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Mark1971

C-MAX TDCi Power Loss

50 posts in this topic

I have read on many forums about the fault which I was experiencing with my 2004 1.6L TDCi CVT C-Max. On pulling out of junctions and roundabouts and recently when the Ford Engineer went to overtake, the engine would lose power for a couple of seconds. I don't need to explain just how dangerous this is, especially when trying to cross the A1!

Anyway, touch wood, my local Ford garage has resolved this so I am posting this hoping that this will help some of those also affected by this.

I gave my Local Ford Garage my car with instruction that I did not require the car for a week so they had that time to look into it. After several drives with the scanner attached, witnessing random fault codes flash up then disappear (no fault codes are shown while the car is idle) the car fails to accelerate when the engineer went to overtake. Thank God, they now believe me!! Well, several engineers have put their heads together on this one and this is what they have come up with:

1. Cleaned oil contamination from the Air Mass Mater

2. Inspected and cleaned several sensors and wiring connections

3. Re-Routed the wiring loom in several places (I take it for interference reasons)

On taking the car out afterwards, no fault codes were displayed at all! :D

I have taken the car back and I must admit, it runs so much smoother, quieter and as yet it has not missed a beat. I have read on several forums that people have had their car in several times and are well out of pocket so hopefully this may be of use.

I did happen to have the intermittent low fuel warning warning appear despite the actual fuel level but this is known fault and is rectified by a module software update.

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Thats a good result and thankfully it was resolved before you had any accidents due to the power loss.

Hopefully this bit of info will come in handy to anyone else who may have this problem.

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Sorry to hear about your c max mate.I had the same prob mate and im sorry to say they could not find the problem with mine.It used to hesitate at around 1700 to 2000 rpm.It nearly cased a bad accident on the motorway as it hesitated so bad on the outside lane doing 70mph the car behind skidded and almost hit me as the brake lights where not on to warm him behind that i was slowing down rapidly.I took it back to fords many times over the year and a half i had it and changed the egr valve three times and updating the firmware countless times .It seemed lovely when i got it back each time but months down the line it would happen again.In the end i traded it in for a focus ,i just about had enough of it.Mine was a 54 plate 1.6tdci ghia.

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Mark,

I have experienced the same problems as you with my CVT auto. I am keen to know whether the work done to your car has provided a permanent fix.

I've had very similar work done to you at several attempts over the 14 months I've owned my C-Max (July '04 Reg):

Engine Management Software updated - problem came back within a day or two

EGR changed - problem came back after a week

PCM software version changed, wiring changed - and I suspect sensors cleaned and checked - problem came back within a couple of weeks

The problem seems to get gradually worse over time. So far it's lasted about 3 months each time before it's so bad I can't stand it any more.

My car is in the main dealers today to look at the same hesitation problem, plus a problem that happened the other day. I was doing 80 on a dual carriageway and lost power, the car slowing to 50mph. Putting my foot down caused the revs to rise, but no increase in speed. I stopped in a layby, switched off and on restarting the problem wasn't there.

I'm expecting a big bill and no permanent fix - again. Hope I'm wrong.

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I don't believe it!! On the way to work today you'll never guess (I'm blaming you by the way c-maxxer) I came off an island, put my foot down and it accelerated about 1MPH faster per second. I floored it, as far as the pedal would go and the gearbox changed down, rev shot up as you would expect but would not accelerate!

JUST HOW F%*&ING DANGEROUS IS THAT!!!!

I need to find the time now to get the car back to the dealers. It's as though the car had gone into a safe mode so I'll have to recheck the manual in a minute. I had about 1/8 tank of fuel at the time and when I mentioned this to my partner, she said that she also had an experience with this amount of fuel in the tank since getting it back from the dealership.

The original fault, the hesitating and short burst of power loss has not reoccurred, but this more than makes up for it! I can't for the life of me think what would cause the car to behave in this manner and not accelerate even though you can be in any gear and engine at any revs!?

I have reported this to watchdog and I hope other C-MAX owners will do the same as this is so dangerous and obviously not an isolated problem! I do not see why we should charged for what is clearly a design fault.

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C-MAXXER,

I've been looking through the manual - see atached.

Page 33 explains about that acceleration will be noticeably reduced if the Electronic Accelerator Control (EAC) detects a malfunction. Sounds like just the fault that we are all experiencing!

