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Mk3 Focus 1.6 tdci econetic overheating


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Hi, 

 

Having searched the forums I haven't come across anyone with similar issues to me. 

 

So, I bought my focus in February 2020, the garage I bought it from (has a great reputation) gave me a "standard" 6 week warranty with the car. 

In March 2020 the car overheated while in a queue at my local mcdonalds drive through. I put it down to just being a hot day and having the engine idling etc. 

Fast forward to lock down and the overheating happens again, and then again a few days later, and then again a week or so later. Each time was while driving along a dual carriage going around 60 mph. Each time it would give me a warning beep etc, needle right up fan on high speed etc. Each time before I can get to a safe place to stop the temp gauge would drop back to normal. 

I checked the coolant each time and topped up where necessary (which was probably every time). I was told by several mechanics that it's probably a massive air lock as these cars are prone to them (???) 

During the following months it would overheat more and more until just before Christmas we found that the Thermostat was leaking. Changed this (3 times as the first 2 (euros specials) were faulty) and drained/refilled coolant. 

All seemed to be fine....for a couple of weeks. Overheating again. Flushed coolant system, Thermostat working fine, water pump working fine, new expansion tank, (several) new expansion tank cap, new egr valve and cooler fitted. All hoses have been checked for leaks. 

I've gone through so much coolant over the last few months that I may as well buy shares in the company!! 

Head gasket (although was initially ruled out due to the inconsistency of the overheating - as in would happen 1 day but not again for maybe a couple of days or even a week) will be getting checked tomorrow (Wednesday 12th).

Does anyone have any ideas as to probable causes? 

Many thanks 

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Hi James, I'm sorry to say I once had a car that did exactly the same as yours. I also did all the stuff you have already done and more. Even changed the thermostat 3 or 4 times with different makes. I put a new radiator in, new water pump, replaced head gasket and the problem continued. After nearly 3 years of this very random over heating problem, I gave up and sold the car !!

Out of interest, does the car lose coolant when it overheats ?

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I must admit, I've seen this a few times on here with the 8v DV6 but there's never a proper outcome.  Sometimes it seems to stop after having thrown so many parts at it they can't pinpoint which it was...and others it never seems to stop.

If possible, it's worth having the system vacuum filled to rule out any air-locks 100%.

I also vaguely remember something about cracks around the exhaust ports though I may be getting that confused with the 1.0EB which has a similar fault there.

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On 5/12/2021 at 9:39 AM, unofix said:

Hi James, I'm sorry to say I once had a car that did exactly the same as yours. I also did all the stuff you have already done and more. Even changed the thermostat 3 or 4 times with different makes. I put a new radiator in, new water pump, replaced head gasket and the problem continued. After nearly 3 years of this very random over heating problem, I gave up and sold the car !!

Out of interest, does the car lose coolant when it overheats ?

Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. That doesn't bode well if you never got to the bottom of it

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On 5/12/2021 at 9:50 AM, TomsFocus said:

I must admit, I've seen this a few times on here with the 8v DV6 but there's never a proper outcome.  Sometimes it seems to stop after having thrown so many parts at it they can't pinpoint which it was...and others it never seems to stop.

If possible, it's worth having the system vacuum filled to rule out any air-locks 100%.

I also vaguely remember something about cracks around the exhaust ports though I may be getting that confused with the 1.0EB which has a similar fault there.

I have also been told about the exhaust ports but was told it was more to do with the older diesel engines. 

I'm waiting to have the head gasket tested (was supposed to have been done yesterday but now looking like Monday) before I pour any more money into it. 

It's just so frustrating that it can't be diagnosed as a single fault! 

Like today, I checked the level this morning and it was just under max. Done a few journeys before lunch with no issues. At lunch I drove to Guildford (about 10 miles) and it overheated 3 times along the way. I checked the level when I got there after it had cooled down and it was just under minimum. I topped it up before driving home and it was fine. 

It's so inconsistent in its issues/symptoms it's unbelievable!! 

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On a slightly separate note, I'm looking into getting a forscan device (possibly using my phone or laptop) and was wondering if this would be any good?? 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ELM327-OBD2-Code-Scanner-Bluetooth-Adapter-V1-5-Diagnostic-Interface-For-Android-/254574521204?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286

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Hi, regarding the above ELM327 ---- NO

I would have to advise against it. Using a phone or a laptop via bluetooth is considered unsafe and therefore ForScan does not allow programming if you are not connected by a hardwire device.

There are many devices with cables available, most would recommend the one made by TunnelRat

https://tunnelrat-electronics.fwscart.com/USB_Modified_ELM327/p4541936_17045457.aspx

I will be honest and say its not the lead I use but it is the one that ForScan suggest.

 

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The exhaust ports weren't an issue on the 16v 1.6 TDCI, it would only have been the 8v which was fitted to the Focus from 2011...making yours one of the early ones.

If you just want to check and clear codes with Forscan, a bluetooth dongle with a smart phone or tablet is fine and will be less hassle than a wired connection and laptop.  If you want to do any programming though, you'll need the wired adapter as above.  Also worth noting Forscan is free on a laptop but costs a few quid as a phone app.

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On 5/13/2021 at 11:28 PM, unofix said:

Hi, regarding the above ELM327 ---- NO

I would have to advise against it. Using a phone or a laptop via bluetooth is considered unsafe and therefore ForScan does not allow programming if you are not connected by a hardwire device.

There are many devices with cables available, most would recommend the one made by TunnelRat

https://tunnelrat-electronics.fwscart.com/USB_Modified_ELM327/p4541936_17045457.aspx

I will be honest and say its not the lead I use but it is the one that ForScan suggest.

