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Help! Engine Failure.


MikePancake
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Hi All,

I purchased a Ford Focus ST Line 1.0 Ecoboost back in November 2021, which had 29k miles on the clock from cinch. It had full Ford main dealer service history and was if anything in mint condition. I was happy all round with the purchase. After a week into ownership, the clutch did fail but cinch put this right under their 3-month warranty. 

Since then, plain sailing. The car is 9 months in and I have the mileage at 35k not doing many miles. Literally this Tuesday on an idle trip back from my golf course the car seemed to lose all power, around 200 metres perhaps later a red light came up on the dashboard, (looked like a genies lamp), followed by what I can only describe was the sound of a loud garden water sprinkler - but with metal banging and then the whole car just died. Literally left me free rolling which I managed to get off the main road before standstill. I called the break down people and was recovered to a local garage. They looked at the car checked all oils, coolants which were all topped up as I had kept on top of that, plugged a computer in and it came up with Camshaft sensor 1 error. The car wouldn’t start normally or with a jump pack. They then put the car into 6th gear and pushed it a few yards, the engine did turn but on each revolution made a horrible metal to metal banging sound. They left me saying the engine has blown in their opinion. 

I am not mechanical, but I really struggle to see how a car that isn’t even 5 years old with 35k on the clock would just idly blow during a routine trip. Surely there are fail safe’s? Sensors?

The engineers at the garage I was recovered too told me about the 'EcoBomb' etc... So naturally I googled it but as far as I can see it was on earlier models. This led me to trading standards and then Ford direct. They have told me they will open a case, but now I need to recover it to main dealer because where it is now at a local garage, they would not help. I have made a booking, and am preparing to get it to a main dealer. 

I wonder has anyone else had anything similar with this car / engine and post 2015 models? I've barely slept the last few nights, I paid £13,500 for this car last November - and from the brief diagnosis from the garage I got recovered too I am left feeling I now have a brick of a car after 9 months which as an owner there was nothing I could have done to avoided. 

Literally, any info big or small would be of some comfort because I am struggling to believe what has happened. 

Thanks!

 

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Given you had the oil light, I’d say it’s the wet belt that disintegrated and block the oil pick-up starving the engine and causing irreparable damage. 
 

There is unfortunately more and more reports of this on the 1.0. Including on this forum. Yours seems a bit young/low mileage compared to some. But it only needs for the previous owners to have neglected oil changes or used engine flush. 
 

35k and 5 years old is quite low mileage so it could also be due to too many short journeys exasperating the issue. 
 

If it’s had full dealer service history there is a small chance you’ll get a contribution from Ford. Otherwise it seems to be £3k minimum for a new engine. 
 

Sorry it’s not better news

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Thanks for coming back to me promptly. 
 

The red light came on shortly after the power loss, and must have been on for about 10 seconds before the banging. It all happened so quick and out of the blue on a routine trip. Thereafter another what seemed like a few second before it all died, I had the digital dash up and was only doing 28mph in 60 when it died and had a string of cars right up my ***** as I had been slowing. Happened so quick. 
 

It had been working as perfect as any car up to that fateful minute. We checked the oil at the garage, it was spot on where it should be.

When you say not repairable, do you think the engine could really be shot? Would I have a case with this? It’s been fully serviced each year from the previous owner, I was particular about this when I bought it. I’ve kept it in pristine condition - to just idly blow up when it’s not even 5 years old seems incredible, I still owe a fair amount on my loan and feel like right now I have nothing. Surely legally there should be something that a product like this should last a reasonable time?

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Can only agree with Alex, unfortunately. There are loads of threads on here regarding similar issues, this being a recent one:

https://www.fordownersclub.com/forums/topic/133542-10-ecoboost-wet-belt-issue/page/5/#comment-949738

This might be of interest in terms of replacement costs:

https://pumaspeed.co.uk/product-Brand-New-Ford-Service-10-EcoBoost-Engine_18898.jsp

 

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The oil doesn’t leave the engine so it will still show the correct level. The problem is that Ford put a rubber (or similar, not metal basically) belt inside the engine bathed in oil to reduce friction and noise. The problem is that over time it can disintegrate and then parts get stuck in the oil pickup and then the oil doesn’t get pumped round the engine, as good as it not having any. 
 

It’s just an educated guess, based on you getting the oil light and it being a common cause of failure. 
 

This thread would be worth a read

 

 

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You have consumer rights. It definitely should last a reasonable amount of time. 
 

As it’s more than 6 months since purchase the burden of proof is on you to prove it had a fault at the time of purchase though. If it was me I’d be simultaneously pursuing a case with Ford for a contribution and also my consumer rights against the supplying dealer. But you’ll need to be prepared to pay for an engineers report that can prove it was faulty at the time of purchase. You can also pursue section 75 if £100 or more of the car was paid for directly with credit. Such as a credit card deposit or if your loan was paid directly to the dealer. 

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Thank you Alex, I’ve been reading the other links and my god it’s the exact same thing. There is nothing I could have done on gods green earth to look after this car more, yet it just blew up like it did so many others and it’s still only 5 years old.

