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GT_Racer

Mk7 Zetec S 1.6Tdi - Bizarre Problem

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Hi all,

Since my first real issue a few weeks ago with my car needing a new brake master cylinder bang on 2 years old, I've encountered a new problem.

I decided to take a road trip to Bavaria in Germany to see family.

It would be a 750 mile journey each way from Leicestershire, Dover over to France, Belgium, Netherlands and on to Germany.

With 66k on the clock and a recent service I set off with anticipation.

The journey there was fine, the car didn't miss a beat and even taking the German Autobahns into consideration never dipped below 50mpg, gobbling up the miles at sensible pace.

The journey back was a different story.

Almost 2 hours in and 650 miles from home I pulled out of some motorway services and got the warning bongs or chimes as I call them.

Fuel was at 75% so I knew it wasn't that, the central VDU read:

"Vehicle Malfunction, Service Now"

It may have read some other detail pinpointing the problem more specifically but it coincided with me accelerating up to speed to join the motorway and hitting a wall-like limiter whereby the car wouldn't accelerate!

Not good given the Autobahn pace, even in lane 1!

I stopped on the hard shoulder to gather my thoughts, I tried to move off again, 1st, 2nd, then again some kind of limiter kicked in.

I stopped again, handbrake on, neutral, bury throttle, rev counter swung round to 2,900 rpm and that was it, even with my right foot to the floor.

"WTF, this can't be happening, not THIS far from home. FS!"

Ignition off, that might help clear an error code. Ignition on, the problem hadn't cured itself.

It was too risky to reverse back up the hard shoulder to the services, so the only way was forward.

I short shifted deliberately through the gears and found I could make progress as long as I kept the rpm under 2,900. Any attempt to exceed that and that car didn't want to know.

For 2 hours I continued at below 75-80 which doesn't sound a real hardship but the long inclines meant the car was laboring at 50mph or so upon reaching the top.

My thoughts turned to what the issue could be.

Could it be a self preservation mode that had kicked in, a safety mode almost?

Perhaps it was the catalytic convertor failing, I've had that before in an old Peugeot 106 GTi.

Cursing I stopped for a leg stretch and a bog break of sub 5 mins and hey presto, power was back!

I'd got a ferry to catch so I was off to join the euro mobiles in lane 3 and make progress, the car was fine the whole journey after that.

Weird eh?

I guess there is no historic diagnosis stored on the car for Ford to locate the issue?

I'm guessing also that it's almost pointless asking them to look over a fault when it's intermittent and currently driving ok?

Rowland

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Could it be a self preservation mode that had kicked in, a safety mode almost?

- Yes, it's called "Limited Operation Strategy" Mode (aka limp home mode) and governs the engine speed and other parameters. In some cases on the petrols, the ECU can make the car run on 2 cylinders using the other 2 as air pumps to assist with cooling.

Perhaps it was the catalytic convertor failing, I've had that before in an old Peugeot 106 GTi.

- Possible, but unlikely.. was there a noticeable "eggy" smell (sulphur)? What was the symbol on the message? A cog wheel with an exclamation or the picture of an engine?

I guess there is no historic diagnosis stored on the car for Ford to locate the issue?

- Yes, there is, the fault code will still be retained, the car has just ascertained it is "safe" to come out of limp home mode.

I'm guessing also that it's almost pointless asking them to look over a fault when it's intermittent and currently driving ok?

- Up to you, but if it's under warranty, I'd get them to hook it up to diagnostics and find out what's wrong.

:)

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Thanks buddy, some useful information there.

I'm going to take a look in the manual and read-up on LOS mode.

Something's clearly not been right in order to trigger this the other day.

Useful too to know that I can take it in to Ford and that a stored error code etc may diagnose the fault.

Many thanks for your help.

:)

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My car suffers with the same problem, currently my car is days over being a year old. From 12k miles my car has suffered with this random problem, my cars now on 26k. My dealer has had my car for weeks on end and still cannot tell me why this fault occurs. The best part is my car doesn't even log the fault code so the dealership can investigate it. My only hope is for the fault to occur and I am able to drive it to my dealership for them to see whilst the error light is still on. Despite my car being technically dangerous and unpredictable I am forced to drive it, as for as Ford Customer Relations are concerned my car is fine!

I feel your frustration!

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help with code for ford fiesta 4500 rds eon serial number M274690

romapo@hotmail.co.uk

Stop thread Hijacking !

-------------------------------------------------------------

It would be worst nightmare that far from home and things go wrong

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My car suffers with the same problem, currently my car is days over being a year old. From 12k miles my car has suffered with this random problem, my cars now on 26k. My dealer has had my car for weeks on end and still cannot tell me why this fault occurs. The best part is my car doesn't even log the fault code so the dealership can investigate it. My only hope is for the fault to occur and I am able to drive it to my dealership for them to see whilst the error light is still on. Despite my car being technically dangerous and unpredictable I am forced to drive it, as for as Ford Customer Relations are concerned my car is fine!

I feel your frustration!

Bad news fella.

So are the symptoms with your car pretty much the same as I've described with mine?

I've studied the user manual tonight and it makes no reference to Limited Operation Strategy Mode.

Not that I don't doubt such a thing exits, clearly as you and I have found out the hard way!