Maybe the 1/8th of a tank is a red herring, I'll have to wait and see again and run it to that level (oh god!) or maybe the whole ECU is screwed up!

C_MAX0001.pdf

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Mark,

Thanks for posting the extract from the manual.

I've had more fun and games since my last post - the garage charged me £200 for replacing the crankcase breather hose plus cleaning the MAF sensor. This improved the problem for one journey of a mile, after which it seemed worse than ever.

I then got a total loss of power on the motorway - co-incidentally just as I was near the dealer. I crawled into the garage and left the engine running whilst getting a tachnician to confirm there was a problem. He did - but of course they couldn't see the car then - it had to be booked in.

I was fed up and got Ford Customer Relations involved in advance of taking it back to the dealers. The dealer has now changed his attitude completely - claiming there are no fault codes, that Ford Technical say these problems are "a characteristic of the car" and they can't do anything.

The car has since been back to the dealer again for them to drive around for four days "no fault codes, no action possible" and is booked in again for early January, when they're going to offer me a courtesy car for the first time.

The garage is going through the motions - very slowly, but I'm not hopeful of a proper fix. I just hope the car doesn't pack up in a critical place. I'm very close to saying "f*@k it, get rid", losing 5 grand to replace it and never buying a Ford again. :angry:

typical_pullaway_lm04eej.mpg

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How very bizarre! My C-Max went into the garage yesterday (Monday 1st December) following a phonecall to them on Saturday after I had received a receipt for £177 for not being able to diagnose the fault yet again and for taking the fuel tank off! During my very angry phonecall, I was told that this was to check the fuel tank and make sure that there was nothing like a...... wait for it........... a carrier bag in the tank!!!!! Wot the F*#k!!!

Well I dropped the car off last night, picked up my 'courtesy car', a 2001 Ford Fiesta with broken headlamps, no washer fluid and vapours for fuel. I called them this afternoon and yet again they explained that there were no fault code apart from one which, related to the traction control, although they could not be sure. They need more tests and have been in touch with 'Ford' who could not really help other than advise to check all connectors and sensors once again.

I'm sorry but as an IT Professional, I need to be able to fix faults without a piece of software telling me what is wrong. Do all Ford engineers know what they are doing or have Ford made a huge FUBAR in releasing a faulty car not fit for purpose?

Well so far, between us, we can say that it is not the MAF sensor, not the crankcase breather hose, not due to interference and so no need to re-route cables, not due to oil contamination in the Air Mass Meter and definately not due to carrier bags in the fuel tank (twats).

Like you c-maxxer, I'm regretting ever coming back to Ford!

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c-maxxer,

I have just watched your video - this is exactly the same as mine!

When it hesitates, if you look in your rear mirror, all you can see in the following cars headlights is a plume of smoke. This is so annoying that this has to be down to faulty or badly designed sensors and Ford are just interested in charging for parts and time taken in incorrectly diagnosing the fault.

AAhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

I hope you have contacted Watchdog. I want everyone reading this who has a similar fault to do so as this seems the only way this will ever get resolved

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Hi 'Mark1971' & 'c-maxxer'

I' ve just read your posts with interest (& some dismay!) as the problems you describe are exactly the same as mine. At first I put the slight hesitation down to being a quirk of the turbo diesel, but after the engine warning lamp came on I booked it into the garage to be checked - I was told that the ECU software needed to be updated and that this had (probably) cured the problem. I've continued to put up with the occasional hesitations and puffs of soot until today when I suffered a complete reduction in power, the same as commented in a previous post. I'm not a car mechanic but I am an engineer, and I'm convinced it's an EAC related problem - anyway, I'll be taking all the useful info you have provided to the garage again to put their customer sevice (and warranty) to the test.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Thanks

c-maxxer,

I have just watched your video - this is exactly the same as mine!

When it hesitates, if you look in your rear mirror, all you can see in the following cars headlights is a plume of smoke. This is so annoying that this has to be down to faulty or badly designed sensors and Ford are just interested in charging for parts and time taken in incorrectly diagnosing the fault.

AAhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

I hope you have contacted Watchdog. I want everyone reading this who has a similar fault to do so as this seems the only way this will ever get resolved

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Well, I have the car back. Mechanics have looked at the car again and after 2 days, 1/4 of a tank of fuel, they still cannot find anything wrong! I have been told that there is nothing wrong with the engine, wiring and sensors and that it can only be the 'Speed Sensor' in the Auto gearbox which, just so happens to be a sealed box and costs £4k.

I think it is time to get rid of this damn car and this whole experience of build quality, customer service and lack of assistance by a dealership has made up my mind never to buy Ford again! I always did fancy one of those Chrysler PT Cruisers anyway.... B)

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Hi mark think I have bad news about your C-Max. have the same problem with mine, and have been trying to sort it for 3 months. My brother in law is chief tech for merc and has helped me track down the problem. the engine is hesitating at about the 1800 rev mark on a part throttle, feels like its braking , this is due to a fueling problem. if you remove the wiring loom from the air mass sensor the problem will stop and this proves a calibration error in the ecu. the firmware upgrade you got will only last about 3 months as the ecu will re learn this mistake. Citreon who make the mechanical parts for this engine had the same problems and they will tell you they changed the ecu and fixed it.

today I found out that ford also changed the ecu from 2006 on. and the new cars do not display this problem. the problem is the chip and not the software and this is why the problem comes back.I intend to replace the ecu with the newer model and this should sort the problem but the cost will be near £700, but I think that is a bargin compared to 3 monthly updates at £103 each and also the fact that the problem is also blocking the egr valve and will eventually kill your cat

Hope this help all as ford are keeping stum while people are happy to pay for updates :angry:

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Mickeej,

I'm very interested in your post, although I'd like to check a few things.

First, is your car a CVT auto ? The reason I ask id if so, I see yours is a 2005 car, one of the later CVT autos. According to the Honest John website, CVT auto C-Maxes were only made between March 2004 and "late 2005". According to the HJ site the hesitation problem affects "early 2004" CVT's. If this were the case, you shouldn't have a problem to start with!

Isn't the ECU is specific to the engine / gearbox combination rather than just the engine ? Putting an ECU from a 2006 or later manual car could cause some unforeseen compatibility issues ?

Also, wouldn't the engine ancillaries (turbo/EGR etc) be updated over time as well, so putting a new ECU on an old engine could create other unforeseen issues ?

Don't want to put a downer on a potential solution though - I'm keen to see how you get on going down this line. Please keep posting !

C-Maxxer

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Mickeej,

That's very interesting.... plus, I hadn't read the HJ website. I'm due to see the garage shortly to pay for the time spent miss diagnosing the fault so far, I'll be taking a copy of this with me and going to get them to check.

I can't even get mad now, I'm just sat in disbelief as HJ's report was written in April and still deny there being a problem. I know times are hard but trying to convince me that i need a new gearbox at £4k?!

If you do go ahead with this Mickeej, please let others know how you get on here but do bare in mind what c-maxxer is saying, we wouldn't want you unecessarily lining the pockets of Ford anymore than you already have, unless of course you can get your hands on one out of a scrappy.

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What can I say....... I took the Honest Johns printout to the garage this evening and asked if they would check the items mentioned. I had a very rude and irrate mechanic instantly dismissing all the points listed and basically made out that I did not know what I was talking about and that noone at the garage had experienced the issues that I had been complaining about.

WELL, SLEAFORD FORD, CHECK THE FIRST JOB CARD (ATTACHED TO SAVE YOU LOOKING) AND READ WHAT THE FIRST ENGINEER WROTE ON EXPERIENCING THE FAULT FOR HIMSELF!!!!

I weren't going to mention the garage, but my partner no longer wishes to buy her new Focus due to their arrogance and lack of customer service skills, but instead is looking at her second choice which is a Honda Civic. I will never buy a Ford again and I am currently looking for a garage to accept my car as part-ex. These bills have also gone as a complaint to Ford Head Office and I will be contacting the Citizens Advice Burea in the morning.

You would have thought that in the current financial climate, They would be making every opportunity to raise business rather than turn them away.

scan0056.pdf

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Mark,

Sorry to hear that your Ford dealer aren't taking you seriously. I've been at the end of my tether more than once with mine.

