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#1 soulman123

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:23 AM

Asking this on behalf of a friend with a w reg mk1 focus, petrol.

Basically he turns the key its begging to start but no joy, so cranking but no turnover.

No warning lights on, no fault codes.

I'm no expert so I thought I would ask what's the order is to find this fault.

car was driving fine before, then yesterday evening nothing. Poor guy had to endure a 60 mile train ride home at cost! His AA breakdown ran out 2 days ago, so been quite unlucky. He's borrowed his wife's car till he sorts his.

Any advice is most welcomed if any more details are needed let me know.

thanks



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#2 dezwez

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:29 AM

:( take a look at the timing belt could have broke if not been changed
can do a lot of damage

#3 lazzymonk

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:13 AM

Also check the battery. I had a problem with mine where the battery had enough power to crank the engine, but in doing so would drop the voltage and mess with the immobiliser.

#4 soulman123

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:52 PM

Hope its not the timing belt. Battery will be an easy fix.

After some searching and googling on here the like suspects are

battery, battery terminals loose, timing belt, engine earth strap (where is this located?), ineratia switch engaged, fuel pump, fuel pump fuse/relay, spark plugs, no fuel, ht leads, coil, immobilisier, fuel injector fault (is there a simple way to check this ?)

Lol hope its just the battery, for some reason I have a feeling its the fuel pump which has taken out a fuse and or relay.

will keep you updated, have emailed him a link of the thread s o he gets the info.

#5 mintalkin

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:00 PM

crank sensor?

#6 Pitmonster

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:15 PM

Apologies for me being a bit of a dummy, but I'm a little confused when you say "cranking but no turnover"

I get that the engine is not starting, but:
Is the starter motor turning?
Is the engine turning?
If it is turning, is it slow or normal speed?
Is there any attempt to start (coughing or spluttering etc)?
Or none of the above?

#7 FOCA

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:23 PM


If the timing belt snapped the engine would seize

many of the other possible faults would show up on fault codes / if the battery terminals/ engine earth strap were loose there probably would not be enough current to turn the starter

check if the plugs are sparking (take them out and place them back in the ht cap with the spark plug against a metal part- eg the head )

can you smell petrol in the plug holes?

its a process of deduction - check through everything untill you eliminate what it isnt (like an old school mechanic would)

#8 soulman123

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:39 PM

Apologies for me being a bit of a dummy, but I'm a little confused when you say "cranking but no turnover"

I get that the engine is not starting, but:
Is the starter motor turning? I think so
Is the engine turning? a little but not firing.
If it is turning, is it slow or normal speed?
Is there any attempt to start (coughing or spluttering etc)? a little coughing a few times but nothing coming on
Or none of the above?


sorry I was a bit confusing.

The starter spins and it feels like it almost starts but doesn't. When you turn the key to start it it not the usual sound its going slower could be from all the attempts the battery is weak. That's on charge now. So he will put that on in the morning and hopefully it will go if not gawd knows what next.

had a diagnostic done too and no fault codes coming up.



#9 Pitmonster

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:59 PM

Thanks, so we can rule out starter motor.

I think we could rule out immobiliser too - would the engine even turn over?

Generally, there are 2 reasons why a petrol engine doesn't start :
* No fuel
* No spark

It's finding what's causing them that's the problem...

No fuel could be :
* Faulty fuel pump (the pump itself or a fuse/relay)
* Injectors (but unlikely to be all 4 at once)
* Fuel lines blocked or come loose
* Run out of fuel. Perhaps a faulty fuel gauge says you have half a tank, when you actually have none?
* ECU
* Various sensors (but would a fault code reader pick these up?)

No spark could be :
* Spark Plugs
* Associated electrics meaning the plugs don't spark (not sure if this generation of Focus has a distributor & HT leads, or individual coils)
* Sensors that dictate the timing of the spark (e.g. crank sensor) - perhaps the spark is happening, but at the wrong time
* ECU
* Various sensors
* Some kind of disconnected cable?
* Jumbled up plug leads

Other things could be :
* Lack of compression (but likely to be one cylinder only, so would run but would be rough)


#10 soulman123

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:30 PM

Forgot to add when you try to start it I noticed the interior time clock flickers on and off. I wonder if that was a sign of a poor battery ?

A second more and it felt like it would fire in to life.

Just got back from having a look with him. As the battery was on charge he got it towed home.

