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stels

Help Needed Please - No Hair Left!!

70 posts in this topic

Please someone help this damsel in distress. Im having a nightmare of a time with my car. It started juddering and jolting on and off about a month ago. Twice now i have broken down. Ive had it to the ford garage who have advised me that there are no error codes so they cannot diagnose. Its a 55 ghia 1.6 which hasnt yet hit 30,000 miles! Coil pack and leads have been replaced, as has the accelerator. The latter because i got an error message advised there was a problem with it. so out it came........ im at a loss as what to do! I got 'recovered' from work on sat - only to find that when they took it off the truck it started up again! Any suggestions people please? :wacko:

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Does the car crank after breakdown on restart? If possible try to make a video of the breakdown restarting process to help us with more info

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what is it with garages that cant diagnose without fault codes????

diagnosis goes way, way beyond fault codes, all i can suggest is find a garage that can understand and test live data, or better still, equipped and capable with an oscilloscope...put money on using either or both, the fault will show up long before it breaks down.

from what you have said, its obviously a power supply problem, but that can either be fuel or ignition, so not much help...

but id be looking at crank sensor, fuel pump, engine control relay and all their relevent wiring and connections.

as matter of interest, that might help...was the accelerator changed because of this problem, or unrelated....reason i ask is instead of the accelerator being the problem itself, it may just be a clue that caused the accelerator to be logged, which in turn might help in pinning down the circuit that needs checking

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I bought my Fiesta 1.3 Finesse (2002) in March from a dealer. Low mileage, one owner, FSH, complete with VOSA history and garaged every night of its life by its disabled owner prompted me to buy it for a good runabout. Everybody thought it was a new car, except for the plate giving the game away.

During my lifetime I have owned a Cortina, an XR2, and a Sierra which I had for 12 years. I only sold it because I decided it was time for a car with PAS. I never had a problem with any of them that couldn't be diagnosed quickly and resolved quickly without costing me an arm and a leg.

My Fiesta came with one month's warranty. I hardly used it for the first two weeks and for the latter two weeks of the warranty my wife and I went to Spain to escape that nasty cold spell that seemed to be eternal.

Sod's law when we came back the month's warranty had expired when I began to use it again. That was when i first noticed it just cut out at a roundabout, causing the steering wheel to lock. I started it immediately and thought i must have failed to press the clutch down hard enough to engage the gear. A few days later when i was driving into work it cut out just as I was entering the car park gates. Again, it easily started when I turned the key.

Several days later at a set of traffic lights it went again. I took it to an auto-electrician and asked for a diagnostic check. Each time the car stalled all the usual warning lights came on but the engine management light never stayed on permanently and went off with the others. So I don't know why i was expecting the diagnostic to give a proper reading as there was no fault indicated.

I was right, the auto-electrician told me there was nothing coming up in the codes. So there was nothing he could do. he had driven it and nothing untoward happened. So he suggested I wait until the fault developed properly.

Several weeks later and the same problem reoccurring, I engaged the services of a home-start mechanic who was recommended by a friend.

The mechanic cleaned the throttle body reset the flap and did a diagnostic check with nothing showing up. The car drove okay.

A week later I had him back again; same problem yet again. This time he checked the crank-angle sensor and showed it to me. It looked like the end of a pencil that had been chewed up by a school kid.

'That's you problem' he explained and as luck had it he was carrying a spare. He had it fixed and up and running in a jiffy.

About 3 weeks later and low and behold the problem came back with avengence.

I have noticed that when the engine is running and the car is positioned on a slope that the engine gives up when it is left to idle for a few minutes. It did that yesterday.

Anyway I asked the home-start guy to call back, but unfortunately he was busy for a couple of weeks.

Last week I took it to a local garage which bares a huge Ford logo. To hell with it I thought, these lads have the proper Ford diagnostic kit and if they can't sort it nobody can. I told them all that i had done with it until bringing it to them.

It was in all day last Tuesday; throttle body was cleaned (again), as was the idle air valve and everything that should be checked was checked, and as their reputation is second to none I had no reason to doubt them. Nothing had showed up on their diagnostic check. But they did install a PCM upgrade which was available.

There were no faults during the test drive and I was advised to give it a run for a few days to see if the problem was cured. It lasted two days and it conked out on me again. I arranged to take it in again this morning. As I reversed into one of their parking bays it cut out. I turned the ignition off and went into the garage reception delighted that the fault was apparent for them to see it for themselves. All day they have had it, trying to diagnose it yet again and late this afternoon they asked me if they could keep it until tomorrow. As no faults were showing up.

