle touched the red zone.

If Ive buggered the engine, thats the end of it, Its bus passes for me.
kingfisher1967
Checked my car this morning and everything seems fine.
I was hoping that I could just take out the resistor and try and get a 2nd hand replacement, little did I know its attached to the rest of the fan units.

While I have the little blighter out, I sprayed a little WD40 on it, put it back in, started the engine and waited for the car to warm up. There was no life from the fans until I hit the air con button ( something Ive never tried before) and to my amazement the large fan kicked in at a low speed( I think the temperature was about 86C when I did this). The engine didn't cool down, but carried on until about 103C when the large fan went into high speed mode, as far as I can Google, thats about normal. but is the following normal? the radiator bottom hose was cold, the top hose was hot. On the expansion tank, the hose leading from the rad was cold and the one leading from the engine was hot, but! the water in the tank was cold. It was about the same when I turned the air con off, I don't recall a drop in temperature and the fan was still in high mode.

When I turned my engine off the fan stopped ( I though it was meant to carry on till the engine was cooled) When I restarted the engine ( air con was off) the fan was in low speed mode.

I will keep an eye on things and see how it goes tomorrow to and from work.

If I do need a new fan unit ( looks easy enough to change) I am assuming the multiplugs are in the new models are the same as the old ones?

Is it still worth fitting a new expansion tank cap?
artscot79
[quote name='kingfisher1967' timestamp='1310309781' post='135273']
Checked my car this morning and everything seems fine.
I was hoping that I could just take out the resistor and try and get a 2nd hand replacement, little did I know its attached to the rest of the fan units.

While I have the little blighter out, I sprayed a little WD40 on it, put it back in, started the engine and waited for the car to warm up. There was no life from the fans until I hit the air con button ( something Ive never tried before) and to my amazement the large fan kicked in at a low speed( I think the temperature was about 86C when I did this). The engine didn't cool down, but carried on until about 103C when the large fan went into high speed mode, as far as I can Google, thats about normal. but is the following normal? the radiator bottom hose was cold, the top hose was hot. On the expansion tank, the hose leading from the rad was cold and the one leading from the engine was hot, but! the water in the tank was cold. It was about the same when I turned the air con off, I don't recall a drop in temperature and the fan was still in high mode.

When I turned my engine off the fan stopped ( I though it was meant to carry on till the engine was cooled) When I restarted the engine ( air con was off) the fan was in low speed mode.

I will keep an eye on things and see how it goes tomorrow to and from work.

If I do need a new fan unit ( looks easy enough to change) I am assuming the multiplugs are in the new models are the same as the old ones?

Is it still worth fitting a new expansion tank cap?
[/quote]

bottom hose cold should have been roasting the cooling system works under pressure the hotter the coolant the more it expands the more pressure in the hoses the top rad hose should have been hard to squeeze with the engine idling for so long the bottom hose and rad should have been hot and the expansion tank should have had coolant flowing into it from both the small hoses so its either the expansion cap or the water pump cap first its the cheapest and most ikely explanation
kingfisher1967
The water pump is brand new, it was fitted in Friday.
Day 2 and the fans are still working, :D but I'm not getting any drop in temperature.

I will try a new cap on the expansion tank, could it be that simple? I can only think theres a blockage of some sort or an air bubble.

I had the coolant changed/topped up 3 this year, I'm sure my mechanic knows what he's doing.
artscot79
[quote name='kingfisher1967' timestamp='1310401772' post='135448']
The water pump is brand new, it was fitted in Friday.
Day 2 and the fans are still working, :D but I'm not getting any drop in temperature.

I will try a new cap on the expansion tank, could it be that simple? I can only think theres a blockage of some sort or an air bubble.

I had the coolant changed/topped up 3 this year, I'm sure my mechanic knows what he's doing.
[/quote]

theres only 4 possibilities the expansion cap an airlock the rad or the thermostat was put in the wrong way there are holes that have to be lined up and no offence if i had a quid for everytime someone said my mechanic knows what hes doing lol.
try the new cap if you arent getting a hot rad and hot bottom hose turn the heater inside to face and hot and see if youre getting hot, air leave it on fan speed 1 for 5 minutes youre not getting a drop in temp as the fans are trying to cool water thats not in the radiator by the sounds of it personally if the expansion cap doesnt fix it take it back to the mechanic either the pumps faulty or hes not fitted the thermostat properlyit is a two stage thermostat youll be amazed how many times ive taken them apart and that mechanic with 15 years experience hasnt lined the holes up correctly.

