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kacy

Focus II hard to start after running out of fuel

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Hi, we have a Nov '04 1.4 Focus II since middle of '08. Currently has 421,000 kms on it and back in March my wife miscalculated how long the fuel empty light had been on and ran out of fuel. Ever since then it's taken longer to start the car. I know these have a lifetime sealed filter somewhere but was wondering is it easy to get at as I presume it's dirt that is hindering it to start. I've put two bottles of diptane in the tank since but no change. It's gone from instant start to turning over for 4 to 5 or so seconds now. Not the end of the world but I'd like to fix it if it's not too difficult. 

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I guess its a tractor?

running diesels dry comes with a certain level of fun, the brand, age and injection systems each having their own method for sorting out the mess

many later cars self bleed to get the air out and get over themselves... but in the days of high pressures and complex injectors and at this age, quite possible you damaged something.  first step would be to check / follow the correct procedure of how you are supposed to get your specific one over running it dry.  then interrogate the engine management systems and see what fault codes it may have... 

lots of people get in a pickle with fords diesels as they age - I have no personal experience

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They didn't put a 1.4 TDCi in the Focus so this must be a petrol.

The lifetime fuel filter is not easily accessible or cleanable...  You'd have to drop the whole fuel tank and replace the fuel pump assembly which includes the filter/strainer.  

A slow start isn't likely to be caused by dirt in my opinion though, either the pump got damaged so it's taking longer to build pressure, or there's air in the system.

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If the strainer at the inlet side of the fuel pump would have been blocked the engine will primarily suffer from lack of fuel at higher RPM's and not during starting the engine.

I suspect that the problem will be caused by the fuel pump itself. The electric fuel pump is cooled by the surrounding petrol. When the fuel tank is completely empty there is simply no petrol to cool the fuel pump. This however can only be tested by measuring the actual fuel pressure during starting of the engine and when the engine is running. 

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Thanks, tis a lowly petrol, owes us nothing at this stage! Never thought of the pump getting damaged. It's only happening since she ran out of fuel. 

The wife got home and parked the car on the drive (with the nose higher than the rear) and it was the next morning when we went to go somewhere it wouldn't start. Tried a few times and then realised what the issue was. Went and got five litres and put it in and its since then we need to keep it turning over for 3/4/5 seconds. 

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Many years ago, when a lowly student and constantly cashless, I ran my car on fumes. I was always on the verge of running out of petrol, and actually did on more than once. Though it started a habit in me that I maintain to this day - carry a gallon can around in the boot.

Also, I never let tank go lower than a quarter. I've noticed too that you can't give this advice, you have to have the experience themselves of what running out of fuel does, and how the cost of a spare gallon of fuel in the boot is peanuts compared to out of fuel consequences. Though as you say, your car owes you nothing and has done a terrific mileage, well done!

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I just don't get this 'fuel-gauge-roulette' business....why on earth would you want to risk running out of fuel with the inevitable consequences such as the example above ??

I was a traffic cop for 30 years and spent the last few years working on the motorways of West Yorkshire which now have large stretches of so-called 'smart' motorway on them, so consequently no hard shoulder and we probably averaged 2 calls per day to 'live-lane' breakdowns which were predominantly either punctures or idiots that had run out of fuel, having carried on driving even though their fuel warning light had come on. Suffice to say that some of them got hit whilst stationery, the worst being an 18 year old girl who ran out of fuel in her VW Beetle in lane 3 of 4 at about 7.00pm one winter's evening and then sat in her car for 43 seconds before she inevitably got smashed into by another vehicle and then two other cars got caught up in it as well, resulting in absolute carnage. Luckily everyone survived but the young lass broke several vertebrae and spent several weeks in hospital. When interviewed afterwards she stated that her fuel warning light came on about ten miles prior to where she eventually ran out of fuel !!

There are numerous other examples that I could recount, so please people, don't risk it, it could cost you you're life !!!!

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Thankfully I've never run out of fuel and it's the first time my wife did! She was tired after a hard shift at work (she is a nurse) and probably didn't notice the light when it came on first. 

Have to say it's prob one of the best cars in terms of reliability I've had out of the 10 or so cars I've had. It's the reason we never got rid of it, it's never failed an NCT. Maybe being one of the first II's it was better built! 

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4 hours ago, Phil3747 said:

I just don't get this 'fuel-gauge-roulette' business....why on earth would you want to risk running out of fuel with the inevitable consequences such as the example above ??

I was a traffic cop for 30 years

I think you've answered why it was never an issue for you....

you lived in a time where job security, wages and pensions went up and up and up and thus having got paid (by the tax payer) shed loads of money the ability to have petrol in your tank was never an issue.  I'd also be keen to know how many colleagues managed to slip a few hundred gallons of my petrol in to their private cars and get fee oil changes and servicing ?

today far too many "slaves" are on zero hours contracts, paid way below minimum wage, will never retire and have everything about their lives managed by a bunch of crooks (aided and abetted mostly notably by those in senior roles)...

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8 minutes ago, Botus said:

today far too many "slaves" are on zero hours contracts, paid way below minimum wage,

Leaving the emotion out of your comment, even with that, petrol is still hovering around 99p/liter, and it's a false economy to run your tank dry...

