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Ford Fiesta 1.4 Zetec Stuttering Problems, Loss Of Power


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#1 Christopher Lightfoot

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 04:02 PM

Hi,

Missus has a 2003 MK6(?) Ford Fiesta 1.4 Zetec; We've noticed that occasionally it feels like a loss of power (engine power); putting your foot down hard on the gas pedal seems to resolve it quicker than just ignoring it - once it starts happening it's very hard to drive normally as it constantly feels like it's going to stall over and under revving constantly. We found that simply pulling over, switching off the engine and re-starting usually clears the issue.

The second part thing we noticed is during motorway use the speedo would just drop to 0mph; somtimes for a couple of seconds somtimes for minutes at a time - altering speed didn't seem to affect it.

Last year after reading up about the speedo issue we mentioned it to our local garage during a service and he replaced the speed sensor located at the back of the engine next to the gearbox; after replacing this sensor the speedo issue hasn't come back but the stuttering issue is still present.

I've replaced the air filter, plugs, oil and oil filter and the problem seemed to go away for a couple of days but the week after it returned again;

Having a look today I noticed a hissing sound coming from around the engine and tracked it down (I think) to what I believe is the fuel return line; It's plastic covered with a red button and a quick release mechanism; the liquid inside smells like fuel and the haynes manual briefly mentions it but shows a different photo to what I can (possibly a different layout on another model);

I can't see any fuel leaking so I can only assume that it's actually sucking in air?

Another thing we noticed is opening the fuel filler cap there's a HUGE sucktion of air; not your normal hiss - somtimes it last for ages; Apparently this also isn't normal?

From everything I've read it sounds like some vacuum issue in the tank and maybe a blocked pressure release valve?

I think (but can't confirm) that the issue happens a lot more when the tank is close to empty; I"ve heard suggestions of leaving the filler cap slightly loose to allow this pressure releaves to see if the issue goes away.

I was just wondering if anyone else has noticed this issue or has any ideas what it could be? Please help as missus is going crazy!!

Finally; the bonet release tab just snapped on me - I've managed to tie some washing line around the handle but I can't seem to find what this part is called to order a new one in!

Thanks in advance,
Chris

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#2 james_60

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 04:13 PM

Hello Chris

The suction of air is normal it happens to my car and all other fiestas i have driven from the humble 1989 mk3 to the 2000 mk5 and numberous mk6's and mk6.5's unless they all had vacuum problems.

My g/f has a 1.25 2004 finesse.

Her car stutters when stopping at junctions. it almost stalls.

The emissions on the mot are almost zero so maybe an air leak like you suggested.

Another suggestion to us was the Mass Air Flow sensor (MAF) It can cause irregular running and odd Rev counter readings.

They are supposedly only good for 25000 miles according to the car mechanics magazine.

I too have changed every filter and every lubricant to no avail.

For the record her car has done 61k miles. and has its oil and filters changed twice a year (ott to some but we want to keep it)

Your cars prob sounds not too dissimilar to ours

Jamie

#3 Christopher Lightfoot

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 05:21 PM

Hi Jamie,

Thanks for replying so fast!

When we had the MOT done last year he didn't mention anything about the emissions - I was worried about them being off but he said they were bang in the middle.

I just tried the DTC check where you hold the trip-reset button in while turning on the ignition and cycling through the various modes - I'm a little annoyed that the ford manual doesn't mention this (have just gone through the entire owners manual page to page looking for fault details) as it's so useful; there are quite a bit of details on those various tests that I can see being useful in the future and all ford ever tells you to do is take it to their garage!

Anyway, no fault codes came up - just says "NONE" on the dtc test.

Talking to the missus she also seems to agree the issue tends to happen more when the tank is running low (i.e. less than half full); I'll try and keep the tank topped up and monitor the situation further.

Had a good look around the net for the plastic tab on the bonnet latch but I'm not exctly sure what I'm looking for - ford probably call it somthing else? I did find a couple of complete units but it seems a bit of a waste to spend 30 on a full lock mechanism when I only need the plastic!