Before we took the battery out we can clearly hear the fuel pump prime. Both pump fuse and relay are working. He Tested relay with a 12v bench supply and meter.

Spark plugs looked fine and he cleaned them up with a rag and wd40 but were fairly good condition. we didn't test for a spark as we didn't know how.

Battery terminals cleaned.

Neither of us could figure out where the engine earth strap was hidden.

one thing we didn't check was the inertia switch. fuel pump cut off.

It does feel like a fuel delivery problem.

We shoumd have checked the battery voltage but when trying to start it was do slow and strained.sounding.

unfortunately the engine did not turn over, but coughed a few times giving us hope.

We can cross fuel off as he put s full tank in on Monday unless there is a leak.

The scanner picked up no faults surely if the crank sensor or any other engine fault a light would come on.

This model has a single coil with HT leads running to the spark plug. if the coil is faulty this could account for the non starting, but I believe.this is an expensive part, but a possibility.

We are trying anything you can on a drive way but the rest might have to be done at a garage compression test etc.

is there a simple way to test the coil ?

I wonder if the fuel filter could be causing this issue.

As soon as the battery goes back on I'll post findings back to see if we have been successful.

Thanks for all the help its been a big help.



#11 Pitmonster

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:46 PM

Thanks for the update, you're obviously working hard to solve this one

Does it have a distributor? If so, the rotor arm or central (inner) terminal may be faulty, or maybe the cap is loose/rotated.
All of these would affect the spark.

#12 FOCA

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:47 AM

Thanks for the update, you're obviously working hard to solve this one Does it have a distributor? If so, the rotor arm or central (inner) terminal may be faulty, or maybe the cap is loose/rotated. All of these would affect the spark.


A modern petrol engined car does not have a distributor or a rotor arm - it has coil packs.

The individual coils sit directly on each spark plug, or a short HT lead goes directly from the (remote) coil pack(s) to the spark plugs, it requires a minimum of 2 coils (wasted spark - 1 coil feeds 2 plugs via 2 HT leads) on a 4 cylinder engine, or 1 per cylinder (4 coils) a distributor or rotor arm is not nessesary, (more reliable/ less moving parts/to go wrong/ wear out) the coil pack is driven from the ECU (engine control unit) the ECU reads the crank position from the crank position sensor

I would be surprised if any (road car) engine designed in the last 20 years used a distributor/ rotor arm



#13 FOCA

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:40 AM

"we didn't test for a spark as we didn't know how."
I explained this in post no. 7 in this thread -
FOCA - "check if the plugs are sparking (take them out and place them back in the ht cap with the spark plug against a metal part- eg the head )

" It does feel like a fuel delivery problem."
How do you know for sure? , you could waste hours, days or longer or spend/ waste £££££££s you did not need to based on that assumption (you don't even know if there is a spark) (go through everything systematically and assume nothing - it may be something very simple you have overlooked)

unfortunately the engine did not turn over, but coughed a few times giving us hope. ????
When the engine "turns over" it means it turns (cranks etc) when an engine starts it "fires"

"We can cross fuel off as he put s full tank in on Monday unless there is a leak."
- only that the fuel was in the tank when you put it in - not that it is getting to the engine etc

"The scanner picked up no faults" . -
Are you absolutely sure you have the correct (compatible) scanner and are using it correctly?

"This model has a single coil " -
A distributorless (modern) 4 cylinder petrol engine requires at least 2 coils - it will have 2 or 4 in the coilpack

is there a simple way to test the coil ? .-
Take a spark plug out and plug it back into the plug cap, earth the plug body, get someone to turn the engine over, the plug should spark even though its outside the engine (not in the head) - sniff the (open) plug holes - can you smell petrol?

It may be a good idea to take the car to a mechanic, garage or someone who knows what they are doing (it may save money, time and possibily frendships in the long run!)

#14 Pitmonster

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:16 AM

A modern petrol engined car does not have a distributor or a rotor arm - it has coil packs.


Did wonder if it might be the case, I was just thinking out loud.

I know car technology has changed, but wasn't sure of dates etc, and some manufacturers may have have changed 20 yrs ago while others may have only changed 10 yrs ago
As this is a W reg I wasn't sure.

One more thing we can cross off the list!

#15 soulman123

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:40 PM

Very weird got in it started it fired up!

bloomin cars.

out of interest would low oil stop a car from starting?

I've learned a lot on this one ... thanks all!

will keep you updated if any further troubles.

sorry about the lack of knowledge/terminology used. At least its going :)

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