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Water In Plug Ports Issue, With Pictures


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#1 catch

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 09:57 AM

I think the copy below of the email I have sent to the Ford Main Dealer I purchased the car from ...advertised as a "Franchise Approved Vehicle" twelve moth ago this coming Saturday, explains the issue.

Now I'm awaiting a reply from same, so dependent how accommodating they in agreeing to resolving the issue on my terms. I want the fix done, I also want the spark plug ports cleaned [and the ignition leads]And inspected by be me prior to the spark plugs being removed and replaced by new ones. If they agree to that, I will keep their name out of this report.

The lesson to learn here is, you obviously cannot trust a Main Dealer to do what should be done in regards to the known fault on Ford vehicles. So in this instance naming names is NOT what this thread is about............but if they don't cooperate.................

Lucky for me, my mechanic appears to have taken out the least flooded plug.



Good Morning,

regards earlier phone conversation with a sales person.

Car bought 16/10/09, major service carried out by your service department prior to pick up. There was a technical service bulletin in force prior to my purchase in regard to a known fault with water ingress into the spark plug ports. And as such the fix [revised washer jets] should have be done prior to me taking the vehicle.

On having the car serviced last week by my mechanic. It is self evident from the enclosed photos that the fix was not done by **** Ford and the spark plugs are sat in a sludge of rust contaminated water. So I told him not to remove and inspect plugs two three and four until I researched the issue further.

There is documented evidence on the web of plugs being blown out of the engine. Plugs again due to rusting shearing off at service time, resulting in expensive repair costs. And as a result of these findings I feel it is Fords and more to the point **** responsibility to resolve the issue not my mechanic.

Please ring me back on **** ******.

I'm not looking for arguments or hostages, I'm looking for a resolution to the problem.

Thank You,



Port 4
Posted Image

Port 3
Posted Image

Port 2
Posted Image

Port 1
Posted Image

Plug stems 2 3 4
Posted Image

Edited: to insert the word NOTthat was missing in the third paragraph.

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#2 artscot79

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 11:17 AM

I think the copy below of the email I have sent to the Ford Main Dealer I purchased the car from ...advertised as a "Franchise Approved Vehicle" twelve moth ago this coming Saturday, explains the issue.

Now I'm awaiting a reply from same, so dependent how accommodating they in agreeing to resolving the issue on my terms. I want the fix done, I also want the spark plug ports cleaned [and the ignition leads]And inspected by be me prior to the spark plugs being removed and replaced by new ones. If they agree to that, I will keep their name out of this report.

The lesson to learn here is, you obviously cannot trust a Main Dealer to do what should be done in regards to the known fault on Ford vehicles. So in this instance naming names is what this thread is about............but if they don't cooperate.................

Lucky for me, my mechanic appears to have taken out the least flooded plug.



Good Morning,

regards earlier phone conversation with a sales person.

Car bought 16/10/09, major service carried out by your service department prior to pick up. There was a technical service bulletin in force prior to my purchase in regard to a known fault with water ingress into the spark plug ports. And as such the fix [revised washer jets] should have be done prior to me taking the vehicle.

On having the car serviced last week by my mechanic. It is self evident from the enclosed photos that the fix was not done by **** Ford and the spark plugs are sat in a sludge of rust contaminated water. So I told him not to remove and inspect plugs two three and four until I researched the issue further.

There is documented evidence on the web of plugs being blown out of the engine. Plugs again due to rusting shearing off at service time, resulting in expensive repair costs. And as a result of these findings I feel it is Fords and more to the point **** responsibility to resolve the issue not my mechanic.

Please ring me back on **** ******.

I'm not looking for arguments or hostages, I'm looking for a resolution to the problem.

Thank You,



Port 4
Posted Image

Port 3
Posted Image

Port 2
Posted Image

Port 1
Posted Image

Plug stems 2 3 4
Posted Image


the revised washer jets in fact do not fix the issue they do still leak in heavy rain though admittedly only a few drips having the 1.8 the issue is somewhat different as the engine sits further forward so the spark plugs get missed completely but it does drip onto the alternator main wire my advice is tell them you want them fitted with a small amount of clear silicone on the underside to stop any water at all

#3 catch

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 11:20 AM

Well they had not got back to me after half an hour, so I rang them back. Got to speak to a service advisor, now he has obviously not seen the email and photo's in question. But he denies there was a service bulletin out regards the revised washer jets, and suggests it was a core plug issue. I said, look I can point you to the web were posters have been told by ford service desks it is the case. Anyway I'm not here to argue with you, it is still in warranty that I got with the car. He said the warranty wont cover core plugs.....now can anybody see where this conversations going........guy on service desk looking for a way to make the customer pay for any remedial work needed.

