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n7twc

Ford Focus 2006 - Dashboard Warning Lights

23 posts in this topic

Own a Ford Focus Mk2, 56 plate 1.4l petrol, 18k miles. Purchased second hand a few months ago. No problems up until this week, when numerous warning lights would appear on the instrument cluster, and sometimes it would go into limp / restricted mode.

I drove the car home (~ 2 miles). Part way, a number of warning lights on the dashboard lit up; engine warnings lights - both amber + red, ABS, battery, oil and a few others. Rev counter + speed needles drop to zero, and the odometer just displays dashes on both the trip + total mileage.

Pulled over, switched the vehicle off and restarted a few minutes later. Two engine lights remain on.

A few minutes later, did the exact same thing, except this time it was enough to put it into limp home mode (low revs, sluggish etc).

Got it home, switched the vehicle off and restarted a few minutes later. Just the amber engine warning light appeared.

I checked the dashboard DTC codes, which gave me:

E197:Invalid data for vehicle speed (Invalid CAN message)
E200: Invalid data for odometer (Invalid CAN message)
D900: CAN communication. Bus fault receive error
E510: Missing or invalid security data to PCM

Took the car into Ford for a diagnostic - they came back and said there was a single fault code pointing to the TPS / accelerator pedal position sensor. However, they couldn't reproduce the fault and kept the vehicle overnight to try it again on Friday morning. Still couldn't cause any lights to come up on the dash or for it to go into limp mode.

Not surprisingly when I picked the car up and turned on the ignition, within 30 seconds the warning lights come up - exact same symptoms as above. Hadn't even put the car in gear or touched the accelerator. Turned it off, then on again, and the warning lights still come up. Depending on it's mood, sometimes most of the warning lights come up, other times it's just:

- Engine cog

- Engine

- ABS

They're now keeping the car and will re-diagnose over the weekend with their equipment.

I know there are countless threads here and elsewhere about these problems. On older vehicles the instrument cluster was a known issue, but this doesn't apply to Mk2's. Is this just a TPS problem or something else? I'm surprised a faulty TPS would cause the instrument cluster to go crazy like it does. Is there anything else to check?

Apologies for the essay - hoping that by writing out everything that's happened I might spot a pattern or something stupidly obvious that needs checking!

post-47049-0-83118000-1380302258_thumb.j

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actually the dash display fault is becoming more common on the mk2 now so it is in fact a possibility

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Thanks - will wait to hear what they say on Monday when they re-diagnose.

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I had a similar issue, it was in fact the ABS sensor. Lets see what a clean ECU throws up next though.

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Second diagnostic didn't throw up the TPS error, although they couldn't tell me what error did occur.

Now they're talking about the ignition and taking that all apart to trace the fault.

Been almost a week with no resolution. Time to find someone else to get to the bottom of this?

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to be honest ide leave it with them other garages will not have a clue and if they are saying they need to check the wiring then they most likely do you can call and say come on its been a week i need my car back

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OK - been quoted over £2,000 for a replacement instrument cluster and wiring harness.

Didn't pay a lot more than that for the vehicle, so it's just not economically viable to go ahead with it at that cost :(

Any advice? I was looking at clusterrepairsuk.co.uk, who will take the instrument cluster, diagnose, fix and return for £109 + VAT.

Seems a cheaper route and at least rules out one of the two possible issues?

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Elected to get the instrument cluster repaired with clusterrepairsuk.co.uk, so said to Ford I'd collect the car.

Now I'm told it's been rebuilt the car doesn't even start or function, and it'll cost £1500 to fix.

Can't believe a car can get worse at a Ford dealer, especially when it's 7 years old with only 18k on the clock.

Just about ready to give up and scrap it!

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sounds like a plan, let us know how it goes!

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Took the car away from Ford. All working fine for a day or so, and then I'd get in to start the car, and it wouldn't start. All warning lights back on etc.

Can't believe this is an instrument cluster fault (haven't sent it off yet). Got annoyed enough to have a look myself.

Followed the below to remove the instrument cluster:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFC3doVh_vo

Found the plug that goes into the back of the cluster, which has about 20 wires going into it. If I move the cables in one direction slightly, everything on the instrument cluster works and I can start the vehicle. Move the cables slightly the other way, and all the warning lights come on, no speedo reading etc.

