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Member Since 02 Nov 2012
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#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.

#374106 Mondeo 2,0 Tdci

Posted by BOF on 13 June 2014 - 07:01 AM

Another option would be to go along to your local Ford Stealership Dealership. They will probably want some proof of ownership, given that the whole point of the radio code is to stop people stealing things and making a profit from it on the secondhand market. What counts as sufficient proof may depend on where you are, and, if you are well known to them from a previous vehicle might be essentially your word, I don't know.


In any case, the web approach is likely to be cheaper and more convenient, unless you've got to go to Ford for something else, anyway (which is quite common with a 'new to you' car).


Make sure that, when you get it, you note it down somewhere pretty safe, as the likelihood is you'll need it again.

#364506 "diesel Knock"

Posted by BOF on 15 May 2014 - 07:55 AM

The knock and spluttering is likeley to be the EGR valve opening - when it opens burn't exhaust fumes are injected into the inlet, that also contaminate the inlet manifold with carbon,


That seems to be a very plausible suggestion. It seems likely that once the temperature is up enough for the EGR valve to be open, you've got the problem, and when it isn't open you don't have the problem.


Now quite sure why EGR, seemingly, causes this problem on your car, and doesn't on other cars...


I'd want to check, or have checked, that there aren't any leaks in the various bits of tubing that take the gasses to the inlet. The EGR valve itself may not be clean, but I'm struggling a bit to work out how that would cause this problem (in that people do block the valves and have the car run better, so I'm not quite getting why a partly blocked one would be worse... BTW, I'm not sure if blocking the EGR on a 1.8 Mk IV causes 'dashboard blinkenlights' eventually; it does on a 2.0, but the 1.8 is different). 


But that's not your problem, it is the problem of the seller (ie, they've got to give you a car that works; the danger is that if you in any way 'mod' the car before they get it to work, they'll just blame everything, from tyre wear to the pollen count on what you've done).

#361981 "diesel Knock"

Posted by BOF on 08 May 2014 - 06:39 PM

...but everytime after travelling approx 1/2 mile from cold start, the engine starts to splutter slightly and knock as if the automatic choke stays on whilst revving you can hardly notice it but when staying at same speed, for example 20 mph in second or 30 mph in 3rd gear, as when in traffic it is very much more noticable. 


So, it happens on every cold start, irrespective of whether it is after a pretty cold night, or a warmer morning?


By 'while revving' presumably you mean 'while accelerating' rather than 'at high revs'?


I have taken car back to dealer, they checked it over and said it is "diesel knock" which is acceptable because of age, mileage and general wear and tear and because the onboard computer is not recognising a fault they can't actually fix it.


Oh, that really is an unacceptable attitude. Did they actually tell you, when they were selling it to you 'don't expect it to work, it is a crap car and it is worn out' - of course they didn't!


And this bit about the on-board computer; yes, many things show up as error codes, but not everything. What they are really saying is 'we are not competent to do anything beyond the obvious (and it is your problem that we are not competent)'.


This is just wrong.


Car is on '59' plate 42,000 miles.


You'll find that there are people with 150 - 250 k miles on their clocks here, so their argument that the car has done too many miles - at 42k - to work is laughable. 


...warranting my fuel injectors for 12 month, because I had test done on injectors which cost £200...


That's just weird; you've got a problem, you've paid for some work to be done on something that didn't turn out to be the problem, and they've responded by giving you a warranty on the thing that wasn't the problem.


Presumably, you took the car to some independent garage (or maybe Ford?) and it was their advice to get the injectors tested? Or, did you suggest to them to test the injectors? Was there any discussion of the other problems that it could be?



the mondeo tdci 1.8 titanium x uses the transit connect engine,


There is engine sharing all across the Ford range. You could easily say that the Transit Connect uses the Mondeo engine and it would be equally correct - probably more so if the Mondeo got the engine first, which it probably did. 