Look I've been in business and I've seen it from both ends of the argument. Big failing with a lot of business, they are prepared to jeopardise brand loyalty in an attempt to save a dollar. Rather than take the customer complaint on board at face value until other wise proved to the contrary

Anyway I thrive on taking on these kind of firms, I just take my issue up the company food chain so to speak. I'm not in the habit of fighting consumer issue battles where I'm likely to lose, in fact I never have lost a battle in that regard. As I have neither the time or inclination to waste their time or mine. In any case I don't think we are at that point in time yet regards escalating it up the food chain. So I just said, look the issue as to where the water is coming from can be easily resolve with an antifreeze tester.

I said as far as I see it, until proved otherwise it is their problem not mine. And as such I want the water jet fix doing, I also want to be present at the extraction of the water and testing of same. And I want to inspect said ports are clean before the spark plugs are removed replaced with new ones. He agreed to this, and the car is booked in for 8.30am tomorrow morning.

Anyway unbeknown to the service advisor, I did a test this morning prior to taking the leads of the spark plugs, and photographing same. I placed a sheet of white cardboard over the spark plug ports, and played water on the bonnet and windscreen area for a couple of minutes. I then leathered off any residual water on the bonnet before I lifted it up. And there was a water blob stain with a run off tail stain going off the end off the sheet of cardboard, directly below the off side water jet and above number two plug port. There was also a water droplet directly below the nearside washer jet, on the component cover just to the right of the coil pack, and to the left of the battery cover. So to me it looks very much like a rain water issue.

My mechanic at the time of service pointed out that the coil pack had obviously been changed at some time. Because the HT leads had been marked with dots of paint at the coil pack end. Would not be surprised if underwater HT leads had contributed to a failing coil pack.

Anyway an interesting thread Ford Focus II (2004 - 2007) - 2004 1.6 Zetec Spark Plug blown out of engine over on the Honest John website were the core plug / washer jet argument is discussed in full. Plus there are plenty more threads on the web pointing to the washer jets being the accepted culprit in the vast majority of cases. As a guy called "bazza" said on that HJ thread, best thing to do is make a cover out of a rubber floor mat to stop any water getting into the ports and coil pack. Since he did that the plug ports have been "snuff dry" I'll probably do the same after it has been sorted by the garage.

Oh and by the way since I got the car and post the selling dealers service, I have had only ever washed the car with a non pressure hose pipe. So pressure washing is not the culprit, it lives outside and sits there in all weathers come rain or shine.

edit: cheers artscot, I will ask them to do that, it was suggested also by a poster on the linked thread.

#4 artscot79

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 02:20 PM

Well they had not got back to me after half an hour, so I rang them back. Got to speak to a service advisor, now he has obviously not seen the email and photo's in question. But he denies there was a service bulletin out regards the revised washer jets, and suggests it was a core plug issue. I said, look I can point you to the web were posters have been told by ford service desks it is the case. Anyway I'm not here to argue with you, it is still in warranty that I got with the car. He said the warranty wont cover core plugs.....now can anybody see where this conversations going........guy on service desk looking for a way to make the customer pay for any remedial work needed.

Look I've been in business and I've seen it from both ends of the argument. Big failing with a lot of business, they are prepared to jeopardise brand loyalty in an attempt to save a dollar. Rather than take the customer complaint on board at face value until other wise proved to the contrary

Anyway I thrive on taking on these kind of firms, I just take my issue up the company food chain so to speak. I'm not in the habit of fighting consumer issue battles where I'm likely to lose, in fact I never have lost a battle in that regard. As I have neither the time or inclination to waste their time or mine. In any case I don't think we are at that point in time yet regards escalating it up the food chain. So I just said, look the issue as to where the water is coming from can be easily resolve with an antifreeze tester.

I said as far as I see it, until proved otherwise it is their problem not mine. And as such I want the water jet fix doing, I also want to be present at the extraction of the water and testing of same. And I want to inspect said ports are clean before the spark plugs are removed replaced with new ones. He agreed to this, and the car is booked in for 8.30am tomorrow morning.

Anyway unbeknown to the service advisor, I did a test this morning prior to taking the leads of the spark plugs, and photographing same. I placed a sheet of white cardboard over the spark plug ports, and played water on the bonnet and windscreen area for a couple of minutes. I then leathered off any residual water on the bonnet before I lifted it up. And there was a water blob stain with a run off tail stain going off the end off the sheet of cardboard, directly below the off side water jet and above number two plug port. There was also a water droplet directly below the nearside washer jet, on the component cover just to the right of the coil pack, and to the left of the battery cover. So to me it looks very much like a rain water issue.

