rosey58

'05 Focus Tailgate/boot Problem

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HI all,

My Girlfriend hasa got a focus and it has developed a problem with the boot/tailgate.

whilst driving along the boot will pop open. Last night it was doing it whenever the brake pedal was pressed and released. I called Ford up and there were most helpful saying that they hadn't got a clue why it would do this..

Any ideas??

Cheers

Simon

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HI all,

My Girlfriend hasa got a focus and it has developed a problem with the boot/tailgate.

whilst driving along the boot will pop open. Last night it was doing it whenever the brake pedal was pressed and released. I called Ford up and there were most helpful saying that they hadn't got a clue why it would do this..

Any ideas??

Cheers

Simon

Mark ? 1/2/2.5

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If its a 2005 Focus then it will be a mark 2. As for the boot problem, one of the flaws with the mark 2 Focus boot was that water could get in to the boot switch causing it to fail. Maybe the boot switch on your girlfriends car is faulty causing it activate at certain times? The boot on my Focus did the same yours, however it is now solved as the boot switch has packed up completely so the way to open it is to use the boot release button on the key fob!

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I have the same problem on my wifes focus. I can release the boot with the key remote but not with the boot release. The boot will also open when the brake pedal has been pressed. I have checked the micro-switch in the boot release with a meter and that is working fine, (these cost £35 from ford). The problem started in february, and i fixed it by removing the plastic trim from the tailgate, removing the electrical contacts and spraying them with a silicon spray. The problem started again on monday, and once again has been fixed by removing the panel and spraying again. Reading other forums, this appears to be a common problem but one that no-one seems to be able to put their finger on. One poor guy took his car into a dealer and was charged £50 just to look at the car, they changed the micro-switch and the boot release mechanism, then stung him with a bill for over £200 only for the fault to appear 5 weeks later. One thing, prior to both the events our battery went dead and had to be charged, and after a few days the fault started.

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Hi

Is there anyway of locking the tailgate on a 05 LX estate, once you have unlocked the doors. My tailgate has never come open on the move, but the thought of it happening with 2 dogs in the back is worrying.

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As we still have not got the information to verify what Mark it is.

The idiots guide to Focus Mark recognition is:

Amber and Red rear light clusters Mk1.

Red,Clear, Red rear light clusters Mk2

Predominately Clear rear light clusters Mk2.5

the reason I asked what Mark it was is, we had a Mk1 98-04 1.8 Zetec. on the boot door were two rubber [for want of a better word ..doorstops] The reason for them being there was to stop the back door rattling.To ensure the door when closed was horizontal and not jumping up and down in the play of the door catch thus making it rattle. You could adjust the individual stops up or down because they were threaded. Adjust them to far down, or if the worked themselves loose over time, they could stop the hatch actually engaging the hatch catch. You would only notice it was open if it went over a bump in the road, or possibly when applying the brakes, because the cars forward momentum is interrupted, putting the nose of the car down, and the rear up momentarily.

Doubt it is the problem in this case, but there is my tale for what it is worth.To the OP find out what your car is and put it under your avatar, that way others can assist you better.

I personally would be embarrassed to admit I was clueless as to what car I owned. You cannot play doctors and nurses all your life, sometimes you have to turn detective :P So in conjunction with your registration documentation and THIS website see if you can ascertain what Mark it is. :)

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Hi All,

MY girlfriend has just got a 55 plate Mk2 Focus Zetec Diesel and the same problem is happening to that. The problem we have is that the boot handle mechanism doesnt work at all and the !Removed! thing opens at random intervals.

Anyone got a clue what needs fixing or have you heard of anyone getting the problem solved?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Lee.

Car Spec: 55 Plate Focus 1.6TDCI Zetec Climate. 3Dr Hatch.

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Hi All,

MY girlfriend has just got a 55 plate Mk2 Focus Zetec Diesel and the same problem is happening to that. The problem we have is that the boot handle mechanism doesnt work at all and the !Removed! thing opens at random intervals.

Anyone got a clue what needs fixing or have you heard of anyone getting the problem solved?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Lee.

