Jump to content


Member Since 02 Nov 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 08:19 PM

#412168 Battery Light Comes On And Off

Posted by BOF on 22 September 2014 - 01:22 PM

I have a 2006 Ford Focus and the battery light has been coming on and off for the past 8 months. I am going on a long road trip so I feel I really need to address this issue.


So, address the issue. If you can't do something about it yourself, pay someone else to do it.


Also the light comes on for what seems like a every 20 minutes or so for a couple of minutes.


If that's what it does and keeps doing, you can probably survive that in daylight and if you are careful. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that it won't get worse and come on for 20 minutes with only two minutes working in between, and you won't survive that.


Another thing is that I feel like it starting happening after getting an aftermarket stereo installed.Another thing is that I feel like it starting happening after getting an aftermarket stereo installed.

Did you install the stereo, or did a professional do it? Do you know what wiring might have been disturbed?

Is this an issue to worry about or should I be ok for my road trip?


There is no evidence that you will be ok. You might get lucky. Or, not. How bad would it be if you broke down?


I drive 40 minutes on a daily basis and have no problems. Do you think an 8 hour road trip would be a bad idea


Well, you can only guess, but, if it was bad, it could be very bad.


Why not get it fixed? If you break down on a twenty minute trip that's one thing - you are always reasonably close to one end the other. Eight hours is different.


Do you have any voltage readings? Currents? How old is the battery? Do you trust the people who said that your battery and alternator were ok? What testing did they do?


PS: this is not a 'General Site |Request'.

#410699 Winter Bulb Upgrade Focus Mk2.5 2008-2012 Model

Posted by BOF on 17 September 2014 - 07:04 PM

Probably the biggest problem with light bulbs is consistency from one sample to another. The trouble is, unless you have an abnormal consumption of bulbs, it is difficult to comment on that, because you only get through a small number, and then can only compare with the last one, and if that one was misaligned  but adjusted, you'll conclude that the new one is 'bad' where it was really the old one.


Anyway, I note that while the Auto Express tests on headlight bulbs used to be an Osram benefit, recently Phillips have started taking the top spot.


That said, recently I have been using Osram, largely because they're the only ones I've seen at a reasonable price (Halfords sometimes have two-for-one offers, but they didn't last time I bought, so it was off to Autobulbs Direct).

#406071 Mondeo St Tdci Gearbox Problem 2006?

Posted by BOF on 05 September 2014 - 07:21 PM

Think I am just going to have to take it into a garage get it checked out.


I think that's right. While I suspect that it is clutch/dmf, there is only so much that you can do via a forum. In this case it stops short of being certain.


One other thing; if you have a noise at idle, and it changes as you depress the clutch, that would almost certainly be DMF/clutch.


63 k would be a bit early for a gearbox problem, but, if someone drove it aggressively, who knows? On the other hand, people do think that you start to see DMF failures from about 80k, so while it is still a bit early for that, it isn't by all that much. And, you can accelerate DMF wear-out by driving badly, and that isn't the same as driving aggressively; some of the worst will be those who think that, because they have a diesel, they should be able to pootle around at 1400 rpm in any gear (I don't know where that idea comes from).

#405464 Mondeo St Tdci Gearbox Problem 2006?

Posted by BOF on 04 September 2014 - 02:22 PM

The rattling that you mention in post #3 does sound like DMF. Prior to reading that, I'd thought synchromesh getting worn or the gearbox oil going off (or, maybe, the clutch not disengaging fully). That would tend to make gear changes more difficult, so if gear changes are still fairly slick, it is more likely to be DMF.

#404716 Mk2 2.0 Zetec Engine Woes?

Posted by BOF on 02 September 2014 - 07:59 PM

So the problem was an incorrect exhaust valve fitted by previous owner(s)/mechanic.

The valve was 1mm too short in total length, quite possible a tad thinner stem as well although I didn't have the means to measure that, just an assumption based on the oil getting into cylinder.

I'm currently in the process of putting the engine all back together :)

Sent from my iPhone using Ford OC


Err, I have to point out that I'd have never have guessed the 'previous owner fitted completely wrong valve' scenario. Just goes to show, particularly with a newly purchased vehicle, you can never dismiss stuff out of hand, however unlikely.


I'll just point out that my local garage, many years ago, had a car in that sounded wrong. The smart money seemed to be on something in the bottom end of the engine, although there was disagreement about exactly whether it was the big ends, or not. When they pulled the engine to pieces it was clear that someone had fabricated their own piston. From wood. No one had guessed that.


