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Flickering S-Max Headlamps


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#1 WayneP

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 09:58 PM

I have a 1.8D Zetec S-Max 56 plate. Over the last 6 months or so I have an issue with the headlamps especially from a cold start. For about the first five minutes of a journey at night the headlamps flicker as the electrical power appears to fluctuate. The fault was originally identified when under Ford warranty, but that has now expired. I have put the car into a Ford Main Dealer four times now. The first two times they could not identify the fault (because the car was not cold), we eventually persuaded them to keep it over night and they agreed there was a fault (hurray) :rolleyes: . The remedy was a new alternator at approx 400. This was fitted and the car still has the same problem. We left the car with the same dealer for another four days and they admit there is a fault but can't fix it !!. The report from the dealer stated "...Contacted Ford technical, they advised remove glow plug relay and recheck for fault - with relay removed lights did not flash. Re contacted Ford technical, they advised that during cold start up the glow plugs/relay stays on until engine reaches a certain temperature, whilst they are on they draw a large current which the alternator tries to compensate for (This causes the voltage to fluctuate and hedlamps flash). We compared this to another 1.8D S-Max and the same concern happens. We are advised this is normal operation for this model during cold start..." This sounded like a fob off after 6 months so I contacted Ford techical, who advised me there was no common fault on this model and the main dealer were unable to find the fault, they have suggested "I try a different Ford dealer" - Great

Has anyone else got a similar problem with their 1.8D S-Max, if so have you managed to get it fixed - I would appreciate any advice anyone might have.

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#2 artscot79

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 09:56 PM

I have a 1.8D Zetec S-Max 56 plate. Over the last 6 months or so I have an issue with the headlamps especially from a cold start. For about the first five minutes of a journey at night the headlamps flicker as the electrical power appears to fluctuate. The fault was originally identified when under Ford warranty, but that has now expired. I have put the car into a Ford Main Dealer four times now. The first two times they could not identify the fault (because the car was not cold), we eventually persuaded them to keep it over night and they agreed there was a fault (hurray) Posted Image . The remedy was a new alternator at approx £400. This was fitted and the car still has the same problem. We left the car with the same dealer for another four days and they admit there is a fault but can't fix it !!. The report from the dealer stated "...Contacted Ford technical, they advised remove glow plug relay and recheck for fault - with relay removed lights did not flash. Re contacted Ford technical, they advised that during cold start up the glow plugs/relay stays on until engine reaches a certain temperature, whilst they are on they draw a large current which the alternator tries to compensate for (This causes the voltage to fluctuate and hedlamps flash). We compared this to another 1.8D S-Max and the same concern happens. We are advised this is normal operation for this model during cold start..." This sounded like a fob off after 6 months so I contacted Ford techical, who advised me there was no common fault on this model and the main dealer were unable to find the fault, they have suggested "I try a different Ford dealer" - Great

Has anyone else got a similar problem with their 1.8D S-Max, if so have you managed to get it fixed - I would appreciate any advice anyone might have.



to be honest its true the glow plugs remain active after the cars been started and do draw a lot of current and its common on a few diesels there isnt a cure for it you just live with it its the same as sitting at traffic lights with the heaters on radio headlights rear demisrter the demister alone uses more current than all the others put together and will cause light flicker the fluctuations you report is the alternator compensating ie the faster it turns the more power it puts out so variations in speed cause the fluctuations vw diesels as well as many others suffer from it so they are being honest for once there is nothing to fix its just the way it is you will find its not a common fault as most people accept it as being normal i think the next ford dealer will tell you the same thing because its how the car is they could have 100 customers come in with the same fault but because its not actually a fault just the design then its not logged as an issue


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