Car Spec: 55 Plate Focus 1.6TDCI Zetec Climate. 3Dr Hatch.

Hi,

I have the same problem. Haven't found a resolution yet but this is what i've done so far:

Removed the plastic covering to the inside of the boot, unplugged and removed the boot lock mechanism and replaced with a new one. No joy.

Took off the rubber protective seal around the boot release button under the handle. This then covered me in a calcium-type build up that had been rusting the metal switch part. I cleaned it and replaced it. No good.

I then removed the metal contacts from the switch altogether. The problem has now been reduced but is still there.

I think its the switch mech under the handle that need a complete replace. It costs around £36 from Ford but i don't know how to change it.

This problem is not the key fob OR the wiring, as both are sound.

Until I replace the micro-switch unit to see if its that, then i'm still at a loss.

Someone mentioned that they replaced the battery on their car which may have caused it. I recently had to replace the alternator, which meant disconnecting the battery, so maybe it IS linked...??

Hope this is of some help.

Kind regards,

djw3146

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djw3146'

nice clear and concise post in regard to what you have tried so far, well done mate. Posts like these can be of great help to other people with the the same problem. They have value, because knowing what has been tried and failed to fix a problem, can save others time and expense.

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I have just bought a 55 plate Focus 1.8 TDCI Zetec Climate and the boot release button doesn't work. I also have to use the remote key. It's a bit of a pain, especially because the MK2 Focus' don't have a boot release button just next to the driver instrument panel like the MK1s!

If it's a MK2 problem, is there any point in repairing the problem if water is going to get in again and the same problem will occur?

Anyone had any permanent success?!

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2006 Focus 1.8 TDI

Hi all,

Thought i'd add my issue as well. Like others above, i also couldn't open the boot with the boot switch, only with the remote. I removed the rubber boot from the switch, in which water came out, and pushed and pulled a wee bit at the switch and now it works...I didn't remove the trim surrounding the switch but sprayed WD40 in there. If it happens again I'll take the trim off. Like others my car has just had the alternator replaced and thus had the battery disconnected... This seems to be more than a coincidence as others have already found but how can the 2 be connected in this problem???!

How do i remove the trim to get at the microswitch contacts?...do i just remove the screws from the reg plate light holders??

Also, where is the fuse for this switch?...i can't find its location in the manual.

Cheers,

Chris

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2006 Focus 1.8 TDI

Hi all,

Thought i'd add my issue as well. Like others above, i also couldn't open the boot with the boot switch, only with the remote. I removed the rubber boot from the switch, in which water came out, and pushed and pulled a wee bit at the switch and now it works...I didn't remove the trim surrounding the switch but sprayed WD40 in there. If it happens again I'll take the trim off. Like others my car has just had the alternator replaced and thus had the battery disconnected... This seems to be more than a coincidence as others have already found but how can the 2 be connected in this problem???!

How do i remove the trim to get at the microswitch contacts?...do i just remove the screws from the reg plate light holders??

Also, where is the fuse for this switch?...i can't find its location in the manual.

Cheers,

Chris

OP has not bothered to come back and update their progress or lack of so.............I just so love that when it happens :rolleyes:

Anyway djw3146 made up for that in a big way with his post, so to him and paramaniac and chris I'll say the following.

This boot not opening manually does seem to crop up a fair bit, there again myself having a Mk2 1.6 petrol, I do not have this problem. I will say this though, I have had rusting on the inside of the boot lid bulkhead at the top directly behind the third brake light on the boot lid. I also last week noticed [now fixed] on the same part of the bulkhead, paint bubbling just above the big rubber grommet where the water feed for the rear screen washer comes out of the bulkhead. Again two instances where water from outside is getting where it shouldn't. In my case untreated metal starts to rust, so not the same problem per say, but indicative that water obviously is the villan here.

