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Help with Diagnosis


Sal2018
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Hi all,

My girlfriend bought a 2008 Fiesta Zetec blue (1.4 petrol) in May - it gave us a fair bit of trouble from the get go but i fear things are only about to get worse!

 

When we bought it we had the timing belt changed and a full service carried out (1 previous owner, full ford service history) ~68k miles. All seemed well until we picked the car up and drove it home.

Every time I slowed down for a junction and dipped the clutch the engine would cut out and the steering would become very heavy - I assumed this was because the low fuel light had been on during the time the owner was selling so i filled it up with premium fuel and carried on. It continued to cut in and out for the remainder of the journey home (Slough to Reading). Since then it hasn't re-occurred. I did a bit of research on this and seems to be a common problem with the older fiestas and the idle air control valve - trouble is that hers is the newer fly-by-wire type so isn't as simple to clean (from what i understand).

She has also been complaining of poor economy - its only a 1.4 petrol and she is hardly a boy racer so I'd have expected her to be getting high 40s, low 50s. She is actually getting around 35 mpg - is that normal?

 

I drove the car last week for the first time in months and noticed the following:

- The steering is very heavy at idle/when maneuvering (usually when parking) and there's a noticeable hum/whine from what i think is the PS pump, and the pitch of the whine changes if you turn the wheel. The wheel becomes a lot lighter and normal once you drive away and the revs keep about ~1500rpm. Is that a sign of a dying PS pump? I suppose it could be anything: loose belt, steering rack, PS pump. Worth pointing out is that in the MOT it said that the power steering rack is misty (oil) - could that be affecting it?

I've had a look at the PS fluid and the level is fine, but its a light brown/black colour and not the red i'd expect so it could definitely do with a flush.

- The car is "Rev Hunting" - when starting the car up and idling the revs don't sit still, they constantly soar up and down by maybe 200rpm each way. My initial thoughts would be that the throttle body/idle air control valvue/MAF sensor need a clean.

 

The girlfriend took the car to a garage for them to have a look and they drove it and said there's nothing wrong with it. They seem to think i notice the PS being heavy because i drive a more modern car and thats normal for the fiesta (i drive a 10 plate Guilietta). I'm not convinced thats right and i'm insisting that there's a problem but don't know what - but then again its very unlikely for a garage to turn away a golden goose of endless issues that they could charge for..

 

In summary:

What do you think is causing each of the above issues and what would you recommend to clean/fix first?

What is the normal MPG for a 1.4 duratec fiesta (5 mile trip to work)

Am i being overly sensitive or do fiestas have a more heavy steering system than i'd expect? I don't want the pump to fail on her as it'll likely result in a crash/damage other components and be a more expensive fix than if we correct it now.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

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The only one of these topics I can comment on is the fuel economy.

Mine is a 2011 but an automatic gearbox so I expect the fuel economy to be not so good.
On my regular return trips from Newcastle to Edinburgh I normally can clock 38/39.
On normal weekly round town driving I'm lucky to get 32 and the impression I get is that this is about right for the 1.4 engine.

On a positive note I would never go back to a manual after this, though, no matter how much fuel it uses.

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On 10/9/2018 at 7:05 PM, offthewall said:

The only one of these topics I can comment on is the fuel economy.

Mine is a 2011 but an automatic gearbox so I expect the fuel economy to be not so good.
On my regular return trips from Newcastle to Edinburgh I normally can clock 38/39.
On normal weekly round town driving I'm lucky to get 32 and the impression I get is that this is about right for the 1.4 engine.

On a positive note I would never go back to a manual after this, though, no matter how much fuel it uses.

Thanks for clarifying - i've looked on a few websites that compare MPG reported by owners and about 35 mpg seems to be about right for these engines. Not as economical as we first thought - my brother has a 1l Yaris that gets 55+ around town!

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