PS Hope it is running well now, and you are now enjoying the car.

#401490 Mk2 2.0 Zetec Engine Woes?

Posted by BOF on 25 August 2014 - 01:56 PM

I'd have to say that I've probably run out of usefulness on this.


I'm not sure how the oil feed is arranged on this engine, but, if you could lift that cam bearing and see it, there might be some chance of cleaning it out without completely lifting the cam. It is, however, more likely that you do have to lift the cam in order to get at it, because it is hidden below the split line.


(If you can still get them, a pipe cleaner might be something that you can feed along the oil way, assuming that there is a soft blockage somewhere near the point to which you have access. That may or may not help. What I was expecting was a cylinder head liberally coated in a black, thick, greasy substance. Given that there isn't much thick, black, greasy to be seen, maybe there is a completely different explanation.)


In which case, you do have to lift the cam, at least a little. Maybe there is a possibility of lifting all of the cam bearing upper halves and having enough play to get at the oil feed or the followers without completely losing cam synchronisation (which would make the putting back together easier), but I don't know, I've never taken one of these to pieces. On the other hand, the level of care needed to keep the cam in its position with the drive teeth may just be more trouble than it is worth. But, ensuring that you have the cam timed correctly is a bit of a pain (a fiddle, rather than excessively difficult, and the kind of thing that you worry about having done correctly), so if there is a way around that it might be a short cut. Maybe you can make little alignment marks that you can work to during re-assembly (re-assembly is the reverse of disassembly, as the Haynes manuals always, so irritatingly, say).

#401262 Mk2 2.0 Zetec Engine Woes?

Posted by BOF on 24 August 2014 - 05:43 PM

OK, at least we are somewhat clear what we are dealing with now. There are still two possibilities though:


What you describe is classic 'tappet collapse' (it could have been 'pump up', but this is the opposite). normally you'd expect that the hydraulic lifters had worn, and oil was just passing through them so fast that they would just 'deflate' as soon as they came under pressure. The alternative -usually, less likely- explanation is that one of the oilways has got clogged, and there is no oil supply to the tappets.


Now, as these are two tappets together, there is a distinct possibility that there is one oilway that feeds the two tappets and if that is clogged, then that is one explanation for the two problems, and that might be more likely than two completely separate problems. OTOH, if there is no oil feed to the two tappets, maybe that causes the two tappets to fail, and there is still one root cause.


Did it look as if oil was seeping around the tappets (ie, there was an oil supply behind the tappets)? 

#400518 Mk2 2.0 Zetec Engine Woes?

Posted by BOF on 22 August 2014 - 08:13 AM

Well, it does now sound like grit in one of the hydraulic lifters, presuming that the work on the coil pack leads and plugs has eliminated the possibility of a problem there.


When was the last oil change, what oil was used and did it change at all then? In any case, nice clean new oil is worth trying, but if oil and maybe oil additives doesn't work, it will probably be 'off with its head'.

#400237 Buying Advice For 09/10 Mondeo

Posted by BOF on 21 August 2014 - 12:34 PM

There are certainly expensive things that can go wrong with Diesels (DMF, DPF, Injectors) that aren't such a problem on the petrols. This is balanced against the higher expense at the pumps of the petrols, so it is a close choice... In some ways, an LPG converted petrol would be the best choice, but some of the people who do the conversions don't always produce a reliable conversion, and who knows why the seller is selling.


Beyond 80 k miles, I'd want to see that the DMF has been done, or want it cheaply, so I could get it done. The cambelt isn't due 'till 125k, so that probably can be ignored, for now, unless you also look at higher mileage examples.


At 2010, you are probably not quite new enough to find ecoboosts around, and they can be expensive.


Personally, I'd avoid an 'Edge', because I'd pay the money and get the kit (Zetec, or higher), but, if this is a second car, you might not care that much, I don't know.


There was a facelift (Mk 4.5) probably late 2010, and that must have been a success, because the prices on facelifts are higher - all things being equal, I'd prefer a facelift, but, so far, late non-facelifts seem to be easier to find and cheaper.


The first thing I'd do would be look around at what is available on-line (autotrader, and others) to see what is available for what money. That's the first thing that you want to do so, when you go to see a car, you will know whether it is decent value.

#399602 2.0 Tdci "surging" At Light Throttle

Posted by BOF on 19 August 2014 - 05:30 PM


Could this be a problem with an injector? At 140k miles, is this to be expected?


