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Storm16

Focus 1.8 Tdci Fuel Problem - Keeps Breaking Down!

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Sorry to do a newbie post as a problem / question - but pretty much fed up with an intermittent problem on my Focus!

Purchased as an ex lease car 3 weeks ago, came with service history but had it in to my local garage the day after purchase for a service which included fuel filter change. Drove to the garage (via motorway) with no issues and was pretty impressed. Driving back via the motorway had a bit of a splutter, then it picked up again.

Breakdown 1 - Morning after it had been serviced went to start the car and it would turn over but would not fire up. Resulted in calling the AA out, AA 'primed' the fuel filter (an after market one) and car started. AA chap suggested it was probably air in the filter or similar and may not happen again.

Breakdown 2 - Ran for a week with no issues at all. A week to the day later exactly the same happened again. Rather than call out the AA (as it was on the drive) I took to the internet to see if anyone had reported similar prob's. Left the car about half an hour, eventually started once I pressed clutch & accelerator together, turned key 5 times then turned over and it started. Again ran fine for the next week.

Breakdown 3 - The week after breakdown 2 did a 250 mile round trip, mainly smooth motorway until about 10 miles from home a couple of splutters, then on M1 slip road it cut out and broke down. Called AA who said they were not sure what it was, but after removing then putting back the fuel pump relay and turning engine over and spraying starter spray in to the air filter pipe it started.

I now have a car that I dare not go anywhere in in case it breaks down again! I would be very grateful if anyone has any suggestions / ideas that I could try.

I have a fault code reader and there are no fault codes showing. Have purchased a genuine Ford fuel filter which will be fitted this weekend. Car always has fuel in it, so although its like its running out of fuel, I know its not, its just as though the fuel isn't getting through, but the problem comes and goes so I am at a loss of what it could be!

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I would get the fuel filter replaced again and check pipe unions have no cracks or diesel leaks, even very small leaks let in air and a diesel sucking air will stop and back drain during the night.

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i'd also get a genuine ford filter. i tried an aftermarket one from my local parts shop and that ended up in a huge airlock. had to re-install the old dirty one and a long time cranking and opening injectors to get it fired up again.

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Have a look in the unions/pipe and have a look to see if the small sealing o ring has not come displaced allowing air in usually when this happens the car is rough on idle but your problem does point to when the filter was replaced .

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ensure the air bleed nipple is tight on the top of the filter. Ensure all the pipes seals are not nicked and in situ, also ensure the pipes are clicked fully home.

Also ensure the fuel filter lid is tight, very tight...if it still fails I would bet the rubber seal for the fuel filter is not on correctly or a pipe has split.

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I have the 2006 1.8 tdci on my purchase it was rough starting but had taken back to garage and two out of four glow plugs were dead so they fitted new ones then it had a recall for cooling fan wire loom replacement and while it was at fords the put it on a computer and did an update for me F.O.C

so pleased with that.

Now the only thing I can think of is it might need an update or being a lease car it may have had petrol rather than diesel in the tank which has to have the tank off to wash it out. It's happened many times before with people I have talked to so hope that helps.

I have also been told by my mate (ford specialist) that they don't get air locks sorry don't know the tech name he gave it.

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When changing fuel filters on a diesel Ford the seal must be changed as well.

They don't reseat very well if disturbed.

Also agree- original Ford filters are a must.

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Hi all just to let you know had a new ford fuel filter fitted when mechanic changed them over the non genuine filter seal was a bad fit very loose worse than the ford one! and seal was under the filter instead of on top to make a good seal, cars run great now no problems over a week now and 800 miles.Will fit a genuine every time now.

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Yeah theres two seals, one small o ring that connects the fuel filter to the top of the housing, and one that is around the housing lid. when i replaced mine the small o ring was deformed and needed a new one.

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Hi all just to let you know had a new ford fuel filter fitted when mechanic changed them over the non genuine filter seal was a bad fit very loose worse than the ford one! and seal was under the filter instead of on top to make a good seal, cars run great now no problems over a week now and 800 miles.Will fit a genuine every time now.

Glad you got it sorted out.

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I had a similar problem with my 1.8tdci, I purchased servicing bits from europarts, did the service and end up with a massive air lock, I believe the problem was caused by a cheap aftermarket filter, after a trip back to europarts to swap the filter for a more expensive "Mann" filter and a couple of hours siphoning the air lock out it started straight up. And for those thinking of taking this job on make sure you have these items at hand,

1, A decent quality fluid pump (suitable for derv) 

2, 1m of clear plastic pipe (8mm in diameter)

3, some small hose clamps for air tight connections 

4. And this is most important!! Before you start the service take a long hard look at the hose connections on your fuel filter then go to a local scrapyard and find some that match, the idea is to make a siphoning hose that you can click on and off just like your fuel line.

finally! When your siphoning your fuel line be sure to leave the main feed from tank connected to filter top and connect your pipe to the port that goes to your pump/ injectors, also open your fuel cap and use the pipe off a jerrycan to keep the airway open, which makes drawing the fuel through much easier! Thanks for reading! Hope this helps

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