I've just popped out to the car to see how it actually works. Because real life if an action is actioned as it should, you just don't give it another thought as to what actually takes place to achieve the end result. So here goes:-

First off to the question how do you get to the switch, well it looks like it is housed in the conflagration that encompasses the licence plate bulb housing. But the actual housing may be secured to the boot lid via screws hidden by the plastic covering on the back of the boot lid. Now I think that plastic bit is secured via two hidden screws, one each in the two recess's where you grip with your hands to pull the boot lid shut.

I have not removed either said plastic liner or the rear light housing/boot trigger housing on the outside of the boot lid. So I'm surmising in what I say in regards to how it all works, but I will say I'm a time served electrician by trade, though not auto electrician.

But I assume what happens when you manually attempt to open the boot lid, is that you by your action close two contacts on a micro switch. This then supplies the electrical feed to a solenoid [a coil of wire] that when energised by the supply of electricity creates a magnetic field. This magnetic field in turn moves a metal rod that is position in the centre of the energised coil. That action releases the boot lid from its closed position, same way as when you use the remote to open it.

When you use the remote a signal is sent to an electrical relay [ which substitutes your action when you attempt to open it manually] In that it closes two contacts that send an electrical feed to the aforementioned solenoid. When the electrical feed is removed the metal rod then reverts back to being influenced by a spring that pulls it back to it's non magnetically induce position. ie: the closed position. In actual fact when said solenoid is energised the lid moves from a position of being held closed, but not actually opened, you obviously have to raise the lid. So the boot lid is obviously weighted, in that to goes from closed to a position of being ready to open. And when you pull the boot lid closed the momentum of that action over comes the influence "momentarily" of the aforementioned spring. The boot lid is then returned to the closed position. On locking the car remotely or by the key, the electrical feed to the manual release micro switch is cut.

So if it opens remotely we know the solenoid is working. If it does not open manually it is because either the micro switch is not working, or the feed to the micro switch is not there. Easy way to check this is to "short" out the two wires that connect to the switch. If the solenoid does it job, you know the fault lies in the micro switch. If it is water ingress that is bugging up the micro switch. You need to replace the switch, and try and ensure water does not get into the switch housing again. Blue tack will stop water penetration, but you have to ensure you do not obstruct the movement of the micro switch. Bathroom sealant may be another solution, but I cannot say for sure, because like I say I have not exposed the workings of the set up on my car.

Right I'm a one finger typist, so I would appreciate it if the time I've spent putting this post together, at least gets a reply if somebody does indeed affect a solution of the problem.

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OP has not bothered to come back and update their progress or lack of so.............I just so love that when it happens :rolleyes:

Anyway djw3146 made up for that in a big way with his post, so to him and paramaniac and chris I'll say the following.

This boot not opening manually does seem to crop up a fair bit, there again myself having a Mk2 1.6 petrol, I do not have this problem. I will say this though, I have had rusting on the inside of the boot lid bulkhead at the top directly behind the third brake light on the boot lid. I also last week noticed [now fixed] on the same part of the bulkhead, paint bubbling just above the big rubber grommet where the water feed for the rear screen washer comes out of the bulkhead. Again two instances where water from outside is getting where it shouldn't. In my case untreated metal starts to rust, so not the same problem per say, but indicative that water obviously is the villan here.

I've just popped out to the car to see how it actually works. Because real life if an action is actioned as it should, you just don't give it another thought as to what actually takes place to achieve the end result. So here goes:-

First off to the question how do you get to the switch, well it looks like it is housed in the conflagration that encompasses the licence plate bulb housing. But the actual housing may be secured to the boot lid via screws hidden by the plastic covering on the back of the boot lid. Now I think that plastic bit is secured via two hidden screws, one each in the two recess's where you grip with your hands to pull the boot lid shut.

I have not removed either said plastic liner or the rear light housing/boot trigger housing on the outside of the boot lid. So I'm surmising in what I say in regards to how it all works, but I will say I'm a time served electrician by trade, though not auto electrician.

But I assume what happens when you manually attempt to open the boot lid, is that you by your action close two contacts on a micro switch. This then supplies the electrical feed to a solenoid [a coil of wire] that when energised by the supply of electricity creates a magnetic field. This magnetic field in turn moves a metal rod that is position in the centre of the energised coil. That action releases the boot lid from its closed position, same way as when you use the remote to open it.

