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Steven Roberts

help focus driving me up the wall

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Where to start,

3 weeks ago my 1.6 diesel focus TDCI went in to limp mode... took it to the garage and codes read DPF filter, i had i chemically flushed and all was well. yesterday went into limp mode again displaying Engine systems fault, so back to the garage. the mechanic who i know is very experienced and trustworthy ran another diagnostic this time dpf, power steering, battery and alternator codes have came up, he has check these faults and they are all fine, he seems to think this could be a software problem or a wiring issue, i told him i did not want to spent hundreds on this car valuved at £1000 so he advised me to fined a mechanic who will fiddle around with the software and maybe to BLOCK the codes from coming up and sending it into limp mode.

 

and thoughts and advice would be much appreciated

 

steven     

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Maybe a dodgy sensor or something along those lines? Just a suggestion if all is actually fine with the engine. Something could be sending false information. I'm no expert obviously, I have my own issues with my car lol. 

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Reading a few other posts on here, it seems the focus is sensitive to battery / alternator faults. As we’re heading towards winter, and you’ve had alternator faults show up, that’s where I’d start looking. 

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You can't just 'block' OBD fault codes from coming up.

You can have the DPF physically removed and mapped out so the ECU no longer see's it and won't sense a fault which maybe what the mechanic meant...but that's illegal, an MOT failure and not recommended these days.

Do you know what the actual DPF fault code was?  And how was it cleaned?  Just a cleaner squirted through the temp sensor hole and a static regen performed?  This won't clear ash if that's what the issue is.  You might be low on fuel additive (Eolys fluid) if that's not been topped up recently.

You should have lights or specific warning messages for battery/pas/alternator faults, the DPF faults are the ones that usually cause 'engine systems fault' message so I'd continue to look at that.  Glow plugs are common for limp mode and 'engine systems fault' message.  I get minor blips for 'over-voltage' on PAS and a few other modules but they don't cause any noticeable issues - though that's not to say yours is the same fault code. 

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hi thanks for the replys, ive tested the alternator and battery and there fine and ive had no problems with starting at 4am every morning, every time first time. as for the flush it had i chemical forced through it then a purge and a re-gen. when i took it back in he tested the pressure coming through the dpf and it was 0.28? and he said that was clean. i will get the specific error codes and post them on here tomorrow as im at work....   a friend has told me to take off the dpf and pressure wash it through(maybe get rid of the ash) and stick it back on n try n clear the codes as a last resort before i by a new one.... and advise? greatly appreciated 

 

thanks again

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P242F is an odd code, I also had a lot of trouble clearing that one.

The differential pressure needs to measured while driving, it should barely be anything at all while idling, but will spike when you accelerate under load for hills etc.  If that 0.28psi is max pressure differential then yeah that's good...if it's idling, not necessarily so good!

What des it say about additive on the paper fold?  Memory error something?  Did they check the additive level as that's a common issue.

The glowplugs also aren't really needed for starting common rail diesels, but they are used during DPF regen which is why they cause limp mode.  I would expect to see a fault code for them if they were causing this fault though.

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Yeah it says memory error, since I bought the car I’ve never added any additives tbh, like filter cleaner to the diesel? Would that be advisable? I think I’m going to start by checking the senors/wires etc then just take the dpf off and rinse in through hopefully that helps I’m not buy a new one. What would you do yourself m8? 

 

Cheers steven  

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These DPFs never really worked properly even new so required a fuel additive to be effective, also known as Eolys fluid.  This is stored in a small tank near the fuel tank, and injected into the diesel when you fill up (using a sensor in the filler cap).  Without this additive, the DPF can't work effectively so blocks quicker than usual and can also cause the fault message and limp mode as well.  It's not simple to check the level unfortunately, as it's right under the car and there is no filler level marking or dipstick.  It's recommended to be topped up every 32k miles.  The later ones (2009 onwards) use a coated DPF which is much more efficient and does not require the additive.

With the shape of the DPF on these, washing them out isn't really an option, both ends are bent over.

The DPF parmeters can be reset using diagnostics, as if it was a new DPF, which might clear the P242F code.  I would also check/top up the additive.  Not sure what I'd do about the voltage codes though if the battery and alternator seem fine, would check cables are clean, tight and not corroded I guess.

