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booted it off from a set of lights and got to about 40mph and then the car just died, had greenflag out and they came up with nothing on diagnostics, got towed home and car hasnt been able to start since, it sounds like it has no compression, i havent got money to just start buying everything it could be so i need a better answer than, "it could be" please help as i need to get my car on the road this weekend
I am hoping its not your cambelt. Id get the cover off and see if its still ok. If its gone, you may as well look for another car.

When was it last changed? I think its 100k miles or 10 years (which ever comes first) on a 1.6.
Its a 1.8 mate and the cam belt hasn't gone as you can see the cams turning when you turn the key
Head gasket or inlet manifold gasket?
Your head may have warped too, Get a garage to do a compression test on each cylinder.
They just remove the plugs and screw a pressure guage into each plug port in turn to test pressures.
[quote name='alanc16' timestamp='1327708582' post='163558']
Its a 1.8 mate and the cam belt hasn't gone as you can see the cams turning when you turn the key
Its good news its not gone. If it had slipped it would probably still run but really rough. Does it still turn over on the starter?
Yer I'm lucky the belt hasnt snapped haha, took the plus out before and they where soaked, put new plugs in and fully charged the battery but nothing still, fuel rail is not blocked and there's nothing coming up on diagnostics, don't think the head gaskets gone as the oils still perfect, any more idea's?
As the the plugs are wet, it may just be your coil pack decided to go and your now not getting any spark.
Bear in mind that oil in the coolant system is only one of the signs of headgasket failure. It can go in many places, if it goes between two cylinders there probably wouldn't be oil in the coolant system (or 'slush'). That would also cause the lack of compression.

Unfortunately the only way to know for sure whether there's a problem with the headgasket is to do a compression test, remove plugs and scew the tool in each cylinder while cranking.

To test the spark plugs, take one out and connect the HT lead, rest the plug against some metal and you'll visibly see the spark jump - if each of the plugs are sparking and the fuel system is good, there's a good chance the damage is inside the engine.

This is just my opinion, and I have a terrible dose of flu at the minute - so forgive any spelling mistakes.

Dan :)
Whats the immobilizer light doing? does it extinguish?
It's getting spark on all 4 cylinders and the immobiliser light goes off after a few seconds so that's fine, is there anyone in the Cheshire area with a zetec compression tester that could help me out as i haven't got any money for 2 weeks and need to get my car back on the road :/
can anyone help ?
will be having a compression test done in the next hour or so, will anyone be able to help me with the results?
Post them up and hopefully someone can help.
How did you get on with the compression test? Ideally you want each cylinder to be the same, really small differences don't matter too much on an engine with 100k miles on the clock but it's when there's an obvious difference on one cylinder or all of the cylinders are down etc.
If that doesnt show anything up, it might be worth getting a pressure leakage test done if it turns out you have compression issues. That will id where the problem is.
piston 1 - 50psi
piston 2 - 35 psi
piston 3 - 35psi
piston 4 - 35 psi :

could this be something other than a head gasket?
According to those results it seems the compression is certainly down on three out of the four cylinders. That's quite a big difference too, two or three PSI isn't much of a problem but we're talking 15 PSI. I'd personally find it hard to just call that normal considering the engine has 100k on the clock, mine does too but I'd be confident of results being more similar over each of the four cylinders than in your case.

Unfortunately the only way of further fault finding would be to remove the cylinder head and check the interior condition of the cylinders and cylinder head. Those results could suggest the timing belt has snapped and resulted in valve to piston damage - but you are sure the camshafts are turning and the belt hasn't gone?

Another possibility is that the headgasket has gone between cylinders resulting in a loss of compression, bear in mind you don't always need 'sludge' in your oil for the headgasket to have failed.

A lot of this is just possibilities and it seems the only sure way of knowing is to remove the cylinder head. You've checked there's fuel, you've checked for a spark and there doesn't seem to be many more options to check sadly....

Hope that's of some help :)
I agree, it's either a head gasket failure or because the pressure has dropped in 3 of 4 cylinders it could well be a warped head.
As stated before i'd spin the head off and check the gasket first then check the head for warping - even a very tiny difference can cause a lot of problem.
If that looks ok get a valve leak test done.
Anyway once the head is off something may become instantly obvious.

1. Lack of oil causing the rings to be overworked. 2. Old (worn) and weak rings. 3. Crack or opening in the head - but that doesn't necessarily mean water in the oil or oil in the water. 4. Cracked cylinder 5. Burned, warped or cracked valve(s). 6. Burned or cracked piston. 7. Cylinder worn or out of round. 8. Blown or leaky head gasket. 9. Sticky valve(s). 10. Broken or worn valve spring(s). 11. Bent/worn pushrod(s) 12. Worn camshaft, or a broken lobe on the cam. 13. Worn or bent rocker arm(s). 14. Collapsed lifter(s).

it could mean several things from damaged rings and cylinder walls to tiny cracks in the piston heads or even a sticking or weak overhead valve if they have them

Low compression either from valves or rings. You can do the test wet and dry. Check the lbs. dry and then give a little shot of oil in the plug hole and check the lbs. If the pressure goes up wet, then the rings are losing the pressure. If the pressure is the same wet or dry, then it's a good chance that it needs a valve job.
This may be caused by burnt valves,worn piston rings,blown head gasket

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Before you tear the engine to pieces. Can you decribe any sounds or knocks from the engine. Tell us exactly what happened when you said you booted it from a set of lights etc. what rpm etc

Could be crank position sensor or anything like that sometimes these can go wrong without showing up on diagnostic tools.

I know you said you dont want could be solutions but it would help if you detailed exactly what happened when it died.

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