I'm going to persevere until they've had the car with them again for another week. I'm expecting them to say "no fault detected" again - after which I'll have gone as far with them as I can - other than complaining to someone else. I am making a collection of web posts with people with the same problem - may be worth a punt to What Car or Watchdog if there's evidence of lots of people with the same issue.

Trading the car in is a drastic step - I don't know how much you paid for yours but I paid £8.5k just over a year ago. Parkers says about £4.5k trade-in value now. Ouch.

I think I might try an independent ford garage to try and come up with a fix before going that far. Perhaps "chipping" the ECU might get round the problem ?

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C-Maxxer,

I have thought about 'chipping' it too although I was hoping that Mickeej would hurry up and prove it with his replacement ECU from a 2006 model! LOL

If it does prove to be the answer, I may just try this method before I part-ex it in as I have already spent £600 for nothing as you know. I'll have more time this weekend to trawl through the internet and look at the feasibility of it, and prices, although it has to worth a shot. I also received a reply email from Ford HQ today wanted me to speak to their customer relations team. They can ring me as far as I am concerned, I have wasted far too much money and time speaking to idiots and I will not go back to Sleaford Ford until I receive an apology for their rude and arrogant bahaviour and we both know that will never happen!!

I just thought, there may be a business oppportunity here C-Maxxer - given the amount of faulty C-Max's out there, I'd better dig out my old chip programmer? ;)

*******************

I could have purchased a complete 2006 TDCi engine on ebay (Item number 320321750494) for the same money I've just given to Ford, for doing nothing!!

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Mark,

That engine looks like a 1.8 !

Chippping may be the answer, but doing it properly wouldn't be simple. Certainly the early chipmods were crude things that did nasty stuff like allowing higher turbo boost that could wreck the engine.

The problem we're dealing with is potentially a bloomin' nightmare of complexity to sort properly - effectively doing the development work that Ford haven't done thoroughly.

The issue involves could easily involve the alteration and co-ordination of :

turbo boost

turbo geometry

fueling at different throttle settings

egr position

gearbox sensor inputs to the pcm

engine sensor inputs to the pcm

pcm outputs to the gearbox and engine

etc. etc.

Since these cars are rare, no-one will have done any mods like this before. Hooking the car up on a rolling road is probably essential - so would be expensive with no guarantee of success - and would need technical experts that are up for the challenge. Still, it may still be worth investing a grand or more if the alternative is losing 4 grand or more on trading in.

I'm going to take my car to an independent garage who specialises in performance Ford upgrades in January and will at least discuss this idea to see if it has any chance.

C-Maxxer

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Guys,

I can no longer play Russian Roulette with the lives of my family and after breaking down 4 times during a trip to Essex on Boxing day, I have made up my mind.

I pick up a Vauxhall Vectra in the next few days and am turning my back on the cowboys at Ford for good.

I hope you have more luck than I but losing the 2.5K in 8 months while owning the car does not even register after having to cross busy motorways and A roads while randomly losing power.

I have registered my complaint with Ford HQ who were not really interested, Citizens Advice and Watchdog in the hope that Ford will come up with some sort of resolution. Although, I would suggest that you do the same as I and get rid if your car is doing the same as mine before someone has a fatality and not keep throwing money away by visiting dealerships and paying for them to just run diagnostics who do not care!

I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that as many people as possible hear of this as this is not an isolated case, but one which Ford know about, so far have been unwilling to rectify and have put the lives of my family, my own and others at risk.

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Mark,

Sorry that you've decided to cut your losses.

I took my car to an independent Ford tuner before Christmas, who showed me the diagnostic output. When he hooked it up it came up with a forest of error codes - data loss errors, throttle position sensor errors, turbo boost errors and so on. He wasn't convinced these were all genuine errors, but could have been caused by the main dealer disconnecting components. He cleared the codes and we went for a short test drive. Although the car hesitated, no fault codes were recorded. So the Ford dealer may have been telling me the truth when he said that he couldn't get it to fault when he had it.

My car lost power at speed three times in four long trips over Christmas and hesitates badly at every pullaway from standstill. It was already booked into the main dealer today and they've given me a courtesy car for the week. I'm not prepared to drive my car again unless they do something. I too am at the point of despair with all the hassle and at the point of trading it in - if I can.

Did you get a resonable trade-in for your C-Max ?

