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jamwatn

Hi,

I've bought what I now think is a dodgy Focus TDCI from a dodgy trader in Essex. Sadly I rushed as I was desperate for a car!

I tested the car (03 Plate Tdci 65K Miles) and it was acceptable. Bit of a lumpy start but I put this down to sitting in a lockup for a few months. As I said it was acceptable on my 3 or 4 mile test drive. 

I purchased it for 1.1k thinking the car would suit me for a few months.

On the drive home, after about ten miles, the car cut out with the glow plug light flashing and it wouldn't start up again without a huge amount of cranking. Finally did but cut out again so got recovered.

 

Today I've ordered a cam position sensor and popped the car on diagnostics. Bearing in mind I've used it a month ago to connect to another identical car, the diagnostics refused to connect with the error: No vehicle response.. (although it saw the data bus as ok.). Finally the fuel gauge keeps mysteriously going up and down.

The car starts after nearly ten seconds cranking and eventually settles to an acceptable idle.

 

I feel totally ripped off and don't think the trader was genuine so I wouldn't be able to return the car for a repair! I have no idea who or what he was trading as and I was stupid not to have found this out but I'm on my 15th car over time and have never been ripped off before!

Hope someone can advise what to do please?

FOCA

It is possible that the code reader you used is only OBD2 compatible and not OBD1, it must have the Ford protocols also

 

(your car is liable to be OBD1, it has the same plug/ socket as OBD2)

 

Try an F- super , it works on OBD1, many other code readers don't

 

The orange glow plug light acts as an EML (engine management light) often, the ECU (engine control unit, has other names) puts the car into "limp home mode" (often shortened to "limp mode" in forums) to protect the engine from damage if something is wrong so you can...  limp home sometimes if you drive the car under certain revs/ (often under 3k) and use little throttle the car runs ok

 

A new fuel filter may help and is a "service" item anyway, along with a new air filter

 

Check the glow plugs individually with a multi-meter (you don't need to remove them, just the cables) if any of them are "open circut" or zero ohms, you have a dud glowplug - that won't help starting

 

The battery is liable to ge flat so carrying a booster and/ or jump leads can be a good idea

 

How can't you find the trader again? where did you buy it? how do you know they are dodgy?  

 

If the trader is suspect the milage may be too - does the recorded milage match the condition of the exterior/ interior? (eg, is the drivers seat worn, the carpet and the pedal rubbers worn like a 100+k car?)

jamwatn

You could be right but the ODB reader worked on a 52 plate Focus tdci and this is an 03. With less than 3 months inbetween it seems unlikely to be at fault! The reader works on new cars too such as an 07 plate fiesta.

The reason I felt they were dodgy was the fact that he had a lot full of similar old focuses at extremely low prices. It just didn't feel right and I've been to many traders before. There is no reference of the 'company' online and the 'receipt' I was given was on the back of an envelope!! 

I genuinely feel the car is not 60k mileage. Things aren't overly worn but I've had two other of the same vehicle, both at 100k miles plus and they were identical. There are odd things such as rear disk brakes which seemed out of place for a tdci 3 door and the carpet looks like its been removed and put back badly. There's also wind noise as if there is a couple of bungs missing behind the dash!!

Really feel ripped off.

Josh775

Have you got pictures of the car out of interest? Interior? Engine Bay? Boot? pedals? How did you get on with it?

STEADS
With what your sayin bout rear discs and the carpet being removed and put back incorrectly I,d be more concerned if there any suspect welding under that carpet get the mots checked out on the vosa site as well ..
jamwatn

Right...after a new sensor there are no improvements.

I have searched through the MOT certification and sadly there is record of the vehicle previously being a PETROL!! This probably means the mileage is non genuine!!

 

What should I do?

STEADS
I would seriously delve further pull that carpet back .
martyntdci

so ur thinking its had a rear shunt, and the boot floor has been worked on?

