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Engine Malfunction


Jegero
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Hi,

Since my last MOT I have been getting an engine malfunction warning pop up on the dash. It's a MK2.5 09 plate Focus estate.

It seems to be pretty random as to when it occurs but when it does I get the Siren type alarm followed by the "engine malfunction" message and then the "reduced acceleration" message. To start with this was accompanied by the traction control amber light but recently has been showing the "check engine" light too.

Turning the engine off and on again sorts the problem until it randomly goes again. Sometimes The car will not start in the morning (dash lights come on but no sound and it won't turn over) accompanied by the same "engine malfunction" message... Normally multiple attempts gets it going again.

I have started it in diagnostics mode and noted DTC1: 9601, DTC2: D900 and DTC3: E510.

So far it has only happened when using my wife's key and I read somewhere it could be a dead battery in the key causing an issue with the immobiliser... The battery was indeed almost dead so I changed it and thought the problem was sorted however it has been happening again since so I'm a bit stumped.

Anyone smarter than me got any ideas?

Thanks

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Generic OBDII code readers do not pick up all the Ford specific DTC's

FORScan is designed for use on Ford and Mazda vehicles only. It is a software package that runs on a laptop and connects via a modified ELM327 lead. It is as close as you can get to the systems that the Ford main dealer uses.

The laptop version is free to use except if you need to do security related programming like for the PATS system, in which case you need a full licence (£10)

There is also a version available for use on your mobile phone (£6) but this does not allow programming for safety reasons.

https://forscan.org/download.html

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My son’s 08 st had similar malfunction and reduced power mode.  Proved to be the ip dry solder problem. A slap on the dash above the cluster can temporarily bring the car back to life. Haven’t checked the DTC codes yet but expect to see “u” codes

cost approx £100 for resoldering . 
there can be other connectivity issues elsewhere. 

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Sounds like the instrument cluster solders have gone down, common MK2 problem.

Just to confirm, read the DTCs, not from the engineering mode in the cluster.

You should be showing loads of "Lost communication with......." DTCs and, more importantly, "THEFT DETECTED"

Have a search on Ebay, there's people on there who do a send and return service, should take no more than  a couple of days and cost no more than £80.

Search "Ford Focus C-Max instrument cluster repair" and find the one nearest to you

Do not be tempted to source a replacement cluster

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On 12/7/2021 at 6:32 PM, Jegero said:

I read somewhere it could be a dead battery in the key causing an issue with the immobiliser

The immobiliser uses a passive chip in the key. The battery is only for the central locking - unless you've got keyless start.

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15 hours ago, RL123 said:

My son’s 08 st had similar malfunction and reduced power mode.  Proved to be the ip dry solder problem. A slap on the dash above the cluster can temporarily bring the car back to life. Haven’t checked the DTC codes yet but expect to see “u” codes

cost approx £100 for resoldering . 
there can be other connectivity issues elsewhere. 

This happened on my previous Focus, it was a really simple fix. I whipped out the instrument cluster and just resoldered the joints where the connector plugs into the instrument cluster. Popped it back in and never had another issue...

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Thanks to everyone who has responded, it's greatly appreciated... I booked it in to a local garage to check it out, I'll mention the solder issue you guys have mentioned.

I'd have a go at fixing it myself but I'd probably make it worse or create a different problem...

Thanks again for the tips... I'll let you know what the garage says.

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It’s quite delicate soldering needed. And to do it needs the instrument cluster dismantling including taking the needles off the gauges to get to the correct side of the circuit board. Quite a fiddly job but not too bad for anyone experience in electronics soldering repairs.  It’s certainly more of an electronics engineer job than a car mechanics job. Getting the instrument cluster out of the car is easy.  YouTube videos show how to remove, dismantle , repair.  But anyone doing their first ever soldering job should not try it out on this.  If you have a tv repair shop local (if any exist still) you might be able to remove the circuit board and take to the tv repair man, show him the connector pins to solder and it’s a 5 minute job for him to solder the 16 pins ( I think it’s 16 but might be wrong)

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Ps , I agree that most of the time that fault is fixed by what is described above, but on my brothers 2008 focus the problem was down to the wiring/ wiring connectors between the instrument cluster and the ecu . So no guarantees but the soldering is very often the way to fix this problem.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, the garage did indeed say it was the instrument cluster at fault without being specific. They sent it off to be repaired/refurbished and I payed through the nose for it I think but, whatever.

I have the car back now and the problem hasn't occurred again so far.

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