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#1 WHITEyy118

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 11:19 PM

Right, I recently bought a Focus and I've had it about 2 weeks now and just a few days ago I noticed the battery light came on and stayed on. I checked the battery for loose connections but all seemed fine and then looking in the manual it says that the light means that the alternator isn't charging the battery. Luckily with purchasing the car I got 3 months warrenty so they are sorting it for me and apparently its just a dodgy wire. I was just wondering if its a common problem in focus's? I own a 56reg 1.8TDCi Sport.

And I was wondering are there any common problems with the new focus's that I should be aware of? Also its nothing major but when the car is started and turned off the is quite a bit of car shake. Any ideas or is it nothing? Sorry to be negative but having previously owning two Peugeot's I seem to look on the downside.

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#2 artscot79

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 11:21 AM

Right, I recently bought a Focus and I've had it about 2 weeks now and just a few days ago I noticed the battery light came on and stayed on. I checked the battery for loose connections but all seemed fine and then looking in the manual it says that the light means that the alternator isn't charging the battery. Luckily with purchasing the car I got 3 months warrenty so they are sorting it for me and apparently its just a dodgy wire. I was just wondering if its a common problem in focus's? I own a 56reg 1.8TDCi Sport.

And I was wondering are there any common problems with the new focus's that I should be aware of? Also its nothing major but when the car is started and turned off the is quite a bit of car shake. Any ideas or is it nothing? Sorry to be negative but having previously owning two Peugeot's I seem to look on the downside.


could also mean incorrect battery ie a lead acid battery instaed of a silver calcium/lead calcium battery should have ca on the battery somewhere this will also cause the light to come on on top of that a possible faulty cell in the battery easily tested for free at most garages then look at the alternator vibration can cause faulty wires on the alternator occasionally other than that make sure the carpets dry underneath as the pollen filter gets replaced and they dont fit the seal properly so you end up with water in the footwell and the occasional leak from the rear light clusters

#3 jeebowhite

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 01:10 PM

other than the above, my alternator itself failed at 54000 miles, and water pumps are notorious for failure

#4 artscot79

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 01:54 PM

other than the above, my alternator itself failed at 54000 miles, and water pumps are notorious for failure


strange with the waterpumps mines 9 year old ands still going though it will be changed shortly along with the thermostat and coolant strange how as the focus has evolved the problems seem to increase rather than being ironed out

#5 MrrNoName

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 09:26 PM

just throught id chip in, my 06 reg 1.8 tdci shakes alot when starting and especially when switching off for a second or two, seems normal to me for a diesel... ? :D

#6 mjt

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:32 AM

According to Haynes..."the ECU switches off the injectors and operates a vacuum unit fitted to the inlet manifold to prevent engine 'shake' as the crankshaft and pistons come to a stop". This is for an 02 'facelift' Mk 1 and I don't notice any shake on mine. I would have thought a similar arrangement would be used on newer models so maybe if you are getting some shake it needs investigating.

#7 Jemima

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 10:49 AM

Right, I recently bought a Focus and I've had it about 2 weeks now and just a few days ago I noticed the battery light came on and stayed on. I checked the battery for loose connections but all seemed fine and then looking in the manual it says that the light means that the alternator isn't charging the battery. Luckily with purchasing the car I got 3 months warrenty so they are sorting it for me and apparently its just a dodgy wire. I was just wondering if its a common problem in focus's? I own a 56reg 1.8TDCi Sport.

And I was wondering are there any common problems with the new focus's that I should be aware of? Also its nothing major but when the car is started and turned off the is quite a bit of car shake. Any ideas or is it nothing? Sorry to be negative but having previously owning two Peugeot's I seem to look on the downside.


I'm also having issues with my battery light! It came on 2 weeks ago, called the AA they said the alternator was gone. Took it to a friends garage, next day he started it up no battery light everything tested as fine and it's been fine. Saturday the battery light came on again, asked mechanic he said it's know electrical fault on Focus's, second mechanic tested battery - that's fine and told me it was fine to keep driving it. Then the ABS light came on, I pulled over all lights flickered I turned the ignition off and it wouldn't start again. AA came out again he said alternator and possibly the smart charge. He reckons that something in the smart charge blows which then stops the alternator working.