 

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If I did fancy changing the dpf (there £200 on eBay) would It just be the cast of changing it then trying to delete the codes with a cheap hand held diagnostic tool and away I go or would the parameters need doing by the garage? 

 

I appriciate your time and reply’s 👍

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The parameters can be reset using FORScan, which can be used with a smart phone or laptop, just need a modified ELM327 cable or dongle, about £15 on ebay.  They can't be reset with just a cheap OBD code reader.  You can also record live data using FS, such as the DPF pressure differential which would be useful to see before committing to changing the DPF.

I replaced my DPF with a £200 one and it wasn't overly successful, after 3 months it was showing signs of being partially blocked again, I managed to keep it a year before having to change it again - but there may have been another issue I could never find, or it might have been my type of driving.  It's fairly straightforward to change, I made a guide on here for it but photobucket has blocked all the pictures now sadly.  

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4 hours ago, Steven Roberts said:

I’m away to research FORScan now and how to connect/use in on my iPhone 6.

With the codes you have been seeing, Forscan would be a very good idea.

P242F is usually linked to blocked DPFs, though if it has been successfully cleaned, it may be possibe to reset the system with Forscan, and clear the code. However, if it is ash that is the problem, chemical cleaning with the DPF on the car will not help. Back flushing (no need for pressure jets, that might do more harm then good) with water has been shown to have at least a temporary benefit, but it needs to be thorough, as any remaining ash will tend to set hard afterwards, reacting with the water.

Problems with cracked hoses linking the DPF to the DPF DP sensor are common on these, and will cause errors like this.

However the other problems are a bit odd. An intermittent alternator fault is a possible cause. But communication problems between the cluster (IC) and the ECU (PCM) are also possible. They are very common on all 2006 Foci, and may affect 2007 models.

Having a decent diagnostic system to hand to check & record any faults immediately, then clearing them to see if and when they re-occur is much better than relying on getting the car to a garage sometime. Also it can monitor engine signals like the DPF DP.

My standard intro. to Forscan is:

Forscan is a powerful Ford specific system, Cost is about £15.00 for the interface. It 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

The Tunnelrat ELM327s have been reported to work well by several people, and are stated to be compatible with Forscan and ELMConfig.

http://www.spanglefish.com/TunnelratElectronics/index.asp?pageid=516992
or
https://tunnelrat-electronics.fwscart.com/

Forscan works best on a Windows laptop, with a USB ELM.  Forscan is also available for iOS & Android for some tablets & phones, using USB if available, or bluetooth or WiFi ELMs. But there are some limitations. (See the Forscan download site for info)

Wireless ELMs are often not as reliable as the wired ones. Also they are rarer in the "modified" form which is needed to access the 2nd Ford bus system. This 2nd bus is the MS-CAN bus, and links all the car interior electronics like door modules, and the BCM (aka GEM). But a standard ELM will still work with all the Underbonnet Modules (PCM, ABS etc) and with the IC (Instrument Cluster).

The Forscan programme is free (in Windows format) and you can get it from:
http://forscan.org/download.html

Note: Simply reading the codes can do no harm, and does not change anything. Just do not reset the codes (and you would have to ask the scanner to do this) if you are going to take the car to a garage.

 

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I’ve ordered a wireless forscan and the app is £4.99, I’m going to try and rise through the dpf on Friday my day off, after I have done this and refitted will I need to reset the peramiters even through I’m putting the old part back on? And is this easy to do with forscan.... I will be checking the sensors and the pipes/wires for damage first. If all else fails I will just order a new dpf in a couple weeks when I have the cash in the mean time I’m just driving it in limp mode to and from work, not advisable I know but needs must. It’s only 8mile round trip 

 

thanks Steven 

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7 hours ago, Steven Roberts said:

Ok thank you for your advice, I’m away to research FORScan now and how to connect/use in on my iPhone 6.

next car is a petrol 

 

👍

Petrol isn't as economical as I'm finding out right now, but I do love this car, I'd buy another Focus tomorrow. Hope you get your issues sorted.

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3 hours ago, Steven Roberts said:

will I need to reset the peramiters even through I’m putting the old part back on? And is this easy to do with forscan.

I think you need to use the "reset diesel particulate filter learned values" procedure, which should be simple to do.

