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Engine stopped on highway, won't start again


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Mondeo Mk5, 2.0 TDCi 4x4, 189.000km (~115k miles), Norway

The other day, while I accelerated onto the highway, just as I hit 80km/h (50mph), the dreaded amber spanner lit up, and I lost engine power. It didn't cut completely out, but I was unable to accelerate or maintain speed. As I came to a halt on the shoulder, the engine stopped, and the spanner went away, being replaced by the CEL. The car now won't start. It cranks, but it won't start.
Having ever only had- and worked on- petrol cars, I have limited experience with diesels, but I know the basics, and cranking but not starting is in my mind related to either fuel, air or compression.

After I got home, I got a guy I know to come and read the codes, and we found the following:
P228C(00) - Fuel pressure regulator 1, control limit exceeded - fuel pressure low
P0087(00) - Fuel rail/system pressure to low
P02FA(99) - Diesel intake airflow position sensor - minimum/maximum stop performance

He had never worked on Mondeos, but he knew a mechanic, and gave him a call. Before he could finish telling him all the symptoms, the guy just responded with "Fuel pressure sensor, 100% sure, common on these cars".

Is it this simple?
'Cause this part I can get easily enough from Autodoc or similiar (as soon as they're back in stock), or a scrap-dealer for less than £100. Ford would only sell me the entire rail, and that costs like 4 times that.
I've tried googling it, and the list of possible errors related to a specific code, is in the best of cases, very general; it could apparently be a plethora of things, among them, the fuel pressure sensor.
I've also heard it could be the DPF, fuel regulator, high-pressure pump, feed pump etc. (hope it's not though, those are expensive).
There are no visible leaks, nor any smell of diesel, so I'm guessing it's not a leak anywhere.
The guy with the code reader, said to me he could feel the flow in the lines to the rail (I'm assuming this is possible due to the high-pressure pump), so I assume the diesel is reaching the rail.
However, I would like to get a second opinion, as well.

If any of you have any insight or experience with this kind of fault, I'd be very grateful.

Thanks

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You need to clear those error codes and then see which one(s) comes back as one ore more could be historic and misleading. 

If his code reader can monitor live data,  then what is the fuel rail pressure while cranking? - it needs to be something over 200 bar for the ecu to start the engine. 

 

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We did that, and it gave no codes when we tried again after a few cranks.

But his code reader was an universal type, so I'm not sure if it can read them all, or take live data. I've order a ForScan compatible scanner, so hopefully I can get a more specific readout, hopefully. It should be here within a couple of days, I'll try again and I'll post the results, if any.

Saw a video about the pressure thing; I really hope that it's not the pump 😬

Thanks for the response so far 🙂

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If it is pressure related, it's more likely to be a single injector that's leaching out all the pressure. If you've got a leakoff test kit then you can do a non-starting leakoff test. I can dig out the instructions if you haven't got them. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update!

Sorry for the late reply, RL got in the way, like it does sometimes.

I've got the FORScan scanner and software, and ran a diagnostic. Since the dude that helped, erased the PCM errors, I've tried running it again, and I get no codes what so ever.

I got some help from my FIL, and we changed both the fuel filter, and the air filter, just to be sure that there were no blockages. Fired up FORScan, erased all codes again (even though there were none) - just to be sure - and ran a diagnostic again. Still nothing.

So we disconnected the line running to the rail and tried cranking it, and plenty of diesel gushed out. Like, ALOT. So I would assume the high pressure pump is not broken. After running a diag again, I now got the P0087 error (low fuel pressure). Erased the code, reconnected the hose, and cranked it, and it is not reporting this error again, so by my logic, the fuel pressure sensor works, and there is enough fuel getting to the system.

What baffles me, is that there were no warnings before any of this happened. No rough idling, no sputtering, no problems starting, no reduced power, no rattling or noise, everything was just tip top. And it just suddenly cut out.

We've checked all the fuses, they're not broken, the cams turn - they appears to be chain driven, not belt - so it's not a matter of a slipping belt.

In my mind, seeing as the fuel is there, with what seems to be enough pressure, it's getting air, it must be either a compression issue or an electronics issue. I've read that the BCM could be faulty, but would that not result in an errorcode, or failure to read said module?

I have not done a leak-off test, but according to what I've found, it should still be able to run even if they leak too much, and also would give the above mentioned P0087 error, as it is unable to maintain pressure.

I find it hard to believe that all 4 injectors have gone bad at the same time, all valves are stuck open, all valve-lifters have broken, or that the head gasket is suddenly so broken that none of the cylinders have any compression what so ever. Because there is simply no indication of any ignition at all. It's like there were no fuel in the tank (it is, and it's only diesel).

I am at a loss. I would like to not have to take it to a shop, because $$$, but I might have to 🙁

Thanks for any and all replies.

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Can you monitor frp while cranking? 

Should be a minum of approx 230bar before ecu will trigger injectors. 

*based on my mk3 knowledge*

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Yeah, I tried that, but I'm not sure which sensor I should watch. There were several sensors with almost the same name, and a total of like 10 or something sensors related to the fuel pressure sensor (several that measure bar and a few that measure voltage). I don't have the name for them right now, but I'll check tomorrow and post the sensors' names, so you guys hopefully know which one I should watch.

