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Dashboard or ECU problem - how to fix?


bobbe
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Hello,

 

I have a 2007 Focus 1.6 Ghia petrol with about 95k miles on it, which recently had its MOT. When I collected it afterwards, I noticed that the indicators on the dashboard weren't showing anything - the actual indicators on the outside of the car were flashing when I turned them on, but nothing showing up on the dash. The air temp reading on the display on the dash also was showing "-C" instead of a number, the handbrake light was constantly on, the cruise control didn't function, the windscreen heater didn't work, and the central locking didn't work either.

 

None of these problems existed before I had it in at the garage. The problem seemed to resolve itself later, but then came back again intermittently - always with the same combination of things failing together.

 

The garage said it was a dashboard problem. Sure enough, there are people on the internet with similar symptoms of dashboard problems. They arranged to send the dashboard off to someone who apparently specialised in fixing these. The dashboard came back, reinstalled in the car, and it seemed to all be fine (though I was now about £170 lighter).

 

A couple of days later the same problems came back. The car has been back to the garage who are now saying it's a problem with the control unit, which they seem to want to replace (a proposed course of action which has seemingly been complicated by the fact that I only have one key for the car).

 

Has anyone come across this combination of problems being a control unit problem rather than a dashboard problem?  If so what is the best (cheapest) way to fix this?

 

Thanks in advance!

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My brothers 2008 Focus did not have cruise but when the other things you mention all arose one day I fixed it by reseating all of the plugs on the bottom of the fuse box  / bcm.   Under the glove box, above passengers feet .  They can get kicked but also suffer corrosion. It was one particular plug, I can’t tell you which. Car was mk2.5 2008 1.8tdci. 

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The thing that looks like the fuse box has circuit boards inside with computer chips on . They can get water inside and green corrosion. Hope your problem is just a plug needing some fettling

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Replacing modules in hope it cures the problem could be expensive. Connections and joints quite often are the cause. 
when multiple issues appear at the same time, a common cause can be can-bus connections.

it may be worth slapping the dash above the instrument cluster with the engine on.

if this gets a result, it could still be the Custer or the plug not seated securely.

only 10 minute job to remove the Custer if necessary.

 Your garage should have read and given you the diagnostic trouble codes read from the car, these can help with diagnosis and should be cleared after the repair.it makes future codes less confusing.

hope you get it solved

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17 hours ago, isetta said:

My brothers 2008 focus did not have cruise but when the other things you mention all arose one day I fixed it by reseating all of the plugs on the bottom of the fuse box  / bcm.   Under the glove box, above passengers feet .  They can get kicked but also suffer corrosion. It was one particular plug, I can’t tell you which. Car was mk2.5 2008 1.8tdci. 

Okay, thanks! I'll suggest that to the garage and see how they go

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16 hours ago, RL123 said:

Replacing modules in hope it cures the problem could be expensive. Connections and joints quite often are the cause. 
when multiple issues appear at the same time, a common cause can be can-bus connections.

it may be worth slapping the dash above the instrument cluster with the engine on.

if this gets a result, it could still be the Custer or the plug not seated securely.

only 10 minute job to remove the Custer if necessary.

 Your garage should have read and given you the diagnostic trouble codes read from the car, these can help with diagnosis and should be cleared after the repair.it makes future codes less confusing.

hope you get it solved

Yeah I'm concerned that the cost of replacing control units etc could quickly escalate. I'll suggest to the garage to try checking connections. Thanks!

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id contact the place where you got the cluster done as it should be guarantied , i would also check to make sure the plugs have been connected properly, if they are, sounds like a wiring issue, water has got in somewhere and caused a short

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As RL123 says - canbus.  I think all those defects are controlled by the canbus.  There isn’t a separate wire for each of those things. Those items are controlled by a stream of computer data along two canbus wires. The canbus wires are usually much thinner than the other wires as they just carry data pulses and not electrical current as such.  A slightly dodgy connection totally disrupts the data flow.  If you look at the plugs on the bcm/ fuse box and see the one with the thinner two wires and reseat that one you might find it fixes it

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I've spoken to the garage and it seems like it is water corrosion rather than just loose cables. They're happy to clean up the corrosion on the contacts and see if that helps, but there is also the possibility that water has got in around the logic board so who knows how much difference that will make.

 

So they have a working replacement control unit that didn't cost much that they would fit - except I only have one key, so they can't program it to the car.

 

Does anyone know if it's at all possible to program a body control module without a second key?

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yes it is possible with 1 key, but recommended 2 if your changing clusters etc. Forscan and a modified usb cable

 

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2 hours ago, bobbe said:

So they have a working replacement control unit that didn't cost much that they would fit - except I only have one key, so they can't program it to the car.

 

It does not matter if you have one key or ten keys, use FORScan (with extended licence) and a good ELM327 lead and it can be programmed.

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Okay, thanks. Is there any information available anywhere on how this might be done? I wouldn't know where to begin, but if anyone has written up a guide or if there is anything else I should read then I'm happy to do so

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google up James Simpson Forscan for the definitive guide, any issues ask here. I have Forscan and the lead as i put a new cluster in mine.

https://www.jamessimpson.co.uk/elmconfig-enable-ford-ecu-functions/

https://www.jamessimpson.co.uk/getting-started-elmconfig/

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Thank you! I think the plan with the garage at the minute is for them to clean up the contacts on the existing unit in the (possibly forlorn?) hope that that will help things. If and when the problem returns I'll look into swapping the units and following that guide. Thanks again!

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54 minutes ago, bobbe said:

and following that guide

You can buy a ready made ELM327 (modified) lead which makes things a little quicker and easier.

TunnelRat Electronics - ELM327 modified (£17.96) for use with FORScan : https://tunnelrat-electronics.fwscart.com/USB_Modified_with_switch_ELM327/p4541936_17045457.aspx

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The software is free and runs on 7/8/9/10 and £18.00 for a lead is a good investment if you intend sticking with fords, and once you have an idea what your doing others will hit you up.

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Check BCM for water damage if you've already repaired the cluster

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