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Fiesta 1.25 petrol engine management light ON? WHY?


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Hi people. 
I have a 64 plate Ford Fiesta, 1.25 petrol with 60hp. The engine management light came on yesterday while driving home and it said on the screen engine malfunction. The light went on after driving approx 30 miles. Then after about a mile the light went off and then back on until I went home. I haven’t been driving the car since. I turned the car on today and the engine light was off however when revving the car I could hear vibrations and rattling noises from somewhere. The car has 65k miles, bought brand new, never neglected, always services from Ford however it is due a service now. I’ll take the car to Ford tomorrow to run an engine diagnostic, in the meantime any suggestions on what it could be? Sorry I couldn’t be any more specific I have no clue about cars. Thanks

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You may as well throw a dart on this special board to tell you what's wrong

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Seriously though, if you're just going to take it to Ford tomorrow then there's no point us making wild guesses on here.

If you're willing to buy an obd2 scanner and get your hands dirty we can help do that, otherwise there's literally nothing we can do to help.

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I threw the dart and it landed on spark plugs 🙂 yeah you are right I just wanted to be prepared and make sure I have enough money in my pocket. My guess is service is due but Could that light up the engine management light? 

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1 hour ago, Dan108 said:

I threw the dart and it landed on spark plugs 🙂

I'm glad you appreciated my dry sense of humour 😂

A due service wouldn't bring up an engine management light.

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Taking a wild guess from the ones I've had in recently (which isn't many as the 1.25s are pretty bullet proof) it's either a coil pack starting to fail or a burnt out exhaust valve causing low compression on 1 cylinder. 

Other than that who knows, could always be a pesky O2 sensor 

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That sounds expensive? If it is the coil pack or the exhaust valve would they be expensive to fix? What’s the guide price. Thanks appreciate your replies 

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Coil pack isn't too expensive it's just attached the side of the engine with HT leads in it. I don't know the price of one off the top of my head.

The Exhaust valve itself isn't expensive but all the labour and diag included soon adds up. Also you'll need the cambelt replacing (with water pump is recommended, its due in 3 years anyway) and then the headgasket needs replacing also. Price will vary depending on dealers labour rate but expect in the area of £700-£1400 (cambelts on their own are usually close to £300-£400 including labour). 

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So hang on, are you saying that if the exhaust valve is faulty (leaking /burnt) the head gasket and the water pump +Cambelt must be replaced or is it recommended to be replaced? As far as I know it’s 100k miles or 10 years whichever is soonest isn’t it?

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You are correct in saying the service replacement interval is 10 years or 125k.

Technically speaking as the cylinder head has to come off the cambelt should be replaced especially as yours is getting quite old. If it snaps it will destroy the engine. I'd recommend getting it done seeing as the belt has to come off anyway and for peace of mind. It's then 10 years/ 125k from that point on. 

The headgasket 100% needs replacing if the cylinder head is coming off. 

Obviously we are jumping the gun a little bit I'd wait and see what the diagnostic scan report comes back as otherwise you could be worrying about nothing!

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Yeah you are right. I’ll update you as soon as I find out what the problem is. Hopefully it’s only a sensor 🤞thanks

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Update! 
I called Ford and they wanted £114 for a diagnostic and the first available date was in 2 weeks. So I called my local kwikfit and they said I could pop in at any time. Turns out a rear break light wasn’t working so I had to replace it. Didn’t charge me at all. Thoughts?

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1 hour ago, Dan108 said:

Update! 
I called Ford and they wanted £114 for a diagnostic and the first available date was in 2 weeks. So I called my local kwikfit and they said I could pop in at any time. Turns out a rear break light wasn’t working so I had to replace it. Didn’t charge me at all. Thoughts?

Buy yourself a modified ELM327 lead from Tunnelrat, and download Forscan on a laptop so you can do the £114 diagnostic yourself.

You were lucky kwikfit didn't charge you, I'd avoid them like the plague as they're renowned for making stuff up and charging over the top for shoddy work.

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@Dan108brake lights being out don't cause the engine light to come on, maybe their code reader couldn't pick the code up.

I see a lot of code readers not gathering all the info from Ford modules. 

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I really don’t know what to say. It did sound strange and he said the only thing the machine picked up was the break light not working. However he said if the light comes back on to come back to re-test it. The light is off at the moment and I driven the car for a few miles today. He also said the engine sounds sweet. 

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The advice from Luke and Luke is sound, FORScan should be able to read all the codes on any Ford of that age.

If you do decide to go down that route then there will probably be a lot of stored fault codes. Clear them all first, then if you connect up after the Engine Management Light comes on again you should be able to see what codes are being thrown up and take things from there. 

 

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Right ok so I’m assuming that Forscan is what Ford technicians use. The guy at kwikfit was using a Bosch machine and he reset the only fault code which was the break Light.
 

So I need a ELM327 and the Fordscan app? And once all fault codes are clear, I have to wait for the engine light to come on and re-run the diagnostic with the ELM327. Have I picked up everything correctly?

 

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Ford technicians use Ford software that general public doesn't have access too. Forscan is kind of a copy of that software but not exactly the same if that makes sense (copyright issues). 

The good news is if your car is running sweet and hasn't had any running issues for a while you can eliminate a burnt out exhaust valve as this would be a constant fault. 

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 MasterTech beat me to it, FORScan is not what Ford Technicians use at their dealerships and is not an official Ford product, it is third party software but it is the best diy software for Ford cars by a long way and does give near dealer level diagnostics including Live Data reading on Ford cars. 

The reason I said to clear the codes was that there are often old historic ones that have nothing to do with the current fault, so it just confuses things and you sounded like you were new to this so that would have confused you even more.

If MasterTech's  hunch's are correct and it is a misfire then you may be able to do live monitoring for misfires before another fault code is logged or have a look in Mode 6, that may have individual cylinder misfire counts for the last 10 driving cycles. What you can read in FORScan varies from car to car and when each variant of each model was made so some of the above may not be readable in FORScan for your car.

It would be a good idea to have a good read at the FORScan website because the Laptop version only works on Windows and you need a suitable wireless adaptor for the paid phone version. There are also instructions there but they are a bit hard to follow.

The fault may of course  be something other than the above and it is worth bearing in mind that a fault code in most cases only tells you the symptoms, not necessarily the cause.

I would not comment on Kwikfit.  

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Right thanks both for explaining it in detail. 
bad news. Engine light is back on. Again, it’s not consistent. It comes and goes. I’m guessing you’re right, KwikFit’s Bosch reader did not pick up the fault. I guess I have to invest in the ELM367. However I noticed a ‘’engine malfunction’ message on the centre screen. 😕

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I have another question though. When the Technician plugged the reader, the engine light was off. Does the light need to be on or would the reader pick anything wrong no matter what 

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22 minutes ago, Dan108 said:

I have another question though. When the Technician plugged the reader, the engine light was off. Does the light need to be on or would the reader pick anything wrong no matter what 

Again it depends on the code reader, Ford software and Forscan will pick up historic codes that could have been set for months even if the fault only happened once, where as other readers will only read current faults. Some code readers will only read generic emissions faults that are standard across all makes and models (i.e. misfires, injectors, EGR and DPF codes)

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To expand on the above, generic codes are mandatory for all cars  and are quite basic but Ford, like all manufacturers have their own additional codes as well. These are a lot more detailed and in Fords case very good compared to the generic ones.

 

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Guys I have managed to take a picture of what I see when I turn on the engine. (Sometimes)

 

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Yeah that might be why they're struggling to see the code. It's not a general emissions related fault otherwise the engine light would be on, this is a powertrain fault (so still engine/transmission related). 

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