Concluded there's a break or bad connection on one or more of the pins / cables about an inch away from the plug. Now need to find a car electrician or similar who can test each cable to find which ones are at fault. Assume it's possible for them to cut back an inch or so of the cable + rewire it into the plug (there's loads of cable inside the dashboard behind the cluster!)

I'm based in Birmingham - know of a good independent car technician that can do this for me?

Thanks.

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Most times the problem is not the wiring. My experience is that the soldering connections of the connector on the circuit board of the instrument cluster are cracked due to vibrations. If you take a closer look at the soldering connections (under a microscope) small cracks in the soldering connections can be seen. By moving the wiring loom in different directions there can temporalily be a good connection or an open connection.

Until now i repaired several MK2/MK2.5 instrument clusters by resoldering the connector on the circuit board. It is relatively easy to do this yourself. You only have to disassemble the instrument cluster and resolder all of the connections with a small soldering iron. At least resoldering the connector is worth a try.

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Thanks for the advice. Soldering not really something I'm great at!

The company that repair the clusters said it's only £40 - £50 if they diagnose it and find no faults, so it sounds like it's worth me sending it off to them, so I'll get back either a cluster that's repaired or a cluster that we know hasn't got the problem you've mentioned.

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Probably an obvious question - if I disconnect the instrument cluster, will it lose the mileage count?

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No it won't lose the mileage.

For £25 from Maplins you can buy an Isoda gas soldering Iron , spend an Hour with an old radio or electronic device soldering connections then , get to work on your cluster.

You will save yourself a fortune

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Thanks for the advice all. Sadly not confident enough to try and fix myself, however was successful in having the instrument cluster sent off to Cluster Repairs UK for repair.

They confirmed both dry joints on the connector, plus the PCB required cleaning due to burn marks.

Completely agree with the postings in this thread - if you are slightly competent, these are fixable yourself. If not, getting it sent off for repair (+ therefore now covered by warranty) worked for me.

Having spoken to them and a couple of other Ford dealers, this is now becoming a common problem on Mk2's, as it was a few years ago on the Mk1.

Thanks for everyone's help on this.

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Hi Tim

Iv had the exact same problem with my 06 Focus, and its driving me nuts. Not starting on a morning, showing 'Engine System Fault' and going into Limp mode whenever it feels like.

Did this finally sort your problem out changing the PCB?????

Thanks in advance

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I didn't have the PCB changed - I posted the instrument cluster to Cluster Repairs UK, who diagnosed a fault with the connector and burn marks on the PCB. They fixed the connector and cleaned the PCB, before re-testing to confirm it worked + sent it back to me.

In my case, this resolved the issue.

Your first step is to follow the YouTube video in the first post on this thread, so you can remove the instrument cluster. Then if you move the cable connecting into the back of the instrument cluster, see if you can get the warning lights to come on and off.

If so, I'd say it's 80% going to be the instrument cluster. You can either follow the instructions on this thread to repair it yourself, or send off to a company for repair. I used the company mentioned here, who charged £160 inc. return postage, which resolved the issue and means I now have a 2 year warranty on the whole cluster (yes, not just on the repairs they made).

If not, it might still be worth having the cluster sent off, as if they can't find a fault, it'll only be around £40 for the diagnostic.

As others have said here, this problem is becoming more common on the MK2 Focus. Dealers are also reporting this, based on my research.

Last thing you want to do is spend £800 parts + labour for a new instrument cluster - all keys need to be recoded, and the instrument cluster has to be programmed to the vehicle + immobiliser. It's a pain!

Any problems / questions, let me know. It's thanks to this forum I saved a ton of money, so I'm determined to help others do the same.

jeebowhite likes this

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Yeah I had this exact issue, at first I was so confused as to what the cause was, but after researching online I found out that this was really quite common.. and luckily for me a cluster repair center was fairly local so I took my car with me, and they removed the cluster, repaired it with contact spray etc and gave me a 2 year warranty! They also misquoted me £100 by accident instead of £120, always a plus :D

New clusters from fords are ridiculous lmao!

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Hi Tim,

I have marked your reply above as the answer to the question so that anyone coming across this, can see that is how you resolved your issue.

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Brilliant - After similar symptoms - dashboard warnings lighting up like a Christmas tree and my car (06 plate focus 1.6 tdci LX) going into limp home mode on several occassions I read this thread in desperation.

