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Ford Focus 2002 Ecu Fault

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Hello all,

My Mum has owned her ford focus from new and its a great little car. Recently the engine control unit has given up and the car wont go faster then 15 MPH.

We took it down to a garage and were told it would cost £1,000 to get it fixed and re programmed but my uncle says you can buy one off ebay for £100 and then you just have to pay to get it programmed.

He also said you could stick any ECU into the car but seeing as this controls so much like the air bags etc my mums worried that it may not be the best option to mess around with it.

We are torn between getting rid of the car and getting the new focus or spending a lot of money on getting it fixed. The problem with fixing the car is that we don't know what else may go wrong seeing as it is so old now.

Is there an easier fix to this ECU problem? should we buy one off ebay or should we just get rid of it and get the new focus?

P.S shes still driving around in its current state!!! I'm worried and think she should just leave it alone until we decide what to with it.


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if it was me ide just go onto ebay and get an ecu from the same spec and year and have it programmed i wouldnt get rid because its old she could get another year out of it with no troubles im assuming this wasnt a ford garage that diagnosed it ide like to know how they determined the ecu was faulty when most ford dealers have to send it off to find that out ide take it to a ford garage and get a better opinion

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they wouldnt have been able to diagnose the ecu what fault codes did they find? did they even hook it up to a fault code reader to check ?sounds like the cars in limp mode due to a fault without the codes its impossible to say but i dont think they have diagnosed it correctly

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They didn't say what fault code was, they said they contacted ford to find out pricing and then apparently they were supposed to come and collect the part to be sent off to find out exactly what was wrong with it but they never did so the garage called us back to pick up the car and he recommended us to sell it. Didn't hesitate on giving us a £300 labor bill though.

Yea the car is in limp mode, only firing on 2 cylinders at the moment. I will defiantly get her to take it to a ford garage because they have the proper diagnostic machines and can give us some proper options.

Do you thinks its still a good idea to be driving it around? she still goes to work and everything in it, I'm worried shes doing more damage to it.

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firstly its possible to diagnose ecu without sending it off...you only need the pin out specs which are readily available to garages.,,having said that, i agree with arts in getting a second opinion.

what focus engine are we talking about {year, cc}

from what you have said, i have had a few early zetec ecu's blow with loss of signal to coil pack, resulting in loss of, usually, 2 cylinders, so its possible you have an ecu problem if its an early zetec 1.6 [common engine for this to happen]

easiest solution is to send ecu for repair, normally turned over in 4 days and if it is the same problem as above, think it costs around £130

google BBA Reman, have used them many times without problem...but there are many others offering same service

but as has been suggested, get a 2nd opinion first and ask for a full report of whats wrong...£300 for just a diagnosis without repair sounds a lot to me, but dont know how far into the problem they went..if they did have to do a pin out check then at garage prices that isnt as bad as it sounds.

notice your in west london, not a million miles from me, im booked up for next 3 weeks, but if you get nowhere, will be happy to meet up and check it for you and go from there..i have the equipment/software to fully cope with fords

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forgot to say. with regards to still use...

if its in limp, then that minimizes further damage, in theory, for eg...if the misfire is electrical, then limp will cut off the injectors feeding the cyls that arent working...this will help save damage to o2 sensors and catalytic...but dont think anyone can guarantee its safe to drive without causing further harm over the www...so its a bit of a risk

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