Chris

#4 james_60

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 08:04 PM

Hi Chris

Its ok i look on here for interesting posts and yours met the requirements.

One thing i always suggest is

When was the last time you had for plug the car into there ids system.

There must be loads of software updates for your car.

I will get my g/f's updated before long.

Did you get chance to see if the MAF needs changing.

Jamie

#5 Christopher Lightfoot

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:25 AM

Just a quick update;

Drove the car last night with the filler cap loose and a full tank and the issue still happens - it drove fine for a couple of miles until I switched off the engine and then switched it back on again; It was so bad that pulling away from a junction was almost impossible without hitting 4k or 5k revs before it would pull cleanly away with it just feeling like it was going to stall with anything less; Pulling away once from the junction was okay so long as the revs were kept high and the pedal was all the way to the floor; holding the pedal at any other position just made it stutter with the feeling like it was gassing up; letting off the pedal for short periods didn't make any difference. pushing at the pedal did nothing until the pedal hit the floor and then it would suddenly accelerate really hard - if it wasn't for the jumpy idle I'd assume there was an issue with the pedal.

Pulling up to a junction the revs were bouncing between 0.5 - 1.5 and you could really feel the engine bouncing around; Giving it extra work like AC, heaters and moving the power steering almost brought it to stalling.

However, With the car stationary and the clutch in you could rev as much as you want without any issue. Letting out the clutch and trying to drive with it was quite difficult - I realise that revving with no load is different to driving but previously on bikes with duff spark plugs even revving felt difficult so I'm pretty confident the plugs and ht leads are okay - they are new after all!

After switching off the engine and switching it back on everything worked normally with normal smooth operation and the issue wouldn't happen again even after switching it on and off a couple of times.

I've yet to check the MAF, but my list of things to check/replace are:

* MAF
* Lambda sensor (both? Can only see 1, but apparently there's 2!)
* Fuel filter
* Possibly the fuel return line

I was thinking about disconnecting the battery for a couple of hours too to try and reset the ECU but surely they have EEPROM to back everything up to?

Thanks,
Chris

#6 james_60

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 06:45 PM

* MAF (ATTACHED TO THROTTLE BODY LOOK UNDER THE FIRST INLET ON THE LEFT AND YOU WILL SEE THROTTLE BODY ITS A BLACK PLUG THAT CONNECTS TO IT BE READY FOR BRAZED KNUCKLES
* Lambda sensor (both? Can only see 1, but apparently there's 2!) (ONE PRE CAT ONE POST CAT)
* Fuel filter AHEAD OF REAR WHEEL ON PASSENGER SIDE LOOKS LIKE A BLACK THICK SAUSAGE
* Possibly the fuel return line. OTT ME THINKS CHANGE THE ABOVE FIRST THEN REPORT BACK.

P.S sorry about the caps its to make it stand out.

The Lambda sensors are going to hurt your wallet i dont think they need changing. If they did your mot results would be sky high.

Hope this helps

jamie

#7 FiestaGeezer

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 07:54 PM

Hi Chris

You sound like you have exactly the same problem with your fiesta as I have with mine.

Have you made any progress since your last post?

My mate and I are entertaining the possibility that we could have a problem with the fuel pressure. It seems the problem is worse when the car is on a hill, even a slight one.

Cheers
J

#8 Christopher Lightfoot

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 09:52 AM

Hi,

Been a long week at work - haven't had any time to look at car again - missus says it's been fine all week though!!

Last week when it happened I had been parked on a really large hill (Facing down) just before the issue started;

The way into our lasses work is also mostly all down hill when the issue occurs - she's never complained about it on the way home (only on the way there); But she's currently using it for work today so I can't really test it;

I just got a quote from ford for the new bonet tab and they wanted 15.90 just for the plastic!! he was a really nice fellow though and advised I just ring up doncaster motor spares as I could probably get one for a more reasonable 5 :-D. I made an enquiry to their service team and they're going to ring me back to get more details and maybe a quote on looking at this random issue.

They did mention that hissing from the fuel return line isn't normal; Just this alone makes me think somthing's overpressure somewhere on top of any other issues.