An RAC patrolman and my local garage found no tell tale error codes on their diagnostics but intermittent problem kept recurring. (Sometimes solved by turning ignition off and on again or indeed banging the top of the dashboard!)

Not a fuel problem or any noticeable damp problem. Likely electrical problem seen by me as being soldering on joints - after I had read here this description of near identical problems first seen in MK1 Focus and now creeping into MK ii Focus like mine.

Anyway, took a deep breath and, in agreement with my garage, "you may as well try this, seems likely problem" especially with one cure being banging the dashboard - I removed and sent off to Clusterrepairs.co.uk my instrument panel unit and PCB.

I really cannot fault Cluster Repairs - very prompt and efficient service. They quickly mended my instrument control panel and attached Printed Circuit Board (PCB) in an hour or so (I elected their £30 extra service for an 'Exchange Board with 2 yr warranty, a total £139 plus vat incl rtn postage to me). I then received my instrument panel back next day. 25 miles on and two overnight morning start ups (I do low mileages) and all is working well. Chuffed to bits!

By the way, before I posted it away for repair I had been reduced to one warning light (engine block orange image) but this too has been extinguished by the repair. Do note though that I ran my car for over a year with this same orange engine management light - and regular consultations with my garage that it was being lit by a faulty Exhaust recirculation valve (ETR?) fault. When I finally invested in a new ETR valve my Focus ran like a dream - wish I had paid up and had a new one fitted rather than trying to clean up the old much earlier. Indeed for many months since new ETR Valve fitted car has been running very smoothly - until this very recent instrument control panel fault.

So all in all I'm delighted with Ford Owners club, Cluster Repairs and this thread in particular. I followed the You Tube link and removed the instrument unit myself - just two screws, (garage lent me their screwdriver for a minute), a quick search on how to disconnect the cable clip from its housing - found on another You Tube clip (there is a black metal arm which cantilevers over and clips and unclips the cable section from the circuit board - and posted it away and re-fitted myself. So far so good and well pleased with my £139 plus vat repair and £11 special postage via Royal Mail to Cluster Repairs. Thanks to all on here - this is my endorsement of all your great work. Feel really empowered!

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I had the same issue, removed and disassembled, soldered and replaced in an hour, total cost £0.00 unless you really want to be pedantic ;)

This is my instrument cluster, I have already soldered the top 3 right hand side as you can see.

oLTYFgO.jpg

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I have a focus cmax with the same problem.It goes into limp mode but I have found if I stop and switch off the engine then restart it with my foot on the foot break it returns to full power but the lights stay on which is not a problem until it goes for an MOT then I have to get the lights turned off.

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15 hours ago, Snowyirv46 said:

I have a focus cmax with the same problem.It goes into limp mode but I have found if I stop and switch off the engine then restart it with my foot on the foot break it returns to full power but the lights stay on

Hi,

It may not be the same cause. The IC (Instrument Cluster) problem above is quite specific to Foci from arond 2006, bad batch of units. I had it. The symptoms tend to be variable and intermittent, leading to total immobilisation usually.

You need to run some diagnostics on the car, to find the error codes causing the light on & limp mode. A garage with Ford IDS will charge up to £100 just to look. DIY diagnostics are very much cheaper, can be better (more immediate), and can be very easy.  Two DIY options are:

1) Get a generic OBD2 scanner. From about £10.00. I got a U480 off Ebay, worked fine. Very easy to use, self contained, but limited capabilities. OR

2) Get Forscan. It is not quite as simple as the self contained OBD2 scanner, but much more comprehensive.

Forscan is a powerful Ford specific system, Cost £15.00 for the interface. Needs a computer of some sort. (COM port, USB, Bluetooth or WiFi interfaces available). You will find a lot about ELM327 & Forscan on this site, which together provide a very comprehensive diagnosis & maintenance tool. James (jeebowhite) has done a nice guide:
http://www.fordownersclub.com/forums/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=21196

Reply here if interested in the Forscan route.

The generic OBD2 scanner will pick up most engine related problems. If the warning lamp with the engine picture is on, it should be ok, otherwise it is Forscan or Ford, really.

Peter.

PS: I have done a guide to repairing a Focus IC: http://www.fordownersclub.com/forums/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=40491

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