Any argument that 'this engine is noisy because it is used in the Transit Connect', which is what they seem to be saying, is quite interesting because

  • the noisiness, or otherwise, is quite dependant on the installation and the sound insulation and deadening thereof, so the argument is flawed
  • you are not complaining about engine noise, so the argument is not relevant to the point at issue, that of the fault which exists with the car
  • if you can get them to put it in writing you'll have a good case in court, because of the above two points - this alone isn't enough to win the case, but it will make them look very stupid, which always helps

put the engine through diagnostics and nothing flags up, "they can't fix it if it's not broke scenario"


Nonsense; it is broke, just it is broke without a diagnostic fault code. They can't (or maybe won't) fix it because they are useless and won't try. Or, possibly, they know that it will cost them money, and they are not happy about that prospect.


I've mentioned a court case - it is probably undesirable to actually go to court, but it helps to be prepared. A conversation with trading standards to find out where they think you stand and maybe a stiff solicitor's letter could well be in order as could be mention of rejecting the car, after finding out what chance you have of getting the money back that you have spent.


As to the real fault (which is probably irrelevant, because dealing with the legal and organisational aspects is probably what counts), the stuff that comes under the heading 'the usual suspects' for a diesel, for example:

  • fuel filter
  • fuel pump
  • injectors (should be able to eliminate those, after the testing that has already been done)
  • egr
  • early stage of DMF failure

are all open to question, but I think I'd have to add:

  • ECU cal
  • temperature sensor

and I'd have to ask about the service history (oil change and when the fuel filter was last changed and was a quality part used). I think you could also ask whether it is any better on 'Premium' fuel (Shell Vpower/BP Ultimate), although it clearly a car that only runs cleanly on premium fuel would be unacceptable.

#342982 Mondeo Brakes

Posted by BOF on 15 March 2014 - 12:37 AM

Hi there, I have a bit of a problem with the brakes on my 2.5T titanium X.


I did a fast run on the way home the other night, 6 miles, 10 corners. By the time I was home, the brake pedal was hard and they had virtually stopped working. When I got out of the car they were stinking.




When you say that the 'brake pedal was hard', you do mean that you felt resistance in the normal position in the brake pedal travel, but the feeling was 'wooden' and it didn't cause much braking? If the pedal had sunk down, it would be a totally different diagnosis.


Firstly, you can fade the brakes on any production car if you try hard enough...However, if you can't do at least one stop from Vmax safely without the brakes going away, the car isn't safe to drive to that speed.


Given that there are two broad categories of fade (fluid 'boiling' and the various brake pad problems - here, probably overheating), if we can eliminate 'fluid', then we've got pads and temperature.


(You'll probably still have to change the fluid, for one of two reasons

  • this process has abused the fluid enough so that you can't trust it
  • you can't trust that the fluid was in decent condition, after its previous life, possibly at the hands of someone who thought saving money on brakes was smart and who possibly either fitted sub-standard fluid or left it too long between changes

It doesn't sound as if fluid was your immediate problem though, depending on the interpretation of the pedal symptom.)


Brake pads and materials are a compromise - there is not a magic 'just fit this, and all problems go away' solution. That said, it does sound as if you can find something more suited to your requirements.


It was both front wheels that were hot.


Sticking brakes are more common at the back than the front, so assuming that we can eliminate that (...ideally, you do some more testing...) then the temperature isn't being raised by sticking, then it should be possible to get an improvement by changing pads. Enough? Get the improvement without introducing other problems? These are good questions, and, ultimately, you won't know until you've tried. Bigger brake disks would also help get rid of the heat, but it is unclear whether you need to go that far.


(BTW, you say that it was the front wheels that were hot. Does that mean that the rears weren't hot at all, or were they just substantially less hot than the fronts? If the rears are doing no work in stopping the car, that will put all of the effort on the fronts and will make the problem worse.)


(Also, I need to make a comparison with tyres here - there is no point in saying buy this brand of pads; most pad manufacturers make several ranges, and buying the 'bog standard' pads from someone who also makes performance pads probably won't help, just as buying tyres by brand doesn't help.)