 

Thanks 🙂

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Okay, so I tried monitoring the frp while cranking, but I'm not able to make heads or tails of what I'm seeing. I really don't know quite what I'm looking at, but I took a couple of screenshots, so maybe you guys can decipher it for me 🙂

None of the graphs aren't giving much of a response, and there's no indication of any spikes in pressure, which I'd assume it should.

Screenshot_20220811-185439.png

Screenshot_20220811-185348.png

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I'm not sure what all the abbreviations mean, if you expand them then FORScan will tell you. What I can deduce is that your PCM is Desiring and Commanding a pressure in the Fuel Rail of 328 Bar when cranking and the actual pressure that the Sensor is feeding back is 0 Bar.

I don't have full details of that engine but usually these sensors are both mechanical and electrical and usually regulate the pressure electrically with a mechanical fail safe in case the pressure gets too high. The High Pressure Pump can provide very high pressures and these are kept in check both by the Duty Cycle of the Pump and by the Fuel Rail Sensor sending the excess pressure down the Return Line and back to the Tank.

My guess from the information that you provided is that the Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor is faulty, either that is there is a wiring or PCM fault.

If you disconnect the Return Line from the Fuel Rail, put a bit of Tubing on it directed into a bottle and see if all the cranking fuel is going down the Return Line. That would mean that the Sensor is fully open when it should not be.

Sensor Voltages are usually between 0.5 and 4.5 and I would have thought that it would have been nearer the higher end during cranking but I'm not certain about that.

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you've got to work out how to get a realtime trace of frp while cranking. Am away at mo so haven't got my stuff with me to give you step by step. Once you've worked that out and got a frp reading we can go from there.  if a sensor has a wiring flt, the ecu detects it straight away and you'll get a flashing flt light and flt code. 

Have u got a leakoff test kit? 

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Since my code reader is not giving me any info (apart from a 0.49v reading), I guess we can try reading the sensor directly. Found some guides on how to connect some y-splitters in order to measure the actual voltage. Seeing as the I get a FP error when I disconnect the supply line, I would assume the sensor is not entirely broken.

I've managed to cobble together a leakoff kit, but haven't had the time to run the test yet.

 

@Tizer, these are what I could figure was the relevant sensors for the fuel pressure. The only ones that are giving me anything, is the commanded pressure and the voltage, and that seems to be way to low.

The mechanic I spoke with also suggested the sensor, but I'm not sure anymore.

It does briefly start if you give it a little squirt of starter gas directly, but it's not able to keep going. So at least there is compression there, and it's getting air, so at least it's narrowed down to a fuel supply issue, but we've sort of already figured as much.

I've also heard from another forum that it could be the fuel pressure regulator (pressure control valve).

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Quite common for the spring in the high pressure pump to break. You may get some flow with a pipe cracked off but no pressure. Plenty of videos on you tube about it esp Alan howatt . He does Lots of informative videos 

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You have a some good answers now that are worth investigating.

If the spring in the pump is broken then there is no way of measuring the Fuel Pressure that I know off with a diagnostic tool other than what the Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor says.

 

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Yes, and thanks a lot, guys 🙂

Thru the power of Google I managed to do a leak off test, and there is no leak. In fact, no diesel made it to the injectors at all. Not a drop. So with no measurable pressure from the sensor as well, everything points towards a faulty pump, either the spring or the regulator.

When FIL gets back from his camping trip we're gonna crack it open like Alan showed in his video and take a look at that spring. It should be easy enough be able to get it out without removing the pump. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, I finally figured it out... 🤦‍♂️

Pump shaft broke 🙄

Didn't actually think it would be such a catastrophic failure, but here we are I guess. At least I'm done fault checking. Now I just got to get a hold of a new one without having to bankrupt myself 😝

20220824_200853.JPG

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to thank everyone for the help so far, but I have yet another update.

Got hold of a second hand pump from a scrap dealer, the pump's got about 75k miles on it. Got the thing installed, and it fired up on the second go. It was a bit rough - ran fine at a bit higher revs, but figured that was because I hadn't connected up the MAF yet. So, put everything back; and it's still idling rough. It also started giving me a dash warning about low engine oil pressure.

So I tried reading the codes to see what was up, and it gives me nothing related to oil pressure, but I get a P0266 error.

P0266 - cylinder 2 contribution/balance (see photos).

I've tried running a live readout on the only thing in the PCM I could find related to the injectors, which was the injector offsets. No idea if these are related though.

Anybody care to take a guess?

Screenshot_20220903-163531.png

Screenshot_20220903-163450.png

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Maybe some swarf or dirt has got into that Injector or the Electrical or Fuel connection has become damaged or not put back correctly. It is interesting that it says that it is Intermittent and it may not be Injector related but probably is.

With FORScan have a look for any PID's for Misfire or Cylinder Contribution and also have a look in Mode 6.

If there are any PID's then they may give a clue as to what the problem is.

A Misfire on every Firing Stroke means something different from one that is truly intermittent. No Cylinder Contribution or just a lower one can mean different things also.

If there are individual Misfire Monitors in Mode 6 then if the fault has just occurred then I would expect just a few to be counted. If the fault was there before then I would expect a lot.

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