Anyway; searching for "ford fiesta maf sensor" brings up lots and lots of people having exactly the same issue and being told to replace the sensor as was the first thing james mentioned :-D. I'm going to try ordering one this weekend.

Thanks,
Chris

#9 james_60

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 10:00 AM

Hi

I think you are getting confused somewhere along the line.

Do you mean Hissing from the Fuel Cap when opening it.

How can you demonstrate that you are getting hissing from the fuel return line.

Jamie

#10 FiestaGeezer

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 03:59 PM

Hello everybody

Just to let you know, my own stuttering fiesta problem has been SOLVED at the first effort. It was the MAF (Mass AirFlow) sensor. We disconnected it first, and the car drove fine (apart from idling funny). We didn't even buy a new sensor; we bought some carburettor cleaner for 4.25, took out the sensor, cleaned it, put it back, and the car now runs without any problems at all.

J

#11 Christopher Lightfoot

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 07:34 PM

Hi

I think you are getting confused somewhere along the line.

Do you mean Hissing from the Fuel Cap when opening it.

How can you demonstrate that you are getting hissing from the fuel return line.

Jamie


Along the front of the engine there's a fuel rail? Where the injection jets are located - at one end is a fuel line with a white quick release clip and at the other is another fuel line with a red quick release clip; while the car is running a loud hiss can be heard while the bonnet is open;

Using my ear (lol) I located the hiss to where the fuel return line connects onto the fuel rail and wiggling the connector causes the sound to change pitch; I've felt all along the cable and can't feel any leakage so I assumed it was where the line clips onto the rail and the seal between the two (it's like a red and green rubber ring inside the end of the line). I can't feel anything from around the clip but I'm certain the sound is coming from there.

I was going to try starting the engine with the fuel return off to see if the sound still exists but I was worried fuel will come pouring out all over the place :-D

#12 james_60

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 08:48 PM

Hi

The injectors are under pressure so i assume that is why they are hissing.

~Do not attempt to remove that pipe when the engine is running you will cover yourself etc and cause a big problem if it catches fire.~

Just out of interest how much is a new maf sensor for these cars.

Jamie

#13 Christopher Lightfoot

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 10:13 PM

Hi

The injectors are under pressure so i assume that is why they are hissing.

~Do not attempt to remove that pipe when the engine is running you will cover yourself etc and cause a big problem if it catches fire.~

Just out of interest how much is a new maf sensor for these cars.

Jamie


Checking the haynes manual it seems the MAF sensor has been replaced by something called a TMAP sensor; "The TMAP sensor is located on the inlet manifold or throttle housing, and consists of a pressure transducer and a temperature sensor which directly supersedes the mass air fow and inlet air temperature sensors"

I removed the electrical plug connected to the throttle body but the entire car goes haywire revving about 2.5k and the dash flashing on and off with an error flashing - Needless to say I put the plug back in and it all works fine again; phew.

So I guess next step is to take the air inlet duct off and have a look into the throttle body ; apparently the sensor sits just before it so I might just take a peek to see if everything looks okay; I guess worst case is having to buy a complete throttle body :-S.

Chris

#14 mackdaddy

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 10:02 PM

Chris

Got the same problem.
02 1.4 zetec 44k miles
Engine management light came on for the missus. Not firng properly etc
New sparks - no change
New HYt leads - no change
New coil pack - hurray! for about a day.
Went to garage - he reckoned it was the coil pack and that cheap coil packs don't supply the voltage.
Sprayed loads of connectors with carb cleaner and wd40, including the throttle body.
No change.
Actually thinking about it maybe it is the coil pack. The stuttering, where you mash the throttle is what I've done years ago in MKII escorts and then it was down to the distributor.
Don't think the 1.4 has a MAF but there's something on the left-hand side of the throttle body (Idle control?) that I couldn't manage to get off.
Good luck Chris - our fezzer's a great car when its working....

#15 james_60

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 08:43 AM

Hi

The Thing you call it that you could not get off is the culprit. It is held on by a small torx screw.

It is the what is causing the problem.

Jamie



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