When the engine is cold the pressure in the cooling system is equivalent to atmospheric pressure. As the engine warms up the coolant circulates the engine via a two-stage thermostat. A two-stage thermostat allows coolant to actually circulate rather than remain still. This is to prevent hotspots forming and uneven cooling. The coolant warms up with the engine and in doing so begins to expand. The pressure therefore begins to rise. Eventually the engine gets too warm and the coolant can no longer have a cooling effect, and so the thermostat opens allowing coolant to pass through the radiator dissipating its heat into the air which passes through it. The engine now begins to cool again and the pressure falls. If the engine gets too cool the thermostat closes and the process begins again. The pressure in the cooling system is directly proportional to the temperature. The higher the temperature the higher the pressure and vice-versa. If the engine gets too hot the cooling fan cuts in to generate airflow through the radiator. The pressure cap acts as an overall safety valve in the event of the pressure getting too high. Most caps release at about 15psi. The cap has a second valve, the purpose of which is to allow air into the cooling system as the engine cools down and the coolant contracts. If this wasn't the case the cooling system would be a partial vacuum after the car had been stood overnight.

It is the temperature of the coolant that regulates the pressure. If your engine’s cooling system has a high pressure at low temperature then you quite definitely have something wrong.....

kingfisher1967
Went out this morning and brought a new cap, fitted it as soon as I got home because we were going out in the afternoon for a meal. I had my fingers crossed all the way but alas the needle still rose as soon as I got a hill. So on Monday morning I'll be ringing Fords and ask them to plug it into their machines and hopefully tell me whats wrong. I shant get them to fix it though, too dear.
artscot79
[quote name='kingfisher1967' timestamp='1310833586' post='136156']
Went out this morning and brought a new cap, fitted it as soon as I got home because we were going out in the afternoon for a meal. I had my fingers crossed all the way but alas the needle still rose as soon as I got a hill. So on Monday morning I'll be ringing Fords and ask them to plug it into their machines and hopefully tell me whats wrong. I shant get them to fix it though, too dear.
[/quote]

ill ay its the thermostat not fitted right or the temperature sensor is faulty but ill hedge my bets on the thermostat or pump
stef123
you say you have had the coolant changed and what not... but has the system been flushed through? (sorry if you have mentioned this as ive not read the whole post)

If the water pump and expansion cap are new then it says to me that the hot coolant isn't flowing away from the engine, so its possubly a blockage or the thermostat thats if the temperature sensor is reading correct..

I will doubt very much if plugging it into a computer will return anything...
kingfisher1967
After reading the past 2 replies, I still rang Fords, but I asked them if they are able to flush my cooling system through. They recommended that I didn't have that done because ' of the age of the car/ if it causes a leak we would be liable' so they advised me to replace the rad ( yeah, not at your prices). This was after I called my mechanic, he says my hoses are fine. So I'm going to try something,tomorrow when I get home I'm going to pop the bonnet and see if my rad is cold, if it is, then is surely must be blocked? I cant believe I haven't tried this before, for my day job I sell boilers and central heating rads ( shame I cant get one to fit my car) and a cold rad often means a blocked one, DOH!

Ive had a quick look online, and they're not 'that' dear.

The fans aren't working again, but they have been, so thats probably a loose connection, the working fans also mean that the temperature sensor isn't duffy ( one less thing to change).

I really do appreciate everyone help with this. Hopefully ( as the government says ) lessons will be learnt.
kingfisher1967
LOL, there arent many places on a focus to grope a rad
The radiator bottom hose was cold, the top hose was hot. On the expansion tank, the hose leading from the rad was cold and the one leading from the engine was hot,and where I could feel, like the hoses, the top of the rad was cold and the bottom was hot.

So, another call out for my mechanic, another new part and a forth helping of coolant, PLEASE let this be it...
jeebowhite
Kingfisher, out of curiosity, how much has this pain in the a*se problem cost you so far?
kingfisher1967
WHEN! its fixed, I'll total the cost up. not sure how much the new rad is gonna cost, but for some reason rads for auto boxes cost more than manual :huh:
stef123
[quote name='kingfisher1967' timestamp='1311265507' post='136847']
WHEN! its fixed, I'll total the cost up. not sure how much the new rad is gonna cost,[b] but for some reason rads for auto boxes cost more than manual[/b] :huh:
[/quote]

do they have an ATF fluid cooler as part of them?
kingfisher1967
New rad went in today, did it work? not sure, the temperature went as high as 107C but Ive not done a proper run, Its going to take the gauge staying rock steady at motorway speeds ( or a steep hill) to convince me.
There was no life from the fans, so I'll give it another go with some WD40 at the weekend (maybe I can pick up a cheap 2nd unit from somewhere).

