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Ford Focus MK2.5 Electrics Completely Dead - Help!


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My 2009 1.6 TDCi is completely dead. Parked it on the driveway as normal yesterday morning, and when I went out to head to the shops this afternoon, the key fob didn't work. Thought it might somehow be a dead battery, so unlocked with the physical key, but turning the ignition does absolutely nothing. Literally no lights of any kind anywhere, no relay sounds, nothing.

RAC came out and tested the battery, which seems to be okay albeit not fully charged, and all the fuses in the engine bay seem to be fine, with there being continuity across them to earth. Only noteworthy thing is that there doesn't seem to be continuity across F28, although the fuse itself is okay.

The RAC guy was going to check to interior fusebox in the passenger footwell until he learned that the doors are double-locked, so we can't actually open the passenger door, making getting to that fusebox a gymnastic exercise. He decided that the electrical feed in the engine bay is fine, but with no feed to the seating area, it must be some issue with the wiring, with the possibility of the problem being a fuse in the interior fusebox being a long shot anyway. He offered to tow it to an RAC-approved garage, but said that they would likely bring in a third-party auto electrician anyway, so I may be better off skipping the middleman.

Is there a trick to unlocking the double-locked doors without working electrics?

More importantly, any advice on how to resurrect my car? 😞

 

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4 hours ago, AshleyR said:

My 2009 1.6 TDCi is completely dead. Parked it on the driveway as normal yesterday morning, and when I went out to head to the shops this afternoon, the key fob didn't work. Thought it might somehow be a dead battery, so unlocked with the physical key, but turning the ignition does absolutely nothing. Literally no lights of any kind anywhere, no relay sounds, nothing.

RAC came out and tested the battery, which seems to be okay albeit not fully charged, and all the fuses in the engine bay seem to be fine, with there being continuity across them to earth. Only noteworthy thing is that there doesn't seem to be continuity across F28, although the fuse itself is okay.

The RAC guy was going to check to interior fusebox in the passenger footwell until he learned that the doors are double-locked, so we can't actually open the passenger door, making getting to that fusebox a gymnastic exercise. He decided that the electrical feed in the engine bay is fine, but with no feed to the seating area, it must be some issue with the wiring, with the possibility of the problem being a fuse in the interior fusebox being a long shot anyway. He offered to tow it to an RAC-approved garage, but said that they would likely bring in a third-party auto electrician anyway, so I may be better off skipping the middleman.

Is there a trick to unlocking the double-locked doors without working electrics?

More importantly, any advice on how to resurrect my car? 😞

 

Is nothing on the dash flashing? It could be the immobilizer not recognising the key or if nothing is on the dash it could be the common dash problem where the soldering need's redone in the cluster causing communication issues.

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I had similar a few times on my mk3. Jumper leads from another car or a jump start battery pack kicked it back into life. I put it down to battery voltage dropping with the colder weather but never got it checked out. I have replaced the car now so my jump start battery hasn't been used for a while now.

 

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8 hours ago, F0CUE said:

Is nothing on the dash flashing? It could be the immobilizer not recognising the key or if nothing is on the dash it could be the common dash problem where the soldering need's redone in the cluster causing communication issues.

Absolutely nothing on the dash, nor anything else - no hazard lights, cabin lights, radio, nothing. It's as if there is no battery.

 

1 hour ago, ColW said:

I had similar a few times on my mk3. Jumper leads from another car or a jump start battery pack kicked it back into life. I put it down to battery voltage dropping with the colder weather but never got it checked out. I have replaced the car now so my jump start battery hasn't been used for a while now.

 

The RAC guy did connect his jumper cables, earthing on a chassis bolt and then an alternator bolt, both without any sign of life.

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On a whim, I went out and tried the key fob. It unlocked on the first try. It's almost as if the car was not, in fact, completely dead yesterday.

This is almost worse than if it had just stayed dead. Now it's some magical intermittent problem, rather than something decidedly broken.

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Looking at the year of your car could this be the dreaded instrument cluster problem? Maybe a cracked solder joint is/was preventing power from getting to the cluster.

At any rate it might be wise not to deadlock until you find a fix.

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Yep, as mentioned, that's either the cluster fault or the BCM is full of water (under the glovebox).

Remove the BCM and check for any corrosion on any of the contacts (once you disconnect the plugs), if they are clean then it's got to be the cluster joints have become loose.

Search on Ebay for "Focus MK2 Instrument Cluster Repair", you send it off and they fix and return the cluster to you, should cost no more than about £70

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Thanks for the suggestions!

