Hi all, longtime reader/firsttime poster here. Be gentle with me..
I have a 2008 Ford Focus Econetic 1.6 diesel. I've been driving it for 4 years or so, but the following problem has been occurring more frequently recently, and the fact that I can't get a straight, satisfactory answer is very frustrating. See if you can help:
When I'm driving, the engine has a habit of unexpectedly stalling. It's always when I'm accelerating, usually in 2nd gear.
On a good day, when I pull away (say when lights turn green) and if I really need to get moving, I'll put my foot down when I change up to second gear. As the rev counter rises, the car accelerates - until approx 3'000 revs - where the car will seem to accelerate less for a second, before gently lurching forward and pushing you back into your seat on the way up to third gear... I don't know what this slight lull is, I assume the turbo kicking in?!?
Anyway, on a not-so-good day - which is more and more - in the same scenario, the car gets to approx 3k revs, but instead of a brief lull the engine just seems to <choke> and stalls. The car freewheels, and if I maintain control, I can switch the ignition off/on again - at which point the car responds as if nothing is wrong, and will accelerate up through 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5th gear with no hint of an issue.
The catalyst for asking help here is out of concern for the safety of my 4 month old daughter, who was in the car when I accelerated onto a dual carriageway (halfway through a journey, when the engine was fine and warm) when with no warning the engine seized. For a second all I could do was stare at the avalanche of traffic hurtling its toward us in my rear view mirror, sh!tting myself, before switching on/off and escaping. Nothing hugely traumatic, but enough to prompt me to get this looked at.
I've now been to 2 garages, and both have said the same thing: it's the diesel filter getting blocked. And there's nothing I can do about it except "give it a good drive every now and again to blow the cobwebs out". I'm told that there's a filter in new diesel cars that captures emissions, and that this is getting blocked, obstructing the airflow, and resulting in the engine seizing. Apparently, running the engine at high revs for a while burns off the deposits that can grow over time.
I don't find that to be a plausible or satisfying resopnse though - for a start, this is a family car; I very much doubt FORD are sucking their teeth saying, "sheesh, yeah, it happens sometimes, nuthin' that can be done about it, just the way it is..!".
Secondly, I use the car for business travel and two or three times a week take her out on 70+ mile roundtrips where there are plenty of extended dual carriageway high-rev opportunities. It's unlokely that your average Focus owner could reasonably be expected to give the enginer a better "clear out" with any regularity.
Thirdly, if this was the case, why does switching off/on the engine fix it? Once this problem has occurred, it's as good as new and I can accelerate as hard as I want with no problems. Surely 'accumulated emissions' would remain in situ no matter how often I switch off/on my engine?!
The seond garage I visited added an additive to my fuel tank which was designed to reduce the temperature that my exhaust emissions would begin to burn away and accumulated emissions on the filter. That was 5 days ago, and today the engine seized twice.
Can ANYONE give me any info regarding this issue? Has it happened to you? Seriously, any constructive information would be massively appreciated. Thanks all!