Interestingly in your post, I did actually make the initial purchase of this car on my credit card - does that mean there is an avenue there?

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Hi Luke, as Alex has said your engine is almost certainly scrap.

There are problems like yours at least once a week or more on these forums. Those who spend the many thousands of pounds needed to get there car back on the road usually end up selling them as quickly as possible to 'we buy any .........' and dare I say it 'cinch'

In the very likely event that you will need a full new engine and very possibly a new turbo, i would advise against spending £6000 or more at a Ford dealership.

PumaSpeed are by all accounts offering brand new Ecoboost 1.0 engines fitted for less than £3000.

as @Eric Bloodaxe found just last week

 

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9 minutes ago, MikePancake said:

Thank you Alex, I’ve been reading the other links and my god it’s the exact same thing. There is nothing I could have done on gods green earth to look after this car more, yet it just blew up like it did so many others and it’s still only 5 years old.

Interestingly in your post, I did actually make the initial purchase of this car on my credit card - does that mean there is an avenue there?

Section 75 of the consumer credit act basically gives the same consumer rights you have against the seller with your lender too. Most card companies will have expected you to at least try and resolve it with the seller first though  

info here:

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/section75-protect-your-purchases/

It’s useful if you have a really uncooperative seller or for example if they’d stopped trading. 
 

It’s worth pointing out too that your rights here are to protect your purchase from cinch. Ford have no legal obligation to help you. It’s just sometimes they will if the car has full dealer service history but yours might just be a bit too old for that now. It’s worth a shot though. 

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Hi Luke, does your V5c registration give the details of the last registered keeper (so do, and some don't). If so it may be worth finding out from the previous owner if they had any serious issues with it. Like was the engine replaced with a reconditioned one ?

Remember they are most probably a private individual and don't have to tell you anything. If it turned out there had been issues with the engine when they sold it to cinch then it makes it easier for you to prove a preexisting fault.

Cinch are a professional car buying and selling company and it was/is there responsibility to check for problems on cars they buy and sell.

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2 minutes ago, unofix said:

Hi Luke, does your V5c registration give the details of the last registered keeper (so do, and some don't). If so it may be worth finding out from the previous owner if they had any serious issues with it. Like was the engine replaced with a reconditioned one ?

Remember they are most probably a private individual and don't have to tell you anything. If it turned out there had been issues with the engine when they sold it to cinch then it makes it easier for you to prove a preexisting fault.

Cinch are a professional car buying and selling company and it was/is there responsibility to check for problems on cars they buy and sell.

V5 do not contain previous addresses anymore. Data protection and all that. 

 

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Thank you all for your replies. I’ll check to see if I can find the previous owner from the V5.

I just don’t get the world we live in, from the links you’ve sent me I am by far not the first, this looks to be common - I’ve read all of Sarah’s story. Yet we have a multi-national billion dollar company like ford ripping off the bottom man and it’s totally legal. In good faith I bought a car 8 months ago, paid nearly £14k for it, washed and maintained it every weekend and it’s now just blown up. It looks like so many other people have been screwed over by this issue which surely is a design fault. 
 

It feels vaguely like the Boeing 737 Max Netflix documentary where Boeing knew there was an issue, but nah had to hide it for profits. Ford must know something isn’t right with these engines. 

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4 minutes ago, MikePancake said:

Thank you all for your replies. I’ll check to see if I can find the previous owner from the V5.

I just don’t get the world we live in, from the links you’ve sent me I am by far not the first, this looks to be common - I’ve read all of Sarah’s story. Yet we have a multi-national billion dollar company like ford ripping off the bottom man and it’s totally legal. In good faith I bought a car 8 months ago, paid nearly £14k for it, washed and maintained it every weekend and it’s now just blown up. It looks like so many other people have been screwed over by this issue which surely is a design fault. 
 

It feels vaguely like the Boeing 737 Max Netflix documentary where Boeing knew there was an issue, but nah had to hide it for profits. Ford must know something isn’t right with these engines. 

Ford do know it’s not right. It’s why they changed the service schedule to include a bet change at 10 years where it was supposed to last the life of the engine and never need changing before. They’ve also switched to using a chain instead of a belt on the newest version of the engine. 
 

The 1.0 is in a lot of cars. Ford used to be the top selling two cars in the UK for years with this as the main engine. When there are this many 1.0 engines out there it can slightly distort the perception of the percentage of engine failures. But I’d still say that there are too many to be acceptable. Ford is a multi billion dollar corp and they will do what big corps do, try to spend as little while bringing as much in. No manufacturer is any better imo. 

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Everything you detailed there means they do know then, I guess I have to go down the same rabbit hole as Sarah but coping with a cost of living crisis, fuel being sky high and just keeping our heads above water - my car just idly blowing up and Ford knowing why, I feel like Michael Douglas in Falling Down right now. 
 

I really do appreciate all of your inputs though, just a dismal time. 