It's the trigger for this that intrigues me. I hate intermittent faults with cars

:blink:

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Lim op strat won't be in the user guide only the tech guide. there may be reference to a safe mode or otherwise, i don't think they would baffle the general public with geeky terms like "limited operation strategy".

technically (at least in the first generation sigma engine), lim op strat fixes the spark advance to 10 or 15 degrees before TDC. i imagine now it is more sophistocated, but still performs a limiting function.

And DTCs do not erase themselves even if the lim op strat is exited, so ford will be able to determine what went wrong - or anyone with an IDS for that matter.

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Orcomma,

Thanks for your input.

What exactly should i be asking Ford to see, so i can see this for my own eyes? I'm guessing you work for Ford or something?

I am being told my car is showing no faults so it cannot be rectified, they suggest i take it to them whilst the light is on, which is a hard task as you can imagine, since its intermitant.

Thanks

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Orcomma,

Thanks for your input.

What exactly should i be asking Ford to see, so i can see this for my own eyes? I'm guessing you work for Ford or something?

I am being told my car is showing no faults so it cannot be rectified, they suggest i take it to them whilst the light is on, which is a hard task as you can imagine, since its intermitant.

Thanks

No prob. I don't work for Ford, I work for another car manufacturer, but wouldn't be seen dead in any of their offerings *cough Juke (Puke), Micra (Coffin on wheels) cough*.

But that's by the by...

I am surprised if Ford say that they can't find anything. DTCs are usually held in the EEPROM memory, perhaps with these latest ECUs they aren't...

The bit about spark advance is in the Haynes Manual for the old Mk4 fiesta by the way ;) which used almost the same Sigma engine as the latest 1.25s in the Mk7.

iNath might be able to help more with this one...

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iNath might be able to help more with this one...

My ears are burning... Not sure what help I can be here mate, I'd just plug the laptop in and read any fault codes same as Ford.

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My ears are burning... Not sure what help I can be here mate, I'd just plug the laptop in and read any fault codes same as Ford.

I kinda presumed you work for Ford since you had access to the equipment needed to make the USB system retrofit work ok..

I still cant believe the ECU forgets DTCs if they no longer apply. That's shocking if it's true.

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By way of a useful update I've had further problems this morning and have now had the problem diagnosed, and resolved.

My car seemed fine this morning for the first 1 minute and then it randomly cut out, displayed 'vehicle malfunction' and chimed a warning.

This happened three times over the course of less than 2 miles.

Each time the car would restart and shortly after would die.

On the third cut out it left me stranded, ironically at my local Ford garage.

Good fortune really as I would usually be jumping on the M1.

I discussed the problem with the guy on the desk and spoke of the problem 2 weeks ago in Germany when the car went into 'safe mode'

He informed me upon my questioning that the car would store a separate fault code each time the 'vehicle malfunction' error appeared on the VDU

This inspired confidence that the problem would be diagnosed right first time.

I left the car with them for the day at called in to get an update.

The fault was diagnosed as a blocked fuel filter.

This was replaced, the error codes cleared, a 5 mile road test and she was good to go.

To satisfy my curiosity I queried further the fuel filter blockage and the fact that it would have been changed as part of a service perhaps?

Apparently on the Tdi's they are replaced every 37.5k, so therefore it would have been replaced for the second time in 6k miles, I was told. (The mileage on my car being 69k)

Hmm, I'd like to think that it actually WAS replaced at the 37.5k service.

All seems pretty sweet now though.

:)

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hey,

similar thing kept happening to me, took it to ford and turned out it was the panel filter that just needed a good cleaning, you should give this a try ;)

Thanks

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He informed me upon my questioning that the car would store a separate fault code each time the 'vehicle malfunction' error appeared on the VDU

thought so

glad to hear it was all sorted out in the end.

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Tdi's don't have catalytic convertors. DPF's maybe.

In that case there are a lot of people making a killing in selling de-cat pipes for every modern diesel, and a lot of people buying them that dont need them.. ;) ;)

To satisfy my curiosity I queried further the fuel filter blockage and the fact that it would have been changed as part of a service perhaps?

Apparently on the Tdi's they are replaced every 37.5k

Since my last car, i also asked this question... and from now on i think ill pay the extra few quid to have it done every service!!

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My car does this every few weeks,

But you can make it do it by tapping the brake or accelerator excessively, when the car is moving along and in gear,

then just turn car off

lock it

unlock it

then start it, and its fine

when i took it to ford they thought i had been tampering with it because i questioned them on fitting cruise control retrospectively only a few weeks earlier, its came up with an error on the throttle switch above the accelerator

hope this helps in anyway, i didnt have time to read the full thread

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My car does this every few weeks,

But you can make it do it by tapping the brake or accelerator excessively, when the car is moving along and in gear,

then just turn car off

lock it

unlock it

then start it, and its fine

when i took it to ford they thought i had been tampering with it because i questioned them on fitting cruise control retrospectively only a few weeks earlier, its came up with an error on the throttle switch above the accelerator

hope this helps in anyway, i didnt have time to read the full thread

If you're still wanting to do this you might want to get in touch with iNath as he has managed to do it

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If you're still wanting to do this you might want to get in touch with iNath as he has managed to do it

Oh my ears are burning ;)

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Tdi's don't have catalytic convertors. DPF's maybe.

Diesels (including Ford TDCI) do have catalytic converters.

Cheers

Rog

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Hi guys - interestingly my zs tdci does this too - goes into limp mode now and then. So i turn it off and turn it back on agin and presto its fine . i might try the filters as ive done 19k now.

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