Total cost? £391.20, which brakes down to
Parts Thermostat, £10.98
Water Pump, £48.92
Radiator, £133.80

Parts Total £193.70

Coolant ( 3 fills) £22.50
Labour ( 3 visits) £175.00

Even after all that, I'd still have another Focus.
stef123
In the time i had my focus i never heard the rad fan once, although i tricked the relay to switch it on and it did work. I had about 110 degrees on the dashboard but i was told it kicks in at 118 IIRC..
kingfisher1967
Ive had the fans working, Ive had them come on at 104C.I suspect its an iffy connection somewhere.
I did check the hoses when I got home BTW and the all felt warm, which for me is an improvement.
FYI,up to 110C is 'normal' between 111C and 120C my temp gauge will rise to the red zone, above that all hell will break loose :D
artscot79
[quote name='kingfisher1967' timestamp='1311788993' post='137534']
Ive had the fans working, Ive had them come on at 104C.I suspect its an iffy connection somewhere.
I did check the hoses when I got home BTW and the all felt warm, which for me is an improvement.
FYI,up to 110C is 'normal' between 111C and 120C my temp gauge will rise to the red zone, above that all hell will break loose :D
[/quote]

from what the ford guy said some cars have different thermostats as theres a few set at diff temps you can have it so the fan cuts in from 98 degrees all the way up to 118 degrees most garages will change the thermostat but dont specify the temp they want and just buy a general thermostat they had the issue withh the foci temp gauge sitting higher than midway in hotter countries and climates so put different thermostats in to keep the needle halfway
kingfisher1967
[url="https://picasaweb.google.com/106113950561038506676/MixedAndStock#5635139789669676914"]link to picy[/url]
Well, theres your problem.
This is why my cooling fans aren't kicking in, looks a tad frazzled to me.
Shame Ive got to buy a whole new fan unit :angry:
Stewie316
I've been watching this topic for some time and your ambition to find and fix this problem! That connection plug looks cooked! I hope that's the source of the problem and fixes it now.

I wonder if bad weather has been leaking into this.
kingfisher1967
TY Stewie, you could say Ive been ambitious about it, Ive often been described as a bit of a pit-bull, once I get my teeth into something, I wont let go until its done :D

I can sum it up in 3 words
BRIGHTON'S SPEED BUMPS

I think its become lose over the years and many speed bumps we have, and has shorted out.
I don't think there is enough cable to cut out the cooked plug and patch in a new one, but at least I know whats I'm looking for if I can find a replacement rather that the fan unit

The new rad is working fine but I'd like to get the fans working again then finally I can stop watching the temperature gauge. B)
kingfisher1967
Went out for a proper drive this morning, and although its not as panicking as before, the gauge still rises above normal, but only for a short while before going back to normal. I can hear at least one fan coming on (having a fiddle and a spray with WD40 worked then), but I'm putting this 'small issue' down to the plug being fried and the fans not being able to do a proper job.

If fixing the fans don't work, I'll but a bit of black tape over the gauge and ignore it. :D
jeebowhite
good old masking tape fix!

Cant you just cut out the plug and wire in a bit more cable, and then just electrical tape over the top of the cable to insulate it? might be a lot cheaper!
kingfisher1967
Fitted a new fan unit today, £30.00 from a salvage car parts place, a lot cheaper than Ebay, and loads cheaper than a new one from Fords.

Took me about 10-15 mins to change, 4 clips, 1 multiplug and done. As the car was still a bit warm from earlier, I started it up, put the heat to hot, the selector to screen and BOTH! fans came on.

We are off out tomorrow, so that will give everything a good test.

On the way back from the parts place today it was still over heating, but again not by much ( putting the heating on to hot helped)so wont know if I need to put some black tape over the gauge until then.
kingfisher1967
Found something interesting last night at another forum. its a TSB ( Technical Service Bulletin) from 2001: (No. 005/2001)

'Should a customer express concern over high readings of the temperature gauge under relatively low ambient driving conditions, the probable cause could be any one of several factors. This bulletin contains a diagnostic procedure which should be followed, in the sequence shown, in order to rectify the concern.'