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2 hours ago, alexp999 said:

Ford do know it’s not right. It’s why they changed the service schedule to include a bet change at 10 years where it was supposed to last the life of the engine and never need changing before. They’ve also switched to using a chain instead of a belt on the newest version of the engine. 

I bought my Ecoboost 1.0 Focus new in mid-2020.  How do I find out whether it has a belt or chain?

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7 hours ago, Linds said:

I bought my Ecoboost 1.0 Focus new in mid-2020.  How do I find out whether it has a belt or chain?

I believe the chain came at the same time as the reversed head. So in theory if you check under the bonnet, if the turbo is at the back closest to the cabin it should have a chain. The original 1.0 has the turbo at the front next to the radiator. 

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The 1st generation of the 1.0 ECOboost engine has never been used in the Focus MK4. Unlike the Fiesta MK8 the Focus MK4 did have the new 2nd generation of the 1.0 ECOboost engine from the start of production.

So the 1.0 ECOboost in the Focus MK4 always has a timing chain between the crankshaft and the camshafts. There is however also a wetbelt between the crankshaft and the oil pump (and on the automatic transmission also the balance shafts).  

On both the 1st and 2nd generation 1.0 ECOboost engines the correct engine oil and respecting the service intervals is crucial. However based on experiences with the 1st generation 1.0 ECOboost I foresee that the current 2 Year service interval may well result in premature wetbelt failure.


Despite the fact that there is no prescribed service interval for the wetbelt on the 2nd generation 1.0 ECOboost every owner of a MK4 with this engine should be prepared to have the wetbelt replaced at some point. The wetbelt is a part that is subjected to wear, ageing and external factors like the quality of the engine oil. Since the wetbelt on the automatic transmission are subjected to a higher load (because of the balance shafts) I would not be surprised if failure of the wetbelt is more common on the automatic transmission versions.

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So I thought I should update on this situation. First the diagnosis was correct, then engine has suffered complete failure due to the wet belt.

However the situation from here seems to have gotten worse. It was in at the main Ford dealer under a case with Ford - however whilst doing their investigation it turned out the full Ford service history the car had was completely counterfeit. The dealer which was stamped had never seen the car in its life. Someone had deliberately and fraudulently made up names, miles and stamped the booked for four years. Ford have said the reason for the wet belt failure is the car has never had a service in its life. They won’t touch the car.

I bought the car online from Cinch 8 months ago and it came with full service history. I still have a screenshot of the advert back then and it clearly lists full service history. So it would seem they obtained this car by deception and now it’s mine and it’s completely wrecked. 
 

 

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5 minutes ago, MikePancake said:

however whilst doing their investigation it turned out the full Ford Service history the car had was completely counterfeit.

If that is true then it's actually very good news for you 👍

You were sold a vehicle by a motor trader who legally has to carry out due diligence before they can make claims like full service history etc.

I don't see a problem in getting a full refund from Cinch other than it may take a few weeks. Get trading standards involved if you encounter any problems.

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13 minutes ago, unofix said:

If that is true then it's actually very good news for you 👍

You were sold a vehicle by a motor trader who legally has to carry out due diligence before they can make claims like full service history etc.

I don't see a problem in getting a full refund from Cinch other than it may take a few weeks. Get trading standards involved if you encounter any problems.

I have logged a complaint with cinch today, additionally the dealership in Scotland that is listed as having serviced the car each year has emailed me writing stating that they have never serviced this car and that the stamps are a fraudulent use of their dealership. My local Ford dealer has also written to me saying the engine has failed due to no servicing on the vehicle and also confirmed Ford have no history of any service on this vehicle.

Trading standards told me that Cinch have obtained goods by deception and then sold this to the consumer without proper checks in place.

I did just get a reply from Cinch to my complaint saying due to the nature of this situation it has been escalated to the senior management team. 
 

Surely no reasonable human being could suggest otherwise? They sold a car with fraudulent service history, marketed it as full which ultimately caused complete failure of the car after owning it for 8 months. God I hate this waiting part. 

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let this be a wake-up call to all those that buy used cars without paying for a FULL HPI check. Yes they can cost up to £80 (generally less than £40) but if something like this turns up after you have bought the car then they have insurance that you are mostly covered by.

The HPI check might or might not have picked up the lack of service on this car, but it would have given you a lot of other information that might have just raised a red flag that something was a miss.

I hope you get sorted soon 👍

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HPI is hire purchase investigation. It just checks for outstanding finance. 
 

Given Ford and most manufacturers are doing digital service records now it should be fairly easy to go to a dealer to verify the record of your newly purchased car while still in the 14 day cooling off period of most businesses 

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1 minute ago, alexp999 said:

HPI is hire purchase investigation. It just checks for outstanding finance. 

Yes that is indeed what it stands for, but it is generally accepted as the term used for a vehicle history check.

There are many sites available

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The car supermarkets are not getting good press recently it seems. The Despatches report on Channel 4 this week "Why is my Car so Expensive" featured both Cazoo and Car Giant selling write-offs.

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