I feel a bit dumb asking, but is the BCM the same thing as the GEM, and is that basically just the interior fusebox unit?

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13 hours ago, AshleyR said:

Thanks for the suggestions!

I feel a bit dumb asking, but is the BCM the same thing as the GEM, and is that basically just the interior fusebox unit?

Yes, BCM replaced GEM, it's the fusebox unit under the glovebox, water can get in to it from the heater system (mainly from a badly fitted pollen filter) or a badly sealed windscreen

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had a similar thing happen when I had my 2010 1.6TDCi - was turning into my road and the engine cut out but started straight back up - parked the car up overnight and locked it, next morning went out and completely dead. Local garage came out and managed to jump start it, but after testing the battery and giving the car a good checking over they could find absolutely nothing wrong.

Their suspicion as to what had happened was one of the control units had managed to get itself into a state where when the car was parked it did not turn itself off and continued drawing power all night - either caused when the engine cut out, or being the cause of the engine cutting out. Problem never occurred again while I owned the car.

Do you have keyless entry? My ex-boss had a Jaguar XJ, sometimes he would go to get it out of the garage in the morning and it was completely dead - other mornings no problems at all - dealer had the car in multiple times and could find nothing wrong - eventually they figured out that if he put the keys on one side of his bedside table at night, the car would detect them, power itself up and after a short while detect no one in the car and shut back down - repeated all night long which flattened the battery.

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On 5/17/2021 at 1:18 PM, DaveT70 said:

Yep, as mentioned, that's either the cluster fault or the BCM is full of water (under the glovebox).

Remove the BCM and check for any corrosion on any of the contacts (once you disconnect the plugs), if they are clean then it's got to be the cluster joints have become loose.

Search on Ebay for "Focus MK2 Instrument Cluster Repair", you send it off and they fix and return the cluster to you, should cost no more than about £70

I am more then happy to re-solder the instrument cluster for you as long as you pay postage both ways.

I had the exact same issue and after re-soldering I have had no further problems (Been around 2 years since I did it)

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2 hours ago, stevejwalford said:

I am more then happy to re-solder the instrument cluster for you as long as you pay postage both ways.

 

That is a brilliant offer! I'm bookmarking this page 'just in case' LOL

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On 5/21/2021 at 8:15 AM, StephenFord said:

That is a brilliant offer! I'm bookmarking this page 'just in case' LOL

No problem, just give me a shout if you need it doing 🙂 

 

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7 hours ago, stevejwalford said:

No problem, just give me a shout if you need it doing 🙂 

 

Sshhh... my car might be listening LOL

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On 5/21/2021 at 5:18 AM, stevejwalford said:

I am more then happy to re-solder the instrument cluster for you as long as you pay postage both ways.

I had the exact same issue and after re-soldering I have had no further problems (Been around 2 years since I did it)

Wow, thank you for the very kind offer!

I've read up on the BCM/GEM issues and the dashboard soldering issues, and the symptoms are inconclusive; for example, I'm getting power steering malfunction warnings on the dash, but restarting the car resolves it. I had one or two of those in the month before it went completely dead last Sunday, and there have been at least 3 in the week since. I'm going to clean out all the BCM/GEM connectors first and see if I can spot any corrosion there.

It's definitely not the battery being drained - it's had no problems running the electrics or starting the car, once the electrics are actually up and running.

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57 minutes ago, AshleyR said:

Wow, thank you for the very kind offer!

I've read up on the BCM/GEM issues and the dashboard soldering issues, and the symptoms are inconclusive; for example, I'm getting power steering malfunction warnings on the dash, but restarting the car resolves it. I had one or two of those in the month before it went completely dead last Sunday, and there have been at least 3 in the week since. I'm going to clean out all the BCM/GEM connectors first and see if I can spot any corrosion there.

It's definitely not the battery being drained - it's had no problems running the electrics or starting the car, once the electrics are actually up and running.

This definitely sounds like the solder issue, I believe it was caused by the use of leadless solder which cracks over time.

Here's a YouTube video of someone resoldering one (Not my video).... 

 

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Remove the two screws that is shown in the following video from around 27 seconds onwards (Leave them out as the car will still operate fine)

Next time the car wont start or you get warning messages coming up rock the instrument cluster back and forth and if the issue goes away or the car then starts then you know it's the instrument cluster fault 🙂 

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1 hour ago, stevejwalford said:

This definitely sounds like the solder issue, I believe it was caused by the use of leadless solder which cracks over time.

 

 

Yep, blame the tree huggers who thought it would be a hoot to demand lead be taken out of solder and be replaced with something really crap and didn't last at all...

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