 

Cheers for that - I only want it to read and clear fault codes 

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On 5/14/2021 at 10:13 AM, TomsFocus said:

The exhaust ports weren't an issue on the 16v 1.6 TDCI, it would only have been the 8v which was fitted to the Focus from 2011...making yours one of the early ones.

If you just want to check and clear codes with Forscan, a bluetooth dongle with a smart phone or tablet is fine and will be less hassle than a wired connection and laptop.  If you want to do any programming though, you'll need the wired adapter as above.  Also worth noting Forscan is free on a laptop but costs a few quid as a phone app.

OK, so it's entirely possible that the head gasket has gone through the exhaust and not the oil?? 

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Just now, JimiG said:

OK, so it's entirely possible that the head gasket has gone through the exhaust and not the oil?? 

Yep.  I suspect the garage will do a sniffer test to check that on Monday.

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6 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

Yep.  I suspect the garage will do a sniffer test to check that on Monday.

Great - £1500 bill coming my way on Monday!! 

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7 minutes ago, JimiG said:

Great - £1500 bill coming my way on Monday!! 

If that's the case, you're probably better off cutting your losses and buying something else.

 

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1 hour ago, TomsFocus said:

If that's the case, you're probably better off cutting your losses and buying something else.

 

I would, however I'm stuck with the finance for another 3 years 

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So the sniffer test came back as a definite exhaust gas leak 😢😢

But they're also saying that, because of how quick the test result came back that it could be a sign of a cracked head as well 😭😭

And after speaking to the garage where I got the car from, it sounds like they may have known something was up with the car before selling it...🤔🤔

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I thought that £1500 figure was for a used engine swap or a head replacement?  That wasn't just for a HG change was it? 😮  I'm guessing Surrey prices are probably a bit more than I'm used to though.

I take it the garage didn't offer any goodwill gesture against the repair costs?

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2 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

I thought that £1500 figure was for a used engine swap or a head replacement?  That wasn't just for a HG change was it? 😮  I'm guessing Surrey prices are probably a bit more than I'm used to though.

I take it the garage didn't offer any goodwill gesture against the repair costs?

No the garage were quick to pass the buck - typical! 

Yes I'm guessing prices here are a little on the high side - that figure is the average I've got from several (reputable) garages, including Ford, that are local to me. It covers the cost of HG, timing belt kit, water pump, coolant (including flush), oil and labour

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  • 2 weeks later...

So a quick update

It's definitely a head gasket - been quoted between £1000 and £3000 (depending on the garage) 

I have, thankfully, found a reputable private mechanic who will do it (including getting the head skimmed) for around £700. 

He starts on Wednesday so hopefully will be done by the weekend. 

Will update after

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  • 2 weeks later...

So here's the update.... 

Head gasket has been changed (along with a new oil filter, water pump, timing belt and aux belt) and all working as it should. 

The mechanic noticed that the sealant around where the cam shafts is wasn't "factory neat" and that there was a significant amount of sealant around the HG. He's thinking that the previous owner, knowing that the HG had blown, may have had it bodged and then quickly traded it in to get rid of it - whether the dealer I bought it off knew or not is a different story. Either way, there's 0% chance that I'd be able to prove anything anyway. 

Now, earlier I mentioned that everything is working as it should, that's not technically true - the turbo has decided that it's not going to work (the leaver for the actuator has seized) meaning another £400 for a new turbo (with fitting). 

On top of that, there's a couple of fault codes to do with a couple of injectors - hoping that running some redex (or similar) will cure that issue. 

Will update again once the turbo has been replaced... 

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If it's injector learning limits, pretty much every 8v 1.6TDCI will have codes for that lol.  Not a huge concern until you notice running issues as well.  Also not a fan of Redex in modern cars, better off sticking half a tank of premium diesel in instead.

Very bad luck on the turbo though. They almost never break on these!

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9 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

If it's injector learning limits, pretty much every 8v 1.6TDCI will have codes for that lol.  Not a huge concern until you notice running issues as well.  Also not a fan of Redex in modern cars, better off sticking half a tank of premium diesel in instead.

Very bad luck on the turbo though. They almost never break on these!

So would something like a tank of Shell v power be better than an injector cleaner (redex or similar)?? 

Found a new turbo from a specialist near me for £300 so not too bad

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6 hours ago, JimiG said:

So would something like a tank of shell v power be better than an injector cleaner (redex or similar)?? 

Found a new turbo from a specialist near me for £300 so not too bad

I hope you should put an end to this car freaking story very soon and everything would work OK for your car!!!

Diesel fuel is lottery in Greece !!!

You risk your engine's health just everytime you fill your tank to greek gas stations like you are playing dice!!!

The owners are so big cheaters (the majority of them) that they mix the diesel with low quality boat diesel and red diesel and they sell it for the same price per litre as the big companies (Shell,BP,EKO,AVIN etc.)

I am so ***** of with those dumb cheaters!!!

5 days ago i filled my car with simple diesel from a big named greek gas station. It slowed it's engine down a bit even my car is a new one with 4.050 miles on the odo.It is surely the diesel fuell doing that because untill now my car was speeding up quite well!!!(FORD FOCUS ECOBLUE 1,5 120 HP)

Diesel fuell quality is the most important thing for diesel engines!!!

Hope again everything will be OK with your car and put an end to your mechanic nightmares!!!

 

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9 hours ago, JimiG said:

So would something like a tank of shell v power be better than an injector cleaner (redex or similar)?? 

Found a new turbo from a specialist near me for £300 so not too bad

Shell V Power or BP Ultimate.  Only needs to be half a tank, but wait until the tank is nearly empty first to get the maximum benefit of the detergents.  It won't fix worn injectors though.

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