Am taking to a grage tonight to have a diagnostic run on it tomorrow.

#8 artscot79

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 05:14 PM

I'm also having issues with my battery light! It came on 2 weeks ago, called the AA they said the alternator was gone. Took it to a friends garage, next day he started it up no battery light everything tested as fine and it's been fine. Saturday the battery light came on again, asked mechanic he said it's know electrical fault on Focus's, second mechanic tested battery - that's fine and told me it was fine to keep driving it. Then the ABS light came on, I pulled over all lights flickered I turned the ignition off and it wouldn't start again. AA came out again he said alternator and possibly the smart charge. He reckons that something in the smart charge blows which then stops the alternator working.

Am taking to a grage tonight to have a diagnostic run on it tomorrow.


when the smart charge goes the alternator works like any normal alernator on any other car it will charge the battery but not effectively there are 3 wires coinnected to a plug that fits into the alternator these wires can break due to vibration and corrosion so these are worth checking first and its worth making sure you have the right battery if its not the smart charge wil have toasted the battery and the car wont start it can also knacker the smart charge in the priocess its worth noting the smart charge is fed by a fuse in the main fuse box in the engine bay check this if its gone smart charge will have stopped working.below is info from peter cooper repairs

Ford Focus alternator smart charging



First things first, check the battery, not just condition, but correct type. A lead acid battery will not work properly with smart charge, it must be Silver Calcium! Easy to over look.



Next, put a meter across the battery. Remember when you remove the smart charge 3 pin plug from the back of the alternator, it reverts to a conventional alternator! If you do not have about 13.8 volts, carry out basic charging system checks and suspect the alternator, its not a smart charge fault !



Correct charge voltage from the alternator, then its time to start on the smart charge system, and you will need a scope. First the system.



Pin 1 = Alternator Feedback

Pin 2 = Alternator Load Request

Pin 3 = Reference Voltage



Now, pin3, must MATCH battery voltage ! Its fed from a fuse in the Central Junction Box in the engine bay, and a high resistance on the fuse contacts causes a volt drop, and the smart charge drops out !



Next pin 1 & 2 need checking back to the PCM for resistance, isolation from ground and each other. If ok, its out with the scope.



Pin 2 is the request from the PCM to the alternator. This will be a square wave pattern that will change with load request. So lights, screens etc on and monitor for a change in the pattern. (Obviously back probing with the plug connected)

No change in the pattern means no request from the PCM, you should now suspect a PCM fault. Correct pattern and move on.



Pin 1 is the feedback from the alternator and MUST remain a constant square wave pattern. If this pattern mirrors the one on pin 2, the smart charge part of the alternator is faulty, and a new unit is required.



With these simple checks, you should always be able to diagnose a smart charge fault.



Another point to add is, never, ever, jump start a Smart Charge vehicle with a flat battery.



The system can produce up to 18 volts, which can fry major modules.



The theory behind smart charge, is a battery will take a charges at its most efficient when itís cold. Following start up, the PCM checks the Engine coolant temp, and intake air temp, and calculates a cold engine. It will then boost the battery charge, pulling it back as it calculates the under bonnet temp coming up. Its not there to compensate high demand as is the common misconception.



The problem comes on a jump start, when the PCM sees a cold engine, and then a poor battery condition, and can then instantly zap out about 18 volts because its trying to recover the battery. Unfortunately this sudden surge can cook modules



#9 conman

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:11 AM

Had a similar problem with my focus. Drove car home for about 23 miles, stopped and turned off ignition, got into car about 10 mins later and nothing. The relays done a bit of clicking when I turned the key but that was about the height off it. I rang a friend and he came round with jump leads and the car started no problem. When driving home the battery light was on and flickering. First thing I though was altenator so without switching off the engine outside my home I went into the house and got my multimeter, put the multimeter onto the battery terminals to see if there was a charge and there was, 14.3 volts. So I just turned the car off and got a lift to the motor factors and bought a new battery. Fitted the new battery and the car has been running perfect ever since.
Just goes to show, there was no warning, no poor start and no battery light before I left for home the car had started no problem, stopped at the girlfriends house for 10 minutes and then the car was dead.



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