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5 minutes ago, StephenFord said:

Leaving the emotion out of your comment, even with that, petrol is still hovering around 99p/liter, and it's a false economy to run your tank dry...

to do what you say would be to totally forget what actually matters.... and anyway another bunch of crooks round here have pushed it up to 1.10 a litre

funny how its starts at 1.05 where it made in to UK petrol, then goes up to 1.10, 70 miles north, then as it travels another 50 miles north magically starts getting cheaper again

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Download the app, 'PetrolPrices' which will show you the cheapest for any area you are in. And before you whinge about fuel prices, NI still charges £96 for a 47Kg gas cylinder available in most of Britain for about £60! LOL

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On 6/7/2020 at 3:47 PM, Botus said:

I think you've answered why it was never an issue for you....

you lived in a time where job security, wages and pensions went up and up and up and thus having got paid (by the tax payer) shed loads of money the ability to have petrol in your tank was never an issue.  I'd also be keen to know how many colleagues managed to slip a few hundred gallons of my petrol in to their private cars and get fee oil changes and servicing ?

today far too many "slaves" are on zero hours contracts, paid way below minimum wage, will never retire and have everything about their lives managed by a bunch of crooks (aided and abetted mostly notably by those in senior roles)...

Jeez pal...who rattled your cage ??

I'm guessing you've had a run in with your local police down there in Berkshire to come out with comments like that !!!

I am not going to lower myself to discuss the ridiculous and totally unfounded comments you felt necessary to post and try and totally hi-jack this thread and turn it into a political statement....I posted what I did in the hope that it would hopefully make people think twice before getting on a motorway with next-to-no fuel in their tank and run the risk of killing themselves, or even worse, someone else !!!

HTH

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21 hours ago, Phil3747 said:

I posted what I did in the hope that it would hopefully make people think twice before getting on a motorway with next-to-no fuel in their tank and run the risk of killing themselves, or even worse, someone else !!!

 

Let's be honest it's the so-called smart motorways that are killing people. Anyone could have a legitimate breakdown, through no fault of their own, and be left with nowhere to escape on a smart motorway. Previously, even the idiots that run out of fuel could usually make it to the hard shoulder. I've seen many of them being refuelled by an AA patrol man or other breakdown service.

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2 minutes ago, Carl123 said:

... I've seen many of them being refuelled by an AA patrol man or other breakdown service.

mmm... you just hit upon one of my favourite arguments against silly electric cars. 750,000 vehicles/year run out of fuel (figures from AA/RAC), despite a working fuel gauge, and a flashing red light. At least they can get going again with a can of fuel. So, do the breakdown guys then carry a can of electricity in their van then when all the EVs run out of fuel? 🤣

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10 minutes ago, Carl123 said:

Let's be honest it's the so-called smart motorways that are killing people. Anyone could have a legitimate breakdown, through no fault of their own, and be left with nowhere to escape on a smart motorway. Previously, even the idiots that run out of fuel could usually make it to the hard shoulder. I've seen many of them being refuelled by an AA patrol man or other breakdown service.

Yep....'Smart' motorways are anything but smart, I believe at least 28 people have now died on 'smart' motorways after being hit by other vehicles and that a government review was underway prior to the pandemic, so hopefully, once things return to somewhere-near-normal, they might get around to publishing the outcome. Despite the presence of overhead signals, flashing blue lights, direction arrows and hi-vis jackets, I can tell you from experience that being stationery amongst running traffic is not a safe place to be !!

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You guys are lucky to have a hard shoulder...no motorways in Suffolk, if you break down on a dual carriageway you're buggered.  

I can't see how anyone runs out of fuel, I've done 30 miles on the red light before!  Must be those thirsty petrols drinking too much if you're getting through a gallon in 10 miles. :tongue:

 

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Yep....'Smart' motorways are anything but smart, I believe at least 28 people have now died on 'smart' motorways after being hit by other vehicles and that a government review was underway prior to the pandemic, so hopefully, once things return to somewhere-near-normal, they might get around to publishing the outcome. Despite the presence of overhead signals, flashing blue lights, direction arrows and hi-vis jackets, I can tell you from experience that being stationery amongst running traffic is not a safe place to be !!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51236375

https://www.highwaysmagazine.co.uk/Smart-motorway-death-toll-is-shock-to-the-system-/5390

'In the five years before the road was converted into a smart motorway, there were just 72 near misses. In the five years after, there were 1,485 (a "near miss" is described as an incident with 'the potential to cause injury or ill health')

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Botus said:

but its OK coz as we're only killing slaves, the "others" left many years ago

 

I just wanted to fess up that I have reported your post. You are perfectly entitled to whatever political views you wish, but this is not the appropriate forum to do it. That's what FaceBook, TweetFace, and InstantCustard are for! 🙁

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I just wanted to fess up that I have reported your post. You are perfectly entitled to whatever political views you wish, but this is not the appropriate forum to do it. That's what FaceBook, TweetFace, and InstantCustard are for!
The relevant post has been edited to remove any potentially inflammatory remarks.

This is a car club not a political soapbox.

Any political or race related posts will be reviewed by the moderating staff, removed or edited as appropriate, or as a last option, result in action against the originator.

The club does not intend to supress any members freedom of speech however certain subjects will not be condoned.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

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31 minutes ago, StephenFord said:

I just wanted to fess up that I have reported your post. You are perfectly entitled to whatever political views you wish, but this is not the appropriate forum to do it. That's what FaceBook, TweetFace, and InstantCustard are for! 🙁

ok

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