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Ford Focus 1.8 Tdci Sport S - 07 Reg - Engine Systems Fault


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#1 Slyatslys

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:09 PM

I recently bought a Ford Focus 1.8 TDCI Sport S (2007/07) after many happy years of driving a 1.8 TDDI Ghia until the fuel pump ECU failed.

Anyway, 2 weeks ago I got into the car and it started, sounded "lumpy" then stalled and then refused to start. It turned over but would not start and the lights came on etc (lots of stuff that flattened the battery) and then a "Engine Systems Fault" message appeared along with a red light on the right of the display.

I called the AA and they got it to start by forcing fuel through but it would not keep running and there were no error codes stored. Some more trying and the diagnostics then said "low fuel pressure". I then got towed to the garage where I bought it who then apparently took it to the local Ford dealership who got it running and said it was the immobiliser. Specifically that it was the key pick up at fault and I needed a new instrument unit. Being as I really had no choice I agreed and had it replaced and it took 2 weeks to get this sorted.

I got it back yesterday and was assured that the fault was fixed and it was definitely going to be OK. I took it for a spin and noticed that the acceleration was different, it was much quicker and less lagged. Not having had this model before I did not really notice there was anything wrong but the comparison tells me that there was. Having read other posts on "Engine System Faults" this seems to imply there was potentially an underlying fault when I got it.

So I got in it tonight (not having used it today) to go and get some fuel but guess what? ... you guessed it ... same fault!!

Has anyone got any ideas? I am only glad I was at home when it went wrong!!

Another point is that the car is parked on the drive with the engine "up hill" from the tank. The AA man said that their is a fault on Transit Vans where a small pin hole appears in the fuel pipe that feeds the fuel pump from the filter and so syphons out the fuel from the filter back into the tank. Anyone come across this before? Not sure why this would cause "Engine Systems Fault" unless it was too clever for its own good!!

Any thoughts?

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#2 fordpartsman

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:11 PM

when was the last time the fuel filter was changed?

#3 Stoney871

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:18 PM

Definitely fuel filter and/or seal.
The key excuse is bunkum.

#4 Slyatslys

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:49 PM

Thanks, I had a horrible feeling you might say that ...

#5 fordpartsman

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:59 PM

no need for it to be a horrible feeling, a servicable item and should be changed every three years or 37500 on fords

#6 Stoney871

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:20 AM

A good service and you should be fine.
The 1.8 seems to have only one Achilles heel and it appears to be the fuel filter.
I had this myself a few months back and a major service cleared it right up.
You may well get fault codes referring to low fuel pressure and such like.

#7 Slyatslys

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:58 AM

Well after returning it to the garage and it being sent back to the Ford Main Dealer again, they have now "found a 2nd fault" (I admit to being sceptical as the symptoms were identical and this turned out to be similar to the issue the AA man said it was).

According to the dealer, the AA man damaged the seals on the fuel filter when he was trying to prime the system and so air was getting in thus draining the fuel lines. (Does the pump not self prime afterwards?)

I was also told that the "road side diagnostic tools" would not have picked up the fault code from the immobiliser so that (AHEM!) "still needed to be changed" ...

They have now "changed the seals" and are checking it starts reliably.

The true test will be when it is back on my drive.

#8 wideawakewesley

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:10 PM

I've just hit a similar problem with my 56 1.8TDCi. Tried to take it off the drive last Wed, engine cut out after 5 secs, then refused to start with an engine systems fault. Since then, no dice at all, just a constant engine systems fault. AA came out and got it to start, advised I take it to main dealer. Friends advised I go somewhere cheaper, which I did, but they couldn't get any fault codes out. Car stopped starting again on their lot and thankfully AA towed me to the main dealer. They've just called to say they think it's the fuel filter, but don't sound 100% confident. I called the previous garage back up and they stated it was very rare for a TDCi to need it's fuel filter changing at that it's probably a blockage elsewhere. After reading this thread I'm thinking they don't know their !Removed! from their elbow. I've actually been using them for services for the last couple of years instead of the dealer and started the year it was due a major service. If changing the fuel filter is part of that service, I'm guessing it didn't get done by this other garage.

Fuel filter then?

#9 Slyatslys

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:59 PM

I have to say that since they sorted out the seals on the fuel filter it has been fine. I left it for 3 days facing up hill on the drive and it started even on a very cold and frosty morning without any problem. There definitely appears to be a fuel filter/fuel system standard issue with the 1.8 TDCi.

I would not say that a local garage is any worse than a main dealer as the main dealer changed the instrument panel on mine before they fixed the real issue with the fuel system having a small leak of air into the system so they clearly were in the dark too.

I have read other forums where the fuel filter was the cause of similar problems so it does not seem that uncommon and it was the first suggestion made above too ...

#10 Stoney871

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:09 PM

The fuel filter is recommended to be changed every year or 6000 miles whichever comes first.
For any garage to say the filter doesn't usually need changing is total cobblers!
I had an engine system fault flash up on mine last year and error codes were stored concerning low fuel pressure.
Trust me when i say it was DEFINITELY the fuel filter.
I had mine changed on a full service and the problem was gone instantly.
The garage showed me the old filter and it was full of fuel tank gunk and detritis.
In my opinion any garage that doesn't change a fuel filter on a TDCI Ford is a bunch of feckless tools.

#11 Slyatslys

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:12 PM

... or a Ford main dealer :lol:

#12 wideawakewesley

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:55 PM

Cheers guys, you've definitely made me feel more confident that they're on the right track. Will report back when they've fixed it.

#13 Stoney871

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:17 PM

Cheers guys, you've definitely made me feel more confident that they're on the right track. Will report back when they've fixed it.


Please do, the only achilles heel on the 1.8 TDCI i've seen so far is that the fuel filter is partial to regular changes.

#14 wideawakewesley

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 02:03 PM

Well everything had been going swimmingly since the filter was replaced or so we thought. I got in to drive it today and I could immediately smell diesel. Pulled off the drive, no patches under the car. Drove 10mins, could smell diesel pretty strongly. Pulled up at work, opened the bonnet and there's diesel all over the engine.

I'm thinking they've not fitted the filter correctly, is that a reasonable assumption and if so, would you expect the dealer responsible to now finish the job for free?

#15 Stoney871

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 02:06 PM

I'd say the seal or an o ring is leaking.
I'd definitely expect the garage to rectify their mess.

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