It looks to me as if this is a case of the computer not being able to locate the problem and I am going to be stuck with having just about every sensor under the bonnet changed and other parts such as the idle air valve, maybe even the ECU. The cost just couldn't be justified and maybe the only option will be to put up with the fault of it cutting out, usually at a most inopportune time - which can be dangerous, or taking it to an auction and unloading it onto some other poor sod. It will be a shame because the car's appearance and interior are in mint condition. And when it's operating properly I love driving it.

I have, by the way, been searching forums all over the place for this problem and there doesn't seem to be any shortage of folks with the same Fiesta, stalling, problems. The unfortunate thing is many of them get plenty of advice, but don't seem bothered to come back and tell those that have taken the trouble to give some advice how or if their problems were ever solved. That i find just as annoying as the mechanics who can't resolve a problem without a computerised code pointing them in the right direction.

Sorry about the rant, just had to get the situation off my chest.

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Does it do it more during or just after a corner seems silly question but a friend of mine had a similar problem with a different car? And does it do it more when its warm up or does it not matter?

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Does it do it more during or just after a corner seems silly question but a friend of mine had a similar problem with a different car? And does it do it more when its warm up or does it not matter?

Hi Mark, not sure if you mean me. I feel a bit guilty tagging my problems onto this young ladies thread, but yes the probs occur when the engine has run for about 5/6 miles. Also it is peculiar that each time I drove the car into the car park at my place of work, it would cut out at exactly the same point. I have retired recently so won't be making that manoeuvre again. It happened quite frequently too at the same location. Bizarre!

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couple of checks worth having on yours Tony

for starters, there might not be any codes showing or faults apparent with live data for a very simple reason: it has nothing to do with the engine managment system.

try changing the fuel filter and have the fuel pump output pressure checked, would also have the pump physicly checked for blocked filter and that it is secure in place and not floating about...have had this on another make, though im not sure its the same type of set up on fiesta in tank pump...also need to have the relays checked..just examples of faults that wont ever/or unlikely to show up on ecu

but i wonder if the clue is in the state of the old crank sensor...you mentioned it resembled the end of a chewed up pencil:

if it was me, id be questioning how that happened as the crank sensor tip shouldnt be contacting anything to get in that state...you also said it took 3 weeks before problem occured again...i would double check the new crank sensor, plus check the quality of the new sensor as there are a lot of cheap sensors floating about that dont last...faults with crank sensors often dont leave codes, but can show up on live data if the operator knows his stuff

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So it did round roundabout and same place at work is the same place at work during a corner or cud it be at any point on the road? Or have you noticed after any particular manoeuvre?

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couple of checks worth having on yours Tony

for starters, there might not be any codes showing or faults apparent with live data for a very simple reason: it has nothing to do with the engine managment system.

try changing the fuel filter and have the fuel pump output pressure checked, would also have the pump physicly checked for blocked filter and that it is secure in place and not floating about...have had this on another make, though im not sure its the same type of set up on fiesta in tank pump...also need to have the relays checked..just examples of faults that wont ever/or unlikely to show up on ecu

but i wonder if the clue is in the state of the old crank sensor...you mentioned it resembled the end of a chewed up pencil:

if it was me, id be questioning how that happened as the crank sensor tip shouldnt be contacting anything to get in that state...you also said it took 3 weeks before problem occured again...i would double check the new crank sensor, plus check the quality of the new sensor as there are a lot of cheap sensors floating about that dont last...faults with crank sensors often dont leave codes, but can show up on live data if the operator knows his stuff

Tony, thanks for all that information, very useful ideas. I did forget to mention that it can appear to over rev when starting from cold and driving it along. As we all know, it's been quite warm these last couple of months or so. it's not as if it's as acceptable as in winter conditions. Like as if the choke is sticking too long, sometimes the RPM counter can race up and down, fluctuating between 900rpm and 1200rpm, when it should really be around about 750rpm when idling. When it does this, it usually finishes up dropping to 750rpm before dropping out completely.

Poor Stella who started this thread, being a lady, at least has some hair to pull out, I lost mine years ago, but if I had any left this Fiesta would definitely have me pulling mine out.