But do check everything else, like hoses, before washing the DPF with water. This is a last resort operation, which would damage a working DPF, and has no guarantee (as far as I know) of long lasting success. If you do it, I think it will need a lot of water. Like bucket fulls. Preferably soft water, at least to finish, ie. clean rain water.

For a bit more info, see:

http://forscan.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=247

In there you will find a trick involving disconnecting the MAF that can clear the P242F DTC, though it will return if the DPF still has the same problem.

I rather like the sentence: "I should note that the demounting of the filter requires strong nerves, durable tool and one assistant." But I suspect that it may be all too true!

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Hi guys first check the dpf back pressure not with a scan tool use a pressure gauge. 

The pressure should be as close to 0psi as possible at idle. 2000rpm should be no more than 1psi. Now repeat with a scan tool that will rule out the sensor and pipe work. Some dpf codes can be really tricky to erase. If you are left with just the dpf codes try this. 

Dissconect the mass air flow sensor start the car then read the codes. 

Now reconnect the mass air flow sensor erase the codes. 

Hope this helps Steve Evans 

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Ok I got my elm obd2 reader yesterday and downloaded forscan lite(by the way does not work on I phone only on android), 1st I read the codes - same codes came up from garage diagnostic, I disconnected the MAF sensor as advised by a few 👍 and read codes again with added MAF error codes,I then deleted all codes without problems...... it came out of limp mode, no issues 24hours on, I obviously reconnected The MAF, I’m planning on buying a dpf cleaner, either the fuel additive one or arosol 1 that goes in through 1 of the sensors. ??????? Any opinions lads

Guess it’s just fingers crossed 

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5 hours ago, Steven Roberts said:

the garage checked the pressure 2.5 psi at idle 🧐 an said tha was ‘clean as a whistle’ 

2.5psi at idle (17kPa as it may appear if read via Forscan) sounds very high to me!

Assuming that is the DPF DP he measured. To measure it in Forscan, you need to go to the read PID data section (graph icon), click the setup button at the bottom (spikey wheel), then highlight PIDs you want (Like DPF PP & rpm etc), and click on an arrow to move them into the other column. Then just click on the start button. (Hope I have remembered all the steps!)

You can log data while driving, just ensure the phone / computer is safe, and also the cable. Setup & start recording while stationary, drive, stop then press stop, save the data, then review at leisure. I have done runs up to about 45 minutes like this.

If the DP is high and maybe inconsistent, the first thing to check is the hoses from the sensor to the DPF.

Re Cleaners: Worth a try if not a silly price, but do not expect too much. A regen (and Forscan can initiate a forced regen, though possibly only the Windows version) will clear soot. No cleaner will remove ash with the DPF in situ. Ash can only be physically removed back the way it came in, if at all.

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Whistles are disgusting, full of dribble and huge amounts of bacteria...  So, yes your DPF sounds about as clean as that! :laugh: 

I guess that 2.5PSI was a typo though, I wouldn't expect a spike that high even if you floor it in 3rd up hill.

The cleaners don't really work tbh, fuel additive cleaner wont work at all, there's nothing left of it time it's been cooked in the cylinder...  The direct DPF cleaners (through sensor hole) chemically break up soot so that it can be more easily burnt during a regen, this can help if you're suffering from a soot blockage.

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You need a new battery your report states low battery voltage.  A bad battery can cause lots of issues with the CAN BUS system on your car.  I would change the battery then clear the faults and see how it goes.  My focus had loads of codes when the battery was on its last legs.

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testing the alternator and battery and wiring isn't easily done without expensive equipment, just because it starts doesn't mean its fine.  The alternator can introduce some wonky voltages, droops and spikes can play havoc with the car.  My car started first time every time until the alternator started to go mental and cut out mid drive. 

if you want to see how well its working, plug in an OBD scanner and monitor a voltage to a module. turn the car on, then put on the lights and window demisters, front and rear, put the fan on for good measure and watch the voltages, the final kick in the balls for it is electric assisted power steering, without accelerating, turn the wheel to full lock. id expect the voltage to drop from around 14.4 to around 12 doing all that, if it drops to less than 12 then you may start to see issues, if it doesn't recover back to 14 when you stop turning, then your having electrical problems

 

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