Basically its instructions on how to fit a by-pass kit that goes between the rad top hose and heater return hose, plus they recommend a 74C thermostat is fitted.
The guy that posted it did the work himself and says it work, I'm not that brave to do the work myself, and my mechanic is away now for a month, I shall pop into Fords on the way home from work on Saturday and try and haggle a price, I think that I shouldn't have to pay for the 'modification, but I do wonder why after so many years the problem with circulation should start now ( although its been 'better' since the new rad went in'
jeebowhite
Any number of reasons, possibly just a bad part that worked so well has had too many teething troubles and its the final nail in the coffin... Good luck with the dealer, and hopefully you will get a good price on it...
kingfisher1967
Well, Fords weren't that helpful. I had to ask one guy for the prices on the parts ( about £80 for the two) and ask another for a price on the labor (£120), after explaining why I wanted a by-pass kit, the impression that I got from his replies were that it wouldn't help ' coz its recently started to do it, it would be better to try and hunt down why its happening.( but gave no hint in what it could be)

after yet more Internet hunting, I found a thread on how to drain and refill the cooling system, apparently its not ( as I thought) fill via the expansion tank, but by [i]'disconnecting the heater supply hose from the engine'[/i]and filling it that way with the help of a funnel, once the coolant starts to [i]'trickle from the engine'[/i]( I'm guessing thats into the expansion tank and not onto the road), reconnect the supply hose, and then top up from the tank.

I reckon I might be able to tackle this myself, but I have one question, which is the heater supply hose?
kingfisher1967
I decided against pulling of any hoses, even though I'm pretty sure I know which one it is now.
instead I took the cap off the expansion tank (no hiss), started the car up and revved it lightly until it warmed up, that took about 15 mins to get to about 90C, meanwhile I wiggled, squeezed and shock as many hoses as I could reach as I was convinced this would shift any air that I have in the system. Well I'm not sure if its worked, but I have come across an 'Ehow, how to troubleshoot the cooling system in a ford focus' and one of the things to look for is [i][/i]look and the coolant levels, they should drop as your car warms up, if they remain unchanged, its most likely that the thermostat is stuck open[i][/i]well, the levels didn't change, so I think my next move should be to change the thermostat, again, the old one is only a few months old, but maybe it was faulty?

I wont get my mechanic to do it, Ive found fairly detailed instructions on how to drain, locate and refill, which I might even do the 'proper way'

Ive tracked down the part number I need ( 1303374, £11.35 plus VAT) and I'll try and reuse the old coolant
kingfisher1967
I don't know what to do now.

draining down the coolant was very easy, and while that was happening, I made a start on removing the pipe that leads to the air filter, the clips on it are like nothing Ive seen before, I was expecting a jubilee clip. after that I was meant to remove the 'coil pack housing' when I looked it up earlier in the week, it looked fairly easy, I manged to unplug everything, but I was afraid that I would make a hash of the screws and the bolts on the thermostat itself, so I admitted defeat.
So all I had to do was to plug everything back, reconnect the air filter tube ( after much swearing I replaced the ford clips with jubilee type) I re-filled the coolant, once it was up to MAX in the tank,( still had some left over) I started the car up and let it warm up. I manged to get it up about 93, but couldn't get it any higher, to I hopped in and drove it about the block, its hilly round our way so I figured it would only take a couple to get the fans going, this they did at 104c so I started back home ( down a hill) where, as I expected' the temperature to drop enough for the fans to go off ( never heard that before).A couple of hours later when I checked the coolant level, it had gone down, so I topped it up with what I had.

On Sunday we went out for a good long drive, and as per usual, any incline resulted in the needle rising a little and any decline resulted in the needle falling back to normal. There was one very long hill that made the needle get very close to the red zone, but it soon dropped back down as quick.

Yesterday, we went out again, but a shorter journey,(still had hills and motorway) its one Ive done before so I was surprised when I noticed the needle didn't move at all( but the fans where doing the usual over time), even the hill leading to my home the needle didn't rise. Had draining and filling yesterday made something better?

When I drove home from work I purposely drove up a couple of hills that Ive done in the past, so I could kinda guess what the needle would do from previous trips.There were certain point in my journey where I thought ' thats cooler than normal' It did rise, but only when I was at the top of a hill and only a tad (111C) even the hill leading to home only got as high as 109.

My conclusion is it seems better, but not perfect.

Is the thermostat not opening properly? as far as I can find out if it was stuck shut, I'd be over heating while waiting at traffic lights, if it was stuck open ( and I'd get no heat inside the car), then the car would never warm up

My dilemma is: I was about to wave the white flag and give it Fords to look at, but if it is the stat, I can ask my mobile mechanic to replace it. I'd rather pay him to replace it than Fords

I know its possible to test the stat, but for that the bugger has to come out.

The only other things I haven't replaced are the top and bottom hose to the rad ( hindsight says I should had check them on Saturday while I was draining down, but hey ho)and the temperature senor that sits between the spark plugs ( apparently I don't have to drain down for that)


Not sure what to do now, We go away in about 3 weeks, I aim to get it fixed before then.
jeebowhite
You could spend far too much money diagnosing possibilities I say as hard as it is, bite the dealer bullet! you can try swinging it with them that you dont pay for parts that dont fix the problem as I have managed in the past!


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