Cheers mate.

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So it did round roundabout and same place at work is the same place at work during a corner or cud it be at any point on the road? Or have you noticed after any particular manoeuvre?

Thanks Mark. I would drive down the side road and brake before driving into the yard through the entrance, and just as I was slowly turning it left, it conked out. I got to the stage where it was virtually groundhog day each time. It's just baffling. So far it's only cost me £160.00. Lord knows what the bill will be at the end of today. The garage have had it 2 full days. I shall report back later. Cheers.

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Please someone help this damsel in distress. Im having a nightmare of a time with my car. It started juddering and jolting on and off about a month ago. Twice now i have broken down. Ive had it to the ford garage who have advised me that there are no error codes so they cannot diagnose. Its a 55 ghia 1.6 which hasnt yet hit 30,000 miles! Coil pack and leads have been replaced, as has the accelerator. The latter because i got an error message advised there was a problem with it. so out it came........ im at a loss as what to do! I got 'recovered' from work on sat - only to find that when they took it off the truck it started up again! Any suggestions people please? :wacko:

Hi Stella, Sorry to have tagged my problems onto your thread. I hope you don't mind. Like you, I am looking for an answer as to why no codes are showing up. Hope you have solved your problem. Please do let us know if you have. Any information would be most welcome.

Tony.

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90% of the time, no codes means no error that can be captured by a sensor, for example, a crack in an air intake, fuel intake or similar would mean additional air getting into the system, unless you have a sensor looking for air that shouldnt be there, no error will occur.

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Thanks James. I have just called the garage and have mentioned most of the possibilities that are mentioned here. They have assured me that the hoses have been examined for any cracks which might cause air intake problems. it's going to be one of those suck it and see experiences. Going to cost me a packet though. :( Cheers!

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Try a different garage Tony, you have nothing to lose by asking for a second, third or fourth opinion... could save you a lot of money in the long run, or just take it to a dealer, sometimes its the cheapest answer!

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James, that's a likely possibility. The place where I have taken it is a long established family operation. It's run very professionally and it boasts 12 bays. Each time I have visited, there are no end of customers dropping off or collecting their cars. Their on- line reviews are constantly updated, and I haven't read one that put them in a bad light. But earlier on, looking at various Forums I have suspected myself that this is a vacuum problem. Probably a fine crack that can't be seen in one of the hoses. I shall patiently wait for a phone call later today. Thanks once again for your interest.

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No worries, I look forward to hearing of a fix :)

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Its prob a vac leak as jee said, One thing that gets me thinking is you said the steering wheel locked when it conked out now the only way that can happen is if the key isnt fully turned and you say it starts easy afterwards, is it possible that the key is disengaging and that's why it conks out because the steering shouldnt lock unless the key turns back a click.

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Well I collected it late this afternoon and was told that there were no signs of a vacuum leak and the crank sensor was fine. I am now suspicious that it wasn't taken for a good run. Well it was still parked in the same bay where I left it early yesterday morning. Just forgot to make a record of the mileage it was on when I left it. Drat!

They have fitted a data logger which I was told will record any faults when being driven.

'You never know,' I was informed, 'you might drive it out of here, and it will act up, which it never for us.'

He was right too, five minutes later I noticed it was racing ( over revving) is the best way to describe it and it was still racing even when I took my foot off the accelerator it was still ploughing on until I began to brake as we reached a traffic island. Having negotiated the island it almost cut out and the dash lights also lit up. I managed to stop it cutting out completely by giving it some gas, bringing the clutch up, as if I was jump starting it when a battery is flat.

After that it ran fine and went down from 900 rpm at idle to a steady 750 rpm at idle. I have covered about 20 plus miles in it since without a problem.

I have been told to run it for the next week or so and any problems will be logged. I notice that the logger which is positioned just above the clutch pedal is always illuminated. I just hope it's a low power device as I won't be using it for at least 4 days from Thursday on. Don't want it to flatten my battery. I had to leave with them at the garage my CC details just in case I don't take the car and their data logger back. One thing I did notice this evening, the blowers are not putting out air to the front windscreen it's coming out of the front vents but not clearing the screen. Something else for them to look at.

Thanks all for your interest, I shall definitely be back to keep you informed.