Possible. can you get an injector leak off test done?


Halfords who did the fuel service did a "before & after" emissions check but didn't give me the printouts as they usually do. Is this likely to be relevant?


Possibly. If one, or more, injector(s) are leaking a little fuel when they shouldn't be, it will affect idle and low accelerator running most. Assuming an emissions test at idle, that might show something. The idle might sound uneven (not a constant speed).


In contrast, running at higher speeds/loads is probably less likely to be affected, so motorway running might be fine.


On the other hand, there are probably other things that it could be, such as partially blocked egr and leaks around the turbo.

#397872 Advice?

Posted by BOF on 15 August 2014 - 03:53 PM

By the way how important is the 'box'.. Only £120 odd for a wooden carpet covered box seems steep. My dads got lots of wood tools and I'm sure he could knock up a box easy enough (or I could).



Depends. If the sub is a bass reflex (roughly, has a port) then matching the sub to the box is important, and that makes building the box sufficiently accurately a little more critical. For a sealed box, things are easier in the sense that if the dimensions are a little approximate, it doesn't matter that much (it changes how deep the bass goes and some other parameters slightly, but not dramatically). On the other hand, needing to be sealed is a difficulty, because approximate construction probably won't lead to good sealing and maybe the panels will flap around a bit, and that won't help the sound. (And, any filling you apply in the box will change the effective size slightly, and that would be a problem for a box that has to be built accurately to a size because it has to be built accurately to a size that isn't the size that it is. Which is a complication.)


In any case, it depends on what exactly you want and how critical you are. If you'll be happy provided that you get a bit more of a rumbling noise at low frequencies, then that's relatively easy. If you are bothered about how loud it goes, the exact matching between the sub and the existing speakers how well it matches with the room response of the car and whether the impulse response is still clean, you are making things more difficult, and if you are bothered about all of the above, then things have got really difficult, and you probably won't satisfy all of the above simultaneously with your skinflint ambitions, however hard you try.


Also, I don't understand how the 'Watt' thing works if you go for a separate sub and amp.. 


Watts is volts times amps. You need enough. All else being equal, which it rarely is, more is louder. If you turn it up too far, you can destroy the speaker through over-extension. If the amp won't deliver enough and you turn it up too far, it can still destroy the speaker, but without the over-extension.


Also *tightwad alert* is there cheap subs, cheap amps, etc that I could use? 


Probably. Amazon tends to be a good place to look. The bay of fleas, I don't tend to trust, but if someone recommends someone trustworthy, that might work.


Matching the drive unit to the box is an issue, so if you get the box and drive unit together, that ought to (note: ought) be a help. Otherwise, you should be looking at the Thiel-Small parameters, in the first instance, and I don't think that you want to do that.

#392675 Warning / Hero Points

Posted by BOF on 01 August 2014 - 11:42 AM

You might look at the 'NSFW' issue this way: Imagine you had a car with a serious problem, and I had the answer to that problem. Which would you rather:

  • I don't look at the site in my lunchtime, because there is a danger that something Not Suitable for Work comes up, with no notice, because it is that type of site.
  • I do look at the site and presumably offer you a worthwhile answer, all within my lunchtime.

I know that it can be a pain at times, and sometimes different people draw the line in different places, but it is for the best if the site remains free of questionable content.

#390544 Air Conditioning

Posted by BOF on 27 July 2014 - 07:59 AM

A (small) puddle is normal, a big one isn't. However, I'd say that was most likely down to (relatively) high temps and quite high levels of humidity, recently.


As the Captain points out, the job that you are asking the air con to do is to dry out and cool the air, and the more humid that air is, the more water comes out. It has to go somewhere, and on the ground is surely a better place for it than in the car.

#389253 Alternator Loom

Posted by BOF on 23 July 2014 - 07:43 PM

Ugh, why does everybody seem to be having alternator/battery problems, these days?


First, you seem to say that you have replaced the battery (is that right?), what type of battery do you have? Does it say 'silver' or 'silver calcium' on it? If not, you've got the 'wrong' battery, but in a way, you've lucked out.


That is, the older batteries are not intended for the 'smart charge' system that is on modern fords, but you can turn your smart charge system into a non-smart system by leaving off the additional connector. the alternator then defaults back to 'dumb' and 'dumb' is exactly what an old battery expects.