So, for example, EBC, who you mention, make a 'comparable with OEM quality' pad - I'm pretty sure this is a negligible improvement over the atandard OEM pad. You would need, for example, to be in with the yellowstuff and redstuff 'performance' pads before you get a worthwhile improvement over OEM. Redstuff may even need a little warming before it really bites, so this is where the compromise comes in - are you prepared to suffer that in order to get a pad that keeps working to higher temperatures?


Note also that the bigger wheels on a TitX should allow a slightly bigger disk...but be careful, if you would ever intend ton go down in wheel size, eg, to fit winter tyres.


One thing that is worth looking out for is whether you can see any manufacturers ident on the back of the pad (Ford, Ate, etc). If you can see that, and it is one of the respectable makes, it probably isn't 'cheapskate fitted inadequate pads'. If you can't see any ident, then it might just be inadequate pads, and, in that case, going to OEM quality might be a step forward (although, you might still want a bigger step than that).


My feeling (ie, guess) is that you will end up with a slightly bigger wheel size and slightly better pads, but i don't know how to be sure whether, eg, just slightly improved pads will do the job.



I should have commented on the possibility that you have glazed your pads - however, as the cure for this is often suggested as giving the pads a serious work-out, I originally felt that this removes the glazed pad possibility. This is wrong; you could have glazed the pads so badly that even a work out such as above has not been able to get the pads back to normal operation. 

#316858 What Tyres For My Focus?

Posted by BOF on 01 January 2014 - 09:18 PM

I have uniroyal rainsport 2 225/40 /zr18s @£79 each plus £2.99 per tyre delivery next day


RS2s aren't as good as RS3s, but that's a very good price. A really good price.



I recommend to try thi site, as I believe they're cheaper than blackcircles,
www.camskill.com tyres


There is no one tyre site that is always the cheapest; you need to look at several, because one might be cheapest for, say, Hankooks and another for Michelins. That said, on average, Camskills is often one of the cheaper ones.




I ended up going through Tyreshopper for the best price.



I've also used Tyreshopper, and found them good. Price included fitting at National Tyres (and way cheaper than buying the exact same tyres bought through National Tyres).


As predicted, National tyres, who can't have been getting much dosh out of the deal, attempted to sell me something else, rear brake pads. As unexpected, it turns out that I actually needed rear brake pads.

#310003 Mondeo V6 No Power

Posted by BOF on 08 December 2013 - 08:05 PM

Clogged fuel filter???

#304686 Winter Tyres

Posted by BOF on 12 November 2013 - 11:57 AM

I just wanted to add a few little things to the sensible points above:

  • Not all summer tyres are the same and not all winter tyres are the same. Some Summer tyres are really bad on snow (I think, maybe, primarily the ones that come from the countries, such as Germany, where Winter tyres are 'de rigeur' and Summer tyres aren't expected to ever see snow) and some Summer tyres are merely 'not so good'. Equally, the cheap Winter tyres  tend to be less good than the expensive ones, and while even cheap Winter tyres can be ok on snow, that's not all that you are expecting them to do - you will likely leave them on for the coldest three or four months of the year, and they will be expected to cope with all the conditions that occur in that time, and those conditions will include more 'cold and dry' and 'cold and wet' days than actual snow. This is where the cheap Winter tyres often fall down - performance on the more normal conditions. (Of course, ignore that if you only fit them for a couple of days when someone has actually Tippexed out the landscape - changing tyres just for snowy days is a pain, though.)
  • In 'Auto Express' (warning: a video) they also had success, surprisingly, with a 'spray'. Now, tyre compound softener sprays have been existing for quite some time, but I was as surprised as they were that the spray they tested gave a big improvement. Softening the rubber must have an impact on wear, but I'd hate to guess how much. Like the 'sock' could be a worthwhile last ditch (sorry!) measure, if you don't find the ditch before you apply the spray.

#303404 Ford Mondeo 2.0 Tddi Starter Mortor And Engine Problems

Posted by BOF on 08 November 2013 - 11:50 AM

Well, it looks like the problem. I can only guess that the old DMF was disintegrating and shed that bit of metal before it finally died, and it has been hanging around, waiting to get you, ever since. Really, though, that's just speculation.