My mechanic at the time of service pointed out that the coil pack had obviously been changed at some time. Because the HT leads had been marked with dots of paint at the coil pack end. Would not be surprised if underwater HT leads had contributed to a failing coil pack.

Anyway an interesting thread Ford Focus II (2004 - 2007) - 2004 1.6 Zetec Spark Plug blown out of engine over on the Honest John website were the core plug / washer jet argument is discussed in full. Plus there are plenty more threads on the web pointing to the washer jets being the accepted culprit in the vast majority of cases. As a guy called "bazza" said on that HJ thread, best thing to do is make a cover out of a rubber floor mat to stop any water getting into the ports and coil pack. Since he did that the plug ports have been "snuff dry" I'll probably do the same after it has been sorted by the garage.

Oh and by the way since I got the car and post the selling dealers service, I have had only ever washed the car with a non pressure hose pipe. So pressure washing is not the culprit, it lives outside and sits there in all weathers come rain or shine.

edit: cheers artscot, I will ask them to do that, it was suggested also by a poster on the linked thread.


i wouldnt use the rubber mat idea tro be honest as long as the jets are sealed there wont be anymore issues its easy once its all done and dry a 1 litre bottle of water half a litre on the top of each jet if it doesnt leak from that it wont leak at all it is an issue and like you ive seen many many posts even the parts guys will tell you it was an issue thats why the jets were revised they just have a slightly bigger lip no foam or seal like some mention even with them in place pop the bonnet open and put some sealant around the edge jobs done thats why i dont have the soundproof cover on the inside of my bonnet the water leaks and builds up inside the cover then starts leaking and it can leak for days even when the weathers dry

#5 catch

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 05:13 PM

Right I had a change of plan:

I decided to suck the water out and take it to my mechanics garage and have it tested, still 99% sure it was rain water, as it's clear and I have not lost any coolant water. Well look what I got out of the two sections that the plugs orifices sit in, in pairs. And think on my mechanic had already taken one plug out to inspect it.

Posted Image

Then on getting it out I rang my mechanics garage no answer so I thought he must be doing MOT work at the other garage nearby. Rang later and still no reply and as it's a round trip of 15 miles I thought sod it I can see when it settles its rain water. And as nobody will do a better job than me of cleaning the water and accumulated crap out, I decided to do just that. As I had read on the HJ thread, you could get the two revised washer jets to do the job [they have a rubber gasket that sits between washer jet and bonnet] for circa £2 pound a piece. I thought not worth doing a round trip of one an half hours, then waiting for them to do the job at the garage where I bought it, which is 25 miles away. It would have cost me more in petrol, so rang up an cancelled them doing the job.



So this is what I did:

Sucked water out via a long children's curly plastic drinking straw.

Got the wife's hair-dryer and dried it all out.

Got a small wire brush in via the HT ports and a large rubber blank grommet in the centre of the cover, did the sides.

Raked a screwdriver about where the two core plugs are and where the Spark plugs meet the block, to break up the crap. A bit of fine metal filings came out with a magnetized screwdriver.

Cobbled together a sucking hose by attaching a 15in piece of garden hose to the house vacuum cleaner with electrical insulating tape.

Well it came up spotless, sprayed WD40 liberally down the HT openings, let it work its way in for an hour. Then again dried and vacuumed it a out again

Cleaned up the HT leads popped them back on the car and nipped a mile up the road to my local Ford Dealer. Now because my washer jets are heated it would have cost £24 + for the replacement jets. And as artscot and others had said they still leak a bit, so you need to silicone sealant them under the bonnet as well. I thought sod it, I'll nip to the local DIY and get some sealant....£2.31

checked on getting back home that all was nice and dry in the spark plug well.

Masked off the around the washer jets, removed them from their bonnet position, applied sealant, re fixed them on the bonnet. Removed decorators masking tape from the bonnet. Cleaned away any residue, secured in position on bonnet with a cross of masking tape per jet. Reconnected washer pipes, and applied sealant to the underside of the bonnet. Job done [I'll leave masking tape on till later to night]

#6 cressws1

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 07:16 PM

Do the 1.8 mk1 washer jets leak water then? Might whip them off and blob some silicone on the underside before winter arrives.