For 'dumb' you need three connections; an earth, a high current charging wire and a line from the dash light to the alternator field connector.


The earth connection may or may not be a wire; quite often the alternator picks up eath via the engine block and that picks up earth via a big wire (also has to take the starter current, so it will be a really thick wire) back to the car bodywork, probably in the close vicinity of the battery, so there may not be a wire connecting the earth to the alternator. If there isn't a wire, it is quite possible that due to a bad connection from the alternator to the engine or the engine to the car body, there is a voltage drop and that voltage drop would reduce the charging of the battery, which would not be a good thing.


Out of the two other wires in the 'basic' system one ought to be thicker than the other; often there are two spade connectors and the bigger spade connector is for the heavier wire. This is the line that takes the higher current back to the battery; given that, over time, this current has to balance the current taken, this can be quite a high current. In this simple system, this wire is also used for the alternator to sense the battery voltage, and if the battery voltage really climbs up, as sensed on this lead, the charge current reduces.


You have to have the charge lead and the earth connection, or you wouldn't be getting any charging, but you could have a high resistance in one of these leads, and that might reduce the charging quite a lot, but you'd still get some charging and you might be able to survive that, although it would give the battery an unnecessarily hard time.


The system with the lamp actually does two things with one connection: when the alternator isn't working (engine at 0 rpm, for example), nothing is coming out of the alternator, and the lamp comes on, warning you if the alternator is not working. The second action is slightly more subtle;  before the alternator starts, there is no energy for the field winding, and so the alternator doesn't start (...this isn't quite true, but it doesn't start when it should...) and because the alternator doesn't start, there is no energy for the field winding.


Now, the current through the lamp does provide the energy for the alternator field to start up, so that cures one problem, and the fact that the alternator starts up raises the voltage on this pin so that the light goes out. 


Now, if you have the smart system (which you really should have, for one of the higher-spec Silver/Calcium batteries), you will have those connections, plus some extra.


The first is a simple comms line (at least on a Mk IV); this is used so that the a module in the car can turn up the voltage (slightly) so that battery charge can be replenished more rapidly after a high load, and charging can be increased in foot-off deceleration.


The next connection that you should have is an extra battery connection; this allows an accurate reading of the battery voltage, not corrupted by the IR voltage drop in the high current connection. It ought to be easy to spot this because it has the battery voltage on it (and the system ought to work, albeit less accurately, without this connection).


There may also be a secondary earth connection back to the battery, probably a green- or a black-coloured wire. It should be easy enough to check with an ohmmeter that one of the connections goes back there


This should only leave the 'adjust' wire, and that'll be the other one!

#385443 Law On Driving With A Headlight Out?

Posted by BOF on 13 July 2014 - 06:43 AM

1. What is the law on driving with it out? I've been pulled a few time in the past and just got told to get it fixed but if I get pulled again it could be a fine¿

Note that it is illegal to drive with a headlight out, even in daylight. You might ask 'how would they notice?', but it is still illegal.


2. It keeps happening!! The drivers side dipped is constantly blowing every 1-2 months what could be causing this?

I used to have this on a Cougar. The garage said 'nothing wrong...you are just being unlucky...bulbs do wear out after a time, and sometime you get several reaching their end of life together, etc, etc'.


This was, of course, nonsense as I was losing a bulb every six to eight weeks, always at the front of the car. That's not normal.


What you could also see was that the voltage was not very stable at idle - if it was dark, you could see that the dash illumination (eg, radio display, speedo, etc) and the lights would go up and down a little with the bass in the music. there was an alternator wiring problem with the cougar , generally, and Ford had an additional harness (probably a wire, but it sounds as if it costs more if you call it a harness) that could be retrofitted to cure the problem.


With that fitted, it went down to blowing a bulb every couple of years, rather than couple of months. Ford garage never admitted that there was a fault that they should have done something about.


Anyway, if there is any sign that the voltage is 'wobbling about', even at low engine rpm, then there probably is a problem with the wiring, and things like the alternator earth and battery earth are suspect. In that case, it is probably as easy as adding another, thicker gauge, piece of wire, but it might be a bit difficult working out where, exactly.


In the interim, you could get yourself a supply of cheap bulbs (not very nice, but...) and try to avoid switching on the lights before you have got the car started.


Also note that 'smart charge' does put the charging voltage up a bit, and you probably want to check that your battery can cope (a suitably specified silver calcium one, rather than an 'any old rubbish' battery) and that the terminals there are in good shape.