 

so its had a conversion..... tbh if it were me, id take it back guns a blazing

Josh775

You checked the Engine no against one on logbook etc? We need some pictures mate, get the carpet back and show us. Also, if u dont mind what is the Reg/Mot number and I'll take a look? You may have to go Trading Standards.

martyntdci

ditto on trading standards^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^....

 

does it state on the log book that its a derv not a petrol? and on the mot's

jamwatn

I've taken the carpet back and it looks standard. I would suggest the wiring loom etc and engine has been changed.I have attempted to make contact with the 'dealer' and have requested a full refund however he has refused.

STEADS
I'm thinking a bit more than a rear end shunt
martyntdci

cut n shut?

jamwatn

I only have the "new keeper supplement" side of the logbook. The seller stated they were selling it on behalf of someone else however the listing clearly states they are a trader. Current MOT states diesel however previous states petrol. I cannot give the registration or details on a forum but might be able to post images edited.

jamwatn

Right, this is weird.. Nothing is adding up. An HPI check also reveals outstanding finance!! I'm now thinking the car is not even legit or in-fact has the wrong plates etc.

STEADS
What makes you think wrong plates have you had a good look at where the vin is stamped and under the bonnet first port of call I think should be trading standards like josh says .
jamwatn

Have since done this, VIN matches throughout so plates probably correct after all. Going to contact Trading standards tomorrow.

MOT History is as follows:

 

39235 07/08/2006 Diesel Fail    

39236 09/08/2006 Not recorded   

50142 14/03/2008 Petrol      

50285 28/03/2008 Diesel      

51538 28/04/2009 Ford Focus Diesel TDCI  

52534 07/05/2010 Petrol      

58470 23/08/2011 Petrol PASS  

63590 25/10/2013 Diesel      

STEADS
It's possible it's a legit car but been sold with a known fault but as a trader selling it with hpi outstanding not to sure where he stands on that one .
Josh775

The Petrol things COULD be a typo..... We need pictures really.

jamwatn

It doesn't look good though if its been sold with 60K DIESEL miles however miles are recorded on MOT with a differing fuel type. Listing stated it 'runs and drives well'. Really not happy and goes against all my past experience with cars!!!

jamwatn

I understand it could be a typo on one occasion however repetitive typo's is strange. Did they even do rear disk brakes on a 100PS diesel? 

martyntdci

how can it go 2 weeks, petrol/diesel

jamwatn

This is true. The two weeks I believe was a re-test after a fail.

jamwatn

The trader claims that 'VOSA/MOT garages make mistakes' and the fuel change is nothing. If I put the VIN into a Ford identification website it does display as Diesel so perhaps fuel change was a mistake.

What should I do? He does offer a 'repair' despite not knowing what's even wrong with the car (allegedly) however he is 50 miles+ away and I cant get the car to him.

Any ideas please?!

Josh775

I'd make him come and get it and repair it and give you at least a months warranty on the engine/box. That's what I did when I bought mine ;) So far: Alternator Tensioner/all Belts replaced and a Caliper.

jamwatn

An update:

I've changed the camshaft position sensor which has solved the cutting out totally. It however starts REALLY badly. Sometimes cranking of 15/20 seconds is needed. The engine will hunt and wobble for some time however once down the road a mile, it runs perfectly.

Any ideas? I'd have to fork out loads of money to get it back to the trader and take time off work and its pretty much not an option.

 

My instinct says injector fault but the car drives so smoothly that it seems less likely.

FOCA

An update:

I've changed the camshaft position sensor which has solved the cutting out totally. It however starts REALLY badly. Sometimes cranking of 15/20 seconds is needed. The engine will hunt and wobble for some time however once down the road a mile, it runs perfectly.

Any ideas? I'd have to fork out loads of money to get it back to the trader and take time off work and its pretty much not an option.

 

My instinct says injector fault but the car drives so smoothly that it seems less likely.

That sounds like it could be one or more of the glow plugs or associated systems

jamwatn

I didnt think glow plugs heated in a tdci till the ambient temperature was very cold? It also does it even if the engine has been run for an extended period of time.



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