#7 artscot79

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 08:00 PM

Do the 1.8 mk1 washer jets leak water then? Might whip them off and blob some silicone on the underside before winter arrives.


they do leak as in very heavy rain about 4 drips thats it but the small drip runs down and misses the engine 1.6 engine is round the other way so the plugs are directly underneath the washer jets unlike the 1.8 as you can see nowhere near them any drips will run past the engine drop right down the back past the alternator so no need to worry on the 1.8 the revised jets as i have them do not have a rubber seal on them they are just slightly wider on the bottom i asked about it when i got mine and the guy said that they were revised the rubber seal doesnt exist on the uk ones certainly not for the 1.8 maybe the 1.6 ones are different or maybe only available in the us

#8 MrrNoName

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 08:41 PM

cant believe that the garage would not look at this when they know its a problem, also that they tried to fob you off when you took it back. storys like this annoy me! you did the right thing doing it yourself anyway bud, you know that its done right then, they would have alost certainly done a crap job anyway!


glad you got it fixed in the end!

#9 catch

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 07:44 AM

Cheers mate, but what I cannot get my head around is this:

From the selling garage, I've heard the argument for leaking core plugs. But water extracted is clear, and no loss of water from coolant reservoir since I bought it a year ago. That's assuming the problem did not exist at time the garage did it's pre sale service and MOT.

So if it only leaves the washer jet explanation, and lets be fair the consensus of opinion on the web supports that. Even my local Ford Dealer said it was that, and that they sold loads of the revised washer jets, hence they carried them in stock.

So how the hell does the water get past those rubber stoppers that you press into the spark plug holes in the top cover ? Does it sit on the cover and seep past the big rubber grommet between the ports 2 and 3?

Anyway I went for a twenty mile round trip last night, and no over night rain. This morning I took HT leads off plugs one and two and took photo's

Posted Image


Posted Image

#10 catch

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 09:20 AM

I took the rubber grommet out and where it sat on the cover, there was a ring of wet outlining where the grommet touched the cover. And in Plug Port 4 [far left] a tiny tiny bead of clear water on the side wall nearest the coil pack.

You know I'm leaning to the idea that this water is when ambient damp air the kind you get in winter, meets the hot engine and maybe turns to steam than as the engine cools it condensates and settles in the lowest point of the engine block, which is those two Spark Plug Wells.

Anyway because I just love messing, I've decided to give the cleaned area and the metal bases of the spark plugs a coat of Hammerite Kurust for good measure, will post photo's latter to day.

#11 catch

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 12:08 PM

Well when the engine had been heated up, it finished up not much different look wise. And as I was driving it after it warmed up, it started to miss fire. Took the HT leads off the plugs and they were ringing wet. So that was obviously some moisture from the Kurust.

Block heats up,warm air hits HT composite covers,more so to the top of them [as in raising hot air] that sit on the spark plugs. Anyway dried them off and all is OK now.
P1
Posted Image
P2
Posted Image
P3
Posted Image
P4
Posted Image


So that's it, but will take a peek at them say in a week or so after we have had some rain. And in future prior to servicing, I will check them to see if the spark plug wells need vacuum out prior to removing the SP's

#12 artscot79

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 01:32 PM

Well when the engine had been heated up, it finished up not much different look wise. And as I was driving it after it warmed up, it started to miss fire. Took the HT leads off the plugs and they were ringing wet. So that was obviously some moisture from the Kurust.

Block heats up,warm air hits HT composite covers,more so to the top of them [as in raising hot air] that sit on the spark plugs. Anyway dried them off and all is OK now.
P1
Posted Image
P2
Posted Image
P3
Posted Image
P4
Posted Image


So that's it, but will take a peek at them say in a week or so after we have had some rain. And in future prior to servicing, I will check them to see if the spark plug wells need vacuum out prior to removing the SP's


idwe carefully remove th eplugs and on the threads rub a very small amount of copper grease onto them just incase it will be easier to get the plugs out and stoip them from rusting to the head tampons are great for soaking up the water just push it down with a screwdriver with the plugs in obviously let it soak the water up and pull out

#13 catch

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 02:28 PM

head tampons

what ever next :D

Yes I was thinking about taking them out and lubing the threads a bit. And whilst I used to have kit like a spark plug socket and feeler gauges, I haven't now. So I rang my man up this morning and asked him if he thought it may be a problem removing them next year, without them being lubed now. He reckoned they would not be a problem.

But I'm with you on this one, if you have the kit to hand do it.

Getting back to the lying water, anybody having the issue but not the time to mess about. I'd advocate running the car with the large rubber grommet [sat between plugs 2 and 3] out on a bit of a journey. I reckon that could shift a lot or possibly all of the water simply by the process of evaporation..............nothing lost if it don't work. So anybody trying it, let the board know how you go on.