#300799 Mk3 Mondeo 2.5 16V V6

Posted by BOF on 30 October 2013 - 09:52 AM


I think it was he meant well known problems.


That was my guess, too, but I still don't understand '2.5 16V V6'; that'll be the less popular 2.6666667 valves per cylinder engine, won't it :D


In any case, if you want a useful answer to the original question, you might want to tell what year and spec the car is, as that doesn't define it very clearly.

#297743 Battery Drain

Posted by BOF on 18 October 2013 - 01:40 PM

You seen to know more about these things then me. If my alternator is shot how come i can use the car for 2-3 days without the battery dying? If it wasn't getting a charge surely it would die alot sooner??


You are probably getting some charge. In daytime driving (no lights, no a/c, no heated windows, no heated seats) the car current consumption isn't that high, although it does climb markedly if you switch those big electrical loads on. Given the capacity of a battery, you take some time to 'wear it down', and if you are even putting a small average current into it, that will take longer.


The exact current:voltage profile of the alternator can only be guessed at, but the battery isn't getting enough charge overall. You have to look at your other thread for the critical information:


@rusty123, here

I had to go worcester in it today. It started ok round go there,when i started it to come home,you could hear the battery was struggling a bit and then on way home the battery light came up on dash,about 5 mins later the abs light came on also then just before i got home those lights went off but the dials stopped working speedo,revs,petrol guage and temp.the when i parked up outside mine and turned the headlights off the dials started to work again .almost like it hadn't got enough power to power headlights and dash display at once. Oh and i tried to start it after i turned it off and battery is dead again




Managed to bump start it,drove it home about 25 miles away,tried it again outside my house as soon as id parked up and turned ignition off and nothing,completely dead. Didn't even attempt to start. 


but when the battery is flat, shortly after the vehicle has had an extended run, it isn't a low average current drain over an extended period (overnight or longer) that's doing it. If charging is working properly, 25 miles ought to be enough to get the battery substantially charged.


That said, you could probably also achieve this state by connecting up something that took 40+ amps all the time the car was running, and then even a good alternator wouldn't be able to keep up, but you might be able to find that on on dark nights by looking for the dull red glow-y thing under the bonnet. And it would need an almost heroic level of bad practice with the work on the starter to get there without having any idea that something was wrong. 


I put a multimeter on the battery just and it read 12.50 engine off and 12.30 engine on


With the engine running (that is what you mean, isn't it?) and no big loads running, the battery voltage should go up (slightly) and yours goes down. At that condition, the battery isn't getting as much charge as it should. Maybe it gets a more reasonable level of charge once the alternator is doing a few thousand rpm, maybe it doesn't. But then, who cares, provided that you fix the right fault?


If you don't feel happy with the advice that you've been given, just take it to a garage and pay them to fix it. That way, you'll have someone to complain at, if it goes wrong.

#296822 Spark Plug Choice

Posted by BOF on 14 October 2013 - 10:15 PM

I am goin to service my 1999 1.8 mondeo soon and was jus wondering if there would be any difference in putting better spark plugs in??


They'll probably last a little longer before they start going off. if you do a low annual mileage, this probably won't be an issue to you, as you'll probably change them anyway before things get too bad. Also, if you have, eg, cold starting problems, better spark plugs might make some difference...or they might not.



I use NGK or Bosch (preferably NGK). 


I've never had any problems with Bosch, but some people do complain about them, so, in general, I'd prefer NGK. Also used Denso, and have nothing bad to say about them, either (if that falls short of a rave review, that's deliberate; they are spark plugs, and you don't notice the things unless something is wrong).



 Castrol Magnatec or GTX


Castrol GTX Magnatec over plain GTX, imnvho. Or, anything that meets the -C spec over the -B (the last time I looked, anyway, the plain GTX only met -B)

#295633 Alloy Wheel Offset Question

Posted by BOF on 09 October 2013 - 08:45 PM

Don't know anything about the wheels originally fitted, but does thiswebsite help you, at all?