When you use the remote a signal is sent to an electrical relay [ which substitutes your action when you attempt to open it manually] In that it closes two contacts that send an electrical feed to the aforementioned solenoid. When the electrical feed is removed the metal rod then reverts back to being influenced by a spring that pulls it back to it's non magnetically induce position. ie: the closed position. In actual fact when said solenoid is energised the lid moves from a position of being held closed, but not actually opened, you obviously have to raise the lid. So the boot lid is obviously weighted, in that to goes from closed to a position of being ready to open. And when you pull the boot lid closed the momentum of that action over comes the influence "momentarily" of the aforementioned spring. The boot lid is then returned to the closed position. On locking the car remotely or by the key, the electrical feed to the manual release micro switch is cut.

So if it opens remotely we know the solenoid is working. If it does not open manually it is because either the micro switch is not working, or the feed to the micro switch is not there. Easy way to check this is to "short" out the two wires that connect to the switch. If the solenoid does it job, you know the fault lies in the micro switch. If it is water ingress that is bugging up the micro switch. You need to replace the switch, and try and ensure water does not get into the switch housing again. Blue tack will stop water penetration, but you have to ensure you do not obstruct the movement of the micro switch. Bathroom sealant may be another solution, but I cannot say for sure, because like I say I have not exposed the workings of the set up on my car.

Right I'm a one finger typist, so I would appreciate it if the time I've spent putting this post together, at least gets a reply if somebody does indeed affect a solution of the problem.

Nice write up Catch. Would be interesting to hear the theories on why disconnecting and subsequently reconnecting the battery causes this problem to rear it head?

As said, my next line of attack will be to clean the switch contacts as i suspect them.

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To get at the manual boot open switch, you need to undo these 2 screws inside the 2 recesses where you put your hands to close the boot:

70048090.jpg

The the whole piece of plastic trim inside your boot/tailgate pops out. It's held in place by plastic and metal poppers (as well as the 2 screws you've just taken out) so it needs a bit of force to get off. Now you have revealed the inner workings of your boot including the rear wiper motor, boot locking mechanism, back of the numberplate lights etc. Now you have to undo these 4 screws which hold the piece of plastic trim that houses the numberplate lights and the boot switch on the outside of the boot.

22465431.jpg

Now you can pop out the piece of trim and get at the back of the boot switch. You will have to unscrew your numberplate lights and remove those too but that's easy.

I got my switch out and you can see from the pics it's clearly had a lot of water get to it. I probably need to replace this. I'm no electrician so I didn't know how to test the switch once i'd got it out.

44872594.jpg

52029305.jpg

50202108.jpg

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To get at the manual boot open switch, you need to undo these 2 screws inside the 2 recesses where you put your hands to close the boot:

70048090.jpg

The the whole piece of plastic trim inside your boot/tailgate pops out. It's held in place by plastic and metal poppers (as well as the 2 screws you've just taken out) so it needs a bit of force to get off. Now you have revealed the inner workings of your boot including the rear wiper motor, boot locking mechanism, back of the numberplate lights etc. Now you have to undo these 4 screws which hold the piece of plastic trim that houses the numberplate lights and the boot switch on the outside of the boot.

22465431.jpg

Now you can pop out the piece of trim and get at the back of the boot switch. You will have to unscrew your numberplate lights and remove those too but that's easy.

I got my switch out and you can see from the pics it's clearly had a lot of water get to it. I probably need to replace this. I'm no electrician so I didn't know how to test the switch once i'd got it out.

44872594.jpg

52029305.jpg

50202108.jpg

Thanks a million for that mate, much appreciated.

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I got my switch out and you can see from the pics it's clearly had a lot of water get to it. I probably need to replace this. I'm no electrician so I didn't know how to test the switch once i'd got it out.

Excellent post with pictures paramaniac, well done. Just as I thought the switch housing assembly structure was secured from inside the boot lid.