#14 catch

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 08:48 AM

Update:

As it was raining all night last night, this morning I looked in the engine bay [first wiping the bonnet dry before I lifted it] And even though I had tried sealing the original washer jets from under the bonnet. It appears in both cases that a little water leaked past them, some into the trough of the plastic cover over the spark plug wells [via offside washer hole] And evidence of drips onto that plastic cover to the left of the battery cover [via nearside washer hole] Now as I said it was minimal, I should have photographed it, but only thought about that for the benefit of the forum after I had wiped it with a tissue.

But like I have said before, any water that gets into the spark plug wells is heated up by the engine and must bubble up as it boils [this has been proved by looking at photos of the HT lead stalks on spark plugs three and four, that sit engine side of the rubber bungs sealing the HT lead openings in the plastic engine top cover. Spark Plugs one and two don't show this rust colouring on their stalks, because they were not sat in water once spark plug one was removed for inspection, as the water had drained into the combustion chamber of plug one.

Now if that water boils the resultant steam must rise, yet it does not escape because the HT openings in the plastic cover are water/steam tight.So water cannot get into the wells via the HT leads. That leaves the rubber grommet in the plastic engine cover between SP opening two and three. Now it maybe the case that water collecting in the trough of the plastic engine cover is leaking into the SP wells via this grommet opening. In my particular case this morning the water was minimal, and because the drive slopes font to back of the car, but also on the horizontal to the left. The water collected in a corner but in any case it did not even cover the width of the plastic trough.

Now when I have had this grommet out when there was the original water trapped in the SP wells. It left a wet ring on the plastic cover. This was after running the engine, was it trapped steam condensate now on cooling reverting to water? Was it evidence of water trying to get in, or steam tying to get out, who knows? So I may just remove it and apply some silicone sealant to it and pop it back in place. So I'm still not going to spend £24 on new washer jets as I think they will still let a little water past them, much the same as the originals are doing now after seating them in with silicone sealant [ as your are working blind when trying to seal them under the bonnet because of its double skinned.

Anyway next time it rains I photograph the water collected.

Also I reckon those two threaded bolt points in the plastic engine cover are there to facilitate an engine cover, pity Ford where to tight to fit one.

#15 MrrNoName

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 02:56 PM

Update:

As it was raining all night last night, this morning I looked in the engine bay [first wiping the bonnet dry before I lifted it] And even though I had tried sealing the original washer jets from under the bonnet. It appears in both cases that a little water leaked past them, some into the trough of the plastic cover over the spark plug wells [via offside washer hole] And evidence of drips onto that plastic cover to the left of the battery cover [via nearside washer hole] Now as I said it was minimal, I should have photographed it, but only thought about that for the benefit of the forum after I had wiped it with a tissue.

But like I have said before, any water that gets into the spark plug wells is heated up by the engine and must bubble up as it boils [this has been proved by looking at photos of the HT lead stalks on spark plugs three and four, that sit engine side of the rubber bungs sealing the HT lead openings in the plastic engine top cover. Spark Plugs one and two don't show this rust colouring on their stalks, because they were not sat in water once spark plug one was removed for inspection, as the water had drained into the combustion chamber of plug one.

Now if that water boils the resultant steam must rise, yet it does not escape because the HT openings in the plastic cover are water/steam tight.So water cannot get into the wells via the HT leads. That leaves the rubber grommet in the plastic engine cover between SP opening two and three. Now it maybe the case that water collecting in the trough of the plastic engine cover is leaking into the SP wells via this grommet opening. In my particular case this morning the water was minimal, and because the drive slopes font to back of the car, but also on the horizontal to the left. The water collected in a corner but in any case it did not even cover the width of the plastic trough.

Now when I have had this grommet out when there was the original water trapped in the SP wells. It left a wet ring on the plastic cover. This was after running the engine, was it trapped steam condensate now on cooling reverting to water? Was it evidence of water trying to get in, or steam tying to get out, who knows? So I may just remove it and apply some silicone sealant to it and pop it back in place. So I'm still not going to spend 24 on new washer jets as I think they will still let a little water past them, much the same as the originals are doing now after seating them in with silicone sealant [ as your are working blind when trying to seal them under the bonnet because of its double skinned.

Anyway next time it rains I photograph the water collected.

Also I reckon those two threaded bolt points in the plastic engine cover are there to facilitate an engine cover, pity Ford where to tight to fit one.



sorry to hear they are still leaking!

what sealent did you try?
i know it can be a real pain to keep water out when it keeps wanting to get in!

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