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Its prob a vac leak as jee said, One thing that gets me thinking is you said the steering wheel locked when it conked out now the only way that can happen is if the key isnt fully turned and you say it starts easy afterwards, is it possible that the key is disengaging and that's why it conks out because the steering shouldnt lock unless the key turns back a click.

mark, I'm certain the key was fully engaged. In fact the incident at the traffic island this evening, almost sent the steering wheel into lock. But my quick actions, there were cars following me, just about saved me from a possible accident. It was only a small traffic island. I shall just have to keep my fingers crossed that the recorder does its job.

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data loggers are a very useful piece of kit.

with the added info of the idle problems, it does look to be indicating unregulated air from somewhere, but hopefully the logger will pick something up

to be fair to the garage though, problems like this can be an absolute mare to source, think they have taken the next logical step towards finding it.

got a similar problem with a scenic thats been going on for over a year, it will randomly refuse to start...always after a short journey, parked up for a few minutes then wont restart unless left for 15 mins and away it goes without further problem...trouble is, it might only do this once every couple of months...tried all the usual suspects to no avail, ended up fitting a data logger 2 months ago, still waiting for it to do it again...can be really frustrating diagnosing some faults.:)

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data loggers are a very useful piece of kit.

with the added info of the idle problems, it does look to be indicating unregulated air from somewhere, but hopefully the logger will pick something up

to be fair to the garage though, problems like this can be an absolute mare to source, think they have taken the next logical step towards finding it.

got a similar problem with a scenic thats been going on for over a year, it will randomly refuse to start...always after a short journey, parked up for a few minutes then wont restart unless left for 15 mins and away it goes without further problem...trouble is, it might only do this once every couple of months...tried all the usual suspects to no avail, ended up fitting a data logger 2 months ago, still waiting for it to do it again...can be really frustrating diagnosing some faults. :)

I guess you are right Tony about mechanics having to deal with my sort of problem. Forgot to mention in my earlier post about the rpm's behaving erratically, sometimes.

For the past 12 years i have owned a BMW E34 5 series SE. it's now 19 years old. Touch wood, apart from the occasional flat battery because I keep it in my garage for too many weeks before taking it on the road, it has never really ever acted up on me. I bought it because one of our daughters lives 200 miles away from us and I wanted something to replace the Sierra i had owned since the early nineties which i had also used for the long journeys. I still kept the Sierra for a couple of years as a runabout, but the lack of PAS forced me to sell it. I've had two other cars since as runabouts but this Fiesta is ideal for what I want it for.

I just hope that the data logger does its job. Perhaps the problem i had this evening wil already be enough to give the mechanics an idea of what is happening.

If the people i have it with can't sort it, then i will definitely take it to Ford. Can't afford not to ;) .

Incidentally your scenic isn't an automatic is it? Automatics can be a problem to start if they aren't driven very far and are started again. I have experienced that a couple times with my BMW. But it's a long time since it last happened. And i managed to start it by just keeping my foot down on the accelerator.

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get yourself a solar charger, perfect for cars parked up...being in a garage you will need to play about with the cables so the charger is in daylight..just make sure battery is charged up first as the solars maintain the charge thats in the battery, they arent battery chargers....

look around and you'll find them ranging from £20-£100..with different amp outputs

the scenic is losing a signal somewhere, probably from crank sensor circuit, but ive tried everything and still not cured it...renault electrics are the worse out there...absolute mare...all i need is the data logger to confirm which circuit is failing, otherwise im looking at a complete loom stripdown

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Just been reading up on data loggers. They appear to be powered by their own battery. Must hold some charge given I will have it installed for more than a week. Glad it doesn't feed of my car battery.

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there are loggers that power off the car, but draw about the same current as a clock so should be no problem

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get yourself a solar charger, perfect for cars parked up...being in a garage you will need to play about with the cables so the charger is in daylight..just make sure battery is charged up first as the solars maintain the charge thats in the battery, they arent battery chargers....

look around and you'll find them ranging from £20-£100..with different amp outputs

the scenic is losing a signal somewhere, probably from crank sensor circuit, but ive tried everything and still not cured it...renault electrics are the worse out there...absolute mare...all i need is the data logger to confirm which circuit is failing, otherwise im looking at a complete loom stripdown

Solar charger? Not seen any of them. I recently purchased an automatic charger, and intend to buy mysef a trickle charger just to keep my Beemer's battery topped up during the winter months. I will have a look for one of those solar charges. Don't seem to remember us having much sunlight last winter mind.

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