Right as to how to test the switch. In the third switch picture you see that red circle, well when you press the open trigger it overcomes that spring and presses that raised part of the trigger onto the red circled plunger. This in turn shorts out the two wires you can see on the reverse side of the switch. The two that are covered in a supposed waterproof compound. Now if you don't hear the metal metallic sound of the solenoid moving the mechanical part of the locking system, it means the switch is knackered. But that is not to say it cannot be repaired.Or the switch is OK and it is a case of there being no positive feed to the switch.

If you know somebody with a volt meter, you can check if there is a live feed to that switch, by cutting into the insulation of both those wires. One meter probe onto the actual wire other probe onto a good earth, then do the same to the other wire, as one of them should have be a live feed. Or why not just "short" those two wires together that go into the back of the switch [where you have cut through the insulation] with a piece of wire or the metal end of a screw driver. If you hear the mechanism working then it means there is a live feed up to the switch. As you have just cut temporally bypassed the switch. And in that case if you un short the two wires and depress the switch and it does not work it definitely is the switch at fault. Not 100% sure from those pictures, but you could try shorting out those two metal bits you can see just to the left of the red circled plunger. It could be where both those wires have ben connected to the switch.

Best check that out before you splash out the £35 djw3146 cited for a new switch, now I suspect that is for the switch and the mechanical housing combined [still a lot of brass for what it is] but you know what these motor manufactures are like. If you can some how get to the innards of this switch it will be possible to clean the contacts up. You see when your using such low voltage switching corroded contacts can act as a insulator, hence no juice flows to the solenoid. But I suspect it has been manufactured as a water proof assembly, which obviously it is not.

So before you splash out another £35 on a new switch you really want to see whereabouts water is coming from and how it is getting into that switch. I suggest you re affix the switch housing conflagration back onto the boot lid, but leave the plastic fascia off. Close the boot lid, and get a mate or your partner to play water on the rear of the car with a hosepipe to assimilate rain or washing. Whilst you are laid in the boot with a flash light and try and see where the water ingress is coming from. You may see nothing, if that is the case and assuming you ensured the light/ release handle housing was dry when you re affixed it. Take it of the lid and inspect it closely, if water has somehow got in, at least you know it is not getting in from behind the boot lid...........as always fault finding is a process of elimination.

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have altered the above post, re testing the switch hence revisit the post.

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Thanks catch, another great post. I will have a go and let you know how I get on.

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Nice write up Catch. Would be interesting to hear the theories on why disconnecting and subsequently reconnecting the battery causes this problem to rear it head?

Well I don't see how disconnecting and reconnecting the battery could induce the failure of the manual switching to happen.

My Girlfriend hasa got a focus and it has developed a problem with the boot/tailgate.

whilst driving along the boot will pop open. Last night it was doing it whenever the brake pedal was pressed and released

In the above instance it is conceivable that a water build up could short the switch out, meaning the solenoid was permanently energised. Causing not only the door to open randomly on the move due to the catch being released via a permanently energised solenoid.And that together with the momentum of the car altering enough as the brakes are applied, that the door weighting is altered such that the door opens slightly, causing the " boot /door open" alarm to sound/ warning light appear.

Remember in this thread we have two different issues being address:-

1. as above some parties complaining their boot lids open randomly whilst on the move. When in fact it could be that the boot catch is not in the secured position prior to the vehicle moving off. It just becomes apparent whilst the car is in motion when the door open warning alarms goes off.

2. some people like yourself are complaining that the manual release does not operate.

All I can say is I suspect water ingress has a part to play in both scenarios, though the outcomes are different. That could be because in one instance corrosion of the contacts in the switch, does not facilitate the passing of current. In the other instance water has shorted out the switch causing the solenoid to be permanently energised. Funny things can happen when water and low voltage electric come into contact.

One thing, prior to both the events our battery went dead and had to be charged, and after a few days the fault started.

The solenoid permanently consuming current, and or the water causing a short to earth scenario, or short to negative [which is technically a short to earth, as the negative side of the battery is ground to earth] could drain the battery, hence it needed re charging.