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hi i know this may sound daft but i have read on another forum about people having this problem and by using millers diesel sport 4 this hesitation problem got better :wacko: i know it sounds daft but thought id let you know ;)

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c-maxxer,

Didn't get a good price for it really, paid £6.7k for it in June last year, got £4k for it part-ex. However, the things that I took into consideration are the fact that this required yet another visit to the garage, in my opinion, which would encounter cost, the fact that I have no faith that a Ford garage will be able to fix it and also the fact that due to the financial climate we are in, you can get a much better built car with a higher specification for very little money.

I would advise you to seriously consider other alternatives to handing over money to Ford to diagnose an unfixable fault and also realise that you life is worth more than a couple £k should your current visit to Ford turn out the same way as all the previous visits. I do hope your garage finds the fault together with whoever ends up with my car, I do feel guilty part-ex'in the car unlike the dealer who sold me the car, I had just had enough of not only the fault we are all talking about here but also the creaks from the door seals and the push fit plastic panels.

I just didn't know where to take it other than my local Ford dealership who, as you already know, I will never visit again, ever!

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I am having the same problem as you guys but with a '57 2.0 TDCi, just had a call to say they have reset the EGR (I think). But now I am worried that this will re-occur given all of the comments you have made. I will quiz them when I go to pick it up, I did note that when I dropped it off they did not need much explanation of the fault so assumed they already knew about it.

Fingers crossed it is going to be OK as have some motorway driving over next couple of days.

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Claire,

There was a known problem with early 2.0TDCi's of EGR valves sticking that resulted in virtually no power. The EGR valve was redesigned and the engine management software modified to "cycle" the EGR to stop it sticking. Your car has these modifications as standard though, so it's surprising you've got an issue.

The CVT hesitation problem that occurs is different and hasn't a known cure that I'm aware of.

The Ford technicians I have spoken to in my many trips to the garage say that EGR faults on diesels are the bulk of the problems they deal with - and it's due to the tougher pollution control measures on modern cars. Still, you'd think that the manufacturers could do better in coming up with reliable solutions.

I have a theory that lots of short trips are bad for modern diesels and that's one reason why they clog up and suffer these problems. Is yours one of these ?

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Mickeej,

First, is your car a CVT auto ? The reason I ask id if so, I see yours is a 2005 car, one of the later CVT autos. According to the Honest John website, CVT auto C-Maxes were only made between March 2004 and "late 2005". According to the HJ site the hesitation problem affects "early 2004" CVT's. If this were the case, you shouldn't have a problem to start with!

Fella, dunno if you are aware of this, possibly so. Just because Mickeej's vehicle is registered in 2005 it could easily have been built in early 2004 and stood in a stock yard somewhere for a year before it was sold and registered. I dont know C-max other than they are probably the most problematic model Ford have EVER produced. But you keep your eyes peeled for this anomoly to prove my point. Ford changed the focus from the Mk1 (indicators in bumper) to Mk1.5 (indicators in headlight unit) mid 51 plate. Personally locally to me I have seen a good half dozen 02 reg motors with indicators in the bumper (ie Mk1) and even 1 52 plate with the indicators in the bumper. These can only have been built before the factories changed to the Mk1.5 design late 2001 then registered with DVLA and given their 02/52 registration marks.

Decoding The Vehicle Identification Number VIN

The first three digits of a VIN represent the World Manufacturer Identifier - WMI. If for example the first three characters are SCC this indicates that the vehicle was made in the UK and that the vehicle is a Lotus. Digits 4 to 9 represent the Vehicle Descriptor Section - VDS. Vehicle Descriptors vary with each manufacturer but are commonly used to describe the vehicle body type and the engine size. The VIN - Checkdigit value is used to verify that the VIN has not been tampered with and is written to position 9. e.g. as above Check Digit value is [4]. Digits 10 to 17 represent the Vehicle Identifier Section - VIS. Vehicle Identifiers are used to uniquely identify a particular make of vehicle. This includes the year of manufacture and the vehicle serial number.

Link to Mad Moles Ford VIN Decoder below. Mad Mole is a mondeo owner but it should work for the C-Max too though position number 9 may be wrong as he built this decoder before the C-Max came out. You can decode it manually if the automatic one doesnt work. All the meanings and how to read it are listed below the automatic decoder

Mad Mole Ford VIN Decoder

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