So not a case of a flat battery causing the fault. But in actual fact the flat battery being a result of the fault due to water ingress.

As to having new alternators fitted, pure coincidence I suspect. Unless you go to the garage saying your battery is flat, they test the battery and find it to be OK, so assume the alternator is at fault and replace it. Or a short on the wiring due to water ingress somehow brewed up the alternator. Like I say I'm not an auto electrician, nor was I party to the scenario leading up to the alternators being replaced. So I'm not in a position to offer a conclusive answer to that question.

Hope that answers your question somewhat.

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Well I've just had another look at the boot switch and did as catch suggested: took some coating off the wires and put them together to short the circuit. Low and behold there was a satisfying click as the boot catch mechanism unlocked. So it's definitely the manual switch itself that's knackered and I need to replace it, and also look at where the water is coming in.

Anyone know where I can get a cheap new switch, other than Ford?

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Well I've just had another look at the boot switch and did as catch suggested: took some coating off the wires and put them together to short the circuit. Low and behold there was a satisfying click as the boot catch mechanism unlocked. So it's definitely the manual switch itself that's knackered and I need to replace it, and also look at where the water is coming in.

Anyone know where I can get a cheap new switch, other than Ford?

Are you 100% sure it's the switch? If i was you i would check the wires of the switch using a multimeter. Mine was working over the weekend but today it stopped. So, i removed the switch completely from the car and using a multimeter at the contacts operated the switch...no sign of continuity so was about to hoy the switch into the bin when i decided to check the wiring...i scraped a bit of the insulation off right next to the switch itself on both wires and tested the wires themselves ie from the contacts to my scrape marks...One of the wires wasn't giving continuity so i stripped back the rubber sleeve/conduit that the wires are in and found a break in the wire...the wire was corroded badly for about 2'' along itself. It looks like most of wire is pretty corroded right up to the switch itself but anyway, i soldered in a 2'' strip of spare wire i had lying around and it now works but i doubt the repair will last too long due to all the corrosion. I'm gonna try and source a new switch assy from a breakers.

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I'm pretty sure it's the switch. It was the 2 wires that go into the switch itself that I cut and then shorted - which in turn made the locking mechanism work.

I have just been quoted £32 (inc P&P) for a new switch from www.fordpartsuk.com

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Think on lads, sorting the water ingress out is the big issue now, or it will just raise it's ugly head again. I'd try what I advised earlier. And if you cannot see any water getting into the rear of the tailgate itself, and then into the mechanism. It's got to be getting in from outside the tailgate proper. How do you clean your car's, do you go to one of these Hand Wash places where they use a power wash lance? Try to think of every possibility in regard to how water is getting into the switch.

Fault finding is a process of elimination, if the cause is not staring you in the face.

Here's one for you, last year we where visiting the New Forest, and as we always like to buy a momento of our holidays. Saw a nice little thing in a gift shop, a butterfly made out of coloured glass and chromed wire, that glowed as dusk fell, on a 18" long metal rod. I realise as described it sounds tacky, but trust me it isn't.

Anyway, went home and stuck it in one of two plant pots we had had out on our balcony for a couple of years. And that pot contained a variety of ever green Hebe. Anyhow that plant died five months on over the winter months, but we just put it down to the terrible winter we'd had. Thought no more about it, and bought something else to replace it in the spring. In February I removed the dead plant and the butter fly then ended up in a large plant we have in the living room. again five months passed and that plant started dying.

Conclusion ........the metal rod alters the chemical composition of the medium both plants were planted in...............The butter fly has now been banished to a large pottery vase we use as an umbrella stand in the hallway.......I'll be surprised if it can fell an umbrella. :ph34r:

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My Focus Estate has the switch not working issue, but the key fob opens the tailgate.

I just took the tailgate bits apart to investigate.

Water ingress seems to be the issue, an additional tests you may want to try, disconnect the switch where it joins the wiring loom.

When you reconnect, if you hear the opening mechanism operate it suggests the switch is permanently closed.

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